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Who Needs A Blogpoll Week Ten: Clemson-Alabama Top The Poll

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Clemson still tops the poll, but Auburn With A Lake doesn't want to see Alabama on New Year's Eve.

#manballchristmas was as sexy as advertised.
#manballchristmas was as sexy as advertised.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Without prefatory comment:

Rank

Team

Last Week

1

Clemson Tigers

1

2

Alabama Crimson Tide

4

3

Ohio State Buckeyes

3

4

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

6

5

LSU Tigers

2

6

Oklahoma State Cowboys

15

7

Florida Gators

7

8

Iowa Hawkeyes

8

9

Oklahoma Sooners

9

10

Stanford Cardinal

9

11

Baylor Bears

11

12

Utah Utes

13

13

Michigan State Spartans

5

14

UNC Tarheels

19

15

Michigan Wolverines

15

16

Navy Midshipmen

-

17

UCLA Bruins

23

18

Houston Cougars

21

19

Mississippi State Bulldogs

25

20

TCU Horned Frogs

12

21

Wisconsin Badgers

24

22

Florida State Seminoles

17

23

Memphis Tigers

14

24

Temple Owls

-

25

Northwestern Wildcats

-

Dropped Out: Ole Miss, Texas A&M Aggies, Toledo Rockets

Also Considered: Oregon Ducks, USC Trojans

Big Twelve Sortin' Season:

Oklahoma State did exactly what any competent team with an opportunistic defense should do to TCU, namely beat their brains in. Watch, they'll do it again to Baylor at home, too - and then lose to Oklahoma. For my money (I have said all year, and am sticking with it) Oklahoma will still wind up being the B12 winner, and will be competing with Notre Dame/Stanford for the final playoff spot. Oklahoma may have the worst of the P5 losses, but with their back-loaded schedule against overrated teams and a quality win against the Vols, it will be hard to keep the aristocracy out. It's not conspiratorial if it's true: these are school administrators, presidents and the like - asses in seats and eyeballs on television sets matter, if only at a subconscious level.

Pac 12:

I don't think there actually is an elite team this year, although at times UCLA, USC, Stanford & Utah have all shown flashes of brilliance. The P12 and "geographically balanced" playoff advocates desperately want to make Stanford more than they are. So, a win over Notre Dame and then Utah in the CCG all-but assures that (and, at that point, they'd have earned it, TBH.) Beware the Ducks, however. After a really rough, un-Duck like start, they've rebounded nicely the past few weeks. They won't contend, but I think they can ruin someone's season - looking at you this weekend, Trees. For my money, though, I still think if the Utes continue to play fundamentally-sound defense, run Devontae Booker's legs off, and do just enough in the passing game, they're probably the class of the conference.

SEC:

Hello, Florida. How does running the ball, playing defense, iffy passing, and generally overachieving with ugly wins feel? Ask an Alabama fan circa 2005 about this Gator team. Alabama is the head of the league in a year where the middle class is flailing (Auburn, UGA, UT, Texas A&M,) the elite teams have some deficiencies (Alabama, LSU, Florida,) and the bottom is just bad: Sakerlina, UK, Vandy, Mizzou, etc. Unfortunately for the Alabama Crimson Tide, the most consistent team is probably its next opponent: the Mississippi State Bulldogs. While the defense was trying to gel early in the season, the Bulldogs lost to an Aggies team that they'd certainly beat in a rematch and to an excellent LSU team. Otherwise, they've beaten who they're supposed to - and in generally impressive fashion.

Big Ten:

The biggest loser this week was the Big Ten. Michigan State's retooled defense and propensity to derp on themselves finally cost Sparty a game, and it's not like they had been particularly impressing the committee in any event. Iowa continues to be unimpressive against B1G-West soup cans, likes of Indiana, and do not have a signature win to date. Jim Delany's nightmare scenario is absolutely possible (and I think probable:) Michigan or Michigan State beats Ohio State, then the Buckeyes take out their frustrations on the Hawkeyes in Indianapolis. That almost certainly makes your playoff field: Clemson, a one-loss UF/UA/LSU, a 1-loss B12 rep, and a one-loss ND/Stanford winner (or darkhorse Utah.)

ACC:

Yes, we're counting you here, Notre Dame. No, there's no elite win on the Irish schedule, but there are some good ones, and the preseason hype machine can open the door for the Irish if the Big Ten or Big 12 falters. Clemson is a complete team that beats up on the weak and has risen to its biggest challenges this year by playing very good defense and securing the ball. I don't think Florida State is nearly the elite win the Tigers want it to be, but a hard-fought rivalry win against a better-coached team has to count for something. Clemson's most dangerous challenge still lies ahead in the ACCCG, though - a sneaky good UNC squad that sits at 8-1, and should probably be undefeated. If Melvin Tucker doesn't win the Broyles Award this season, I don't know how Gene Chizik isn't otherwise your winner. Muschamp was the splash hire on the Plains, but the Chiz has worked wonders with an undermanned Tarheels defense that was one of the worst in major college football last season.

Playoff Prediction:

Not that I think this is how the standings will look Tuesday, but rather I'm projecting ahead and doing a little prognostication. Then again, trusting Dabo Swinney, Bob Stoops and Brian Kelly to keep it together for another month is a dangerous game:

1. Clemson 2. Alabama 3. Oklahoma 4. Notre Dame

Finally, just because I can't stop laughing, I give you this #BallDontLie moment, wherein Ole Miss and Jesus Marmot learn that the Good Lord doesn't care about football and that the Karmic Gods which actually govern the sport very much return to bite you in the ass: