College Football Rankings: Oregon Takes Top Spot In Week 14 USA Today Poll

The Week 14 USA Today poll gives Oregon the top spot for the sixth straight week. And Boise State nearly falls out of the top 10 after losing to Nevada.

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College Football Rankings: The Winners And Losers Of The Week 14 Polls

The best part of the college football polls every week is the discussion they bring. With that in mind, a rundown of the winners and losers from this week's rankings.

Winners

Oregon, Auburn, TCU, and maybe Stanford are the only teams left with chances at the BCS National Championship Game, and that's partly thanks to the polls ranking them all, sanely, in the top five.

Stanford alone is also a big winner, as its proximity to Wisconsin in the human polls has helped the Cardinal rise to fourth in the BCS rankings, likely securing an automatic BCS bid.

Congratulations are due to Northern Illinois, which is ranked for the first time this year. The Huskies have been excellent of late, ripping off nine straight wins and scoring a staggering 195 points in their last three games. They deserve the ranking they get in both the USA Today and AP polls, and deserve commendation for maintaining the illusion that coach Jerry Kill's name is real.

Losers

Boise State, your one chance to finish third in the final BCS rankings and shock the world before being underestimated in a BCS bowl evaporated with your loss to Nevada on Friday. While I feel for you and for Kyle Brotzman, you deserved to fall. (P.S.: Enjoy the TCU-free Mountain West.)

Anyone cackling at the Big East should be somewhat quieted by West Virginia's return to the polls this week. I mean, it's still likely that the 'Eers don't even earn the conference's BCS berth, but they're ranked. That counts for something on message boards, I'm sure.

Also, the coaches get their typical brickbat for refusing to believe that Nevada a) is good at football or b) accomplished anything by beating Boise State. The Wolf Pack rose just two spots in the USA Today poll after toppling Boise State, and are ranked behind South Carolina, a three-loss team.

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College Football Rankings: Boise State Plummets In Week 14 USA Today Poll

The BCS non-automatic qualifier conferences saw their flagship go down in Week 13. But that's okay: another flagship was following closely behind.

Boise State takes a tumble in the USA Today coaches poll for Week 14, falling from third to 10th after losing to Nevada. But TCU slides up to third from fourth, and is now all but guaranteed a Rose Bowl berth as the presumptive top-ranked non-AQ team in the final BCS rankings.

Boise's conqueror, Nevada, doesn't get much of a boost after its win, moving up just two spots from 19th to 17th.

But it's a really good week for non-BCS conferences in general, thanks to a spate of losses by barely ranked BCS conference squads. Six teams from non-BCS conferences are ranked in the Week 14 USA Today poll — including Northern Illinois, ranked for the first time this year, at 23rd, and Central Florida, ranked again at 25th — which would tie the non-BCS conferences as a unit with the SEC for most ranked teams this week.

Full non-BCS conference rankings are as follows:

- No. 3 TCU
- No. 10 Boise State
- No. 17 Nevada
- No. 21 Utah
- No. 23 Northern Illinois
- No. 25 Central Florida

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College Football Rankings: Big East Finally Has Ranked Team In Week 14 USA Today Poll

The Big East should rejoice this week: for the first time in a month, a Big East team has cracked the USA Today poll.

That team would be West Virginia, ranked 24th in the USA Today coaches poll for Week 14. It's not much for a team that delivered a beatdown to Pittsburgh in the rivalry game called the Backyard Brawl — and even that win couldn't stop rumors from surfacing this weekend that had West Virginia coach Bill Stewart retiring — but it's more than the Big East has had of late.

West Virginia could still win the conference and claim the Big East's BCS bowl berth, but Connecticut is the squad that has the inside track to do so. And the Huskies don't even receive a vote in this week's USA Today poll; South Florida, which upset Miami in overtime, is the only Big East team other than West Virginia to receive even a single vote.

That leaves the Big East in familiar territory: hoping for one team to carry the banner as high as possible.

Full Big East rankings are as follows:

- No. 24 West Virginia

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College Football Rankings: ACC Has Two Teams In Week 14 USA Today Poll

Much like the Pac-10, the ACC seems to be a two-team conference this year. Unlike the Pac-10, no one really respects the ACC's top two teams.

There's just more evidence of that in the USA Today coaches poll for Week 14, which ranks just Virginia Tech and Florida State, neither in the top 10.

That's not a huge disappointment for the ACC, which was never projected to send two teams to BCS bowls, but it's a reminder that the conference has underperformed in a big way since expanding to 12 teams earlier this decade.

Virginia Tech and Florida State will also get to determine which team is better on the field this week, as they meet in the ACC Championship Game for the conference's BCS berth. Virginia Tech comes in riding a 10-game winning streak, which trails only the strings of the nation's three undefeated teams, Oregon, Auburn, and TCU.

Full ACC rankings are as follows:

- No. 11 Virginia Tech
- No. 20 Florida State

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College Football Rankings: Pac-10's Two Titans Lead Conference In Week 14 USA Today Poll

The Pac-10 is really just a two-team conference this season. But those two teams are awfully good.

Oregon and Stanford are the only two Pac-10 teams ranked in the USA Today coaches poll for Week 14, which leaves the conference tied with the ACC for number of ranked teams. Both of the ranked Pac-10 teams, though, are in the top five — a distinction no other conference can claim.

Oregon's top-ranked Ducks hold onto their spot atop the poll, and Stanford is fifth. That more than makes up for Arizona falling out of the top 25, and no other Pac-10 team even receiving votes.

It will also make up for the Pac-10's dismal season in its middle class, one that might see the conference not fill all of its bowl obligations. That's because it appears likely that both Oregon and Stanford will end up in BCS bowls, getting the conference a large share of the BCS' riches.

Also, obviously, Oregon and Stanford do appear to be two of the best five teams in the country — and Stanford's only loss was on the road at Oregon. Add that to the chances that the Pac-10 sends two players to New York City for the Heisman Trophy presentation, likely Oregon's LaMichael James and Stanford's Andrew Luck, and it seems like a proud season for a conference that can only hang its hat on its two best teams.

Full Pac-10 rankings are as follows:

- No. 1 Oregon
- No. 5 Stanford

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College Football Rankings: Big 12 Looks Good In Week 14 USA Today Poll

Despite not having a team in the top eight, the Big 12 seems very strong in this week's USA Today poll.

That's thanks to some remarkable depth: five Big 12 teams are ranked in the USA Today coaches poll for Week 14, and all five are ranked between ninth and 18th, including three consecutive Big 12 teams from 13th to 15th.

That does require some logical contortion — Texas A&M and Missouri, teams that handed Oklahoma losses, are nowhere near the Sooners in this week's poll — but it establishes the Big 12 as no worse than the nation's second-deepest conference (only the SEC has more ranked teams) and as perhaps the most competitive conference this year.

That's a nice distinction to have in the last season before the Big 12 becomes The Conference That Might Still Be Called The Big 12 Despite Having 10 Teams, even though Nebraska, bolting to the Big Ten in 2011, could win the Big 12 title this week with a win over the Big 12 South representative in the Big 12 Championship Game.

That Big 12 South representative is likely to be Oklahoma; though the Sooners are tied with Oklahoma State and Texas A&M atop the Big 12 South standings, Oklahoma should win the tiebreaker easily by being the highest-ranked team in this week's BCS standings.

Full Big 12 rankings are as follows:

- No. 9 Oklahoma
- No. 13 Nebraska
- No. 14 Missouri
- No. 15 Oklahoma State
- No. 18 Texas A&M

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College Football Rankings: Week 14 USA Today Poll Has Big Ten Top-Heavy

There are just three Big Ten teams ranked in the Week 14 USA Today poll. But those teams are way up there in the standings.

Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Michigan State all show up in the top seven of the USA Today coaches poll for Week 14, which leads all Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. It's also a vindication for the Big Ten fans who insist the conference can still field strong teams.

Better yet, it appears that the conference will get two BCS bowl berths thanks to those high rankings this year. Wisconsin should win the BCS rankings tiebreaker and win the conference, earning the automatic BCS bid and a Rose Bowl berth, which Ohio State makes another trip to New Orleans for a Sugar Bowl. Michigan State, which beat Wisconsin but never got to play Ohio State, would likely head to the Capital One Bowl, a bit of a disappointment for an 11-1 squad.

But, then, teams that get blown out at Iowa don't usually make it to the BCS, especially when a late-season swoon by the Hawkeyes results in the team being dropped out of the USA Today poll following losses to Northwestern and Minnesota.

The lack of Big Ten depth might be a problem for some who would call the Big Ten the nation's best conference — Iowa's the only Big Ten team even receiving votes in the Week 14 USA Today poll — but Wisconsin and Ohio State won't mind. And other schools shouldn't, either: the conference will split the BCS kitty evenly.

Full Big Ten rankings are as follows:

- No. 4 Wisconsin
- No. 6 Ohio State
- No. 7 Michigan State

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College Football Rankings: SEC Takes Hit In Week 14 USA Today Poll

It makes sense that the SEC would stumble a bit in the Week 14 USA Today poll. After all, one team allowed a massive comeback, and another saw its magic run out.

There are still six SEC teams in the USA Today coaches poll for Week 14, which leads all Football Bowl Subdivision conferences, and five are in the top 19, which is only marginally worse than last week's five teams in the top 17.

But it's where the teams are ranked that makes it clear Week 13 was a downbeat for the conference.

Alabama, the defending national champion, is now 19th, thanks to a historic collapse against Auburn. That's a more embarrassing fall than the one LSU takes, from sixth to 12th following a loss to Arkansas, but it does have the benefit of moving the Crimson Tide behind South Carolina and rewarding the logician.

And Arkansas can't quite make up for the loss of two highly-rated, well-regarded teams with its re-entry into the top ten at eighth. The Razorbacks may earn a Sugar Bowl berth thanks to their win over LSU, but losses to Auburn and Alabama make them no better than the nation's best two-loss team, which slots them behind the Big Ten triumvirate of one-loss teams: Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Michigan State.

Fortunately for SEC triumphalists, Auburn is still in line to head to the BCS National Championship Game with a win over South Carolina in the SEC Championship Game, and the Tigers could well summit the BCS rankings thanks to the strength of schedule boost for playing Alabama.

Full SEC rankings are as follows:

- No. 2 Auburn
- No. 8 Arkansas
- No. 12 LSU
- No. 16 South Carolina
- No. 19 Alabama
- No. 22 Mississippi State

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College Football Rankings: Oregon Tops Week 14 AP Poll

The Oregon Ducks are on top in the Week 14 AP Poll, too.

This comes on the heels of the Ducks leading the Week 14 USA Today poll, and extends Oregon's reign as the consensus top team in both major human college football polls to six consecutive weeks.

Oregon is followed in the top five by Auburn, TCU, Wisconsin, and Stanford. Both Boise State and LSU fell out of the top five after losses: the Broncos fell from third to ninth following a heartbreaking defeat at Nevada's hands, while Les Miles' erratic Tigers dropped from fifth to 11th after being beaten by Arkansas.

Those teams' conquerors benefit substantially from those wins. Nevada jumps from 19th to 14th in this week's AP Poll, while Arkansas moves from 11th to eight, and may have locked up a Sugar Bowl berth with its win.

Elsewhere, Alabama falls all the way out of the top 15 after sustaining its third loss of the season; the defending national champions are 17th following a collapse against Auburn. And Northern Illinois and Hawai'i earn their first rankings of the year, sneaking into the AP top 25 at 24th and 25th, respectively.

Full poll is as follows:

  1. Oregon
  2. Auburn
  3. TCU
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Stanford
  6. Ohio State
  7. Michigan State
  8. Arkansas
  9. Boise State
  10. Oklahoma
  11. LSU
  12. Virginia Tech
  13. Nebraska
  14. Nevada
  15. Missouri
  16. Oklahoma State
  17. Alabama
  18. South Carolina
  19. Texas A&M
  20. Florida State
  21. Utah
  22. Mississippi State
  23. West Virginia
  24. Northern Illinois
  25. Hawai'i
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College Football Rankings: Oregon Takes Top Spot In Week 14 USA Today Poll

It's getting old hat for the Oregon Ducks, this reign atop the college football rankings. But the Ducks will certainly take it.

Oregon tops the college football polls this week once the USA Today coaches poll is released. It's Oregon's seventh consecutive week as the nation's consensus top team, according to the nation's sportswriters.

Auburn, TCU, Wisconsin, and Stanford round out the top five of the AP poll, which was shaken by losses by top-six teams Boise State and LSU. Boise State, which was third in the Week 13 poll, falls to 10th in this week's rankings after being upset by Nevada, and LSU drops from sixth to 12th following a loss to Arkansas.

Nevada moves up from 19th to 17th after its big win, and Arkansas slides up to eighth, and a possible Sugar Bowl berth, after dispatching the Tigers.

Elsewhere, Oklahoma's win over Oklahoma State propels the Sooners back into the top 10, at ninth, and the typical SEC/Big 12 dominance is somewhat stunted in Week 14: the only team from either conference in the top seven is second-ranked Auburn.

The Week 14 AP Poll will be released later this afternoon.

Full poll is as follows:

  1. Oregon
  2. Auburn
  3. TCU
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Stanford
  6. Ohio State
  7. Michigan State
  8. Arkansas
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Boise State
  11. Virginia Tech
  12. LSU
  13. Nebraska
  14. Missouri
  15. Oklahoma State
  16. South Carolina
  17. Nevada
  18. Texas A&M
  19. Alabama
  20. Florida State
  21. Utah
  22. Mississippi State
  23. Northern Illinois
  24. West Virginia
  25. Central Florida
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