J3C College Football Top 25 (heading to the bowls)

The final week of the regular season / conference championship week certainly had its share of surprises.

None bigger perhaps than the one that almost happened in Atlanta.  Georgia took Alabama down to the final seconds, coming up just a few yards short of the second biggest win in school history.   For all that’s being interpreted to say about the state of the Bulldogs, I think it says almost as much about the state of the Tide.  But more on that in a minute.

The Dawgs may feel as though they’ve gone from the penthouse to the outhouse of opponents when they meet Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl on New Year’s Day (being reported as of this writing anyway).  That’s the Nebraska team that just gave up 70 points and over 500 rushing yards to an 8-5 Wisconsin team that came into the weekend losing three of their last four games.

Georgia Tech almost surprised Florida State in Charlotte Saturday night.  I’m not so sure that I’m entirely surprised about that near surprised.  Both teams came off of thorough whippings at the hands of their SEC in-state rivals the week before and after watching Florida score with ease on the ‘Noles in the 4th quarter of that game, the Jackets having a final possession with a chance to win isn’t entirely unbelievable.  The outcome of that drive — the wrong quarterback throwing to someone wearing the wrong jersey — was entirely predictable.  Reggie Ball, Jr. strikes again.

On Friday night in the MAC Championship game, Northern Illinois seems to have crashed the BCS party by surprising Kent State.  The bigger surprise is that the Huskies coach won’t be making the trip to the Orange Bowl with them, he’ll be settling into his new office in Raleigh as the head coach of NC State.

The other surprise of the weekend, for me at least, is how I currently see the national championship game.  If that game were being played this weekend I’d go into it expecting Notre Dame to win.  Alabama has appeared vulnerable ever since LSU exposed their defense, including that game 3 of the Tide’s last five opponents have put up 400 yards or more (okay, Georgia had 394) and the two that didn’t were Western Carolina and Auburn.   The regular season schedules faced by the two teams were not nearly as different as you’d probably suspect.  Notre Dame has escaped by the skin of their teeth more than once this year, they aren’t likely to be unnerved by a game that goes to the wire.

Notice that I said if they played this weekend, I’d pick the Irish.  But they don’t play this weekend, they don’t play until January 7th.   That will be six weeks since Notre Dame beat Southern Cal, five weeks since Alabama survived Georgia, and over a month’s worth of preparation in the meantime for both teams.  I suspect that Saban will find a way to contain Notre Dame’s pedestrian offense (51st in total yards, tied for 75th in points scored) between now and then, but I don’t see a blowout coming and I don’t know if there’s nearly so much separating the two teams as we all believed a few months ago.

And with that, the penultimate J3C Top 25 for the season

1. (1) Notre Dame
2. (2) Alabama
3. (3) Ohio State
4. (4) Oregon
5. (6) Georgia
6. (5) LSU
7. (7) Texas A&M
8. (8) Stanford
9. (10) Kansas State
10. (9) Florida
11. (11) Oklahoma
12. (13) South Carolina
13. (12) Florida State
14. (15) Clemson
15. (18) Oregon State
16. (19) Northern Illinois
17. (16) UCLA
18. (20) Boise State
19. (22) Northwestern
20. (23) Louisville
21. (24) Michigan
22. (25) Utah State
23. (21) Texas
24. (14) Nebraska

25. (Un) San Jose State

Dropped Out This Week: Kent State (17)


1 Comment

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One response to “J3C College Football Top 25 (heading to the bowls)

  1. Pingback: J3C College Football Top 25 (2012 season final) | Jon's Three Cents

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