As teams hit the home stretch of the 2013 college football season, Week 11 proved a critical barometer. Between Oklahoma-Baylor, Oregon-Stanford and LSU-Alabama, the national title showdown got a little bit clearer. Heading into mid-November, the BCS chase could all resolve itself like the third act of a movie.
Alabama picked up four first-place votes following its 38-17 win over LSU. Florida State, which used seven turnovers to rout Wake Forest 59-3, inched up one spot to No. 2. Baylor climbed to No. 4 after beating Oklahoma 41-12, and Stanford moved back into the top five after toppling previously unbeaten Oregon 26-20.
Ohio State finally moved up a spot with its resounding victory over Bye on Saturday. The Buckeyes have needed a little help all year, and Oregon’s loss this week provided them with some hope of forcing their way into the top two. Still, Urban Meyer's program will need more things to break its way to earn a spot in the national title game, either in the form of Alabama or Florida State suffering an upset loss.
The complete AP Poll (with first-place votes in parenthesis) is below:
1. Alabama (56)
2. Florida State (3)
3. Ohio State
10. Texas A&M
11. South Carolina
12. Oklahoma State
14. Michigan State
16. Fresno State
20. Northern Illinois
21. Arizona State
Here are a few thoughts from this week’s results:
• It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Miami. The Hurricanes tumbled from No. 7 in the poll after Week 9 to No. 24 after Week 11 on the heels of consecutive losses to Florida State and Virginia Tech. With star running back Duke Johnson out for the season with a broken ankle, their ACC Coastal hopes are in serious doubt, too. If Georgia Tech loses to Clemson on Nov. 14, then Duke will control its own destiny for a chance to play in the ACC championship game (no, really). Virginia Tech, which whipped the 'Canes 42-24 on Saturday, remains in the mix as well.
• LSU dropped eight spots to No. 18 after its loss to Alabama in Tuscaloosa. But if voters thought LSU was a top-10 team before Saturday, why are the Tigers suddenly the 18th-best team in the country because they lost a road game they were supposed to lose? LSU hung tough for a little more than a half, but the Crimson Tide are the top-ranked team for a reason. Polls will be polls. • Texas is ranked again. This is not a drill. The No. 23 Longhorns are 6-0 in Big 12 play after escaping West Virginia 47-40 in overtime. With each win, the absurdist’s dream of Mack Brown winning the conference title creeps a little closer to becoming reality. Seal did tell us “we’re never going to survive unless we are a little crazy,” and we all pretty much know he’s a huge college football fan, right?