By Andy Staples
December 08, 2009
NCAA Football Power Rankings
11 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Last Week: 12
Paul Johnson's turnaround of Tech using an offense that had been relegated to the scrapheap has been nothing short of remarkable. If Johnson remains successful, look for the triple-option to become a fad again. Bell bottoms came back, so why not this '70s staple?
Last game: Beat Clemson, 39-34
Next game: Jan. 5 vs. Iowa in Orange Bowl
12 Virginia Tech Hokies
Last Week: 13
I goofed on my AP poll ballot this week, accidentally placing the Hokies ahead of the Yellow Jackets, who won the head-to-head matchup in Atlanta. I made the mistake because I wanted the teams close and I mixed up the order. After the bowls are done, we might believe the Hokies are the best team in the country that didn't make a BCS bowl.
Last game: Beat Virginia, 42-13
Next game: Dec. 31 vs. Tennessee in Chick-fil-A Bowl
13 Pittsburgh Panthers
Last Week: 14
But for a slippery ball on an extra point, the Panthers might be headed to a BCS bowl right now. If anything good came out of Saturday's loss to Cincinnati, it's this. Pitt won't need to mount much of a Heisman campaign for tailback Dion Lewis. After Saturday, Lewis is the clear frontrunner for the 2010 trophy.
Last game: Lost, 45-44, to Cincinnati
Next game: Dec. 26 vs. North Carolina in Meineke Car Care Bowl
14 Arizona Wildcats
Last Week: 16
The Wildcats are a two-overtime loss to Oregon away from playing in the Rose Bowl. Their reward? They get to try to block Ndamukong Suh. Good luck with that.
Last game: Beat USC, 21-17
Next game: Dec. 30 vs. Nebraska in Holiday Bowl
15 Oregon St. Beavers
Last Week: 11
The Beavers played their pants off last Thursday in the Civil War and just came up short. Quarterback Sean Canfield will get a nice consolation prize, though. His performance in that game should send his draft stock soaring.
Last game: Lost to Oregon, 37-33
Next game: Dec. 22 vs. BYU in Las Vegas Bowl
16 Stanford Cardinal
Last Week: 17
The Cardinal could have a Heisman Trophy winner (Toby Gerhart) on the squad when they face Oklahoma in El Paso, but they may not have their future first-rounder at quarterback. Andrew Luck had surgery on a finger on his throwing hand after Stanford's win over Notre Dame on Nov. 28, and Coach Jim Harbaugh said the redshirt freshman would miss two to three weeks of practice and could miss the bowl.
Last game: Beat Notre Dame, 45-38
Next game: Dec. 31 vs. Oklahoma in Sun Bowl
17 Nebraska Cornhuskers
Last Week: 19
If there is any justice in this world, the fat sportswriters who vote for the Heisman Trophy banded together this past weekend and voted one of their own for the award. Nebraska's Suh is the most outstanding player in the country, and it isn't close.
Last game: Lost to Texas, 13-12
Next game: Dec. 30 vs. Arizona in Holiday Bowl
18 LSU Tigers
Last Week: 20
LSU Tigers (9-3)
If Tigers coach Les Miles hadn't botched his handling of the clock against Ole Miss so thoroughly, some people might be complaining that the SEC deserves three teams in BCS bowls. Of course, if McCoy's pass hadn't hit that railing, Texas coach Mack Brown's clock management against Nebraska would have made everyone forget about Miles calling for the spike.
Last game: Beat Arkansas, 33-30 (OT)
Next game: Jan. 1 vs. Penn State in Capital One Bowl
19 Clemson Tigers
Last Week: 21
After he gets his NFL signing bonus, Suh needs to give Clemson tailback C.J. Spiller an all-expenses-paid trip to New York. Because everyone was watching Suh destroy the Texas offense, no one watched Spiller go off for 233 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns against Georgia Tech. Had Texas blown out Nebraska, everyone would have flipped to the ACC title game, and Spiller would be a Heisman finalist.
Last game: Lost to Georgia Tech, 39-34
Next game: Dec. 27 vs. Kentucky in Music City Bowl
20 Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes
Last Week: 21
Not that the Hurricanes needed another reason to hate Florida State, but they've got one. Thanks to negligence on the part of the ACC office, the Gator Bowl was allowed to select 6-6 FSU so Bobby Bowden can coach his final game against West Virginia, the school he coached before coming to Tallahassee in 1976. Meanwhile, Miami has to play two days earlier in Orlando against a Wisconsin team that also got the shaft in the bowl selection process.
Last game: Beat South Florida, 31-10
Next game: Dec. 29 vs. Wisconsin in Champs Sports Bowl
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