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California Golden Blogs College Football Top 25 Poll: Week 14

Ugh, another Florida State squeaker. Also: how legit is 6-5 Arkansas, anyway?

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

This week's Top 25:

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

California Golden Blogs Top 25 - Week 14

Rank Team Delta
1 Oregon Ducks --
2 Baylor Bears Arrow_up 3
3 Alabama Crimson Tide Arrow_down 1
4 Florida State Seminoles Arrow_down 1
5 TCU Horned Frogs Arrow_down 1
6 UCLA Bruins Arrow_up 2
7 Ohio State Buckeyes Arrow_down 1
8 Mississippi State Bulldogs Arrow_down 1
9 Arizona Wildcats Arrow_up 4
10 Georgia Bulldogs Arrow_down 1
11 Arizona State Sun Devils Arrow_up 1
12 Michigan State Spartans Arrow_up 4
T-13 Kansas State Wildcats Arrow_up 2
T-13 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Arrow_up 1
15 Wisconsin Badgers Arrow_down 4
16 Oklahoma Sooners Arrow_up 4
17 Colorado State Rams Arrow_up 2
18 Auburn Tigers Arrow_up 6
19 Missouri Tigers Arrow_up 3
20 Boise State Broncos Arrow_up 3
21 Marshall Thundering Herd Arrow_down 3
22 Minnesota Golden Gophers NEW
23 Clemson Tigers NEW
24 Louisville Cardinals NEW
25 Mississippi Rebels Arrow_down 15

Teams dropped from last week's Top 25: Utah Utes, USC Trojans, Duke Blue Devils

Others receiving votes: Memphis Tigers

California Golden Blogs College Football Top 25 Rankings

Nick Kranz: This was a boring week, with few games that meaningfully impacted the top 25. Plenty of reshuffling at the bottom of the poll where it doesn't really matter anyway. I gave Arizona a bump for their comprehensive win over Utah.

In terms of the top 4: TCU jumps over Florida State as the Seminoles continue to not impress. I'm holding steady with TCU for now, but still expect to push Baylor ahead of the Horned Frogs if they can get through Kansas State (and Texas Tech) unscathed.

FiatLux: Let's review part of last week's discussion:

Atoms: Fiat, what's your rationale behind ranking Mississippi so low, all the way down at #20? The Rebels only have 2 losses, both of them very close losses, both to decent teams. ... I just don't see why you would have them ranked far behind teams like Arizona State, or Michigan State, or even 3-loss teams such as Utah and Oklahoma.

FiatLux: Because there's trending. They've lost their last two games. (I'm certainly not going to count a win against Presbyterian). So they're trending down. One to a team that's no longer ranked one to a team that's lost three games. I think the teams ahead of them are better but whether they're 20th or 15th doesn't matter to me. You have them as the best of the two loss teams, SEVEN places ahead of Wisconsin. You have them ahead of Georgia. Those way more questionable to me.

Anyway, I hope we're clear now Atoms.

I got to tell you, I'm having trouble keeping FSU in the top 4. I really hope they lose to FSU or Georgia Tech.

I stuck Marshall in the poll at the bottom just for the hell of it, even with that impressive squeaker against UAB.

atomsareenough: Yeah, I was supremely disappointed in Ole Miss this week. Impressed by Arkansas for shutting out two conference opponents in a row, but yes, now we are officially in "trend" territory with the Rebels, Fiat. :) I knocked them down accordingly from #8 all the way to a tenuous #25. They're likely going to need to come up with the big upset against their in-state rivals in the Egg Bowl next week to stay on my ballot.

Re: Florida State... I was having so much trouble keeping the Seminoles in the Top 4 that I gave up and booted them out of playoff position this week. Last second FG wins against mediocre teams like Boston College are not impressive to me in any way, if you are claiming to be a top team. They're still hanging on to #5 on my ballot because they're undefeated, but that's it. I was not sold on UCLA until they started dominating, and Florida State still hasn't gotten to where UCLA is now. I'm with you in hoping the Seminoles go down to Florida or Georgia Tech.

On the subject of squeakers, I'll also note that Wisconsin's little string of domination also ended this week against Iowa, as did Marshall's. I knocked them both back about 5 spots. I'll note that Minnesota dominated that same Iowa team 51-14. On the other hand, Minnesota only won by 4 against Nebraska, and Wisconsin dominated the Cornhuskers 59-24. The power of matchups, I guess? Anyway, I'm really curious to see who will win the Paul Bunyan Axe next week.

I'm slightly annoyed that I have two SEC West teams in my top 4, but that probably won't last through the conference championship games.

Anyway Fiat, I'm glad you found it in your heart to rank an 11-0 team this week!

Berkelium97: I also agree with you guys about Florida State. I hate having them in my top-4. Every week they manage to steal a win. While one could make an argument that this speaks to their resilience, a playoff contender should not put itself in these positions every week.

Once again the SEC West is getting re-evaluated now that Ole Miss was shut out in a blowout loss to conference doormat Arkansas. No one in the West has more than one impressive win. Alabama beat Miss. St, whose best win is Auburn, whose best win is Kansas State. LSU's only notable win is over Wisconsin and Ole Miss' best win is against Boise State. Arkansas and aTm have no signature wins. Is this really the best division in the nation?

I swapped Baylor in for TCU among my playoff teams this week. Baylor has been more consistently dominant in recent conference games and the Bears the tiebreaker over TCU. That recent momentum takes them to 2nd in my poll.
I'd love to see a bowl game between Good Arizona and Good Georgia.

Also, in case you guys missed it, Arkansas is 26th in the AP Poll this week. 6-5 Arkansas is RECEIVING LARGE NUMBERS OF VOTES. This is incredible. Surely their wins are due because they're clearly a great team, not due to the fact that we've been massively overrating Ole Miss and LSU. How quickly the nation has forgotten that only 10 days ago this team had lost 16 consecutive conference games.

FiatLux: You have got to be kidding me about Arkansas. Let's see. They're 6-5. Those six wins include Nicholls State (which we learned on Saturday is headed by a Cal alum!), UAB, Northern Illinois and 4-7 Texas Tech.

Nick Kranz: Re: Arkansas - Northern Illinois is easily the best team in the MAC, and Arkansas beat 'em by 38. I do think it's insane to rank Arkansas, but when four losses came to ranked teams and the other was in overtime, I can see the argument that the team is much better than their record indicates. I know I wouldn't want to draw Arkansas in bowl season if I were a fan of a 6-6 team . . .

FiatLux: Are you seriously saying that you're giving a mighty SEC team credit because they beat the best MAC team? I give up.

atomsareenough: Well, I'm totally willing to believe that Arkansas' defense is revamped, that they're no longer a conference doormat, and have slowly turned themselves into a legit SEC-caliber team. They've got two really nice wins in a row plus some very competitive games against good teams like Miss State, Georgia, and Alabama... but ranking them at 6-5 is totally preposterous. I think we can all agree on that.

Other odds and ends from this week's poll:

  • There was  TON of general agreement on certain teams. Oregon was a unanimous #1 again, and really the top 4 was pretty clear. Some teams in the middle such as Georgia, Arizona, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Missouri were all within a couple of spots of each other on our ballots. I think that means we have enough data points that our various methodologies are coming together for the most part. Additionally, we all had the exact same 25 teams for the most part, except that FiatLux voted for Memphis and not Mississippi.
  • That said, there were still some teams that we disagreed on. Weekly source of conflict Marshall was #15 for both me and Berkelium, and #25 for both Nick and Fiat. Wisconsin's ballot position ranged from #8 (Fiat) to #20 (me). Kansas State ranged from #7 to #17. Nick had Mississippi up at #16, the rest of us had them at #25 or unranked.
  • Fun fact: FiatLux is the only one of us who has voted for UCLA every single week of the season, and every week his ranking for UCLA has been the highest of any of us... except for once in Week 11 when Nick had them at #11 at Fiat had them at #12. This week he has the 2-loss Bruins ahead of 1-loss TCU. Though to be completely fair, 3 of us do have them ahead of 1-loss Ohio State. Still, I think it's fair to say that Fiat's love of the Bruins knows no bounds.
Full ballots below: