College Football Rankings, Week 12: Oregon Leads Four Pac-10 Teams In AP Poll

The Oregon Ducks remained atop the AP and Coaches' polls today with a win over Cal last night. They were joined by three other Pac-10 teams this week in the rankings.

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College Football Rankings, Week 12: Oregon Penalized After Close Win

When is a win not a win? When a team has been rolling all season, regularly scoring over 40 points and blowing out opponents, a close win isn’t enough in the eyes of the voters. That’s exactly what happened to the Oregon Ducks this week after a 15-13 win over the Cal Bears. It was clear many AP voters weren’t impressed and the Ducks were penalized for it.

After securing 49 first-place votes last week, the Ducks lost 11 votes, redistributed to the Auburn Tigers and Boise State Broncos. The expectations that the Ducks are invincible and will continue to run opponents off the field is both unrealistic and, perhaps, unfair for Oregon. Sure, they’ve won with plenty of “style points” this season, but they’ve also shown they can win ugly, taking care of business when it’s needed most.

At the end of the day, the AP Poll doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It’s not part of the BCS Rankings and will likely have little impact on the Ducks’ quest for a National Championship. The fact that Oregon won a close, hard fought game is a great step for a team that needed to be tested late in a game and will come in handy down the stretch. It is, however, somewhat hypocritical that Auburn picks up votes for grinding out a win against a 5-5 Georgia team that put up a fight early before faltering down the stretch on Saturday.

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BCS Rankings: Oregon, Auburn Widen The Gap In The Week 12 Rankings

The Oregon Ducks remained atop the BCS rankings with a win over the California Golden Bears this week, widening the gap over No. 2 Auburn. The Ducks lead over Auburn now sits at .0066, up from last week’s .0027. TCU and Boise State are locked in a close battle for the No. 3 spot, well behind the Ducks and Tigers. Auburn held the top spot in all but one computer, Richard Billingsley’s algorithm, and Oregon held the No. 2 ranking in all but one, as well — the Collie Matrix formula that still hates the Ducks had Oregon at No. 4.

TCU took a hit in the rankings this week after Utah fell to Notre Dame, hurting the Horned Frogs in the computers. The Utes are the best win on TCU’s schedule and a second loss in as many weeks hurts the Horned Frogs strength. LSU rounded out the top 5 as the top-ranked one-loss team. As a whole, the top 10 remained unchanged this week.

The Pac-10 still has three teams in the rankings, though Arizona continues to free fall after back-to-back losses. Stanford stayed at No. 6 this week after a tough road win over the Arizona State Sun Devils. Arizona fell four spots to No. 22 with a loss to USC this Saturday. If USC were eligible, there’s little doubt the Trojans would also be in the top 25.

In all, the rankings are still great news for the Oregon Ducks. The Ducks are firmly in the drivers seat and control their own destiny going forward. Win out and Oregon will be headed to Glendale for the BCS National Championship game in January. With games against Arizona and Oregon State — two teams that are sputtering down the stretch — a title game is looking like a real possibility as it stands right now.

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College Football Rankings, Week 12: Oregon Maintains Lead In Coaches' Poll

Near-miss aside, the Oregon Ducks are still the No. 1 team in the Coaches’ Poll today for the fifth straight week. The Ducks escaped Berkeley with a 15-13 win over the Cal Bears last night. The Auburn Tigers stayed at No. 2 this week, picking up six first place votes to stay ahead of Boise State. TCU fell one spot to No. 4 after a close win over San Diego State. BSU picked up five first-place votes to TCU’s two. Wisconsin rounded out the top 5 after hanging 83 points on Indiana yesterday.

The Pac-10 had three teams in the Coaches’ Poll this week, a product of USC being ineligible for the poll. Stanford moved up one place to No. 8, one spot lower than the Cardinal’s ranking in the AP Poll. Arizona fell four spots to No. 23 after a second loss in as many weeks, this time at the hands of the USC Trojans. Future Pac-12 member Utah dropped nine spots to No. 24 after a loss to Notre Dame.

Tonight’s BCS rankings may bring a shake-up in the top 5 after the polls brought change this morning. Utah’s loss, a week after TCU beat them, could hurt the Horned Frogs’ strength of schedule. Oregon and Auburn are still locked in a close race for No. 1, though the two teams have distanced themselves from the pack as the year has progressed.

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