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UCLA Football in the Polls, Week 13: Bye to the Also-Ran Bowls

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As Arizona State played Butthead to the Oregon State Beavis, UCLA moved up in the polls without a single snap. We are still not where we want to be, but we can help ourselves immensely with a beat-down of $C Saturday night.

The Mighty Bruins Roar !
The Mighty Bruins Roar !
Harry How

UCLA was in the eye of the storm this week in the polls, as several upsets sent teams into free fall. Here is the coaches' poll for this week-

NK TEAM RECORD POINTS 1ST PLACE VOTES PREV CHANGE HI/LOW
1 Florida State 10-0 1518 39 2 1 1/2
2 Alabama 9-1 1494 17 3 1 1/7
3 Oregon 9-1 1434 6 4 1 3/11
4 Mississippi State 9-1 1296 0 1 -3 1/NR
5 TCU 9-1 1279 0 5 0 5/NR
6 Baylor 8-1 1272 0 6 0 3/13
7 Ohio State 9-1 1228 0 7 0 6/20
8 Ole Miss 8-2 1041 0 10 2 3/19
9 Michigan State 8-2 1030 0 12 3 5/13
10 Georgia 8-2 981 0 14 4 6/17
11 Kansas State 7-2 880 0 13 2 9/25
12 UCLA 8-2 862 0 15 3 7/NR
13 Arizona 8-2 726 0 18 5 13/NR
14 Arizona State 8-2 721 0 8 -6 8/24
15 Wisconsin 8-2 715 0 22 7 14/NR
16 Georgia Tech 9-2 511 0 23 7 23/NR
17 Auburn 7-3 508 0 9 -8 2/9
18 Marshall 10-0 427 0 21 3 21/NR
19 Nebraska 8-2 409 0 11 -8 11/22
20 Missouri 8-2 406 0 26 6 19/NR
21 Utah 7-3 286 0 28 7 18/NR
22 Oklahoma 7-3 265 0 24 2 3/24
23 Colorado State 9-1 259 0 25 2 25/NR
24 USC 7-3 132 0 29 5 10/NR
25 Duke 8-2 130 0 19 -6 19/NR

As you can see, the SEC was treated with kid gloves. Mississippi State only dropped to #4, after losing to Alabama. My guess is that the College Football Playoff Committee won't be so kind, when the next set of rankings come out on Tuesday. Everybody else in the top four moved up one spot, so the top four teams are identical, although the order is different. In fact, the teams in the top seven remain the same, as TCU, Baylor and Ohio State run in place. TCU stays #5 despite almost having an epic fail at Kansas. Again, my sense is the College Football Playoff Committee may not be so kind, and should knock them out of the top four.

From number eight on, there is plenty of movement. ASU drops like a rock after losing in Corvallis, Auburn also drops like a rock after getting pummeled at Georgia, Nebraska drops like a rock after giving up 59 at Wisconsin, and Duke somehow hangs onto a spot in the top 25 but barely after losing at home to a woeful Virginia Tech. And Notre Dame (losers at home to Northwestern), Clemson (lost by 3 scores at Georgia Tech), and LSU (shutout at Arkansas) were jettisoned into the stratosphere.

On the flip side, the biggest upside swings in the top 20 were by Arizona (rewarded for the fact that Chris Peterson forgot that unused timeouts don't carry over), Wisconsin (for thrashing Nebraska), and Georgia Tech (for thrashing Clemson).

But, and this could be important as a preview of other rankings, no team leapfrogged idle UCLA. That is good news for sure. Big wins didn't translate into any team passing the Bruins. UCLA moved up to 12.

Utah jumped back into the top 25 as they woke up enough to defeat Stanford, a team which eschewed a 51 yard FG in regulation to win the game, and then kicked a 51 yard FG in OT to keep the game going. Way to go, Coach Shaw.

And $C will be able to say they are a top 25 team again until around 9 pm on Saturday night, when they will be sent back to their rightful spot of irrelevance. Maybe the Foster Farms Bowl will greet the Trojans with open wings, or the Cactus Bowl reps will snag $C. Whatever happens with them, I am counting on some New Year's Bruin football.

Turning to the AP poll, here are the most recent standings, after the chaotic Saturday-

1
Record: 10-0
PV Rank
2
Points
1,476
2
Alabama (16)
Record: 9-1
4
1,439
3
Oregon (1)
Record: 9-1
3
1,385
4
Record: 9-1
1
1,289
5
Record: 9-1
5
1,237
6
Record: 8-1
6
1,232
7
Record: 9-1
8
1,167

8
Record: 8-2
10
1,064
9
Record: 8-2
16
948
10
Record: 8-2
12
941
11
Record: 8-2
14
876
12
Record: 7-2
13
868
13
Record: 8-2
7
720

14
Record: 8-2
22
707
15
Record: 8-2
17
695
16
Record: 7-3
9
531
17
Record: 9-2
24
523
18
Record: 10-0
21
383
19
Record: 8-2
28
376
20
Record: 7-3
25
349

21
Record: 8-2
11
291
22
Record: 9-1
23
281
23
Record: 7-3
26
206
24
Record: 7-3
29
195
25
Record: 8-2
19
85

Again, UCLA moved up, but not dramatically (from #14 to #11), and $C squeaked into the top 25 until next Saturday night. In the AP Poll, Georgia did leapfrog the Bruins. Let's hope the College Football Playoff committee doesn't follow suit. Starbucks meanwhile did not have much caffeinated boost, only moving up one spot to #22.

Next up is the Football Playoff Rankings on Tuesday. And next step for UCLA on the national scene- beat $C.