Thanks to just one upset of a ranked team this weekend, there was very little change throughout most of the USA Today Top 25. There was though, one rather remarkable addition to the coaches’ poll.
Duke, which unbelievably controls its own destiny in the ACC Coastal with just two games remaining in the regular season, entered the Top 25 after Week 12 at No. 24. It’s the first time the 8-2 Blue Devils have been ranked by the coaches since the final release of the 1994 season, which was also the last time Duke won eight games in a year.
With just one win in any of what will be at least three more games (regular season/ACC championship/bowl), the Blue Devils would reach a win total not seen by the football program since 1938. The Blue Devils have never finished a season with double-digit wins, another feat that’s well within the realm of possibility.
With all of the Top Four teams winning, those positions remain unchanged: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Florida State, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Baylor. The Tide lost two first-place votes to the Seminoles, with the former now standing with 58 and the latter with four.
While there was no positional changes amongst that group, there was some movement. The Buckeyes are now 18 points ahead of the Bears in a poll that actually matters when it comes to the BCS, down from 25 points ahead of BU a week ago.
Stanford, the lone ranked upset of the weekend, fell from No. 5 all the way down to No. 12. Oregon, which lost to Stanford two Thursdays ago, and Auburn climbed two spots each to No. 5 and No. 7, respectively. The Ducks leapfrogged No. 6 Clemson while the Tigers jumped over Missouri, both of whom kept the same ranking from a week earlier.
Oklahoma State (No. 9), Texas A&M (No. 10) and South Carolina (No. 11) all edged up one thanks to the Cardinal’s loss.
Much to the delight of Ohio State and its BCS chances, Michigan State continued a rather meteoric rise, relatively speaking, up the poll. The Spartans, the Buckeyes’ likely opposition in the Big Ten championship game if neither has an unexpected hiccup, were at No. 24 in the coaches’ poll three weeks ago; No. 19 in the first November poll; and No. 16 last week. After Week 12, MSU has climbed three more spots and are now at No. 13.
Along with Duke, USC, at No. 25 after upending Stanford, is the only new entry this week. No. 23 Miami and No. 24 Texas tumbled out of the Top 25.