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Ranking 131 college football teams after Week 13: Why Michigan deserved the #1 spot

Why shouldn’t Michigan be #1 now?

Georgia stayed No. 1 in both polls, but after the Wolverines’ dominant 45-23 win at Ohio State, what’s without a healthy Blake Corum over Michigan? Here, let’s plead for it. The Wolverines have advanced to the top this week the athlete 131

Michigan’s best wins (Ohio State is No. 5 in this ranking, Penn State is No. 9) now ahead of Georgia’s best wins (No. 6 Tennessee, No. 12 Oregon). Michigan had a scare against Illinois. But Georgia had her own fear of Missouri.

For weeks I had Michigan ahead of Ohio State in that ranking, much to the frustration of Buckeyes fans. The resumes were similar, but the Wolverines just looked tougher. That happened on Saturday and I no longer have to bring this case up. Now it’s Michigan and Georgia.

Despite the weak chart outside of the conference, Michigan’s schedule strength actually ranks higher than Georgia’s by ESPN metrics, as does the Wolverines’ strength. Different metrics have different results – Sagarin ranked Georgia higher with a better SOS – but that’s really a close call for people to factor into the rankings.

Of course, Georgia beat the Wolverines in the CFP semifinals last year. That could happen again when they meet in the national championship game this year, although actually I don’t think either UGA or Michigan are as good as they were a season ago. But that’s last year. We need to rank the teams based on this season.

A Georgia win over LSU in the SEC title game could put the Dawgs back at the top of that leaderboard next week, but at this point this season, Michigan has a strong case for being No. 1.

Here is this week’s edition of the athlete 131

1-10

rank team recording Before

1

12-0

2

2

12-0

1

3

12-0

4

4

11-1

5

5

11-1

3

6

10-2

8th

7

10-2

9

8th

10-2

10

9

10-2

12

10

9-3

14

Michigan moves up to #1 for the reasons listed above. Ohio State only falls to No. 5 because of its wins over Penn State and Notre Dame. Tennessee stays ahead of Alabama because the Vols beat Alabama and LSU and didn’t even come close to losing to Texas A&M. Hendon Hooker is out for the season which is sure to impact the Vols progression.

Washington moves up to 8th after a 51-33 win over Washington State, and its wins in Oregon and against Oregon State are more impressive than Penn State’s best wins, hence the positioning.

11-25

rank team recording Before

11

9-3

20

12

9-3

11

13

9-3

13

14

9-3

16

fifteen

10-2

7

16

9-3

17

17

9-3

6

18

10-2

18

19

8-4

fifteen

20

8-4

23

21

10-2

24

22

10-2

25

23

8-4

43

24

9-3

26

25

8-4

31

Oregon State beat Oregon 38-34 and overcame a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter without completing a pass. LSU tumbles badly after losing at Texas A&M, and the Tigers fall behind Florida State on the back-to-back Week 1 loss. LSU has wins against Alabama, Mississippi State and Ole Miss, but also two one-sided losses and the SEC West isn’t as strong as usual.

UTSA and Troy both finished 10-2 and will host their respective conference championship games. South Carolina moves into the top 25 after back-to-back wins over Tennessee and Clemson, and NC State’s win over North Carolina puts the wolfpack back in that group.

26-50

North Carolina started 9-1 and had an outside shot at the CFP but ended the regular season in losses to Georgia Tech and NC State, both of whom came down to their fourth quarterbacks. Purdue defeated Indiana to win the Big Ten West for the first time. Mississippi State defeated Ole Miss, and I think we can finally admit that Ole Miss team just wasn’t very good. His best wins are Troy and Kentucky. Boise State has won seven of its last eight and will host the Mountain West championship game.

South Alabama won’t be in the Sun Belt championship game, but its 10-2 season far surpassed the previous program high of six wins. James Madison ended his first season as an FBS team 8-3, a remarkable feat. Oklahoma lost to Texas Tech and Oklahoma State lost to West Virginia to end disappointing regular seasons for both Bedlam rivals.

51-75

Syracuse came back to beat Boston College, avoiding a 6-0 finish after a 6-0 start. Houston lost to Tulsa to end one of the country’s most stunning regular seasons, 7-5. Missouri beat Arkansas 6-6 after a 4-2 start to the season. Ohio defeated Bowling Green with no quarterback Kurtis Rourke 38-14 to win the MAC East Division and cap a seven-game winning streak to conclude the regular season.

Michigan State lost to Penn State 5-7 and Wisconsin lost to Minnesota 6-6, ending disappointing regular seasons for both the Spartans and Badgers. Marshall went 4-0 in November and secured an 8-4 season in his Sun Belt debut. Texas A&M swept No. 5 LSU to finish 5-7 in a stunning result, but with losses to App State, Auburn and Florida and an ugly win over UMass, the Aggies just sneak into the top 70.

76-100

Georgia Southern defeated Appalachian State in double overtime with a bowl game at stake for both teams. It’s a big win for Clay Helton in his first season at Statesboro and caps an odd year for App State that included a win over Texas A&M and an attendance at College GameDay. Louisiana def. Texas State and Southern Miss def. ULM for both teams to qualify for the Bowl. Eastern Michigan beat Central Michigan to advance 8-4, their most wins in a season since 1987.

Rice and UTEP both lost with bowl eligibility down the line, though the Owls could still get in 5-7. Nebraska beat Iowa to end the rivalry’s losing streak and finish in the top 90 here.

101-131

New Mexico State has won four of its last five games, including a shocking 49-14 win over Liberty that ended 5-6 in Jerry Kill’s debut season. The Aggies have had five wins combined in the last three years. The MAC parity continued as Miami (Ohio) beat Ball State to secure the Bahamas Bowl, western Michigan beat Toledo and Akron beat northern Illinois. Colorado State shut out New Mexico, which dropped the Lobos to second from the bottom. USF finished 1-11 but almost beat Florida and UCF, allowing the Bulls to move up a few spots. UMass finishes No. 131 after a 0-11 against FBS opponents.

(Top Photo: Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)

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