January 21, 2018

Leatherheads Top 16 Before the Bowls

With Navy beating Army on Saturday, the end of the regular season is official. Next up are the bowls, starting on December 21. The season ends with FSU facing Auburn on January 6 in the BCS National Championship Game.

Here are the latest rankings by Leatherheads of the Gridiron:

Rank Team Record Points Last Week
   1 Florida State (9)   13-0   144        1
   2 Auburn   12-1   135        2
   3 Alabama   11-1   124        4
   4 Michigan State   12-1   116        8T
   5T Baylor   11-1     99        8T
   5T Stanford   11-2     99        7
   7 Ohio State   12-1     91        3
   8 Missouri   11-2     80        5
   9 South Carolina   10-2     72      10
 10 Oklahoma   10-2     55      16
 11 Oregon   10-2     54      12
 12 Oklahoma State   10-2     39        6
 13 Clemson   10-2     27      14
 14 LSU     9-3     26      15
 15 UCF   11-1     18      NR
 16 Fresno State   11-1     17      NR

Others receiving votes
: Arizona State – 11, Louisville – 10, Northern Illinois – 6, UCLA – 1.

Participating voters: David Boyce, Chris Garbarino, Terry Keshner, Bob Lazzari, Tex Noel, Bob Swick, Brandon Williams, Joe Williams, Tony Williams.


Crimson in the Face and No Game To Play Today for Alabama

Well…Well…Well. The Crimson Tide became Crimson in the face. The prospect of a third consecutive national championship went away (we think) with just a second on the clock. Rivalry week is always a special week in college football and this year was no different. Auburn shocked the world or should I say Chris Davis shocked the world with his amazing return. As expected, the Leatherheads Top 16 has a slightly different look after weeks 13 and 14.

Florida State easily became our new #1 while Ohio State continues to sit in the #3 spot with Auburn grabbing the #2 spot, despite one first-place vote for Ohio State. No love for the Big Ten.

Championship week has now began and the poor Northern Illinois Huskies lost last night to the Bowling Green Falcons. No undefeated season, No MAC title, No BCS selection for the Huskies and Jordan Lynch’s Heisman hopes disappeared.

Florida State should easily take care of Duke in the ACC championship game and find themselves in the BCS National Championship Game. The games that will decide their opponent will of course come down to the SEC and Big Ten games with the potential opponents for FSU being Ohio State, Auburn, Missouri and perhaps Alabama. Yes I said Alabama. It is unlikely but if Michigan State beats Ohio State and Mizzou beats Auburn, anything can happen and history has been on Alabama’s side the last few years. It is unfortunate that Alabama lost to Auburn since the two best teams in college football are FSU and Alabama. I rather see that matchup more than any other this season but chances are that will never happen.

If Ohio State wins tonight, I would put them in the big game. I know the Big Ten is less talented than the SEC but undefeated for two seasons deserves some respect. Besides, I wouldn’t count an Urban Meyer team out in any game. When I think of the best coaches in college football today, the first name that comes to mind is Nick Saban but Urban Meyer is not too far behind.

So instead of reading my boorish comments on what might happen, get your living, man cave or bar area ready for a huge day of college football.


Here are the rankings by Leatherheads of the Gridiron after Week 13:

Rank Team Record Points Last Week
   1 Alabama (8)   11-0   128        1
   2 Florida State   11-0   119        2
   3 Ohio State   11-0   106        4
   4 Auburn   10-1     97        6
   5 Clemson   10-1     94        7
   6 Missouri   10-1     86        8
   7 Oklahoma State   10-1     81      10
   8 Michigan State   10-1     63      12
   9 Stanford     9-2     60      11
 10 Baylor     9-1     59        3
 11T Oregon     9-2     45        5
 11T South Carolina     9-2     45      13
 13 Fresno State   10-0     33      14
 14 Arizona State     9-2     27      NR
 15 Wisconsin     9-2     15      NR
 16 Northern Illinois   11-0     12      16

Others receiving votes
: LSU – 11, UCF – 4, Texas A&M – 2, Louisville 1.

Participating voters: David Boyce, Chris Garbarino, Terry Keshner, Bob Lazzari, RUFANJerry,  Tex Noel, Bob Swick, Joe Williams.


Here are the rankings by Leatherheads of the Gridiron after Week 14:

Rank Team Record Points Last Week
   1 Florida State (9)   12-0   159        2
   2 Auburn   11-1   142        4
   3 Ohio State (1)   12-0   140        3
   4 Alabama   11-1   130        1
   5 Missouri   11-1   122        6
   6 Oklahoma State   10-1   104        7
   7 Stanford   10-2     96        9
   8T Baylor   10-1     83      10
   8T Michigan State   11-1     83        8
 10 South Carolina   10-2     82      11T
 11 Arizona State   10-2     54      14
 12 Oregon   10-2     49      11T
 13 Northern Illinois   12-0     37      16
 14 Clemson   10-2     35        5
 15 LSU     9-3     18      NR
 16 Oklahoma     9-2       9      NR

Others receiving votes
: Fresno State – 8, UCF – 6, Louisville – 2, Duke – 1.

Participating voters: David Boyce, Ronnie ForemanChris Garbarino, Terry Keshner, Bob Lazzari, Tex Noel, Bob Swick, Brandon Williams, Joe Williams, Tony Williams.


Leatherheads Top 16 After Week 12

Here are the rankings by Leatherheads of the Gridiron after Week 12:

Rank Team Record Points Last Week
   1 Alabama (9)   10-0   144        1
   2 Florida State   10-0   134        2
   3 Baylor     9-0   121       3T
   4 Ohio State   10-0   119       3T
   5 Oregon     9-1   103        6
   6 Auburn   10-1   100        8
   7 Clemson     9-1     93        7
   8 Missouri     9-1     82        9
   9 Texas A&M     8-2     56      10
 10 Oklahoma State     9-1     54      12
 11 Stanford     8-2     50        5
 12 Michigan State     9-1     42      14
 13 South Carolina     8-2     40      11
 14 Fresno State     9-0     33      13
 15 UCLA     8-2     20      15
 16 Northern Illinois   10-0     15      NR

Others receiving votes
: Oklahoma – 9, Wisconsin – 6, UCF – 2, Arizona State – 1.

Participating voters: David Boyce, Chris Garbarino, Terry Keshner, Bob Lazzari, Tex Noel, Bob Swick, Brandon Williams, Joe Williams, Tony Williams.


Leatherheads Top 16 After Week 11

Here are the rankings by Leatherheads of the Gridiron after Week 11:

Rank Team Record Points Last Week
   1 Alabama (10)    9-0   160        1
   2 Florida State    9-0   148        3
   3T Baylor    8-0   132        5
   3T Ohio State    9-0   132        4
   5 Stanford    8-1   123        6
   6 Oregon    8-1   103        2
   7 Clemson    8-1     98        7
   8 Auburn    8-1     93        8
   9 Missouri    9-1     85        9
 10 Texas A&M    8-2     62      13
 11 South Carolina    7-2     51      14
 12 Oklahoma State    8-1     48      NR
 13 Fresno State    9-0     35      15
 14 Michigan State    8-1     32      16
 15 UCLA    7-2     21      NR
 16 Miami    7-2     11      12

Others receiving votes
: Oklahoma – 10, Northern Illinois – 9, LSU – 3, Texas – 3, UCF – 1.

Participating voters: David Boyce, Ronnie Foreman, Chris Garbarino, Terry Keshner, Bob Lazzari, Tex Noel, Bob Swick, Brandon Williams, Joe Williams, Tony Williams.


The Seminoles Stake Their Claim

The big game last week was the battle of the undefeated Florida State Seminoles and Miami Hurricanes. FSU took care of business and beat Miami 41-14, solidifying the #3 ranking in the Leatherheads Top 16.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the rankings after Stanford beat Oregon and Baylor trounced Oklahoma last night.

The matchup to watch this weekend, of course,  is LSU at Alabama. If LSU can beat the Tide, FSU will be sitting in the top spot unless the Wake Forest Demon Deacons can put a spell on Jameis Winston.

Leatherhead Brandon Williams told me “Forget the ’93 and ’99 National title teams; this may be the best ‘Noles team since ’87.”

As for Ohio State’s claim to the top spot, Leatherhead Terry Keshner states “Being the best team in the Big Ten is like being the best looking among the Three Stooges.”

And let us not forget the men in black, Baylor dominated Oklahoma last night and are now 8-0. They play a slumping Texas Tech next week before a big game with Oklahoma State, followed by TCU and Texas. They have a tough schedule but could end the regular season undefeated.

Here are the rankings by Leatherheads of the Gridiron after Week 10:

Rank Team Record Points Last Week
   1 Alabama (11)    8-0   176       1
   2 Oregon    8-0   161       2
   3 Florida State    8-0   156       3
   4 Ohio State    9-0   143       4
   5 Baylor    7-0   133       5
   6 Stanford    7-1   110       6
   7 Clemson    8-1   104       8
   8 Auburn    8-1   100       9
   9 Missouri    8-1     84     10
 10 Oklahoma    7-1     64     11
 11 LSU    7-2     55     12
 12 Miami    7-1     45       7
 13 Texas A&M    7-2     42     13
 14 South Carolina    7-2     29     15
 15 Fresno State    8-0     26     16
 16 Michigan State    8-1     20     NR

Others receiving votes
: Oklahoma State – 18, Texas Tech – 13, Northern Illinois – 7, Texas – 5,  UCLA – 2, UCF – 2.

Participating voters: David Boyce, Ronnie Foreman, Chris Garbarino, RUFANJerry, Terry Keshner, Bob Lazzari, Tex Noel, Bob Swick, Brandon WilliamsJoe Williams, Tony Williams.


Top 5 Stay Undefeated While Missouri Takes A Loss

Week 9 was dominated by great performances from the top five teams in the Leatherheads College Football Top 16. Alabama easily took care of Tennessee 45-10, Oregon trounced UCLA 42-14, FSU put a hurting on North Carolina State 49-17, Ohio State embarrassed Penn State 63-14 and Baylor spanked Kansas 59-14.

Last week’s number six team didn’t have such an easy go of it. Missouri took their first loss of the season against South Carolina and dropped to ten in the Top 16. The Gamecocks had something to prove and they did. They are still a team to be reckoned with in the SEC. Mizzou had the lead at halftime but let South Carolina come back, forcing two overtime periods with the game ending on a Mizzou missed field goal. The Gamecocks sit in the #15 spot in the poll.

While undefeated Missouri had to face South Carolina, undefeated Texas Tech had to face Oklahoma. The Sooners, led by quarterback Blake Bell and senior wide receiver Jalen Saunders, beat the Red Raiders 38-30. Texas Tech dropped in the poll from #9 to #14 while the Sooners rose from not being rated to the #11 spot.

Perhaps the biggest upset of Week 9 was Duke beating Virginia Tech 13-10. It was a game that included eight interceptions, four by each starting quarterback. The Hokies, ranked in the sixteenth spot last week, are no longer ranked.

Games to watch in Week 10 include Miami at Florida State, Oklahoma State at Texas Tech and Michigan at Michigan State.

Here are the rankings by Leatherheads of the Gridiron after Week 9:

Rank Team Record Points Last Week
   1 Alabama (9)    8-0   144        1
   2 Oregon    8-0   133        2
   3 Florida State    7-0   125        3
   4 Ohio State    8-0   118        4
   5 Baylor    7-0   108        5
   6 Stanford    7-1     93        8
   7 Miami    7-0     91        7
   8 Clemson    7-1     77      10
   9 Auburn    7-1     69      13
 10 Missouri    7-1     54        6
 11 Oklahoma    7-1     50      NR
 12 LSU    7-2     46      11
 13 Texas A&M    6-2     37      14
 14 Texas Tech    7-1     22        9
 15 South Carolina    6-2     19      NR
 16 Fresno State    7-0     17      15

Others receiving votes
: Michigan State – 8, Northern Illinois – 5, Oklahoma State – 4, Louisville – 2, UCLA – 2.

Participating voters: David Boyce, Ronnie Foreman, Chris Garbarino, Terry Keshner, Bob Lazzari, Tex Noel, Bob Swick, Joe Williams, Tony Williams.


Losses, Upsets and the Rolling Tide

It is Saturday which means it is time again for college football. Last week’s action was full of upsets which shook up the Leatherheads Top 16. One constant did remain: Alabama sitting at the #1 spot. Until the Crimson Tide lose, I don’t think that will change.

The Tide easily took care of Arkansas 52-0. Both sophomore Kenyan Drake and freshman Derrick Henry ran for 100 yards, including Henry running 80 yards in the final minute to cap a dreadful day for the Razorbacks. The Tide are 7-0 and playing Tennessee later today.

The game of the week was supposed to be Florida State at Clemson. Well, Clemson didn’t show up and FSU took care of business on both sides of the ball. The defense created 4 turnovers while Jameis Winston threw for 444 yards, 3 scores and ran one into the end zone. Yet, another amazing day for the redshirt freshman. The kid shows great leadership ability and has all the talent in the world. He is fun to watch. With the win, FSU moved up to the third spot in the poll behind the Oregon Ducks who also keep winning and beat Washington State 62-38.

For Clemson, the Tigers dropped from third in the poll to #10. Today they travel to Maryland and try to redeem themselves. Maryland is 5-2.

While #4 Ohio State had to rally to beat Iowa 34-24, Baylor took care of business by beating Iowa State 71-7. The Bears are leading the nation in scoring with almost 65 points per game. The defense is not too shabby either, ranking seventh in points against at 16 points a game. Baylor was ranked 11th last week in the poll but find themselves in the #5 spot. Today they go against the 2-4 Charlie Weiss-led Kansas Jayhawks. The Jayhawks gave up 54 points to Texas Tech on October 5th. The Bears might beat that number.

Sitting in the #6 spot is Missouri. Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that the Tigers would be 7-0 at this point in the season, especially with Georgia on their schedule? Today they should be tested by South Carolina who are looking to makeup for their loss last week to Tennessee. If they can get by the Gamecocks today as well as Tennessee next week, they could be undefeated going into their last regular-season game against Texas A&M on November 30th.

Have you noticed yet that Louisville is not ranked in the Top 16? All it took was one loss and they fell from #6 to nowhere. Central Florida scored with 23 seconds left to beat the formerly undefeated Cardinals. UCF will have their hands full today when they face the UConn Huskies (sarcasm).

The game of the week turned out to be Auburn at Texas A&M. Auburn beat up on Johnny Manziel, forcing him out of the game at one point with an injury to his throwing shoulder. Still, Manziel was Johnny Football and almost won the game. A feisty Auburn team kept pace and finally scored and then shut down Manziel with less than a minute to go. Manziel, with injury, still managed 454 yards passing and 4 touchdowns. Mike Evans had a huge day himself, catching those 4 TD passes while receiving for 287 yards. Remember a month ago when Evans had 279 yards against Alabama? Can you say first-round draft pick?

Anyway, Auburn makes is debut in the Top 16 at #13 while the Aggies drop from #8 to #14.

While Miami, Texas Tech and Fresno State (yes, Fresno State) are all undefeated and ranked in the Top 16, LSU, UCLA, Georgia and Washington all took losses with only LSU and UCLA remained ranked.

Enough about last week. The games to watch this week include Tennessee at Alabama, UCLA at Oregon, Penn State at Ohio State, South Carolina at Missouri, Stanford at Oregon State and Texas Tech at Oklahoma.

If the Buckeyes are not careful, I can see Penn State stealing victory from them and ending their winning streak. A few undefeateds will fall today but one will not be Northern Illinois who will host Eastern Michigan.

Did you notice I mentioned the Volunteers five times if you count this sentence?

Here are the rankings by Leatherheads of the Gridiron after Week 8:

Rank Team Record Points Last Week
   1 Alabama (11)    7-0   176        1
   2 Oregon    7-0   164        2
   3 Florida State    6-0   152        5
   4 Ohio State    7-0   143        4
   5 Baylor    6-0   120      11
   6 Missouri    7-0   109      14
   7 Miami    6-0   103      10
   8 Stanford    6-1     88      13
   9 Texas Tech    7-0     80      15
 10 Clemson    6-1     74        3
 11 LSU    6-2     51        7
 12 UCLA    5-1     45        9
 13 Auburn    6-1     37      NR
 14 Texas A&M    5-2     34        8
 15 Fresno State    6-0     28      NR
 16 Virginia Tech    6-1     26      NR

Others receiving votes
: Oklahoma – 17, Louisville – 14, Florida – 8, Georgia – 6, Michigan – 5, Northern Illinois – 5, Notre Dame – 4, Texas – 3, Virginia – 2, Oklahoma State – 1, USC – 1.

Participating voters: Jon Blayne, David Boyce, Ronnie Foreman, Chris Garbarino, Terry Keshner, Bob Lazzari, Tex Noel, Bob Swick, Brandon WilliamsJoe Williams, Tony Williams.


Bulldogs Beat Tigers and Reverse Positions in the Top 16

As Week 6 of the college football season is upon us, the top five teams in the Leatherheads Top 16 remain unchanged since last week’s poll. The number 6  team and the number 11 team from last week switched places after Georgia defeated LSU 44-41 in Athens.

The Bulldogs scored with less than two minutes to go to take the lead and ultimately beat the Tigers. Quarterback Aaron Murray threw 4 touchdown passes and became number 2 in total offense in SEC history behind everyone’s favorite unemployed QB from the University of Florida, Tim Tebow. Murray now trails Tebow by 573 and should eclipse the record in a few weeks, barring injury.

The Tigers will look to destroy Mississippi State this weekend and move back up in the Top 16. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs get to play a non-ranked team in the 3-2 Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville.

As for number 1 Alabama, they easily beat Ole Miss 25-0 as T.J. Yeldon ran for 121 yards and the Crimson Tide defense kept the Rebels ground game to just 46 yards. Basically, the game was no contest (duh?). Up next for Alabama is the 0-4 Georgia State Panthers. Does the game really need to be played? Will the Panthers get on the board? What will be the victory margin? Where will HaHa Clinton-Dix getting his disposable income?

The other big game of Week 5 was Oklahoma at Notre Dame. The Sooners got off to a quick 14-0 lead which made the difference in their 35-21 victory over the Fighting Irish. The Sooners moved up from number 12 to the number 10 spot and will play TCU this weekend and have a possible 5-0 start. The Irish are now 3-2 and dreams of a national championship are on hold for another season.

The 4-0 Washington Huskies beat Arizona and moved into the Top 16 in the number 15 spot while the idle Baylor Bears joined the ranks at number 16.

Falling from our rankings were the Oklahoma State Cowboys who lost to West Virginia and Michigan who had the week off to dwell on their near loss to the Paul Pasqualoni-led UConn Huskies. Don’t worry Wolverines fans, Paul has cleaned out his desk and you don’t have to play UConn again this season.

While UCLA already won against Utah in last night’s game, the games to watch this week include Ohio State at Northwestern, Washington at Stanford, Maryland at Florida State and Georgia Tech at Miami. Wow! Now we have some matchups.

Can Leatherhead Bob Swick’s sleeper team, Northwestern beat Leatherhead Ronnie Foreman’s favorite team in the Buckeyes? Leatherhead Brandon Williams thinks the one team that can match Alabama physically is Stanford. Lets see if they can get by the Huskies. They may be distracted, as Leatherhead-insider Terry Keshner told me they are laughing about Lane Kiffin but then again who isn’t? Well, maybe his dad Monte and Mr. Pasqualoni.

Here are the rankings by Leatherheads of the Gridiron after Week 5:

Rank Team   Record    Points  Last Week
1 Alabama (11)     4-0      176         1
2 Oregon     4-0      162         2
3 Clemson     4-0      146         3
4 Ohio State     5-0      145         4
5 Stanford     4-0      123         5
6 Georgia     3-1      107        11
7 Florida State     4-0        98         8
8 Louisville     4-0        96         7
9 Texas A&M     4-1        82         9
10 Oklahoma     4-0        71        12
11 LSU     4-1        56         6
12 UCLA     3-0        54        13
13 Miami     4-0        39        15
14 South Carolina     3-1        30        14
15 Washington     4-0        27        NR
16 Baylor     3-0        24        NR

Others receiving votes
: Northwestern – 12, Florida – 10, Oklahoma State – 8, Texas Tech – 8, Notre Dame – 7, Michigan – 6, Wisconsin – 4, Ole Miss – 3, Fresno State – 1, Nebraska – 1.

Participating voters: Jon Blayne, David Boyce, Ronnie Foreman, Chris Garbarino, Terry Keshner, Bob Lazzari, Tex Noel, Bob Swick, Brandon Williams, Joe Williams, Tony Williams.


Here We Go Again! Alabama is #1 in the Leatherheads Top 16

After two straight national championships, the Alabama Crimson Tide are undefeated and again sitting at the top of the national rankings as the best college football team. The results of the first Leatherheads Top 16 poll are not a surprise with Alabama ranked #1.

Bama will play Ole Miss this weekend to try to hold on to the top ranking. The Rebels are 3-0 after beating Vanderbilt, Southeast Missouri State and Texas. The A.J. McCarron-led Crimson Tide are also 3-0 after beating Virginia Tech, Texas A&M and the Rams of Colorado State.

The Aggies are ranked #9 and are the highest ranked team with a lost, joining Georgia and South Carolina as the three teams with losses in the Top 16. Of course, A&M lost to Bama in that classic game on September 14 as the Tide escaped getting Manzieled for the second year in a row. Texas A&M play Arkansas this week. The Razorbacks are coming off a loss to Rutgers. Johnny Football is having another great year. Leatherhead Terry Keshner calls him the James Franco of college football and Leatherhead Tony Williams calls A&M an offensive-MACHINE – so true!

In the #2 spot we have the Oregon Ducks. The Ducks are 3-0 and will be playing a 1-2 California Golden Bears team. Although the Ducks have tough matchups coming up with games against Washington, Washington State and UCLA, the big match will be against Stanford on November 7. The Cardinal play at Washington State on Saturday.

There is a tight race for the #3 spot with just seven points separating Clemson, Ohio State and Stanford with two 4-0 teams slightly behind in LSU and Louisville. Clemson currently holds that #3 spot but like Leatherhead Dave Boyce said to me: “If NC State makes you look beatable, you are beatable.”

LSU plays at Georgia in Week 5. If the Bulldogs lose, it is likely they will drop out of the Top 16 but could run the table the rest of the way with only one AP-ranked team left to play this year in Florida. LSU on the other hand has yet to play Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama and the Aggies.

Michigan sits at the bottom of the poll after barely beating a UConn team that looked pitiful the first two games of the season. A late pick led to a score and allowed the Wolverines to win the game and stay undefeated.

A game to watch this weekend is Oklahoma at Notre Dame. Can the Irish find last year’s regular season magic and top a very good Sooners team? The Irish are 3-1 with their loss coming against Michigan on September 7. Meanwhile, linebacker Manti Te’o will be making his NFL debut for the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

An interesting team on the verge of joining the Top 16 is the Northwestern Wildcats. The 4-0 Wildcats have the week off but play Ohio State in Week 6. Leatherhead Bob Swick thinks they are the sleeper team of this season while Keshner told me “If the Wildcats can beat Ohio State, they’ll be that much closer of realizing their dream of getting embarrassed in January.”

Here are the first rankings by Leatherheads of the Gridiron for the 2013 season:

Rank Team Record Points
   1 Alabama (11)    3-0   176
   2 Oregon    3-0   162
   3 Clemson    3-0   141
   4 Ohio State    4-0   139
   5 Stanford    3-0   134
   6 LSU    4-0   122
   7 Louisville    4-0   116
   8 Florida State    3-0     89
   9 Texas A&M    3-1     73
 10 Oklahoma State    3-0     72
 11 Georgia    2-1     70
 12 Oklahoma    3-0     47
 13 UCLA    3-0     41
 14 South Carolina    2-1     28
 15 Miami    3-0     21
 16 Michigan    4-0     15

Others receiving votes
: Baylor – 13, Northwestern – 13, Washington – 11, Ole Miss – 5, Florida – 4, Texas Tech – 2, Michigan State – 2, Notre Dame – 1.

Participating voters: Jon Blayne, David Boyce, Ronnie Foreman, Chris Garbarino, RUFANJerry, Terry Keshner, Bob Lazzari, Tex Noel, Bob Swick, Joe Williams, Tony Williams.


Alabama Repeats and Finishes #1 in the Leatherheads Top 16

Alabama took care of business and beat an undefeated team for the second year in a row to claim college football’s crystal ball. Bama came out of the starting gate at top speed and took control of the game, ultimately winning 42-14. The matchup was over by the second quarter and the Fighting Irish showed no fight. Heisman Trophy runner-up Manti Te’o missed more tackles in the game than he did all season, possibly hurting his bank account when the NFL Draft happens later this year. On the other side of the line of scrimmage, the Crimson Tide rolled as Eddie Lacy rushed for 140 yards and A.J. McCarron passed for 264 yards and four touchdowns, both showing that they may one day star at the next level. Lacy, a junior, stated yesterday that he will enter this year’s NFL Draft along with cornerback Dee Milliner and tackle D.J. Fluker.

It has been five days since the BCS National Championship Game so most Crimson Tide fans should be over their celebratory hang over by now and Notre Dame fans are coming to grips that it wasn’t meant to be but that the season was still a magical one. As Leatherhead Tex Noel said to me, “When Alabama and Notre Dame met, it was history vs. history and dynasty won.” I would have to agree with that statement. The two most successful schools in college football history met and Bama won, earning their third championship in four years. Alabama joins Nebraska, who won in 1994, 1995 and 1997, as the only schools to accomplish the feat. Alabama also won their tenth national championship, breaking a tie with Notre Dame at nine. Alabama also won championships in 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1992, 2009 and 2011.

Since Alabama was victorious, it is no surprise that the Crimson Tide finished #1 in the Leatherheads Top 16 for the second year in a row. Heading into the game we had them ranked #2 after Notre Dame who now sits at the #4 position. The Oregon Ducks finished #2 after beating Kansas State 35-17 in the Fiesta Bowl. Oops! I mean the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The Wildcats fell in the poll from the sixth spot to the twelfth spot, the second biggest drop in the rankings. Topping Kansas State’s drop was Florida who lost 33-23 to the surprising Louisville Cardinals. The Gators fell from being tied for fourth with the idle Ohio State Buckeyes (now #3) to eleventh, down seven spots. Didn’t the UConn Huskies beat Louisville a few weeks back? The Cardinals moved back into the poll and finish the year at #13.

Johnny Football showed why he won the Heisman Trophy by leading the Texas A&M Aggies to a dominant 41-13 victory over Oklahoma. Johnny Manziel ran and passed for two touchdowns apiece to become the fourth player in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) history to run and pass for 20 touchdowns each in a season, joining Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton and Tim Tebow. You know I have to mention Tebow. Manziel also had a Cotton Bowl-record 516 total yards, 229 rushing and 287 passing. Crazy! A&M finished fifth in the Top 16, moving up four spots. Leatherhead Terry Keshner relayed to me his thoughts on the game: “Watching Johnny Football destroy Oklahoma was like watching Forrest Gump after six shots of Five-Hour Energy.” Oklahoma manged to stay in the Top 16 despite being crushed. They finished the season ranked #15.

Georgia and Stanford both won their bowl games to finish sixth and seventh in the poll, respectively. Stanford beat Wisconsin 20-14 in the Rose Bowl while Georgia beat Nebraska 45-31 in the Capital One Bowl. South Carolina beat Michigan 33-28 in the Outback Bowl to finish #8. Rounding out the top ten is Orange Bowl winner Florida State at nine and Chick-fil-A BOWL victor Clemson at ten. In the battle of the Tigers, Clemson beat LSU who dropped from tenth to fourteenth.

Boise State, spending most of the season outside of the Top 16, beat Washington in the MAACO Bowl to complete our rankings at #16. Utah State (11-2) and Northwestern (10-3) received support but fell just short of being ranked. Utah State beat Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl by the score of 41-15. Northwestern beat Mississippi State 34-20 in the Gator Bowl to win their first bowl game since 1949. Nice!  Mississippi State at one time was 7-0 on the season but finished with just an 8-5 record. Ouch!

On behalf of Leatherheads of the Gridiron and all our pollsters, thanks for following us all season and we look forward to doing it all over again next season.

Rank Team Record Points Last Poll
   1 Alabama (11)   13-1    176        2
   2 Oregon   12-1    158        3
   3 Ohio State   12-0    151        4 (Tie)
   4 Notre Dame   12-1    136        1
   5 Texas A&M   11-2    130        9
   6 Georgia   12-2    128        7
   7 Stanford   12-2    108        8
   8 South Carolina   11-2      99      11
   9 Florida State   12-2      74      13
 10 Clemson   11-2      73      14
 11 Florida   11-2      70        4 (Tie)
 12 Kansas State   11-2      65        6
 13 Louisville   11-2      51      NR
 14 LSU   10-3      29      10
 15 Oklahoma   10-3      16      12
 16 Boise State   11-2      15      NR

Others receiving votes
: Utah State – 13, Northwestern – 4.

Participating voters: David Boyce, Ronnie Foreman, Terry Keshner, Bob Lazzari, Dan McCloskey, Andrew McKillop, Tex Noel, Pete Sonski, Bob Swick, Joe Williams, Tony Williams.