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Ranking every FBS team at midseason: Nos. 21-30


21. Clemson (4-2)

Buzz: If true freshman QB Deshaun Watson were healthy, Clemson would run the table. But with him injured, Clemson's offense takes a big hit.

22. Stanford (4-2)

Buzz: David Shaw coaches not to lose rather than to win. His defense is excellent. His offense? It can be torture to watch.

23. USC (4-2)

Buzz: Had some Trojans defender -- any Trojans defender -- knocked down that "Hail Mary" pass by Arizona State, USC would be in the top 12 and a dark-horse challenger for the playoff.

24. Texas A&M (5-2)

Buzz: It appears the Aggies are who we thought they were before the season: There's a lot of talent on offense, but there's also a still-developing defense that has problems with physical offenses.

25. UCLA (4-2)

Buzz: Before the season, the Bruins looked to have a solid shot at the Pac-12 South title -- and even the league championship. Now they're in danger of suffering through a four- or five-loss season.

26. Washington (5-1)

Buzz: The defense is loaded with individual talent. Too bad the Huskies don't have last season's offense.

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27. Virginia (4-2)

Buzz: It's all about defense for the Cavaliers, who are aggressive and physical on that side of the ball. The potential exists for just the second eight-win season since 2007. It also would be just the second winning season since '07.

28. Duke (5-1)

Buzz: The Blue Devils are just one of seven teams nationally that have allowed fewer than 100 points. That's right: If Duke is to win its second consecutive ACC Coastal Division title, it'll be because of its defense.

29. West Virginia (4-2)

Buzz: The Mountaineers are No. 8 nationally in total offense at 552.2 yards per game, but they have a tough schedule in the second half of the season.

30. Louisville (5-2)

Buzz: We're confident that Bobby Petrino is embarrassed by his mediocre offense. That defense, though, is stout.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.



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