Chaos strikes college football yet again! Isn’t this sport wonderful?
Two top ten teams fell on Saturday, as both Oklahoma and Michigan lost to big underdogs at home. (Iowa State was a 31-point dog against Oklahoma, by the way)
How does that affect the rankings this week? Well… let’s just say the rankings weren’t kind to Oklahoma at all after that performance.
1. Alabama — SEC, 6-0
LW: 1 — Result: W, 27-19 at Texas A&M
Alabama was potentially due for a bit of a sleepwalk game after absolutely demolishing Vanderbilt and Ole Miss in each of the past two weeks, although credit should be given to Kevin Sumlin’s team for keeping this one down to the wire. Of course, Sumlin said after the game that he wasn’t in to moral victories.
Alabama has three straight home games coming up, starting off with Arkansas next week. Arkansas has looked BAD this year, so maybe that’s not the one to sleepwalk through.
2. Clemson — ACC, 6-0
LW: 2 — Result: W, 28-14 vs Wake Forest
Don’t be fooled by the two-touchdown margin of victory here. This game wasn’t close.
Wake scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make this one interesting for those holding betting slips in Vegas, but the big news here is the injury suffered by Clemson starting QB Kelly Bryant. The injury does not appear to be major at this point, but with the Tigers having a short week — at Syracuse on Friday — it might be worth rolling with backup Hunter Johnson next week.
3. Penn State– Big Ten, 6-0
LW: 3 — Result: W, 31-7 at Northwestern
I thought the 11AM local start could prove to be a bit of a challenge for Penn State, and it kind of was with even Saquon Barkley showing some early struggles in Evanston. Didn’t matter, though, as Penn State jumped on Northwestern in the third quarter, turning a 10-point halftime lead into a 24-point lead to easily seal the deal.
Penn State now has a week off before getting Michigan at home.
4. Georgia — SEC, 6-0
LW: 6 — Result: W, 45-14 at Vanderbilt
It’s a bit weird to say this wasn’t as close at 45-14, but… it really wasn’t.
Georgia had over 400 yards rushing in this game as their defense just ate yet another team alive. Georgia has now won their last four games by at least four touchdowns, which is absurd. The Bulldogs get Missouri next week, and I expect them to extend that margin-of-victory streak to a fifth game against one of the worst defenses in college football.
5. Washington — Pac-12, 6-0
LW: 5 — Result: W, 38-7 vs. California
Much like last year, the dust has started to clear after some chaos in college football, and what do you know, Washington still sits undefeated.
This was just a defensive clinic by the Huskies, who had eight sacks while allowing just 93 total yards in this game. NINETY THREE TOTAL YARDS!
6. TCU — Big 12, 5-0
LW: 10 — Result: W, 31-24 vs. West Virginia
After Oklahoma beat Ohio State in Week 2 of the season, who would have thought that TCU would have been the league’s top team just a month later? Just another thing to love about college football.
No one was really happy with the officiating in this game, with TCU perhaps getting a bit of home-cookin’ late in the game. That said, they stood up to the test of a ranked West Virginia team, and now they hold the keys in the Big 12.
7. Wisconsin — Big Ten, 5-0
LW: 9 — Result: W, 38-17 at Nebraska
Nebraska actually had this as a tie game at 17 in the third quarter before the turnover game haunted them. As you can tell by the final score, Wisconsin didn’t hesitate to use those turnovers to their advantage.
Wisconsin is now 5-0 on the season, and they could easily be looking at a 10-0 record before they play Michigan in November. Undefeated season very likely here, even though a light schedule could hold them back. That’s the risk of hoping one out-of-conference game (at BYU) holds up your whole schedule. BYU is now 1-5 on the season.
8. Ohio State — Big Ten, 5-1
LW: 8 — Result: W, 62-14 vs. Maryland
I’ve seen several people (fans and media alike here) thinking that Oklahoma’s loss to Iowa State could come back to haunt the Buckeyes, but honestly… they might have needed it to happen. Ohio State wasn’t getting in over an undefeated Oklahoma, and they probably aren’t getting in over a 1-loss or better ACC or SEC champ.
As long as they win out, Ohio State will probably be fine in the end, as they still have Penn State, Michigan, and likely Wisconsin in a potential Big Ten title match to boost their resume.
9. Washington State — Pac-12, 6-0
LW: 11 — Result: W, 33-10 at Oregon
Oregon was able to jump to a 10-7 lead before the end of the first quarter, and there was part of me that went, “Oh no, here we go again with Mike Leach’s team blowing the game after a big win…”
Well… that didn’t happen. Oregon didn’t score for the remainder of the game, as Washington State’s defense just dominated by continually getting the push by the defensive line into the Oregon backfield.
10. Auburn — SEC, 5-1
LW: 13 — Result: W, 44-23 vs. Ole Miss
Yet another game of “this wasn’t as close as the final score makes it look”. Auburn jumped out to a 35-3 team before halftime, largely thanks to the exploits of now-healthy running back Kerryon Johnson. Ole Miss was able to make this fun for those in Vegas in the second half, but Auburn had taken their foot off the gas by that point.
Remember when everyone freaked out when Auburn lost at Clemson?? Still funny.
11. Oklahoma State — Big 12, 4-1
LW: 12 — Result: BYE
The fightin’ Gundys had the week off after their win last week over Texas Tech. They have Baylor at home next week.
12. USC — Pac-12, 5-1
LW: 14 — Result: W, 38-10 vs. Oregon State
So 38-10 against Oregon State might not be the most impressive thing in the world, but goodness, it was finally nice to see USC look like a ranked team after several weeks of meandering their way out on the field.
Things get tougher over the next two weeks, though, as back-to-back games against Utah and Notre Dame will prove if USC is actually “back” or not.
13. Michigan — Big Ten, 4-1
LW: 7 — Result: L, 10-14 vs. Michigan State
Jim Harbaugh is now 1-4 in his career against Mark Dantonio and Urban Meyer. That’s not ideal, and neither is this: starting quarterback Wilton Speight is likely out for the season.
We’ll see how Michigan continues to perform with John O’Korn at quarterback, but things look slightly bleak for Michigan with games at Indiana and at Penn State up next. Honestly, this probably should have been a down year for Michigan for how much talent they lost in the offseason, but if they start off 4-3… fans in Ann Arbor may start to lose the patience they’ve had for Harbaugh.
They probably shouldn’t, but with how often we’ve seen coaches inexplicably be put on the hot seat recently, it could happen.
14. Miami — ACC, 4-0
LW: 15 — Result: W, 24-20 at FSU
Miami finally gets a win over Florida State (after looking like they had blown the lead with a minute left), and now the Hurricanes look to be in really good position to potentially take the Coastal in the ACC.
Here’s where things get tricky for Miami, though; they have Georgia Tech at home next week, and while Miami has often had success against the option, they are coming off a physical win and no longer have the planned week off before the Yellow Jackets. (Hurricane Irma took away what was supposed to be their BYE week)
Upset alert? We’ll see.
15. Oklahoma — Big 12, 4-1
LW: 4 — Result: L, 31-38 vs. Iowa State
There are probably going to be some Oklahoma fans that are mad about dropping this low, especially below an Ohio State team that they defeated earlier in the year. Well, maybe don’t lose at home to Iowa State next time.
After appearing to turn a corner this year, Oklahoma’s defense has just imploded in their last two games, which included giving up 41 points to a Baylor team coming off loses to Liberty, UTSA, and Duke. The Sooners are going to need to figure that out very soon, because the offenses they are facing only get better here on out.
16. Virginia Tech — ACC, 5-1
LW: 16 — Result: W, 23-10 at Boston College
Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson racked up a lot of yards, but goodness, this game was UGLY. That’s sort of become a BC specialty at this point…
The good news for the Hokies is that they rebounded to get a win after a disappointing loss to Clemson, and now they have a BYE to regroup and get healthy before getting into the meat of their ACC schedule: VT’s remaining schedule is all six of their opponents in the ACC Coastal division.
17. San Diego State — MWC, 6-0
LW: 19 — Result: W, 41-10 at UNLV
UNLV was wearing some pretty cool helmets to honor the victims from this past week’s tragedy in Las Vegas.
As for the game, it was practically the same as all SDSU games this season: feed Rashaad Penny. Penny had 27 carries for 170 yards in this game, and he’s now up to 993 yards on 143 carries for the season. If Penny is able to withstand that workload, the Aztecs should be looking at an undefeated season, as their remaining schedule is a cakewalk.
18. South Florida — AAC, 5-0
LW: 20 — Result: BYE
South Florida had the week off. They get Cincinnati next week, which should be win No. 6 for Charlie Strong’s squad.
19. Notre Dame — ACC adjacent, 5-1
LW: 22 — Result: W, 33-10 at North Carolina
Notre Dame actually looked pretty terrible at certain points in this game, with rain and a backup quarterback making this game just look sloppy all around.
But North Carolina is awful this year, so Notre Dame was able to recover and put a beatdown on the Tar Heels. They not get a week off before they host USC.
20. N.C. State — AAC, 5-1
LW: 24– Result: W, 39-25 vs. Louisville
Big win for NC State on a Thursday night (primetime!), but the other question out of this game is this: can Louisville even withstand one mistake from Lamar Jackson at this point? The Cardinals offense just has nothing else going for them right now, and a pick-6 from Jackson is what sealed the deal here for the Wolfpack to get the win.
If these kind of losses continue to pile up for Bobby Petrino… he might jump ship with Jackson likely heading into the NFL Draft after the season.
21. Central Florida — AAC, 4-0
LW: NR — Result: W, 51-22 at Cincinnati
This game was called late in the third quarter due to rain, and that was probably the best move for Cincinnati; UCF could have easily put up a 60-burger here.
Think about how crazy this is going to be: the state of Florida is going to have three teams ranked in the Top 25 in the AP/Coaches polls this week… and Florida and Florida State won’t be a part of it. Weird, but accurate especially if UCF is going to keep averaging almost 50 points a game on offense.
22. Georgia Tech — ACC, 3-1
LW: 25 — Result: BYE
The Yellow Jackets had a bye week this week, but have a road game against Miami looming next Saturday.
23. Stanford — Pac-12, 4-2
LW: NR — Result: W, 23-20 at Utah
The two losses may still haunt Stanford to some degree, but they’ve now responded with three-straight victories after those two losses on the road.
Utah tried to rally at the end here, but this game was over as soon as Bryce Love broke off a 68-yarder just after the fourth quarter started. Big win for Stanford, lost opportunity
24. Michigan State — Big Ten, 4-1
LW: NR — Result: W, 14-10 at Michigan
What a recovery for Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio. It’s not even just from the 3-9 record last season, either, as things appeared to be going sideways earlier this season after a 20-point loss to Notre Dame where the Spartans hardly looked competitive.
Now Michigan State has thrown the Big Ten East into even more chaos, and they could easily be looking at a 7-1 record before they get Penn State and Ohio State in back-to-back weeks at the start of November.
That won’t be fun for either of those teams.
25. Utah — Pac-12, 4-1
LW: 17 — Result: L, 20-23 vs. Stanford
Things have slowed down tremendously for Utah ever since they lost starting quarterback Tyler Huntley to injury. Backup Troy Williams is a decent replacement, by Huntley was a dynamic option that propelled Utah to the next level.
Huntley could return next week against USC, which would be a much needed boost for the Utes, but if not… things could get ugly there in a hurry.
DROPPED FROM THE RANKINGS: Louisville (18), Florida (23)