Another exciting weekend of college football has come and gone, and boy was it a good one, considering all of the drama within major conferences.
In the Big Ten, the Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Penn State Nittany Lions in a game that had both conference and playoff implications. In the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Florida State Seminoles got a huge win over the Duke Blue Devils, while the North Carolina Tar Heels lost their first game in upset fashion. In the Big 12, both the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns escaped with wins over newly appointed Big 12 teams. In the Southeastern Conference, the Alabama Crimson Tide silenced the doubters with a revenge win over the Tennessee Volunteers. And in the Pac-12, the Washington Huskies narrowly avoided an upset against Arizona State, while the Utah Utes kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired to beat the USC Trojans and end their CFP hopes.
This upcoming Saturday should be one for most college football fans to use to catch their breath, as there are currently just two AP Top 25 matchups: the Oregon Ducks versus the Utah Utes, and the Louisville Cardinals versus the Duke Blue Devils. However, a few teams — such as the Oklahoma Sooners, the Georgia Bulldogs and the Oregon State Beavers — face tough opponents looking for an upset win.
1. Washington Huskies (7-0) (Last Week: 1)
A week after playing their best game, the Huskies came out and played their worst game, in which they still won but did so without scoring an offensive touchdown. Still, they have a huge win over Oregon and a chance to improve their resume against USC, Utah and Oregon State.
2. Georgia Bulldogs (7-0) (Last Week: 2)
Although they were on a bye week, the Bulldogs suffered a big loss as star tight end Brock Bowers was ruled out for four to six weeks after undergoing ankle surgery.
3. Florida State Seminoles (7-0) (Last Week: 3)
The Seminoles picked up an impressive win on Saturday against Duke after a huge fourth quarter on both sides of the ball sealed the victory. That wasn't enough to jump either Georgia or Washington though.
4. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0) (Last Week: 7)
There are still some questions about the Ohio State offense and their trust in QB1, but that Buckeye defense had a great game holding Penn State to just 12 points.
5. Michigan Wolverines (8-0) (Last Week: 4)
The Wolverines ignored the off-the-field concerns and stayed focused on beating Michigan State — not merely defeating the Spartans but also shutting them out and embarrassing them.
6. Oklahoma Sooners (7-0) (Last Week: 5)
From blown opportunities to kisses being blown, the Sooners found themselves in a nail-biter on Saturday, eking out a two-point win over the University of Central Florida Knights.
7. Texas Longhorns (6-1) (Last Week: 8)
The Longhorns jumped out to a 21-point lead but quickly found their offense stalling out and their defense getting scored on as they blew their lead but eventually closed out the Houston Cougars, winning 31-24.
8. Oregon Ducks (6-1) (Last Week: 10)
After losing a heartbreaker, you either in your next game come out flat or come out like the Ducks did on Saturday, beating Washington State 38-14, although their pass defense should be a concern.
9. Penn State Nittany Lions (6-1) (Last Week: 6)
Credit the Buckeyes for their win, but the offensive play-calling by the Nittany Lions was atrocious in their first loss of the season — and the receiving corps showed that they are the weakest link on this team.
10. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1) (Last Week: 11)
It was a tale of two halves for Alabama against Tennessee as the Crimson Tide bounced back in the second half, outscoring the Vols 24-0 to close out the game.
11. Oregon State Beavers (6-1) (Last Week: 12)
The Oregon State Beavers need to make sure they are ready to go following their bye week, as the Arizona Wildcats are a team that should not be slept on.
12. Ole Miss (5-1) (Last Week: 13)
The Ole Miss Rebels are a sleeper team for the College Football Playoff but need to avoid any losses for the rest of the season and must pick up a win over Georgia in three weeks.
13. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-2) (Last Week: 14)
After a gauntlet of ranked opponents, the Irish had a much-needed bye week as they prepare for a much-easier schedule to close out their regular season.
14. LSU Tigers (6-2) (Last Week: 15)
LSU is most likely out of the running for a spot in the College Football Playoff but could find themselves in the hunt, as they were last year if they pick up a win over Alabama following their bye week.
15. Utah Utes (6-1) (Last Week: 19)
For the third time in just over a calendar year, the Utah Utes beat the USC Trojans and improved their odds of winning a third-straight Pac-12 title.
16. North Carolina Tar Heels (6-1) (Last Week: 9)
The Tar Heels suffered one of their worst losses this past weekend and will need to play perfect football if they want a shot at making the College Football Playoff.
17. Missouri Tigers (7-1) (Last Week: 18)
The Tigers are currently my sleeper team to win the SEC. They still have to play Georgia, but they were close to beating the Dawgs last year, and Georgia is now without Brock Bowers.
18. Air Force (7-0) (Last Week: NR)
The Falcons are the top team right now in the Group of Five conferences and are leading the way in grabbing an at-large bid for a New Year's Six Bowl Game.
19. USC Trojans (6-2) (Last Week: 16)
Posers. Frauds. Disappointment. The Trojans could not back up the preseason hype and were all but eliminated from making the College Football Playoff.
20. Duke Blue Devils (5-2) (Last Week: 17)
The Blue Devils are hanging on in our rankings, just as they were against Florida State, but still have plenty of opportunities to remain in contention for an ACC title.
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