It was a boring week in the top 25, but not a boring week for college football. There was barely any shakeup in this week’s rankings, but just standby for next week as it shapes up to be one of the best so far. Many teams had a bye this week including 4 of my top 5 teams. This past week’s slate of games didn’t feature many good ones, with just one ranked matchup.
Temple wasn’t able to complete the script of the Cinderella story as Notre Dame came out on top. Clemson continued to roll. Oklahoma State had a tremendous comeback effort en route to 70 points. Michigan nearly avoided an upset with a final stop on the goal line to win. Duke and Pittsburgh are out with losses, but you can welcome North Carolina for the first time this season.
1.) Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes ‘enjoyed’ a bye this week, but not so much. Newly appointed starting QB, J.T. Barrett, got himself suspended after driving under the influence. Let’s see what Cardale Jones can do in his old role – will he make the most of it? Or will the Buckeyes offense restore that dull state that we saw in the beginning of the season?
2.) Baylor Bears
What great timing for a bye week. Seth Russell went down for the rest of the year, which gives freshman phenom Jarrett Stidham an extra week to prep before making his first career start against Kansas State this week.
3.) LSU Tigers
Yet another top 3 team with a bye this past week. The Tigers had an extra week to get ready for their big contest in Tuscaloosa which is the biggest SEC game of the year to this point.
4.) Clemson Tigers
Deshaun Watson and co. continued to roll over ACC competition, not before falling behind early. Next week they host Florida State which has major ACC implications. A win would prove their worth in the top 5.
5.) Michigan State Spartans
Another top 5 team with a bye. The Spartans have a cakewalk in their final 4 games which makes them a likely candidate to go undefeated – can they upset Ohio State on the road three weeks from now? That’ll be their only real test.
6.) TCU Horned Frogs
I gained a lot of respect for TCU this past week. Every week I’m counting them out, and they prove me wrong. Boykin led the Horned Frogs as they barreled over West Virginia. Next week they travel to Oklahoma State in the battle of the unbeatens.
7.) Alabama Crimson Tide
The Crimson Tide have been the top ranked one-loss team for weeks now. They have a lot to gain his week with a win against LSU – that would put them as a top 4 CFB Playoff team.
8.) Iowa Hawkeyes
The Hawkeyes stayed undefeated with a big win over Maryland. Their remaining 4 opponents have a combined record of 13-20, could the Hawkeyes finish the regular season with no losses?
9.) Oklahoma State Cowboys
I had this team on upset watch this past week, and for good reason. The Cowboys fell behind early against Texas Tech but came back to post 70 points in classic Big 12 football. Can they pull out a win this week in Stillwater against TCU?
10.) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+1)
In the most hyped game of the past weekend, the Fighting Irish barely came out of Philadelphia with a win – keeping their Playoff hopes alive. They visit Pitt next week in what should be another close game.
11.) Stanford Cardinal (-1)
The talk of the town as of late have been the Stanford Cardinal. They barely edged Washington State in a game I said wouldn’t be a cakewalk which sees them fall one spot, especially with Notre Dame’s win. Three of their four remaining games are at home, including the season finale against the Irish.
12.) Florida Gators
The Gators dismantled Georgia this past week, especially with their defense. They have an easy conference schedule from here on out, but you never know what will happen in the SEC. They host Florida State in the final week of the season in what will be a huge game for both teams.
13.) Oklahoma Sooners
Poor Kansas. The Sooners clobbered the Jayhawks, 62-7 keeping them in Playoff contention. They have a lot to gain the next few weeks as they end the season with Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State.
14.) Utah Utes
After their loss to USC, the Utes have fallen out of the national spotlight but remain a player in the Pac-12. They do, however, have a tough stretch within the conference to finish out the year.
15.) Florida State Seminoles
No Everett Golson, no problem. Sean Maguire made his 2nd career start and made a statement with a tremendous day passing the ball as FSU rolled over Syracuse. It’ll be interesting to see who starts against Clemson this week – Jimbo Fisher said he will evaluate both QBs.
16.) Memphis Tigers
The Tigers fell behind in the 1st half, but came out in the 2nd to blowout Tulane. You can’t say enough about how great Paxton Lynch has been for the Tigers as they advance to 8-0. They host Navy this week in a game that will fly under the radar, but be a good one nonetheless.
17.) Houston Cougars
The Cougars made a statement with a shutout win against Vanderbilt this past week, their first shutout against an SEC team since the ’40s. Tom Herman has done a tremendous job in his debut season at Houston and in my eyes, has made them a legitimate BCS threat. My pick to win the AAC conference.
18.) Michigan Wolverines
They barely avoided an upset on the road against an inspired Minnesota team, but they were able to came out with the Little Brown Jug. They should cruise into the final week of the season when they will host Ohio State.
19.) Toledo Rockets (+1)
Gaining a spot after a bye week are the Toledo Rockets. They should finish the season undefeated, but anything can happen – especially with a MAC team.
20.) Ole Miss Rebels (+2)
The Rebels won a hard fought SEC game against Auburn. With only three games left, they are poised to finish with 9 or 10 wins, a solid performance in the SEC – their matchup with LSU is a big one.
21.) North Carolina Tar Heels (NR)
The Tar Heels make their first appearance in the top 25 all season long after a win against a ranked Pittsburgh team. UNC is a respectable 7-1, with their only loss coming in week 1. It’s not basketball, but their matchup with Duke next week is huge for the ACC – a win would prove them worthy of a spot in the top 25.
22.) UCLA Bruins (+2)
They barely edged Colorado, but the Bruins move up two spots after losses from Duke, Temple and Pitt. Can UCLA stay relevant after a tough close in conference play?
23.) Temple Owls (-2)
What a heartbreaking loss for the Owls – after that game, you just can’t keep them out of the top 25. Remember, they’re still 7-1 and have a great chance at capturing the AAC.
24.) Texas A&M Aggies (NR)
I loved what I saw from Kyler Murray and 100% believe he is the future of A&M football – I’ll even go as far as saying he’ll be better than Manziel. At 6-2, the Aggies’ only real test comes in the final week on the road against LSU.
25.) Mississippi State Bulldogs
After a bye week, Mississippi State rounds out this week’s rankings as the 6th SEC team.
Dropped Out: Duke, Pittsburgh
Under Consideration: USC, Wisconsin, Navy