What a great week of college football, where do I start? First off, separation Saturday surely lived up to it’s name – this week’s rankings see an enormous shakeup with only one team staying put at their spot last week. We see a new #1 for the first time all season after Clemson’s 2nd big victory of the season as they took down conference rival Florida State. The Crimson Tide came out of Death Valley with a win, boosting them up to #4. Oklahoma State beat TCU in what has been the biggest Big 12 matchup thus far. Michigan State was another unbeaten team to fall this past week as they were upset by Nebraska. Iowa remains undefeated. Other storylines are talked about below.
This week’s top 25 underwent a huge makeover compared to last week, check it out!
1.) Clemson Tigers (+3)
Last week I wasn’t buying into the ‘Clemson #1’ hype, but after their victory against Florida State, I’m all in. Dabo Swinney’s unorthodox yet effective methods have the Tigers closer than ever to another ACC title, and perhaps a National Championship.
2.) Ohio State Buckeyes (-1)
No J.T. Barrett, no problem. The Buckeyes cruised past an inspired Minnesota team, but fell in the rankings with Clemson’s uproar. Just two weeks away from a visit to East Lansing in a game with major Big Ten implications.
3.) Baylor Bears (-1)
Jarrett Stidham continues to impress, although Baylor barely edged Kansas State this past week. Even though the offense hit a roadblock, compared to what we’re accustomed to seeing, it remains one of the most explosive in the country – especially with the electrifying Corey Coleman.
4.) Alabama Crimson Tide (+3)
What an impressive win the Crimson Tide came away with in Death Valley. You could even make a #1 case for Alabama, but that loss remains a blemish that stands out when compared to unbeaten teams. It looks like they have the SEC under control, but don’t sleep on visits to Mississippi State and Auburn – anything can happen in SEC football.
5.) Oklahoma State Cowboys (+4)
I owe an apology to the Oklahoma State faithful in Stillwater; I’ve been sleeping on this team all year and surely didn’t expect them to beat TCU. They now find themselves in the top 5 – although they still need to prove themselves against Oklahoma and Baylor. Mason Rudolph is really coming into his own under center and has led the charge for the Cowboys.
6.) Iowa Hawkeyes (+2)
The Hawkeyes remain undefeated after avoiding a near upset against Indiana. At 9-0, they very well could finish the regular season undefeated with a soft schedule to end the year – their visit to Nebraska the final week of the season is a game to watch.
7.) LSU Tigers (-4)
You can’t fault LSU too much for losing to a team like Alabama, I even would have them in the top 5 still but you can’t justify them over undefeated am like OK St. and Iowa. The Tigers need to fish strong against teams like Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
8.) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+2)
I wouldn’t put Notre Dame in the CFB Playoff conversation like some have, just yet. A win against Pittsburgh is always impressive, but I’m just waiting to see what they can do against Stanford in the final week finale.
9.) Stanford Cardinal (+2)
Stanford continued to roll as they trampled Colorado this past week. They finish the season with 3 home games, it won’t be an easy home stand by means. A loss to Oregon, Cal or ND would knock them out of the CFB Playoff conversation.
10.) Oklahoma Sooners (+3)
I’m a huge fan of the Sooners – probably higher on them than most. Imagine where they’d be if not for the upset loss to Texas earlier in the season. The offense has been on a tear the past few weeks. Can it continue to roll in the biggest Big 12 matchup as they visit Waco to play Baylor?
11.) Florida Gators (+1)
Even though they scored only 9 points and barely edged a victory over Vanderbilt, the Gators bumped up a spot with the major shakeup in the top 10. As long as the defense stays strong, they’ll keep on winning football games.
12.) Michigan State Spartans (-7)
What a change of fortune for the Cornhuskers – they finally get a win in the final seconds. On the flipside, a heart breaking loss for the Spartans as it crushes their hopes at a CFB Playoff bid. Perhaps a conference title can get them back in the discussion.
13.) TCU Horned Frogs (-7)
What an embarrassment suffered by TCU and Greg Patterson on the big stage. The Horned Frogs can still salvage their season with wins against Oklahoma and Baylor to end the season.
14.) Utah Utes (+/- 0)
The only team to stand still in this week’s rankings, the Utah Utes. A win against UCLA in two weeks could do a lot for their résumé.
15.) Houston Cougars (+2)
My pick to win the AAC squeezed out a victory against a solid Cincinnati squad. I love what they do on offense and the defense steps up when needed. Greg Ward Jr. is among the most dynamic QBs in the game. Their matchup with Memphis this week is a game to watch for sure – too bad the Tigers lost this past week, otherwise it would’ve been two undefeated teams.
16.) Michigan Wolverines (+2)
Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines continue to get the job done. They are still players in the Big Ten and can come out of the year with a conference title.
17.) North Carolina Tar Heels (+4)
What a statement made this past week by the Tar Heels – they hosted Duke in what was a huge game and absolutely owned them in all phases of the game. Marquise Williams had a career day throwing the football. North Carolina has emerged as a player in the ACC. Let’s see if Miami can work some magic again this week – if not, UNC will advance to 9-1.
18.) Florida State Seminoles (-3)
It was a hard fought game, but Florida State couldn’t leave Death Valley with a victory. Now with another loss on their résumé, the Seminoles are slipping in the rankings. A win against the Gators in the season finale could resurrect whats left of their season.
19.) UCLA Bruins (+3)
The Bruins have been one of those teams consistently towards the bottom for the entire season, they advance a few spots after an impressive 41-0 shutout win against Oregon State. They face a powerful offensive Washington State machine this week in a game that could get the Cougars ranked with a win – a lot is on the line for both teams in a game that should be very hard fought.
20.) Temple Owls (+3)
The Owls responded to their loss against Notre Dame with a huge victory against SMU where they showcased their offense as they posted 60 points. In just two weeks they host Memphis which will be another huge game for the Owls.
21.) Mississippi State Bulldogs (+4)
Mississippi State advances to 7-2 after a good win against Missouri. The Bulldogs play a tough brand of football and very well could play spoiler against Alabama this week. Don’t sleep on Dak Prescott and the tough Bulldog squad.
22.) Navy Midshipmen (NR)
The Midshipmen have been on the fringe for weeks now, and they finally breakthrough into the top 25 after playing spoiler as they handed Memphis their first loss of the season. Keenan Reynolds is perfect for the triple option and Navy very well could win out to end the season at 11-1.
23.) Wisconsin Badgers (NR)
The Badgers have compiled a quiet 8-2 season – with both losses coming against top 10 teams. A win against Northwestern this week would boost them a few spots and could give them a spot in the Big Ten championship, although it’s a very tight race right now.
24.) Northwestern Wildcats (NR)
After losing two straight, the Wildcats have won three in a row, getting them back into the top 25. The Pat Fitzgerald led team plays a gritty brand of football and squeezes out victories by any means necessary. A win against Wisconsin this week would be huge.
25.) Memphis Tigers (-9)
Even with a loss, Memphis remains in the top 25 as they round out this week’s rankings. There’s no shame in losing to a great Navy squad. Paxton Lynch and the Tigers have a lot to gain from a bounce back win against Houston this week – it’s their turn to play spoiler.
Dropped Out: Toledo, Ole Miss, Texas A&M
Under Consideration: USC, BYU, Ole Miss