It wasn’t a good week for ranked teams. We saw 7 ranked teams lose as: Baylor, LSU, Stanford, Utah, UCLA, Temple and Memphis all fall this past week. This had a huge impact on the CFB Playoff – the teams at the top are now in control of their own destiny.
With their win against Baylor, the Sooners climb all the way up to #4 and have emerged as the frontrunner in the Big 12, even with Oklahoma State still undefeated – though they narrowly avoided an upset loss against Iowa State. With the losses to Stanford and Utah, the Pac-12 can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye. LSU was upset at home by Arkansas which leaves ‘Bama and Florida the lone SEC teams in the top 10 – that makes for a great conference championship.
After a big week for ranked teams, the top 25 is becoming less fuzzy after each week – especially at the top. Check out this week’s Top 25 college football rankings:
1.) Clemson Tigers
The Tigers are only two wins away from a perfect season. They should cruise through Wake Forest, but their season finale against South Carolina will be a game to watch. The Gamecocks would want nothing more than to spoil their bitter rivals’ bid at a perfect season.
2.) Ohio State Buckeyes
Finally, some competition for the Buckeyes. Ohio State faces their toughest test of the season against Michigan State this week – they have a lot to prove. It doesn’t get any easier the following week as they visit Michigan in Ann Arbor. The true identity of Ohio State will be revealed in the next couple weeks.
3.) Alabama Crimson Tide (+1)
With Baylor’s loss and another impressive ranked, conference win, Alabama slides up to #3. The Crimson Tide very well could be the best football team in all of college football right now. They’ll be the biggest threat in the playoff.
4.) Oklahoma Sooners (+6)
You may say that #4 is way too high for the Sooners, but if you’ve been reading, know how high I am on this football team. Their offense is dangerous with Baker Mayfield under center. They can solidify their playoff status with wins against TCU and Oklahoma State in the coming weeks – both games I think they’ll win.
5.) Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State barely came out with a win against a 3-win Iowa State team. Nonetheless, they remain the only undefeated Big 12 team. They host Baylor and Oklahoma in the final weeks – I imagine a loss would crush their playoff hopes and open the door even wider for the Sooners; who they play next week.
6.) Iowa Hawkeyes
Another team that barely avoided an upset this past week were the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes are only wins against Purdue and Nebraska away from a perfect season.
7.) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+1)
I’m not denying Notre Dame’s talent as a football team, but it’s their résumé that lands them at #7 as opposed to the top 6 where the committee has slated them each week. The Irish don’t do themselves any favors with their weak schedule – wins against Navy and Temple aren’t signature wins, I’m sorry. Now, their last week matchup with Stanford isn’t even as enticing after the Cardinal’s loss. In my eyes, ND needs one of the big boys to fall in order to solidify their playoff case – along with a win at Stanford.
8.) Florida Gators (+3)
The Gators have clinched their spot in the SEC championship game – a win against Alabama very well could get them into the playoff. The Gators also have to beat Florida State in the final week.
9.) Michigan State Spartans (+3)
The Spartans face their biggest matchup of the season as they visit the Horseshoe this week. If Sparty comes out with a win, they take control of the East Division and would be in the driver seat in the Big Ten – making them a legitimate playoff candidate.
10.) Baylor Bears (-7)
Their loss to Oklahoma seemingly shatters their playoff hopes. They need road wins against Oklahoma State and TCU to revive their hopes, but it’s unlikely – especially with their backup QB, though he has been impressive. Maybe next year Baylor, again.
11.) TCU Horned Frogs (+2)
How embarrassing it would’ve been if TCU fell to the winless Kansas Jayhawks – they were, however, able to leave with a 6 point win. Trevone Boykin left the game with an injury, he is probable for next week. The Horned Frogs are in desperate need of his services against Oklahoma – especially after the way they looked without him.
12.) Houston Cougars (+3)
I’ve been the conductor Cougars bandwagon throughout the season, and they showed you why. Houston became the only team so far this season to overcome a 25 point 4th quarter deficit, which they did against a ranked Memphis team. They have Navy in the final week which is their only impediment en route to an undefeated season.
13.) North Carolina Tar Heels (+4)
Where did this team come from? The Tar Heels offense is posting just as many points as the basketball team. Their 59 points against Miami marked the 4th time this season they broke 50 and the 2nd consecutive week. With road wins against Virginia Tech and NC State, the Tar Heels will have a spot in the conference championship game against Clemson.
14.) Florida State Seminoles (+4)
With just one loss and a win against NC State, I decided to bump the Seminoles up a few more spots after the 2-loss teams looked underwhelming. Even though they’re out of the playoff conversation, a win against Florida next week would be a big win and surely get them into a better bowl game.
15.) LSU Tigers (-8)
After losing to Alabama, the Tigers were then upset at home against Arkansas which marked the 3rd time Les Miles lost to the Razorbacks following a loss. With the Tigers now out of the playoff conversation, see how they react in tough conference games against Ole Miss and Texas A&M. Leonard Fournette looks to get back in the Heisman convo.
16.) Michigan Wolverines
For the second time in three weeks, the Wolverines won on a defensive stop. While it hasn’t been pretty, Michigan can still come away with a spot in the Big Ten championship with a win against Ohio State in the final week of the season – if they beat Michigan State this week.
17.) Stanford Cardinal (-8)
The Cardinal were upset by Arizona in what has been an unpredictable season in the Pac-12. Their loss eliminates any chance for a Pac-12 playoff appearance. With a win against Notre Dame in the final week, Stanford can shatter their playoff hopes while giving themselves a better bowl game.
18.) Utah Utes (-4)
Another loss from a big Pac-12 team doesn’t do anything good for the conference. Still, the Utes had themselves a tremendous season. With a win against UCLA, they’ll all but guarantee a spot against Stanford in the conference championship.
19.) Navy Midshipmen (+3)
Navy has been flying under the radar throughout the season. At 8-1, their only loss has come to Notre Dame and they’ve even beaten Memphis. A win at Houston in two weeks would boost them up the rankings substantially. Congrats to Keenan Reynolds for breaking the all-time rushing TD record, you’ve had one hell of a career.
20.) Wisconsin Badgers (+3)
At 8-2, the Badgers are still in the thick of things in the Big Ten. A win against Northwestern would be huge.
21.) Northwestern Wildcats (+3)
The Wildcats are out of conference contention, but they could burst the Badgers’ bubble with a win.
22.) Oregon Ducks (NR)
Looks who’s back! The Ducks make their first appearance in the top 25 since the beginning of the season. Oregon got revenge against Stanford – the team notoriously known or shattering the Ducks’ playoff hopes in the past. Led by Vernon Adams, the Ducks have won 4 straight games and have rolled through conference competition. A win against USC would boost them and solidify their top 25 status.
23.) Washington State Cougars (NR)
I said it last week, the Cougars would be ranked with a win against UCLA in a game I said would be much closer than perceived. Who are the Washington State Cougars? They’ve taken the league by storm with their air raid offense led by Luke Falk who has broken school records. Mike Leach has resurrected yet another program.
24.) USC Trojans (NR)
Look at the Trojans, despite all the controversy and criticism, they’ve come back in a huge way. They’ve won 4 straight and 4 out of 5 under Clay Helton. A win against Oregon should change Helton’s status from interim, to permanent – but we’ve seen USC muff a situation like this before.
25.) Ole Miss Rebels (NR)
It was Ole Miss or Mississippi State here, but I went with the Rebels due to their more impressive résumé – mainly due to their win against Alabama earlier in the season. Their matchup against LSU this week is surely a game to watch – even though both teams have disappointed as of late.
Dropped Out: UCLA, Temple, Mississippi State, Memphis
Under Consideration: Mississippi State, UCLA, Memphis