After a couple of failed attempts at this week’s top 25, I was forced to implement a new system this go around. Usually I base each week’s top 25 college football rankings on last week’s, and make adjustments based on how that team fared. However, with such a shakeup this week, I decided to throw that away and start from scratch. Instead of simply basing off of the previous week, I went ahead and ranked teams based on their resumé on paper, along with how they have actually been in game action.
Week 7 shaped up to be the best yet, and it did not disappoint. Things started on Thursday with a ranked Pac-12 matchup – Stanford coasted against UCLA and continued to roll. Both ranked SEC matchups carried tremendous Bowl implications. Alabama escaped with a huge win thanks to their defense while LSU edged out Florida on a game-winning fake field goal that went for a TD – LSU is the last remaining undefeated SEC team. Then there was the “Michigan State Miracle” – one of the craziest plays in sports history. Ole Miss was upset by the upstart Memphis Tigers, as we predicted last week.
This past week was a crazy week for college football, as the latest top 25 would indicate:
1.) Ohio State Buckeyes (+/- 0)
The Buckeyes stay put at #1 as they have the entire season. Finally, Ohio State seems to have some cohesion on offense, which is terrible news for other teams. Urban Meyer relied on the running game which bodes well for J.T. Barrett who had an exceptional performance and will likely be the starting QB next week as the shuffle continues. They have won by at least 21 points the past 2 weeks after a near upset to Indiana in week 5.
2.) Baylor Bears (+/- 0)
Once again, Baylor proved they have the best offense in all of college football. Engineered by Heisman hopeful, Seth Russell, their offense posted their 5th consecutive 60-spot en route to a blowout victory against West Virginia. With Iowa State and Kansas State in the next two weeks, they have “gimme” games until they play Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU in consecutive games we will learn whether this team is for real or not following those games.
3.) LSU Tigers (+2)
With a win against Florida, LSU is the only undefeated SEC team left standing. Les Miles pulled a card out of his bag of tricks with a fake field goal that ened up being the game-winning TD. Leonard Fournette seems to get better and better every game which makes LSU a scary CFB Playoff threat.
4.) Michigan State Spartans (+3)
Yes, the Spartans found a way to win on the road in Ann Arbor this past week. The “Michigan State Miracle” gave the Spartans the win on the final play of the game after Michigan’s punter fumbled the snap; had he gotten off the punt, MSU wouldn’t be this high. Nonetheless, Mark Dantonio had fate on his side this past week and the Spartans are riding high after a victory against their archrival as they retained the Paul Bunyan trophy.
5.) Clemson Tigers (-2)
The Tigers fall two spots after the big wins of Michigan State and LSU but remain in the top 5. Deshaun Watson and Dabo Swinney have proven to be among the best QB-HC tandems in the nation. They’ve been rolling since their win against Notre Dame, but they face no easy task this week against Miami on the road.
6.) Utah Utes (-2)
It wasn’t pretty, but Kyle Whittingham’s Utes pulled out another victory this week. As I’ve stated before, I’m not high on Utah like most, but they certainly can win football games. Still the only undefeated team left in the Pac-12. They travel to the Coliseum to take on USC this week – not an easy win by any means. However, they’ve been rolling through conference opponents so far this year.
7.) TCU Horned Frogs (-1)
Yet again, TCU fell behind and landed themselves on the upset radar. However, they rebounded in the 2nd half for a big win against Iowa State. Trevone Boykin has carried the team week in and week out. They face Oklahoma State two weeks from now which could be a battle of undefeated teams.
8.) Florida State Seminoles (+4)
The Seminoles continued to roll this past week with a huge win at home against Louisville. Dalvin Cook has been running wild the past few games and has emerged as a legitimate Heisman candidate. The Seminoles visit Georgia Tech next week which will put their defense to the test.
9.) Alabama Crimson Tide (-1)
The Crimson Tide a playing the best football of any team in the country right now. Their defense showed up against Texas A&M and Derrick Henry had a career game running the ball – both perfect representations of the tough, physical Alabama football we’ve all come to know. After they battle with Tennessee this week they host LSU in what will be the biggest SEC game of the year.
10.) Iowa Hawkeyes (+9)
The Hawkeyes went into Ryan Field this past week and proved they were for real as they dismantled a ranked Northwestern team. Kirk Ferentz has resorted to the old school ground and pound running game and even with Jordan Canzeri leaving the game in the 1st quarter, they ran wild on the Wildcats. Akrum Wadley came off the bench and ran for 4 TDs, tying a school record.
11.) Oklahoma State Cowboys (+4)
Still on the pursuit of perfection are the Cowboys of Oklahoma State. They haven’t been blowing by their opponents, each of their last 3 victories have been settled by an average of 4 points. Nonetheless, they remain undefeated and towards the top of the Big 12 along with Baylor and TCU.
12.) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+2)
Their loss to Clemson a few weeks ago remains their only loss to this point. They avoided an upset this past week against USC in a big rivalry game. The Fighting Irish get a bye week but following that take on an upstart Temple that have yet to lose a game.
13.) Stanford Cardinal (+3)
After losing to Northwestern in week 1 where they scored only 6 points, the Cardinal haven’t looked back and have been among the best teams in college football since. They have been rolling through Pac-12 competition with big wins over: UCLA, Arizona, Oregon State and at the time the #6 USC team. Their matchup with Notre Dame in the final week of the season could prove to be huge in the CFB Playoff landscape.
14.) Florida Gators (-3)
While the suspension of Will Grier didn’t have a big impact on the team – Treon Harris played very well. The Gators couldn’t leave Death Valley with a win after they allowed a fake field goal that went for the game-winning TD. Florida has a fairly easy conference road ahead of them and should be the representative out of the East in the SEC championship. We will see if Harris can stay consistent and pick up the slack left behind by Grier.
15.) Texas A&M Aggies (-6)
Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies just couldn’t put it together against Alabama’s defense. A win would’ve been huge for the program and made the relevant in the CFB Playoff discussion. Texas A&M still has time to rebound and it starts this week on the road against Ole Miss.
16.) Oklahoma Sooners (+2)
Rebounding in a big way were this past week were the Sooners as they demolished Kansas State in a 55-0 shutout. Their upset loss to Texas is really biting them in the ass right now, they really could’ve used that win as their schedule doesn’t get any easier from here on out. They play: Baylor, Oklahoma State and TCU to end the season – two of which are road games.
17.) Memphis Tigers (+8)
What a start it has been for the Memphis Tigers. As I boldly predicted last week, the Tigers hosted a ranked Ole Miss team and came out with a victory, advancing them to a 6-0 record. Paxton Lynch has led the way under center while emerging as one of the best in college football. Memphis is the first of 3 AAC teams to appear on this week’s installment.
18.) Toledo Rockets (+4)
Every week I rave about Matt Campbell, and it’s hard not to. The 5th year head coach is off to his best start with the Rockets and is set for a huge job upgrade this offseason. Toledo comes off a huge 63-20 win this past week and look to finish the season undefeated with an easy remaining schedule.
19.) Houston Cougars (+5)
If there’s any team I love to watch of any non-Power 5 team, it’s the Houston Cougars. A big part of that is Greg Ward. The Cougars QB has emerged as one of the best in the nation and is a darkhorse for the Heisman trophy as long as Houston stays undefeated. Tom Herman has done a tremendous job in his rookie season as a head coach.
20.) Michigan Wolverines (-10)
I’d rather not talk about the final play in their devastating loss to Michigan State, but you knew it was coming. The Wolverines were seconds away from advancing to 6-1 and climbing up the top 10, but that’s not how fate worked out for them. Regardless, Jim Harbaugh has done a tremendous job in his debut season in Ann Arbor. The rest of their schedule looks like a cakewalk, until they play Ohio State that final week of the regular season.
21.) California Golden Bears (NR)
Following a bye week, the Golden Bears remain in this week’s rankings with their only loss coming against a highly ranked Utah team. Jared Goff posted a porous 5 INT performance against the Utes, he will need to rebound this week on the road against UCLA in a game with huge conference implications.
22.) Temple Owls (NR)
No one has mentioned the work of the Temple Owls so far this season. They have compiled an impressive résumé with wins against Penn State and Cincinnati. In just two weeks they host Notre Dame in what will be their biggest game of the year. Yet another AAC team to appear on this week’s rankings, who would’ve thought?
23.) Duke Blue Devils (+/- 0)
The Blue Devils lone loss has come against Northwestern, but doesn’t look as good as it once did as the Wildcats have dropped 2 straight. Duke faces a tough test this week on the road in Blacksburg against Virginia Tech – they get a chance to prove if they are for real or not.
24.) Pittsburgh Panthers (NR)
With their only loss coming against a now top 10 Iowa team, Pat Narduzzi’s Panthers are looking really good right now. Pittsburgh currently leads the Costal division in the ACC.
25.) Ole Miss Rebels (-12)
After an upset loss to Memphis, the Rebels are barely hanging on this week. Their win against Alabama earlier in the year is what their clinging onto. The Rebels absolutely need a win this week against Texas A&M.
Dropped Out: UCLA, Northwestern, Boise State
Under Consideration: BYU, Georgia, Mississippi State