The college football picture is a little clearer after statement games for Clemson, USC, and Oklahoma.
Clemson at Louisville, Tennessee at Florida, and LSU at Mississippi State headline this week’s slate of matchups. Receiving Consideration: TCU (2-0), Houston (1-0), Notre Dame (1-1), UCLA (2-0), Tennessee (2-0), Mississippi State (2-0), Colorado (2-0), Minnesota (2-0), Wake Forest (2-0), and Michigan State (2-0).
25. Maryland 2-0 [Last Week: #25, Defeated Towson 63-17]—The Terrapins dominated Towson but will miss starting QB “Piggy T” for the rest of the year.
24. Stanford 1-1 [Last Week: #18, Lost to USC 42-24]—I almost dropped the Cardinal out of the top 25, but this team still has a recipe to be good.
23. South Florida 2-0 [Last Week: #23, DNP]—Holding the teams affected by Irma in the same place.
22. Kansas State 2-0 [Last Week: #24, Defeated Charlotte 55-7]—The Wildcats did what they needed to do but will not be tested until October.
21. Washington State 2-0 [Last Week: #22, Defeated Boise State 47-44]—Beating Boise State, no matter how ugly, needs to be appreciated. The Cougars’ matchup at the end of the month against USC will be fun.
20. South Carolina 2-0 [Last Week: #21, Defeated Missouri 31-13]—I got many things wrong in my initial top 25, but putting South Carolina on the list seems to have been a good pick. The Gamecocks slowed a high-powered Mizzou offense.
19. Oregon 2-0 [Last Week: #20, Defeated Nebraska 42-35]—A win against Nebraska isn’t overly impressive, but the Ducks will certainly be one of the more interesting teams to follow this season.
18. Virginia Tech 2-0 [Last Week: #19, Defeated Delaware 27-0]—Not flashy but adequate. The Hokies handled their business against Delaware.
17. Miami 1-0 [Last Week: #17, DNP]—The aptly named Hurricanes will have been sidelined for two weeks due to Irma when they suit up on the 23rd against Toledo.
16. Florida 0-1 [Last Week: #16, DNP]—I’ve been a little higher on the Gators than others, but we will learn a lot about this team in this week’s matchup against Tennessee.
15. Auburn 1-1 [Last Week: #5, Lost to Clemson 14-6]—On the road against the defending national champs, Auburn had a real chance to win. Gus Malzahn’s inability to coach offense has his seat hot and this team playing beneath its talent level.
14. LSU 2-0 [Last Week: #15, Defeated Chattanooga 45-10]—The Bayou Bengals did exactly what they were supposed to do against the Mocs.
13. Louisville 2-0 [Last Week: #14, Defeated North Carolina 47-35]—Louisville will not be favored against Clemson, but Lamar Jackson makes a win possible in any contest.
12. Oklahoma State 2-0 [Last Week: Defeated South Alabama 44-7]—Don’t sleep on the Cowboys making a Big 12 run or on Mason Rudolph pushing for the Heisman.
11. Florida State 0-1 [Last Week #11, DNP]—The Seminoles hold steady as they face Irma.
10. Wisconsin 2-0 [Last Week: #12, Defeated Florida Atlantic 31-14]—The Badgers made Lane Kiffin’s return to head coaching all-the-rougher. This team is right in the mix in the Big 10.
9. Ohio State 1-1 [Last Week: #2, Lost to Oklahoma 31-16]—JT Barrett has regressed as a passer, but this team is still very, very talented.
8. Georgia 2-0 [Last Week: #10, Defeated Notre Dame 20-19]—A nice, signature win for Kirby Smart and the Dawgs. The offense is still a question mark, but the D is stellar.
7. Washington 2-0 [Last Week: #8, Defeated Montana 63-7]—No surprise as the Huskies mauled lowly Montana.
6. Penn State 2-0 [Last Week: #7, Defeated Pittsburgh 33-14]—The Nittany Lions are an incredibly hot program right now, and they are making a strong case for the Big Ten, despite the OSU loss.
5. Michigan 2-0 [Last Week: #6, Defeated Cincinnati 36-14]—Circle the October 21 game at Penn State. The Wolverines should roll until then.
4. Oklahoma 2-0 [Last Week: #9, Defeated Ohio State 31-16]—Baker Mayfield and the Sooners got their revenge in a matchup with major playoff implications.
3. USC 2-0 [Last Week: #4, Defeated Stanford 42-24]—The Trojans and Sam Darnold bounced back after a rough opener against Western Michigan.
2. Clemson 2-0 [Last Week: #3, Defeated Auburn 14-6]—Kelly Bryant looks like the real deal, and that DL was dominant against Auburn. Very easy to picture the Tigers in the playoff hunt again.
1. Alabama 2-0 [Last Week: #1, Defeated Fresno State 41-10]—No one was surprised to see the Tide roll over Fresno State. A down year in the SEC West could mean Alabama will not be tested until 10/21 against Tennessee.