Alabama thrived, Ohio State survived, and Clemson limped along this week as three of the top six enjoyed byes. This week, Alabama and Texas A&M compete in a possible battle for a playoff spot while Auburn-Arkansas, LSU-Ole Miss, Louisville-NC State, Wisconsin-Iowa, TCU-West Virginia, and Utah-UCLA offer their fans must-see matchups.
Receiving Consideration: LSU, Colorado, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, LSU, Penn State, Oklahoma State, Miami, USC, and Memphis.
25. South Florida 6-1 [Defeated UCONN, Last Week NR]—Do not count out the Bulls and Quinton Flowers making a run in the AAC.
24. Ole Miss 3-3 [Lost to Arkansas, Last Week #12]—It has been a weird year for the Rebs. This season could be salvaged or go downhill fast with the next three SEC games being at LSU, Auburn, and at TAMU.
23. Navy 4-1 [Bye, Last Week #24]—In the lead in the American, the Midshipmen are set to face Memphis following a bye week.
22. UNC 5-2 [Defeated Miami, Last Week NR]—With a tight race in the Coastal, North Carolina is well-positioned to win the division.
21. Auburn 4-2 [Bye, Last Week #21]—Gus Malzahn’s team has been up and down, but they play for a chance to survive in the SEC West race against Arkansas this week. A win sets them up for a possible run. A loss means Malzahn is back on the hot seat.
20. Western Michigan 7-0 [Defeated Akron, Last Week #22]—For the Broncos, there has to be plenty of excitement. Long considered a CFB doormat, P.J. Fleck has this team playing for a chance to go undefeated.
19. Utah 6-1 [Defeated Oregon State, Last Week #20]—It’s a long shot, but if the Utes can win out, they could conceivably make a playoff push. There’s a rough stretch of schedule ahead, though.
18. Arkansas 5-2 [Defeated Ole Miss, Last Week #25]—Few saw the Hogs beating Ole Miss, but Bret Bielema’s team enters a road game against Auburn with some momentum.
17. Florida 5-1 [Defeated Missouri, Last Week #19]—The Gators are alive and well in the SEC East race, but games at Arkansas and LSU will be tough.
16. Tennessee 5-2 [Lost to Alabama, Last Week #10]—No more magic for the Vols as they were utterly destroyed by Alabama. This team gets a bye before facing a cupcake schedule to end the season.
15. Boise State 6-0 [Defeated Colorado State, Last Week #16]—The Broncos narrowly managed to stay undefeated and hope to run the table.
14. Florida State 5-2 [Defeated Wake Forest, Last Week #17]—Following Nebraska at #11, there are a host of teams I am not crazy about. Florida State is one, and they get two weeks to figure out how to change that opinion by beating Clemson.
13. West Virginia 5-0 [Defeated Texas Tech, Last Week #23]—Now the trendy team in college football, the Mountaineers’ strong performance over Texas Tech is not overly compelling.
12. Oklahoma 4-2 [Defeated Kansas State, Last Week #14]—Don’t rule out the Sooners in the Big 12 race. Despite the two early out-of-conference losses, this is the most talented team in the conference.
11. Nebraska 6-0 [Defeated Indiana, Last Week #13]—The Cornhuskers are a relatively unimpressive unbeaten that I doubt will be so after late October/early November games at Wisconsin and Ohio State.
10. Wisconsin 4-2 [Lost to Ohio State, Last Week #9]—Remember the talk early about Ole Miss being the best two-loss team? The Badgers now firmly hold that title after taking two elite teams to the brink. Visits to Iowa and a game against Nebraska loom ahead.
9. Baylor 6-0 [Defeated Kanas, Last Week #11]—The Bears get a bye after an easy win over the Jayhawks. The Big 12 champion will absolutely need to be undefeated in order to have a prayer.
8. Houston 6-1 [Defeated Tulsa, Last Week #8]—Others are not as high on Houston, and the Cougars certainly have stumbled. Still, if they manage to beat Louisville, who knows what will happen.
7. Louisville 5-1 [Defeated Duke, Last Week #7]—Lamar Jackson and the offense looked human against Duke in a lackluster win.
6. Texas A&M 6-0 [Bye, Last Week #6]—A potential semifinal matchup this week features the Aggies against Alabama. The rest of the schedule is certainly winnable.
5. Washington 6-0 [Bye, Last Week #5]—Atrocious at the top and deep in the middle, the PAC 12 provides a remaining schedule that leaves the Huskies favored in every remaining game but capable of stumbling.
4. Clemson 7-0 [Defeated NC State, Last Week #3]—College football is on the verge of turning against Clemson. The undefeated Tigers have yet to look like a playoff-worthy team.
3. Michigan 6-0 [Bye, Last Week #4]—Michigan leapfrogs Clemson, and there’s an argument that they could be better than OSU. At this point, though, it does not matter. They control their own destiny.
2. Ohio State 6-0 [Defeated Wisconsin, Last Week #2]—Urban Meyer’s squad needed overtime to defeat a scrappy Wisconsin team. JT Barrett will need to pass better if this team is to make another championship run.
1. Alabama 7-0 [Defeated Tennessee, Last Week: #1]—The Tide utterly dominated an outmatched Tennessee team whose luck has officially run out. Perhaps the toughest test of the season comes this week against Texas A&M before the bye week.