USC falling served as the big news of the week while Alabama and Clemson still look like the top-two teams in college football.
This week’s premier matchups include Louisville-NC State, West Virginia-TCU, Miami-Florida State, Maryland-Ohio State, Alabama-Texas A&M, and Washington State-Oregon.
Receiving Consideration: Texas A&M (4-1), Kentucky (4-1), Oregon (4-1), Navy (4-0), Texas Tech (3-1), Maryland (3-1), Georgia Tech (3-1), SMU (4-1), UT- San Antonio (3-0), and Florida State (1-2).
25. NC State 4-1 [Last Week: NR, Defeated Syracuse 33-25]—The Wolfpack are an interesting test for Louisville this week, but I’d be surprised if this team stays in the top 25 next week.
24. West Virginia 3-1 [Last Week: NR, BYE]—This week’s game at TCU has major Big 12 implications.
23. UCF 3-0 [Last Week: #25, Defeated Memphis 40-13]—Two straight, high-quality wins has me really liking this UCF team.
22. Utah 4-0 [Last Week: #22, BYE]—No one can stop Stanford’s RB Bryce Love, but the Utes will have a chance to try to slow him down enough to win this week.
21. Notre Dame 4-1 [Last Week: #21 Defeated Miami (OH) 52-17]—Brian Kelly, so far, is doing what he needs to do to keep his job.
20. San Diego State 5-0 [Last Week: #20, Defeated Northern Illinois 34-28] — The Aztecs are not an elite team as they showed this past week, but they are not a team that you want to see on your schedule.
19. South Florida 5-0 [Last Week: #19, Defeated ECU 61-31]—South Florida is getting better and better, and it wouldn’t be wise to sleep on the Bulls.
18. Oklahoma State 4-1 [Last Week #18: Defeated Texas Tech 41-34] —That was a much-needed win for the Cowboys who should easily handle Baylor this week.
17. Louisville 4-1 [Last Week: #17, Defeated Murray State 55-10]— After taking a chance to lick wounds against pancake opponents, Louisville plays a big game against NC State.
16. Virginia Tech 4-1 [Last Week: #13, Lost to Clemson 31-17]—I drop the Hokies just a few spots after losing to the defending national champs.
15. Miami 3-0 [Last Week: #15, Defeated Duke 31-6]—Miami is looking sharp, and they would love to take an opportunity to kick FSU while they are down.
14. USC 4-1 [Last Week: #5, Lost to Washington State 30-27]—The loss to the Cougars did serious damage to the Trojans. They should easily beat the Beavers this week, but games against Utah and Notre Dame will be tough.
13. Auburn 4-1 [Last Week: #14, Defeated Mississippi State 49-10]—Two straight big wins for AU have many feeling optimistic, but the Tigers’ trademark run game is lagging.
12. Florida 3-1 [Last Week: #12, Defeated Vanderbilt 38-24] I’ve been a little higher on Florida than others, but, while I expect the Gators to beat LSU this week, October—with games against TAMU and UGA—will truly tell where this team stands.
11. TCU 4-0 [Last Week: #11, BYE]—The week’s contest against WVU is big for the Horned Frogs.
10. Wisconsin 4-0 [Last Week: #10, Defeated Northwestern 33-24]—Fans of the Badgers need to be patient. This team has a clear path to the CFP, but their schedule lends itself to a late rise at the expense of losers.
9. Ohio State 4-1 [Last Week: #9, Defeated Rutgers 56-0]—Ohio State routed another Big 10 foe, and they are one of just a couple teams that, given their schedule, control their own playoff destiny despite suffering a loss.
8. Penn State 5-0 [Last Week: #8, Defeated Indiana 45-14]— Saquon Barkley is doing a lot for the Nittany Lions, but he’s been held in check on the ground of late. Back to back late October games against Michigan and at Ohio State will dictate the course of this season.
7. Michigan 4-0 [Last Week: #7, BYE]—Harbaugh is hoping a new QB will spark a lackluster offense.
6. Washington State 5-0 [Last Week: #16, Defeated USC 30-27]—The Cougars may not be quite this good, but none of the other teams under consideration here boast the signature win that Wazzu does. That was an impressive win over a USC team that many thought was en route to the CFP. Oregon this week is big.
5. Georgia 5-0 [Last Week: #6, Defeated Tennessee 41-0]—I’ve been higher on Georgia than everyone else from the get-go this season. The Dawgs are a serious contender in the SEC.
4. Oklahoma 4-0 [Last Week: #4, BYE]—The Sooners should easily defeat Iowa State this week.
3. Washington 5-0 [Last Week: #3, Defeated Oregon State 42-7]—The Huskies close their season with home contests against Utah and Washington State. They should remain undefeated when they reach those late November games.
2. Clemson 5-0 [Last Week: #2, Defeated Virginia Tech 31-17]—With wins against Auburn, Louisville, and now VT, Clemson has emerged through the toughest portion of its schedule. It’s tough to imagine this group of Tigers not participating in the CFP.
1. Alabama 5-0 [Last Week: #1, Defeated Ole Miss 66-3]—Against two SEC foes, Alabama has piled up a 125-3 margin. This is getting thoroughly unfair.