It was a Saturday filled with upsets and shattered, or at least cracked dreams. Lots of unbeaten streaks went down and several teams made big moves. We are into November and the prime playoff contenders have put themselves in position, but there are lots of land mines to navigate the rest of the way.
The Crimson Tide is rolling once again. Emperor Nick Saban’s machine has a new weapon in Jalen Hurts (picture the Empire building the Death Star), and the new element has made even more lethal. The Bayou Bengals now await in Baton Rouge.
Kudos to the Tigers defensive line and the sensational DeShaun Watson in leading the Tigers to a 37-34 comeback win at Florida State. They will have to stay focused to avoid the upset, as Syracuse and Pitt visit Death Valley the next two weeks.
What a win for the Huskies, who took down Utah 31-24 in a Salt Lake City shootout. This Washington team has talent, toughness and heart. A road trip to Cal could be dangerous, but Chris Petersen’s team knows what’s at stake.
Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines survived a bit of an early scare from Michigan State, then took control and held the Spartans off. The turnaround in Ann Arbor has been extremely impressive. The Michigan defense is one of the country’s best.
5. TEXAS A&M
Aggies romp against New Mexico State to bounce back from the loss to Bama. Texas A&M should win at Mississippi State this week. The SEC West is very strong up top.
The Cardinals found a way, as Lamar Jackson’s last minute touchdown bailed them out at Virginia. Next up is a trip to Boston College. Louisville is trying to get that consistent crispness back on offense.
7. OHIO STATE
On the heels of the surprising loss at Penn State, the Buckeyes found a way to edge Northwestern. They figure to be back on their A-game with Nebraska visiting the Horseshoe Saturday in a monster showdown.
Camp Randall Stadium was rocking on Saturday night, as the Badgers edged Nebraska in overtime. Wisconsin’s two losses are both by seven points to Michigan and Ohio State.
Big Red suffered a heart-breaking loss in overtime to Wisconsin to spoil their undefeated season. It gets even tougher this week, as Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes await in Columbus.
The Gators defense was awesome in the second half of their 24-10 Jacksonville win over Georgia. It will be tough on Saturday at Arkansas, as the Hogs are coming off the open date.
One of the hottest teams in the country, the Tigers made it 6-2 with a 40-29 victory at Ole Miss. Auburn is cooking offensively and has an outstanding defensive line. Vandy has a strong defense for Auburn to deal with this week.
It was a tough loss for the Utes at home vs. Washington. Kyle Whittingham has the most solid team in the PAC-12 South. The Utes are off this week, then make the tough trip to Arizona State.
Since the 1-2 start, with losses to Houston and Ohio State, the Sooners have turned it on and sit atop the Big XII with an unbeaten conference mark. The schedule is challenging in November, but this OU offense is cooking.
Ed Orgeron has the Fightin’ Tigers hopes riding high, and LSU is hoping for some Baton Rouge magic against mighty Alabama. The schedule is absolutely brutal in November.
15. WESTERN MICHIGAN
The best team in the MAC, and now the front-runner after Boise State’s loss to Wyoming, to crash the party of one of the major bowls, Western Michigan is undefeated and eyeing a special season.
16. BOISE STATE
The Broncos suffered their first loss of the season, falling to Wyoming 30-28 on a fumble safety. Boise still has a shot to run the table and finish 11-1.
17. WEST VIRGINIA
The Mountaineers stumbled for the first time this season, falling to surging Oklahoma State in Stillwater. West Virginia is in the thick of the Big XII race, and the November match-ups will have a lot riding on them across the league.
The Bears had their undefeated season come to an end on a last second field goal loss to Texas. Baylor is still in the mix for the Big XII, as there are a slew of big match-ups in November to determine that conference champ.
19. NORTH CAROLINA
The Tar Heels open date came at a good time to get ready for Paul Johnson, Justin Thomas and Tech’s option attack. Mitch Trubisky is one of the top QB’s in the country, and the Heels have a good shot at the ACC Championship Game.
20. OKLAHOMA STATE
The Cowboys smoked West Virginia to end their undefeated season and improve to 6-2 on the year. They’ll have to be on their game to avoid the upset at Kansas State this week.
21. FLORIDA STATE
The Seminoles lost another heart- breaker, falling to Clemson 37-34 in Tallahassee. There is a letdown danger at N.C. State, but FSU has more juice. There is a lot of talent of this Florida State offense.
What a job Mike McIntyre has done with the 6-2 Buffaloes. This past week, Colorado was idle and now comes a big Thursday night showdown with UCLA at Folsom Field.
23. VIRGINIA TECH
The Hokies posted an impressive victory at Pitt. The Hokies will try and make it 7-2 at tough Duke. David Cutcliffe always presents a challenge. Virginia Tech is right in the mix in the ACC Coastal.
24. WASHINGTON STATE
Mike Leach has the Cougars rolling. A 35-31 comeback victory over Oregon State moved them to 6-2 and kept WSU undefeated in the PAC-12. The Apple Cup could be an all-timer Thanksgiving weekend.
The Cougars avoided the upset against Central Florida, pulling it out 31-24. Houston is off this week, then hosts Tulane. Then comes the big showdown with Louisville, sparking memories of Phi Slamma Jamma vs. the Doctors of Dunk.