October is in the history books, as another thrilling Saturday put the finishing touches on the month. The stakes get higher and higher each week, as the competition heats up for those conference championship game berths. The game of this past week was Ohio State’s comeback win at Penn State.
1. ALABAMA – Nick Saban’s Crimson Pounding Machine had this past week off to get ready for LSU. The Tigers look like they have the juice to hang around for a while, but that Bama defense and running attack is dominant.
2. Georgia – The Bulldogs exorcized some serious demons with a 42-7 rout of Florida in Jacksonville. Next up is tough South Carolina in Athens. Georgia’s running back troupe may be the country’s best.
3. Wisconsin – The Badgers just keep plugging along. Granted their schedule hasn’t been the most challenging, but Wisconsin just keeps on winning. The Badgers could get a test this week at improved Indiana.
4. Miami – The Hurricanes were far from at their best in Chapel Hill, but survived. Now things get absolutely turned up. It’s Virginia Tech and then Notre Dame. Both are at home. This one with the Hokies will have a huge bearing on who plays for the ACC title.
5. Notre Dame – The Fighting Irish got an impressive win over a tough N.C. State in South Bend. Notre Dame has been dominant since that 20-19 loss to Georgia. Wake Forest visits the Golden Dome this week.
6. Oklahoma – With each week that passes, that loss to Iowa State looks less and less worse. Boomer Sooner was cooking against Texas Tech. Now comes Bedlam, and a big one for a shot at the Big XII title.
7. Ohio State – It was a comeback for the ages by the Buckeyes, taking down Penn State 39-38 in one of the great games in Horseshoe history. J.T. Barrett hit his last 16 passes! It could be tricky at Iowa Saturday.
8. Penn State – This one goes down as one of the crushing losses in Nittany Lions history. Up 21-3 and 35-20, and they fall to the Buckeyes. They’ll try and bounce back at Michigan State, which just lost in OT to Northwestern.
9. Clemson – The Tigers utilized the open date and played great defense in a 24-10 win over Tech. It’s a huge showdown with N.C. State, which is unbeaten in conference play this week. The winner has the inside track to the Atlantic Division title.
10. TCU – The Horned Frogs just ran into a tough team and lost to Iowa State. TCU is still right in the running for a berth in the Bit XII championship. They’ll have to have the quick bounce back with Texas coming to Fort Worth this week.
11. Oklahoma State – The Cowboys gave up a couple of non-offensive touchdowns but still prevailed at West Virginia. The Sooners come to Stillwater, and the winner is right in the thick of that Big XII race.
12. Central Florida – Scott Frost is some kind of hot commodity. The Golden Knights aren’t too far removed from being awful. They hung 73 on Austin Peay. Next up is a trip to SMU, and UCF should keep it rolling.
13. Virginia Tech – The Hokies defense – Bud Foster keeps them grinding – had a great performance against Duke in a 24-3 win. It’s a mega-showdown at Miami, with the winner having a great shot at the ACC Championship Game.
14. Washington – The Huskies took care of UCLA 44-23 in a nice bounce-back win. Jake Browning is an outstanding quarterback and Washington is right in the thick of that PAC-12 North race. It’s a big one with Oregon Saturday.
15. Auburn – The Tigers bounced back from their upset loss at LSU with a bludgeoning of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Auburn had this past week off to sharpen up for those Aggies. Then the Bulldogs come to town.
16. Mississippi State – Dan Mullen led Mississippi State to a second highly impressive road victory this season, as the Maroon Bulldogs won at Texas A&M to improve to 6-2. UMass shouldn’t be a problem, then Bama comes to town.
17. South Carolina – The Gamecocks have somewhat quietly put together an outstanding season. Sitting at 6-2 on the year, Will Muschamp’s team has a chance to chalk up some significant wins. They catch Georgia coming off the big win over the Gators.
18. Iowa State – The Cyclones are putting together one of the best seasons in program history. Wins over Oklahoma and then No. 4 TCU is one of the most impressive 1-2 hit lists this year. It’s a tough trip this week to West Virginia.
19. Arizona – Quarterback Khalil Tate had another incredible showing with 158 yards rushing, 275 throwing and three combined touchdowns, as the Wildcats outgunned Washington State 58-37. Arizona host Southern Cal Saturday, and there are PAC-12 South implications aplenty.
20. Memphis – The Tigers kept it rolling with a 56-26 win over the Tulane Green Wave. Memphis’s program has made a big jump these last few years. Next up is a Friday night affair at Tulsa. This Memphis offense is really cooking.
21. LSU – The Bayou Bengals looked dead and gone when they lost to Troy. Well, look at what has happened the last three times out – a victory at Florida, comeback win over Auburn and drubbing of the Rebels in Oxford. Can Coach O work some magic in T-Town?
22. Washington State – The Cougars got smoked by Arizona. Mike Leach has done a great on at the helm in Pullman and some “higher profile” schools may come calling. Next up is a big one with tough Stanford.
23. Southern Cal – The Men of Troy had a nice bounce-back win against Arizona State. Now comes another big showdown with Arizona, and the winner of this one has the inside track at the PAC-12 Championship Game.
24. Tech – The Yellow Jackets lost a tough one at Clemson, falling in the rain 24-10. That one likely cost them an ACC Championship Game berth. They head to Virginia this week and try and get that explosive offensive attack back on track.
25. Kentucky – They are all smiles on the bluegrass after a rare victory over Tennessee. The Vols were relying on field goals, and Kentucky made them pay with a great comeback. Ole Miss, which had a maddening loss to Arkansas last week, visits the Commonwealth.
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