Here we are heading into the second weekend of October. The biggest news of this past Saturday was the Iowa State upset of Oklahoma, proving yet again that almost anyone can beat almost anyone almost any week. The great teams find the way to show up prepared every time out. The best one-loss team right now looks like Auburn. There are a bunch of “Non-Power Five” teams having excellent seasons, threatening to break into the “New Year’s Six.”
1. CLEMSON – The Tigers came out flying against Wake Forest, then hung on and pushed the record to an extremely impressive 6-0. Now comes a Friday night game at Syracuse. Things can get a little funny in the Dome, but the Tigers are too tough for the ‘Cuse.
2. ALABAMA – Give Texas A&M credit, the Aggies hung tough with Bama, but it’s 6-0. Next up for the Crimson Tide is Arkansas. The Saban machine shouldn’t get too much resistance from the Hogs, whose fan base isn’t happy.
3. GEORGIA – The Bulldogs steamrolled Vanderbilt 45-14 in Music City, USA to make it 6-0 on the year. Next up is struggling Mizzou. Kirby Smart tries to keep his team focused week to week, and since winning in South Bend, the last four wins have been by at least 28 points.
4. WASHINGTON – The Huskies put up an impressive 38-7 win over Cal Saturday. Washington goes to Arizona State Saturday, and that could be tricky. Jake Browning is a terrific quarterback and Chris Petersen continues to prove himself as one of the country’s best coaches.
5. WASHINGTON STATE – It impressive win for the Cougars at Oregon. To go to Autzen Stadium and win by a comfortable margin a week after slaying Southern Cal goes down as one of the best back-to-back performances in WSU history.
6. PENN STATE – The Nittany Lions turned it on against Northwestern, even though the Wildcats did a good job Si bottling up Saquon Barkley. The Nittany Lions are off this week then host one of the biggest games of the year against Michigan.
7. TCU – The Horned Frogs won a big one over West Virginia. Ken Hill is making big plays for the team to beat in Big XII. It doesn’t figure to be easy this week, and the Frogs have to avoid the letdown at Kansas State.
8. WISCONSIN – It was a big win at Nebraska, and the Badgers host Purdue this week. The Boilermakers are playing with a new enthusiasm, and Wisconsin will have to be on its game to avoid the upset.
9. AUBURN – Holy smokes the Tigers are rolling. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Ole Miss, as the Rebels got blown out by both Alabama and Auburn. At 5-1, Auburn goes to LSU and then Arkansas.
10. OHIO STATE – What an impressive win for the Buckeyes, who absolutely drilled Maryland. That Terps team beat Texas in the first week of the year. Ohio State goes to struggling Nebraska in yet another game against a nontraditional Big Ten foe.
11. MIAMI – In what may have been the game of the day, the Hurricanes pulled off a thrilling closing seconds 24-20 comeback victory at Florida State. That breaks a seven-game losing streak to their in-state foes. It will be tough as the North Avenue Trade School visits Miami this week.
12. SOUTHERN CAL – The Trojans bounced back and put the beat down on Oregon State. There was a lot of noise for the Trojans this off-season. It could be a tough one against Utah Saturday in a big one for PAC-12 South supremacy.
13. NOTRE DAME – The Fighting Irish continue to put up big numbers and are now 5-1 on the year. Notre Dame dispatched North Carolina last week and has an open date and then the big showdown with the Men of Troy in South Bend.
14. VIRGINIA TECH – Virginia Tech is off Saturday and then hosts struggling North Carolina. Justin Fuente has an excellent team that has a great shot to make it to the ACC Championship Game.
15. MICHIGAN STATE – The Spartans picked up a huge win at Michigan. That’s two straight times that Mark Dantonio’s Spartans have topped Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines in Ann Arbor. MSU’s only loss is to Notre Dame.
16. SOUTH FLORIDA – The Bulls had this past week off. Through the restructured schedule that was thrown off due to Hurricane Irma, USF will host Cincinnati. There are a lot of really good teams outside of the Power Five, this may be the best.
17. MICHIGAN – Turnovers and missed opportunities haunted the Wolverines in their 14-10 loss to Michigan State. This one will sting. Michigan goes to Indiana to face an impressive passing attack this week.
18. OKLAHOMA STATE – Oklahoma State is sitting at 4-1 and had this past Saturday off. The Cowboys will host Baylor, and the Bears near miss with OU surely got their attention. Okie State has an explosive offense, one of the Big XII’s best.
19. SAN DIEGO STATE – This is an explosive team, and they rolled past UNLV on the road last week. The 8 Aztecs take on traditional “BCS Buster” power Boise State, but this year San Diego State seems to have the upper hand with the talent.
20. CENTRAL FLORIDA – The Golden Knights blasted Cincinnati and are now 4-0. Central Florida hosts struggling East Carolina. There are so many talented teams in the state of Florida, and UCF is at the top of the heap.
21. TECH – The Yellow Jackets had this past week off, which they may not have liked. Tech’s offense is really clicking right
8 now. Tech gets Miami at a good spot, as the Hurricanes are riding high, coming off that thrilling win over Florida State.
22. N.C. STATE – The Wolfpack have bounced back from a game they should have won against South Carolina with five straight. The highlight triumphs were at Florida State and this Thursday at home with Louisville. The Pack goes to Pitt this week.
23. OKLAHOMA – The Sooners suffered a devastating loss to Iowa State, which dealt them a big blow. Now comes the Red River Shootout with old foe Texas. Both teams are leaking oil a bit. This is a big test for both first year head coaches.
24. NAVY – The Midshipmen are undefeated and riding high after taking an incredible 48-45 victory over Air Force. The Men of Annapolis hit the road for Memphis this week. Ken Niumatalolo is one of the country’s top coaches.
25. KENTUCKY – The 5-1 Wildcats have lost only to Florida – a game they should have won. The Wildcats held off Missouri 40-34 and are off this week. Then comes a tough trip to Mississippi State.
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