It was a huge week of college football, with huge showdowns and a major upset. Kansas State’s win over Oklahoma really opened the potential playoff door for several other schools. LSU, Ohio State, and Michigan were the teams of the week, scoring impressive wins in the days most high profile games.
1. LSU – The Bayou Bengals hit list is incredibly impressive, highlighted by wins at Texas and Florida and last Saturday’s win in Baton Rouge over Auburn. LSU is off this week and then comes the game of the year against Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
2. Alabama – See above. The Crimson Tide have the week off to get ready for the mega-showdown with the Bayou Bengals. Alabama blasted Arkansas to, like the Tigers, get to 8-0. The big question is health at quarterback?
3. Ohio State – The Buckeyes had one of the most impressive wins any team has had this season, crushing suddenly slumping Wisconsin 38-7. Ohio State is off, and then Maryland comes to Columbus.
4. Clemson – The Tigers roared to 8-0 with a 59-7 pasting of Boston College in Death Valley. Wofford is next, so expect a big number. Clemson survived its big scare against North Carolina, and the momentum has been building.
5. Penn State – The Nittany Lions took down Michigan State 28-7 to make it 8-0 on the year. This open date comes at a huge time, as a big showdown looms with the frontrunner in the Big Ten West, 8-0 Minnesota.
6. Florida – The Gators take on Georgia Saturday in Jacksonville. Kyle Trask has energized the Florida offense, and the defense can run. If they win, the Gators are in the driver’s seat of the SEC East.
7. Oklahoma – It was a stunning loss for the Sooners, who went down to Kansas State 48-41 in Manhattan. It will be a long, long off week for Oklahoma. Then comes Iowa State in Norman.
8. Georgia – Like Florida, the Bulldogs had this past Saturday off. The game with the Gators opens a brutal stretch of games for Georgia, including three in a row with opponents coming off open dates.
9. Auburn – Facing one of the most difficult schedules in the country, the Tigers suffered their second loss this past weekend, falling to LSU 23-20 in Baton Rouge. The other loss was at Florida. Auburn gets Ole Miss on the Plains Saturday.
10. Oregon – The Ducks won a thriller over Washington State to make it 7-1 on the campaign. They’ve got a really big one against the men of Troy (USC) in the Coliseum Saturday. Oregon looks like the best team in the PAC-12.
11. Minnesota – In the midst of their greatest season thus far since 1960, the Golden Gophers are 8-0 with the week off. Then Penn State comes to town for Minnesota’s biggest game since the Bernie Bierman era.
12. Baylor – The rejuvenated Bears are rolling, and all of a sudden are the only undefeated team in the Big XII. Baylor was off this past week to get ready for the Thursday night showdown against West Virginia in Waco.
13. SMU – Speaking of rejuvenated teams in Texas, how about what SMU is doing. Harkening back to the days of the Pony Express, the Mustangs are 8-0 and set up for the American Conference’s game of the year at Memphis Saturday.
14. Appalachian State – The highlight win for the Mountaineers was their triumph over North Carolina. Appalachian State is 7-0 with old rival Georgia Southern coming to Boone Thursday. Then it’s off to South Carolina.
15. Utah – This program, as much as any in major college football, has gone from average in the 20th century to outstanding in the 21st. A 35-0 rout of Cal pushed the record to 7-1. It figures to be tough Saturday at Washington.
16. Michigan – It was one of the biggest wins of Jim Harbaugh’s career at the Michigan helm. The Wolverines blew away Notre Dame 45-14 to make it 6-2 on the year. They’ll have to avoid the letdown Saturday at Maryland.
17. Cincinnati – It has been a terrific year for the Bearcats, who are 6-1 and in the thick of a heated race in the very good American Athletic Conference. The only loss is at Ohio State. Cincy heads to East Carolina Saturday.
18. Iowa – The Hawkeyes pushed it to 6-2 with a banner defensive performance in a 20-0 win at Northwestern. Iowa is off Saturday and then comes a big one against Wisconsin in Madison.
19. Boise State – The Broncos lead the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference and are 6-1 overall. The loss at BYU two weeks ago. Boise State was off this past Saturday and heads to San Jose State Saturday.
20. Notre Dame – It was a rough loss for the Fighting Irish Saturday, as Michigan blew away Notre Dame 45-14 in Ann Arbor. The Irish should be favored the rest of the way. They host Virginia Tech Saturday.
21. Kansas State – It was an epic offensive performance for the Wildcats, as they stormed ahead and then held on to defeat Oklahoma 48-41 in Manhattan. Can they come back down to Earth at rejuvenated Kansas Saturday?
22. Texas A&M – This was a huge step forward for the Aggies, beating both Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Their schedule is so tough. The Roadrunners of UTSA come to College Station Saturday.
23. Wake Forest – It has been a stellar season with not many expectations for the 6-1 Demon Deacons. Wake Forest has a big Tobacco Road battle with N.C. State Saturday. The Deacs are in play in the ACC Atlantic.
24. Memphis – What a win, what a game! Memphis escaped Tulsa with a 42-41 win to make it 7-1 on the season. The Tigers are now set for the big battle in the American Conference East, hosting undefeated SMU Saturday.
25. Wisconsin – These last two weeks have been crushing for Wisconsin. The upset loss to Illinois derailed any legitimate championship dreams and then Ohio State showed the Badgers what elite is 38-7 in Columbus.