Sure enough, a weekend that had no top 25 versus top 25 games yielded a slew of great games this past Saturday. The big boys flexed their muscles. There are some major showdowns this weekend, including Georgia-Notre Dame, Utah-Southern Cal, and Texas A&M-Auburn.
1. Clemson – It was all Tigers at Syracuse, as Clemson rolled past the Orange 41-6. With the struggles of the ACC, the schedule looks like cake the rest of the way. Of course, things can change. Clemson looks to have reloaded on defense.
2. LSU – On the heels of their impressive win at Texas, the Bayou Bengals took care of Northwestern State, putting up big numbers. Now the Tigers hit the road for Vanderbilt in its Southeastern Conference opener.
3. Alabama – The Crimson Tide beat South Carolina 47-23. Bama now comes home to play Southern Mississippi. Of the four top contenders in the SEC West, Bama is the only one that doesn’t play a big-time non-conference foe.
4. Georgia – It was an extremely impressive performance for the Bulldogs in a 55-0 rout of Arkansas State. Now comes a huge challenge with even bigger build-up, as Notre Dame makes its first-ever trip to Athens.
5. Oklahoma – The Sooners moved to 3-0 with a 48-14 win at really struggling UCLA. Oklahoma has an open date and then cranks up Big XII action with a visit from Texas Tech. Oklahoma has its best defense in several years.
6. Ohio State – The Buckeyes opened Big Ten play at Indiana, crushing the Hoosiers. The RedHawks of Miami of Ohio heads to the Horseshoe Saturday, and then it’s Big Ten the rest of the way, starting at Nebraska.
7. Notre Dame – The Fighting Irish crushed New Mexico 66-14 to make it 2-0 on the season. Now it’s time for the big showdown in Athens, as Notre Dame takes on Georgia. A win over the Bulldogs would put Notre Dame squarely in the playoff race again.
8. Auburn – The Tigers took down Kent State 55-16 to move to 3-0. It’s time for a mega showdown in the Southeastern Conference, as Auburn heads to Texas A&M. Auburn got a big comeback win over the Aggies last year on the Plains.
9. UCF – Catching Stanford on a great spot in the schedule, the Golden Knights blasted the Cardinal 45-27. It’s a second straight major conference foe Saturday. Explosive UCF goes to Pitt, where Tony Dorsett and Dan Marino once played.
10. Utah – Kyle Whittingham’s Utes pushed the record to 3-0 with an easy win over Idaho State. It’s off to the Coliseum Friday night for a big battle with rejuvenated Southern Cal. The winner of this is the team to beat in the PAC-12 South.
11. Florida – Once again things looked bleak for the Gators in Lexington. Once again, Florida snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the bluegrass. After Felipe Franks went down with an injury, backup quarterback Kyle Trask delivered a terrific performance.
12. Texas – It looked like a potential letdown for the Longhorns, but Texas went into the Texans stadium and came away with a 48-13 win over the Owls. Here come the Cowboys of Oklahoma State Saturday. The ‘Pokes have had the ‘Horns number.
13. Texas A&M – The Aggies crushed Lamar, putting up huge numbers to get to 2-1. Now comes an enormous battle with Auburn in College Station. The Aggies haven’t beaten Auburn at Kyle Field in the SEC and had one get away last year at Jordan-Hare.
14. Boise State – The Broncos are bucking at 3-0. A 45-10 win over Portland State featured 14 point first and second quarters. What a game for Friday night, as Air Force comes to town coming off a big win over Colorado.
15. Oklahoma State – The Cowboys head to Texas Saturday night for a massive Big XII showdown. The winner of this one is the top contender to try and take the Sooners throne. OSU has won four straight in the series, which is a huge point of pride.
16. Michigan – Coming off their thrilling 24-21 overtime victory against Army, the Wolverines had this past weekend off to get ready for the big showdown against Wisconsin in Madison. The Badgers are the first of seven ranked foes on Michigan’s schedule.
17. Wisconsin – Same story for the Badgers, who were off this past Saturday, getting ready for Michigan. Wisconsin has outscored South Florida and Central Michigan 110-0. A win over the Wolverines pushes Wisconsin as the favorite in the Big Ten West.
18. Oregon – The PAC-12 North gets into full swing Saturday, as Stanford heads back west to battle the Ducks. Oregon makes the trip to the farm. This is a match-up of speed versus physicality. Stanford’s travel has been rough.
19. Army – The Black Knights of the Hudson dropped an Acme Anvil on the Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio 31-13. Morgan State comes to West Point Saturday. Jeff Monken is doing great work at the Military Academy.
20. Washington State – Mike Leach has another terrific team in Pullman. The Cougars got a nice win at Houston 31-24 and now the focus turns to the PAC-12. Really struggling UCLA heads to WSU Saturday night.
21. Penn State – It was a 17-10 win over big rival Pitt Saturday. The Panthers missed a 19-yard field goal in the fourth quarter down seven. Penn State heads to Maryland Saturday. The Terps lost at Temple last weekend.
22. Cal – An interesting mix of culture and tailgating collide in beautiful Oxford Saturday at 11 a.m. (CST), as Cal tangles with Ole Miss. It will be early on those body clocks. The Golden Bears held off North Texas 23-17 this past Saturday.
23. Washington – The Huskies got a nice bounce-back win over Hawaii after their heartbreaking loss to Cal. Now comes a huge test with tough Brigham Young in Provo. The Cougars are coming off wins over Tennessee and Southern Cal.
24. Minnesota – The Golden Gophers took a squeaker from Georgia Southern to improve to 3-0. The three wins over South Dakota State, Fresno State and GSU have come by a total of 13 points. Minnesota is off this week, then goes to Purdue.
25. Arizona State – It’s 3-0 for the Sun Devils, who pulled off a big 10-7 upset over Michigan State in East Lansing. Arizona State won last season over the Spartans in Tempe. Herm Edwards team is a contender in the PAC-12 South.