1. Alabama – The machine from Tuscaloosa absolutely throttled Tennessee in Knoxville, scoring three touchdowns in the first seven minutes. Bama is off this week to get ready for the big showdown with LSU in Baton Rouge.
2. Clemson – The Tigers rolled past N.C. State. Clemson is now 7-0 and the trip to Florida State Saturday doesn’t look nearly as daunting as it did prior to the season. That Clemson defensive line is awesome. Trevor Lawrence can sling it, and the Tigers can run it.
3. Notre Dame – It was an open date for Notre Dame to celebrate a 7-0 record thus far this season. The change at quarterback has been the difference maker. The Irish play Navy in San Diego Saturday.
4. LSU – The Tigers defense was awesome in a 19-3 win over Mississippi State. The Bayou Bengals have one of the most impressive resumes in all of college football, highlighted by wins over Georgia, Auburn and Miami. They’re off this week, getting ready for Bama in Baton Rouge.
5. Michigan – The Wolverines got a huge rivalry win over Michigan State in East Lansing, their first road victory over a ranked foe in 12 years. Michigan is really rolling now and off this week. Penn State comes to Ann Arbor the following week. Jim Harbaugh has his team in position.
6. Georgia – Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs were off this past week, and sure heard plenty about Baton Rouge. Now it’s the Gators in Jacksonville. For the winner of this one, every goal is still attainable. Georgia’s run defense has to improve for the Dogs to be great this season.
7. Kentucky – On a cold and windy night, the Wildcats pulled it out 14-7 over Vanderbilt. Kentucky will have a tough one at Missouri Saturday and then Georgia comes to town. Benny Snell, who was tremendous against Vandy, is one of the best running backs in the country.
8. Florida – The Gators, like Georgia, had this past Saturday off to get ready for the big showdown in Jacksonville. Since that loss to Kentucky, Florida has been outstanding. The offense picked up a lot of momentum in the comeback at Vanderbilt.
9. UCF – Those Golden Knights are cooking, a 37-10 win over East Carolina making it 7-0. Central Florida hasn’t skipped a beat with Josh Heupel this season. The 31-30 thrilling win over Memphis was a huge test. Temple comes to town next Thursday, Nov. 1.
10. Texas – The Longhorns enjoyed an open date, as did five other teams in the Big XII, including Oklahoma State. Texas will be in Stillwater Saturday. The Longhorns lone loss was non-conference in the season opener at Maryland.
11. Oklahoma – It was certainly a long off week after losing an instant classic to Texas at the State Fair. But Oklahoma came back with a vengeance and pounded TCU 52-27 in Fort Worth. Next up, Kansas State visits Norman.
12. Washington State – What a performance for Washington State, as Ole Crimson was represented in style on College Gameday in a 34-20 win over Oregon. It’s a tough turnaround, as the Cougars go to Stanford. But this goes down as an all-time great day for the Cougars.
13. West Virginia – It was an off week for West Virginia to stew after falling at upset specialist Iowa State. The Mountaineers and that high-powered offense should put up big numbers against Baylor Thursday night.
14. Ohio State – Last season it was Iowa that embarrassed the Buckeyes. This season, and last weekend, it was Purdue, which had an incredible Saturday night. Such an uplifting story for a very special young man Tyler Tent. The Buckeyes lost to a team that lost to Eastern Michigan.
15. Texas A&M – This is the best two-loss team in the country. Let’s face it, how many teams wouldn’t have two losses when facing Clemson and Alabama? The Aggies were off this past week and face a tough Mississippi State squad in Starkville Saturday.
16. South Florida – Maybe it wasn’t as easy as the Bulls thought it would be, but USF handled UConn 38-20. It’s a big one against Houston on the road Saturday. The top half of the American has some really good teams. Charley Strong’s squad is at the top of the list.
17. Iowa – On a crisp Saturday Autumn afternoon in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes beat Maryland 23-0. Iowa has one of the best defenses in the Big Ten. It’s a big one Saturday at Penn State, as Iowa fights to win the Big Ten West.
18. Washington – The Huskies had a big-time bounce back win, downing Colorado 27-13. Chris Petersen has his team right in the thick of the PAC-12 North race. Next up is Cal, which was impressive against Oregon State this past week.
19. Penn State – The Nittany Lions edged Indiana 33-28 Saturday. The schedule really gets cranked up these next three weeks for Penn State. It’s Iowa coming to State College, then a trip to Michigan and a visit from the Badgers.
20. Wisconsin – The Badgers offense was cooking in a game that started in the snow, as Wisconsin rolled past Illinois 49-20. The focus will have to be there on the road against Northwestern, which struggled to beat Rutgers last week.
21. Oregon – The Ducks ran into a buzz saw in Pullman, as Washington State put on one impressive show in Pullman. Now with a loss to Stanford and the Cougars, it’s a tough road for the Ducks to make it to the PAC-12 Championship Game. It’s on to Arizona next.
22. Utah – It was a terrific win for the Utes, as they took down Southern Cal 41-28 in Salt Lake City. For Utah fans, thinking of a night like this 20 years ago, no way. Next up is a Friday night date with UCLA in Pasadena.
23. Houston – The Cougars showed their stuff in a 49-36 comeback victory over always tough Navy to make it 6-1 on the season. Now comes a huge game with South Florida, as these two fight for a special season.
24. San Diego State – It was another nice win for the Aztecs, as they held off San Jose State to make it 6-1 on the season. San Diego State is one of the top mid-major programs with an impressive list of wins this year. Next up, a trip to Nevada Saturday.
25. Appalachian State – Call it 5-1 for the Mountaineers, who took down the Ragin’ Cajuns 27-17. The lone loss was the overtime heartbreaker at Penn State in the season opener. Now comes a huge Thursday night showdown with fellow 6-1 Georgia Southern Thursday in Boone.