It was a great week of college football, and there were some serious shake-ups. Georgia got the big top-10 vs. top-10 showdown over Florida. There were 11 top 25 teams that lost (granted three of those came in match-ups with two ranked teams) last weekend. This time of year, those wins are so hard to come by. What a Saturday in the SEC awaits, with Georgia at Kentucky and Alabama at LSU.
1. Alabama – The Crimson Tide battles LSU Saturday night in Baton Rouge. Since losing to the Bayou Bengals in 2011, starting with that year’s national title game, Bama has won seven straight in the series. This will be their toughest test of the regular season.
2. Clemson – The Tigers blew away Florida State, embarrassing the Seminoles 59-10 in Tallahassee. It was complete domination. Clemson is cooking. The Tigers will have a good chance to embarrass Louisville Saturday.
3. LSU – it’s a mega-showdown in the SEC, as the Bayou Bengals battle Bama Saturday night at Tiger Stadium. LSU has put itself in a position to do something special, but it must overcome Alabama to do so. Seven straight losses to the Tide doesn’t sit well in Red Stick.
4. Notre Dame – The Fighting Irish took down Navy 44-22 in San Diego. Notre Dame has been a different team since making the quarterback change. Now comes a tough test at Northwestern, which is coming off a big win over Wisconsin.
5. Michigan – When the schedule came out, and especially after the season-opening loss at Notre Dame, it looked unlikely that the Wolverines would beat Wisconsin and Michigan State back to back. They did, were off last week and now Penn State heads to the big house.
6. Georgia – The Bulldogs took control in the fourth quarter, beating Florida 36-17 in Jacksonville. Now comes the game for the SEC East title, as Georgia squares off with tough Kentucky and Benny Snell in Lexington.
7. Kentucky – It was a win for the ages for the Wildcats, as Terry Wilson threw the game-winning touchdown on the final play of the game to beat Missouri 15-14 in Columbia. The Dawgs are in town for a mega-showdown Saturday, the winner takes the SEC East.
8. Oklahoma – Boomer Sooner rolled past Kansas State to make it 7-1 on the season. Kyler Murray is having a spectacular season. The trip to Lubbock is always tough, and Oklahoma needs it to keep those championship hopes alive.
9. Washington State – What a comeback for Washington State, and the 41-38 victory over Stanford. The Cougars followed up their epic victory over Oregon with a tough, tough win over the road. Mike Leach has this team rolling.
10. Central Florida – The Golden Knights are 7-0 and have won 20 consecutive games dating back to last season. It’s a good set-up for Thursday night, as the Temple Owls come to town. UCF has an explosive offense and a lot of talent.
11. West Virginia – It was a high-octane beat down of Baylor last Thursday night to get the Mountaineers back on track and also get a head start for Texas. The trip to Austin will shape who plays for the Big XII Championship.
12. Ohio State – It was likely a pleasant off week for the Buckeyes and Urban Meyer after getting destroyed by Purdue 49-20. Nebraska heads to the horseshoe this weekend, as the Buckeyes attempt to stay once-beaten.
13. Florida – The Gators fell to Georgia 36-17 in Jacksonville, but at 6-2 have certainly exceeded most expectations this year. Florida hosts Missouri Saturday.
The Tigers have had some tough luck, and the Gators will have their hands full.
14. Houston – The Cougars are rolling at 7-1 on the season, and got their most impressive win thus far, running away from then No. 21 South Florida 57-36. They’re right in the midst of that American race, and head to SMU Saturday.
15. Texas – The Longhorns fell in a tough one to Oklahoma State 38-35, falling to 6-2. It’s their first Big XII loss this season. The schedule is ramped up. West Virginia and its high-octane offense comes to Austin Saturday.
16. Penn State – Trace McSorely had a tremendous performance in the Nittany Lions 30-24 comeback win over Iowa. Penn State has a tough one Saturday at Michigan. The Wolverines are rolling and coming off an open date.
17. Utah – There was no letdown or look ahead for the Fightin’ Utes, who smoked UCLA 41-10 Friday night. Kyle Whittingham has another outstanding team in Salt Lake City. The Utes go to resurgent Arizona State Saturday.
18. Iowa – It was a tough loss for the Hawkeyes to the Nittany Lions, especially with Wisconsin losing to Northwestern. Iowa has another tough road game coming, tangling with Purdue in West Lafayette.
19. Boston College – The Eagles wore out Miami on a chilly Friday night in Beantown. Boston College has a tough defense and play physical. A trip to Blacksburg looms. Virginia Tech has been schizophrenic this year.
20. South Florida – The Bulls suffered their first loss of the season, as Houston pulled away in a 57-36 shootout. Charley Strong has done a fine job in Tampa. The Green Wave of Tulane rolls into town Saturday.
21. Syracuse – The Orange, who gained national notoriety with their near upset of Clemson in Death Valley, moved to 6-2 and 3-2 in the ACC with a 51-41 win over North Carolina State. Expect another shootout with Wake Forest in Winston Salem.
22. Mississippi State – The Maroon Bulldogs bounced back from a beating at LSU to get their most impressive win of the season, taking down Texas A&M. MSU gets Louisiana Tech this weekend and then heads to Tuscaloosa.
23. Texas A&M – The Aggies took it on the chin at Mississippi State, falling to 5-3. Texas A&M just can’t seem to beat the Mississippi schools. MSU and Ole Miss have really plagued the Aggies. Now they head to Auburn.
24. Georgia Southern – The Eagles posted arguably their biggest win since moving to FBS, rolling past Appalachian State 34-14 last Thursday night. The defense is way better. Coach Chad Lundsford has the Eagle faithful excited. GSU hosts Lou-Monroe Saturday.
25. UAB – The Blazers made it 7-1 and 5-0 in Conference USA with a 19-0 victory over UTEP this past weekend. The Road Runners of UTSA are next. What the Blazers have done to rebuild this program from Bama-induced dormancy is uplifting.