A few upsets shake up the top ten this week and a few others fall completely out of the rankings. Likely season-ending injuries are what are going to really hurt some teams for the rest of the year. We are finally starting to see some separation in the ranks, so who deserves to be at the top? Let’s find out.
1. Ohio State (2)
The Buckeyes finally did it. They impressed me and most of the rest of the country. Despite the weak first half showing, the Buckeyes really laid it on in the second half. This two-quarterback system seems to have finally found its correct place in Columbus.
2. Baylor (4)
The Bears have looked very good all season long and, surprisingly, it’s their defense that has been doing a lot of the work. Yes, it helps that their offense puts up 60+ points a game, but everyone knows the old saying. Offense wins games, defense wins championships.
3. Michigan State (3)
The Spartans have been hit or miss this year with the way they have played, and Saturday was a near-miss. It’s only a matter of time before it catches up to them. The competition is only getting stiffer and the Spartans must get things turned around before it hurts them big time.
4. TCU (1)
Looking at the way this team dominated Texas last week, it’s hard to believe that this team just fell from the top spot in the country to almost out of the top four. The Horned Frogs again let a team score nearly fifty points. They found a way to win, but it won’t be that easy to do so if their defense doesn’t play consistently.
5. LSU (7)
I can’t say enough about the LSU rushing attack. Despite Fournette not going for over 200 yards for a fourth straight time, the Tigers found a special player in freshman Derrius Guice, who was the leading rusher on the day. Brandon Harris got his passing attack going, so this team is moving up very quickly.
6. Alabama (5)
As expected, the Crimson Tide played a much better passing attack in Arkansas this week. They seemed to struggle with it for a while, but Saban’s team is Saban’s team. They pulled away late and they are looking very good right now.
7. Clemson (6)
The Tigers didn’t allow their big win last week to distract them from their task at hand. They came out against Georgia Tech and absolutely rolled them. This team looks nearly unstoppable and as conference powers above them start to weed each other out, it’s hard to believe that the Tigers won’t be in a position to get into the CFP.
8. Utah (8)
The Utes’ defense is the reason why they have played so well this season. This team just keeps on winning in big games and there’s no doubt that this team should be good enough to win the PAC-12 this year.
9. Michigan (20)
I know what fans are going to say. “All they did was beat Northwestern.” Actually, all they did was shutout three straight opponents. The Wolverines have outscored opponents 97-0 the last three games, so they deserve to be in this top spot. Without a doubt, this Wolverines team could be the one to bring Michigan back to football glory.
10. Texas A&M (12)
I can already hear the SEC bias accusations flowing, but the Aggies are in this position for good reason. This team has one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC, if not in the country right now in Kyle Allen. This team deserves to be in the top ten as they have a chance to get into the SEC championship game in December.
11. Florida State (10)
The Seminoles struggled with the Hurricanes, a team that has faced all sorts of troubles this year. Honestly, this was probably this team’s toughest game until they face Clemson in a few weeks. With Dalvin Cook and Everett Golson playing so well, this team should be beating teams a lot worse than they are, but the reality is that they aren’t.
12. Ole Miss (13)
The Rebels got a much-needed win over New Mexico State and it should be a good warm-up for their tough SEC schedule ahead. This team still has a shot to do something big and these next few weeks are going to be critical.
13. Florida (14)
The Gators have a terribly tough matchup with the LSU Tigers in Death Valley this week. It’s going to be a tough environment to play in and their defense must play as good as they have these last two weeks if they are going to stop Leonard Fournette.
14. Notre Dame (16)
The Irish may have lost some favor with the voters and the way some of their upcoming opponents have played out, it will be tough to think that this team can still get in. Their strength of schedule isn’t doing them any favors, so they must come out and dominate every team they play from here on out.
15. Boise State (17)
The Broncos are still creeping up my top 25 right now and they deserve to get the recognition they have gotten. This team should be able to roll through the rest of their conference schedule and into a New Year’s Six bowl game.
16. Oklahoma State (NR)
I didn’t believe in the Cowboys up to this point in the season. This team has something special and they could be able to make some noise late in the Big 12. This team has been in close games the last few weeks, but they are going to make something happen the next few weeks.
17. UCLA (18)
The Bruins had a much-needed week off as their PAC-12 scheduled continues to get tougher. If they can get a big win over the Stanford Cardinal this week, this team still has a shot to make some noise in the CFP picture.
18. Memphis (21)
The Tigers have looked very good this year and they have a shot of getting into a New Year’s Six bowl game this year as well. With a huge matchup with the Ole Miss Rebels this week, this team could fly up the rankings with an upset win.
19. Iowa (23)
The Hawkeyes have almost come out of nowhere this year. This team has played very well on the defensive side of the ball and looking at their upcoming schedule, this team could stroll to a Big Ten West division championship.
20. Stanford (24)
The Cardinal have gotten continuously better since their opening loss to the Northwestern Wildcats. This team has a pretty good chance to move up the rankings for the next few weeks and they could make a ton of noise in the conference.
21. Toledo (NR)
The Rockets have a huge chance to do something special in the MAC this year. This team has looked very good all year long and as the season moves on, they could move into a position to play in a New Year’s Six bowl.
22. Penn State (NR)
The Nittany Lions have looked good since their embarrassing loss to Temple in the opening game. This team could give the Buckeyes some trouble this week and it’s going to be interesting to see what they can do this week.
23. Temple (NR)
The Owls have done something great this year and their defense has been a thing of beauty this year. The Owls are very talented with a crop of NFL talent this year and they could be in for a magical run as crunch time draws near.
24. Oklahoma (9)
I believed in this team and they disappointed me against Texas. I just can’t see this team being able to gain enough favor in the CFP voters’ eyes to compete for a spot in the playoffs. They need to do something big if they want to be taken seriously.
25. Georgia Southern (NR)
The Eagles have turned their season around and they have a chance to do something special over the next few weeks. This team has their eyes set for the future and they are looking towards a bowl game and another Sun Belt championship.
Fell out of rankings: USC (11), Georgia (15), Northwestern (19), Cal (22), Oregon (25)
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports