Another action-packed week to one of the best college football seasons in recent memory is now in the books. We saw tons of upsets and many great games that came down to the wire. As the real playoff rankings come out this week, we took a step back to reevaluate every team, so consider this as a bit of a reset on our rankings here.
1. Georgia (8-0) (6-0 SEC)
Last week: vs Florida (W 34-7) | This week: vs Missouri (4-4)
One thing that stays the same is Georgia’s ranking. This team seemed a little more vulnerable than in past weeks, strictly because of their offensive play, however. The defense dominated throughout and showed why they are the absolute best in the country.
2. Alabama (7-1) (4-1 SEC)
Last week: BYE | This week: vs LSU (4-4)
We did not see the Tide in action last week but we didn’t see enough from some other teams to have them jump Alabama, even with their one loss. There simply does not seem to be another team in the country, besides Georgia, that could take Alabama on a neutral field, so they deserve the two spot here.
3. Ohio State (7-1) (5-0 Big 10)
Last week: vs Penn State (W) | This week: at Nebraska (3-6)
It wasn’t their absolute best game, but Ohio State did win against Penn State in Columbus. Since their Week 2 loss to Oregon, this team has been dominant and the offense continues to click after their early misstep. The Buckeyes have clearly earned their spot at three and should see this ranking come Tuesday.
4. Michigan State (8-0) (5-0 Big 10)
Last week: vs Michigan (W 37-33) | This week: at Purdue (5-3)
Let’s off by saying that Michigan State did not control this game one bit, but gritted out a win. Let’s follow that up by saying that Kenneth Walker is the best offensive player in college football, rushing for five touchdowns in the win. The Spartans need to continue their momentum off of the huge rivalry win against a dangerous Purdue team this week.
5. Oklahoma (8-0) (5-0 Big 12)
Last week: vs Texas Tech (W 52-21) | This week: BYE
The Sooners have the longest winning streak in FBS, and they have found their quarterback in Caleb Williams. Williams was electric, throwing for six touchdowns and never losing focus in this one. Oklahoma only goes as high as five, however, because of the sketchy wins they’ve had in some previous weeks.
6. Cincinnati (8-0) (4-0 American)
Last week: at Tulane (W 31-12) | This week: vs Tulsa (3-5)
Talk about sketchy wins, Cincinnati struggled much more against a one-win team than the score indicates. This makes back to back weeks that the Bearcats haven’t looked good against really bad teams, and this is a team that cannot afford close wins, or slip ups of any kind
7. Wake Forest (8-0) (5-0 ACC)
Last week: vs Duke (W 45-7) | This week: at North Carolina (4-4)
Sam Hartman and the Demon Deacons are now a top 10 team in football and the clear favorite in the ACC. This offense hasn’t scored less than 35 points in any single game this year, and the defense bounced back big-time against Duke this week. Let’s hope this incredible story can stay alive as long as it can.
8. Oregon (7-1) (4-1 Pac 12)
Last week: vs Colorado (W 52-29) | This week: at Washington (3-4)
Every piece to the offense finally clicked as they launched a 50-bomb on a normally stout Buffs defense. The Ducks remain the Pac 12’s last chance at a playoff spot, but with the weak schedule, it is challenging to see how they get in.
9. Oklahoma State (7-1) (4-1 Big 12)
Last week: vs Kansas (W 55-3) | This week: at West Virginia (4-4)
The Cowboys laid a beating to a Kansas team that was probably still reveling off their near-upset against Oklahoma the week before. Oklahoma State now goes into Morgantown this week in what could be a massive trap game because the Mountaineers have been very hot as of late.
10. Michigan (7-1) (4-1 Big 10)
Last week: at Michigan State (L 33-37) | This week: vs Indiana (2-6)
Just an embarrassing coaching job from Jim Harbaugh this week. Fans can blame the refs all they want but in no way is blowing a 16 point lead against your rival the refs fault. The Wolverines will need to keep their mentality up, win out, and beat Ohio State if they want a shot at the Big 10 Championship.
11. Baylor (7-1) (4-1 Big 12)
Last week: vs Texas (W 31-24) | This week: BYE
Baylor took on an ever-dangerous Texas team and managed to eke out a win. The Bears continue to fly a bit under the radar but can make some serious noise in a very crowded Big 12 championship race.
12. Auburn (6-2) (3-1 SEC)
This week: vs Ole Miss (W 31-20) | This week: at Texas A&M (6-2)
What a strange season this has been for Auburn. They’ve bounced back mightily from initial struggles and find themselves so close to cracking the top 10. It was a great win against a beat-up Ole Miss team, and they were efficient and stifling on every side of the ball.
13. Texas A&M (6-2) (3-2)
Last week: BYE | This week: vs Texas A&M (5-2)
Coming off a bye, the Aggies still see themselves moving up in the ranks. This week’s game against Auburn does seem to be the game of the week, and Kyle Field will be absolutely rocking with serious implications on the line.
14. Notre Dame (7-1)
Last week: vs North Carolina (W 44-34) | This week: vs Navy (2-6)
Notre Dame is the quietest 7-1 team of all time perhaps. They’ve had about one convincing win but have managed to rack up all these victories. If they struggle with Navy, then we’ll have to move them down, but if they start blowing teams out, keep your eyes open for a surge in the rankings.
15. Ole Miss (6-2) (3-2 SEC)
Last week: at Auburn (L 20-31) | This week: vs Liberty (7-2)
Ole Miss has established itself as a team that can beat anyone but the really good ones in the country. They’ve been handled fairly easily by better competition but have beaten the weaker play. The game this week against Liberty brings some massive intrigue and should be a thriller.
16. Houston (7-1) (5-0 American)
Last week: vs SMU (W 44-37) | This week: at USF (2-6)
After being unranked two weeks ago, suddenly, Houston is basically a top 15 team. They have established themselves as Cincinnati’s newest rival in the American conference, although these two teams wouldn’t match up until the conference championship.
17. UTSA (8-0) (4-0 CUSA)
Last week: BYE | This week: at UTEP (6-2)
The group of five is strong in these rankings and UTSA is just another team that could move up even higher with a win this week. UTEP is the best team they’ll face this season and a win would almost assure them an undefeated record for the year.
18. Kentucky (6-2) (4-2 SEC)
Last week: at Mississippi State (L 17-31) | This week: vs Tennessee (4-4)
Kentucky was looking super promising and then it just all fell apart. They are still a two-loss team, which is impressive in this year’s season but the losses aren’t pretty and they need to bounce back big time soon.
19. Coastal Carolina (7-1) (3-1 Sun Belt)
Last week: vs Troy (W 35-28) | This week: at Georgia Southern (2-6)
The rankings get near impossible from here, and all of 19-25 can be mixed in any order you please. Coastal Carolina has probably had the best eye test of the remaining teams on here, but that loss to Appalachian State completely shot their chances of anything positive happening this season.
20. Penn State (5-3) (2-3 Big 10)
Last week: at Ohio State (L 24-33) | This week: at Maryland (5-3)
This one is just weird. Penn State has three losses, but their play Saturday, and elite defense proves they should be ranked. On top of that, with everyone just dropping like flies, they end up this high.
21. Louisiana (7-1) (5-0 Sun Belt)
Last week: vs Texas State (W 45-0) | This week: vs Georgia State (4-4)
Another group of five team enters here. The Sun Belt sees its second squad enter across the last three teams, and honestly, this might be the better one of the two. Louisiana has won seven straight games, some convincingly and some not, but it’s still an impressive enough streak to get them ranked.
22. BYU (7-2)
Last week: vs Virginia (W 66-49) | This week: vs Idaho State (1-7)
BYU has struggled at times this season but has been making it work lately. 66 points against any power five school is no joke and it should be fun to see how many they can put up against Idaho State this weekend.
23. SMU (7-1) (3-1 American)
Last week: at Houston (L 37-44) | This week: at Memphis (4-4)
SMU lost to Houston but is still not a bad team, even though they play weaker competition. The Mustangs have a chance of getting into the conference championship game now but will need some serious luck, and to obviously win out.
24. Fresno State (7-2) (4-1 Mountain West)
Last week: at San Diego State (W 30-20) | This week: Boise State (4-4)
The Bulldogs upset previously undefeated San Diego State to vault themselves back into our rankings. They control their division in the Mountain West conference now and should be able to make it into the conference championship game from here.
25. Pittsburgh (6-2) (3-1 ACC)
Last week: vs Miami (L 34-38) | This week: at Duke (3-5)
This last spot came down to Iowa and Pittsburgh and we had to just line these teams up head to head and decide who’d win. Iowa has virtually no offense, and Pittsburgh would easily win the matchup between the two. Besides, this is still a team that controls their conference division and can get in with presumable ease.
Outside looking in: Iowa, Arkansas, North Carolina State, Wisconsin, Mississippi State
New teams: Louisiana (21), BYU (22), Fresno State (24)
Dropped out: Iowa, San Diego State, Iowa State
Follow Charlie Parent on Twitter @Charlie_Parent
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images