We saw our first Earth shattering upset of the season when South Carolina won at Georgia on the road. How far did the Bulldogs slide?
- LSU (6-0)
- Week 7: win vs. Florida 42-28
- Week 7 ranking: 2
- Breakdown: Although a loss to Florida in this game would have made LSU look like a bunch of frauds, a win over the Gators gives the Tigers two wins over top 15 or 20 teams (depending on where you put Texas) and no other team in the country can make that claim. Joe Burrow was almost perfect going 21-24 with 3 scores cementing his place in the Heisman conversation for the duration of the season. As a team, they rushed for over 200 yards a week after Florida surrounded a smudge over 100 to Auburn. LSU’s offense certainly passed the test.
- Week 8: @Mississippi State, 10/19 3:30pm
2. Ohio State (6-0)
- Week 7: bye
- Week 7 ranking: 1
- Breakdown: Ohio State was off this past Saturday a week after dismantling Michigan State at home. Quarterback Justin Fields is slowly climbing up the ranks of the Heisman talk. Fields has been everything the Buckeyes wanted after transferring from Georgia last year tossing 18 touchdowns to just one interception. The Buckeyes have been just as good on the other side of the ball led by sure-fire top ten, likely top five, probably top three draft pick Chase Young. Young, along with corner back Jeff Okudah were named to the Associated Press mid-season All American team this week.
- Week 8: @Northwestern, 10/18 8:30pm
3. Alabama (6-0)
- Week 7: win @Texas A&M 47-28
- Week 7 ranking: 3
- Breakdown: Alabama had no trouble with Texas A&M last Saturday in college station. The only downfall was Tua Tugavailoa’s first interception of the season. Like is always the case with the 2019 Crimson Tide, all their wide receivers got involved as Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and Henry Ruggs III all caught a touchdown pass. Smith has nine touchdowns on the season. Waddles, meanwhile, was his first of the year and running back Najee Harris put together his second 100 yard campaign of the season.
- Week 8: @Tennessee, 10/19 9:00pm
4. Oklahoma (6-0)
- Week 7: win vs. Texas 34-27
- Week 7 ranking: 6
- Breakdown: Oklahoma passed their biggest test in their Big 12 schedule with relative ease. For most of that game, the only thing stopping the Sooners were a couple of stops from Jalen Hurts and the Longhorns defense stepping up in the red zone. CeeDee Lamb was sensational the whole afternoon. OU’s defense played great in the first half against the Texas offense surrendering just one field goal. The game could have been over right then. If they continue to get big plays from that side of the ball which has been so foreign in Norman, Oklahoma, is it officially time to start thinking about a National Championship?
- Week 8: vs. West Virginia, 10/19 12:00pm
5. Wisconsin (6-0)
- Week 7: win vs. Michigan State 38-0
- Week 7 ranking: 7
- Breakdown: The most amount of shutouts a Division 1 team has had in a season is five. Through six games, the Badgers have four. The Badgers have outscored opponents 255-29. I don’t care who their opponents have been, 255-29 is impressive regardless of who they are playing. They are 8th in scoring offense (42.5 points per game) and 1st in scoring defense (4.8 points per game). Jonathan Taylor leads the nation with 14 rushing touchdowns and Jack Coan has thrown just 1 INT.
- Week 8: @Illinois, 10/19 12:00pm
6. Clemson (6-0)
- Week 7: win vs. Florida State 45-14
- Week 7 ranking: 4
- Breakdown: This is not an indictment on Clemson as much as its the simple fact that the teams ranked below them last week deserve to move up. When Wisconsin becomes the first team ever with 4 shutouts in their first six games and Oklahoma wins their most important game of the year, they deserve to move up. Clemson, in their own right, absolutely torched Florida State with a 28-0 lead heading into the locker room. Two of the teams ahead of them are guaranteed to lose, so despite all the noise, the Tigers are still on the fast track to the College Football Playoff.
- Week 8: vs. Louisville, 10/19 12:00pm
7. Penn State (6-0)
- Week 6: win @Iowa 17-12
- Week 6 ranking: 9
- Breakdown: Despite showing signs of an explosive offense, the Lions have shown the ability to be able to win defensive struggles. The win in Iowa City is no small feat. It was a game that fraud teams would have almost certainly lost. Kinnick Stadium, especially at night, is one of the hardest places to play in the country and some of the best teams in the Big 10 over the last five years have lost there. Another, potential slug fest awaits them as they welcome the desperate Michigan Wolverines to Happy Valley for their annual white out game which has surprisingly not fared Penn State very well in recent years.
- Week 7: vs. Michigan, 10/19 7:30pm
8. Florida (5-1)
- Week 7: loss @LSU 28-42
- Week 7 ranking: 8
- Breakdown: The Gators lose their first game of the season and stay in the exact same spot in the poll? Absolutely. I just mentioned how winning a night game in Kinnick Stadium is extremely difficult. Well that has absolutely nothing on a trip to Baton Rouge. Not to mention, it was Kyle Trask’s third career start. LSU won by a comfortable margin in the end, but Florida certainly did not back down from the challenge. They went into halftime tied at 21 and Trask threw for nearly 300 yards and 3 scores. The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party and a suddenly very meaningful game against Missouri are coming down the pipe in the next few weeks but this Florida team is more than capable of representing the East in Atlanta for the SEC Championship game.
- Week 8: @South Carolina, 10/19 12:00pm
9. Notre Dame (5-1)
- Week 7: win vs. USC 30-27
- Week 7 ranking: 11
- Breakdown: I don’t like the fact that Notre Dame is ranked higher than Georgia despite their loss to them just a few weeks ago. It makes matters worse than they only won by a field goal against USC. But, here’s the difference. The Irish won. They led 17-3 at the break and although they were outscored by 11 in the second half, after the Trojans pulled within three with 10 minutes to go in the 4th, the Irish put together a 14 play, 75 yard drive to shut the door on any chance USC had of winning. The game was never really that close.
- Week 8: bye
- Week 7: bye
- Week 7 ranking: 12
- Breakdown: I’m still concerned about the Auburn offense but i’ll cut Bo Nix a bit of slack since the Tigers’ loss to Florida was Nix’s first tough road game against a really good defense. You would hope that Nix would improve as he plays more of those games. Their defense is as still as good as anyone’s in the country. Is that going to be enough for them to remain a top 10 team for the rest of the year? Only time will tell.
- Week 8: @Arkansas, 9/19 12:00pm
11. Oregon (5-1)
- Week 7: win vs. Colorado 45-3
- Week 7 ranking: 13
- Breakdown: Oregon is clearly the PAC 12’s best chance at making the playoffs and may be their only chance. Their offensive prowess has been pretty well documented thanks to Justin Herbert’s high draft stock and 17:1 touchdown to interception ratio. But what’s not being talked about nearly enough is how good they are on the other side of the ball. Shocking to some is that the Ducks rank 3rd in the country in scoring defense averaging a little less than 9 points per contest. Since their week 1 loss to Auburn, no team has broken the 10 point mark. That will certainly be tested this week against Washington.
- Week 8: vs. Washington, 9/19 3:30pm
- Week 7: loss vs. South Carolina 17-20
- Week 7 ranking: 5
- Breakdown: This poll is not based on how good you are or can be. It’s about what you have done on the field this season. Saturday’s loss to South Carolina is completely inexcusable To be only able to score 17 points at home with the offensive line they have along with D’Andre Swift is almost pathetic. And what’s the deal with Jake Fromm? Everyone keeps talking about what a gamer he is and how this was supposed to be the year he becomes a top 10 pick. For a guy that led his team to a national championship appearance as a freshman two years ago, you would hope he’d be able to quarterback an explosive offense especially based on who lines up in the backfield next to him and who’s up front.
- Week 8: vs. Kentucky, 9/19 6:00pm
13. Utah (5-1)
- Week 7: win @Oregon State 52-7
- Week 7 ranking: 15
- Breakdown: There was a ton of hype coming into the season for Utah. After losing to USC, it went away but the two games since the loss are proving why expectations were so high. Quarterback Tyler Huntley looked lost against SC and their vertical passing attack was non-existent. In their next two games since the loss, Huntley has thrown two scores in each and is completing nearly 75% of his throws. Arizona State awaits on Saturday in a game that may decide the PAC 12 South.
- Week 8: vs. Arizona State, 9/19 6:00pm
14. Boise State (6-0)
- Week 7: win vs. Hawaii 59-37
- Week 7 ranking: 14
- Breakdown: There’s been a lot of talk about who the Group of Five representative will be in the New Year’s Six based on how many teams in the American are either undefeated or have one quality loss (Cincinnati, in particular) But at least now you would have to think that it’s Boise States’ to lose strictly based on how much higher ranked they are than everyone else at this moment. It’s subject to change but I don’t think it’s likely the Broncos fall down in the poll if they don’t lose. However, they have two tests remaining on the schedule with a trip to BYU this weekend (ask USC how that went) and a November 23rd showdown with Utah State which likely will determine the winner of the division and who gets to play in the conference championship game.
- Week 8: @BYU 9/19 10:15pm
15. Michigan (4-2)
- Week 7: win @Illinois 42-25
- Week 7 ranking: 16
- Breakdown: These next two weeks are make it or break it time for the Wolverines season and Jim Harbaugh’s job. I’m sure it was nice for Michigan fans to see Shea Patterson not throw an interception and two running backs go for over 100 on the ground. But that was Illinois. They’ve had no problem looking good against inferior opponents under Harbaugh. We’ll see how they can stack up against Penn State and what is sure going to be a hectic crowd. A win in Happy Valley would be humongous and a win the following week against Notre Dame may be enough to save his job. But the “quarterback whisperer” needs a big game from Patterson in both.
- Week 7: @Penn State, 10/19 7:30pm
16. Texas (4-2)
- Week 7: loss vs. Oklahoma 27-34
- Week 7 ranking: 11
- Breakdown: Look, Texas is a solid football team. But that’s might be all they are. I expected more from them against Oklahoma. Their defense failed to show up for the second time in their biggest games of the year. They made some plays on both sides of the ball, but it was far too infrequent against the Sooners. If they want to change the narrative about Texas and really declare the Longhorns “back” they have to stop digging themselves into so many holes and relying on Sam Ehlinger to bring them out. He’s capable of doing so, but if the other side of the ball can’t stop a nose bleed, it’s going to be too little, too late. That was the case against LSU and on Saturday.
- Week 8: @TCU, 10/19 3:30pm
17. Baylor (6-0)
- Week 7: win vs. Texas Tech 33-30
- Week 7 ranking: 18
- Breakdown: Baylor is halfway through the regular season undefeated season. Last week, Charlie Brewer threw for no touchdowns and 3 interceptions which were his first 3 picks of the season. Somehow, someway the Bears still won. They are consistent on both sides of the ball ranking in 17th in scoring defense and 20th in scoring offense. Their rush defense which ranks 28th will be put to the test this week against Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard in what may be their toughest game of the season so far.
- Week 8: @Oklahoma State, 10/19 3:30pm
18. SMU (6-0)
- Week 7: bye
- Week 7 ranking: 20
- Breakdown: With Memphis’ loss to Temple, SMU is the only team remaining in the Athletic without a loss. The team that threw Memphis from the ranks of the unbeatens, tries to do the same to SMU this week. With six teams in the conference with one loss or less, if SMU can run the table, their resume will be pretty solid when it comes to picking the New Years’ Six representative. But, with that said, it seems like every week is going to be a challenge and if the Mustangs fall to show up one of those weeks, those dreams could be over.
- Week 8: vs. Temple, 10/19 3:30pm
19. Arizona State (5-1)
- Week 7: win vs. Washington State 38-34
- Week 7 ranking: N/A
- Breakdown: For the majority of the season, the Sun Devils have been led by a stout defense. This was not the case on Saturday as they showed the ability to win a high-scoring shootout against a Washington State team that throws the ball more than any team in the country. Brandon Aiyuk delivered his best game of the season catching seven passes and all three of Jayden Daniels’ scores through the air. ASU has an opportunity to take control of a very crowded PAC 12 South this weekend.
- Week 8: @Utah, 10/19 6:00pm
20. Missouri (5-1)
- Week 7: win vs Ole Miss 38-27
- Week 7 ranking: 25
- Breakdown: Week 7 was a great one for Missouri. Although they surrendered the most amount of points they had since week 1, they find themselves in first place in the SEC East after defeating Ole Miss and watching both Georgia and Florida lose. Larry Rountree rushed for two scores in the effort pushing his season total to six. Kelly Bryant continues to be everything they were hoping for and he’ll need to keep playing well as the Tigers now have a legitimate chance of representing the East in Atlanta. Three straight road games won’t be easy, however.
- Week 8: @Vanderbilt, 10/19 4:00pm
21. Minnesota (6-0)
- Week 7: win vs Nebraska 34-7
- Week 7 ranking: 21
- Breakdown: I said last week that Minnesota would look like a bunch of frauds had they lost to Nebraska. They won in resounding fashion. While I’m not ready to declare them a threat to Wisconsin in the Big 10 West, their start to the season should no longer be overlooked. Rutgers and Maryland await them in the next two weeks which should give them another two wins before they finish with Penn State, Iowa, and Wisconsin in their last four. A 10 win season may be in the cards which would be quite the accomplishment for the Golden Gophers.
- Week 7: @Rutgers, 10/19 3:30pm
22. Cincinnati (5-1)
- Week 7: win @Houston, 38-23
- Week 7 ranking: 23
- Breakdown: With the exception of their loss to Ohio State and their win over UCF, none of the games the Bearcats have played this year have been close (well, Ohio State wasn’t either but I digress). Desmond Ridder threw for three scores and also added 53 yards on the ground to hold off a late Houston surge. They host Tulsa and try to avoid the scare SMU faced when they hosted Tulsa.
- Week 8: vs. Tulsa, 10/19 3:30pm
23. Temple (5-1)
- Week 7: win vs. Memphis 30-28
- Week 7 ranking: N/A
- Breakdown: Temple is yet another 1 loss team from the American. The Owls dethroned Memphis this past weekend with a two point victory. It’s the second win for Temple this year against a team that entered the contest ranked. Both of those games were decided by three points or less so maybe they have a bit of a clutch gene in them. The two headed attack of Re’Mahn Davis and Jager Gardner have sparked the offense as both backs have rushed for four scores.
- Week 8: @SMU, 10/19 3:30pm
24. Appalachian State (5-0)
- Week 7: win vs. Louisiana-Lafayette 17-7
- Week 7 ranking: N/A
- Breakdown: It seems like the Mountaineers are going to need a bit of help in order to make a New Years’ Six bowl. The Sun Belt is not as good of a conference as either the American or the Mountain West so the teams ahead of them would almost certainly need the teams ahead of them to lose since their conference games won’t improve their resume very much. But they beat North Carolina who beat South Carolina who beat Georgia so based on that logic, they are better than Georgia. They’ll also get the opportunity to play the Gamecocks later in the season.
- Week 8: vs. Louisiana-Monroe, 10/19 3:30pm
25. Washington (5-2)
- Week 7: win @Arizona 51-27
- Week 7 ranking: N/A
- Breakdown: Which Husky team is going to show up this Saturday? Will it be the one that dropped 51 on Arizona handing them their first conference loss of the season? Or will it be the one that only mustered 13 against Stanford. Meanwhile, UCLA scored 34 against Stanford last night. Oregon presents one of the better defenses in the conference so that might indicate Washington struggling a bit but its hard to imagine they come out flat in what is their biggest game of the year.
- Week 8: vs. Oregon, 10/19 3:30pm
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