Week 6 featured a number of stellar games involving nationally ranked programs, and the results of those contests are reflected in both major polls. While there hasn’t been a whole lot of movement as far as the cream of the crop is concerned, the same can’t be said for the rest of the Top 25.
There’s still time for the contenders and pretenders to reveal themselves, but we’re starting to get a good sense of who needs to be taken seriously in the former category. Let’s take a look at where we see the top teams in the country as we get ready for another epic week of College Football action.
1. Alabama, 6-0
Last week: 1
Six weeks in, and the Crimson Tide have yet to be tested. Opponents have been outscored by a margin of 336-96, and the team’s smallest margin of victory is 22 points. Dates with Missouri and Tennessee are up next, so there’s a good chance Alabama goes into its bye with a record of 8-0.
2. Georgia, 6-0
Last week: 2
The Bulldogs have been outscoring opponents at a prodigious clip as well – 257-78 – and also have yet to be really tested. That may change over the coming weeks, as Georgia’s next four games come against nationally ranked conference rivals.
3. Clemson, 6-0
Last week: 4
Sophomore RB Travis Etienne has been on a tear with 11 total touchdowns so far, six of which have come in the past two games. He has been a rock while the team sorts out the QB position. The Tigers get the week off before returning to take on surprising NC State on October 20.
4. Ohio State, 6-0
Last week: 3
Last week: 3
Both the AP and Coaches polls have the Buckeyes ranked ahead of Clemson at #3, but we don’t feel the same. Penn State put a major scare into Ohio State in Week 5, and last week’s game against Indiana was tougher than expected. Could an upset be coming at some point?
5. Notre Dame, 6-0
Last week: 7
The Fighting Irish put their stamp on ‘best team outside of the top four’ with a convincing road win over Virginia Tech. Notre Dame has answered the bell for every test, including games against Michigan and Stanford. The Pittsburgh Panthers are up next before the team gets its bye.
6. West Virginia, 5-0
Last week: 8
The Mountaineers are now the lone undefeated team in the Big 12. Saturday’s victory over Kansas was convincing but also slightly tougher than expected, as Heisman candidate Will Grier threw three picks along with his four scores. A date with Iowa State is next on the docket.
7. Washington, 5-1
Last week: 10
While the Huskies aren’t blowing many teams out so far, the club is pounding opponents into submission. Since falling to Auburn in Week 1 in an incredibly tight game, Washington has emphatically made its case as the best team in the Pac-12. Big tests against Oregon and Colorado are up next.
8. Penn State, 4-1
Last week: 12
The Nittany Lions had the week off to lick their wounds after Week 5’s devastating loss to Ohio State. Penn State had its rival covering up on the ropes, but the squad was unable to finish the job. The team returns to action against Michigan State on Saturday.
9. UCF, 5-0
Last week: 11
The Coaches have placed the Knights at #9 in their latest poll, while the AP has them ranked at #10. Our power rankings call them the ninth-best team in the country. There are a number of winnable games up ahead, so it’ll be interesting to see how the squad performs with the spotlight shining even brighter.
10. Texas, 5-1
Last week: 18
This year’s edition of the Red River Showdown was an instant classic. The Longhorns have thrown the chatter about them being a year away out the window with a thrilling victory over Oklahoma. Baylor and Oklahoma State are up next before a showdown with West Virginia on November 3.
11. Michigan, 5-1
Last week: 15
A week after barely escaping Northwestern with a victory, the Wolverines once again started slow against Maryland on Saturday. However, this time the squad put the pedal to the medal and delivered a convincing victory. A primetime game against Wisconsin is on tap for this week.
12. Florida, 5-1
Last week: 24
The Gators have demonstrated that it’s time to take them seriously as contenders in the SEC East. Outside of its loss to rival Kentucky, Florida has delivered several impressive wins and a couple of close victories over conference rivals. A trip to Vanderbilt ia up next.
13. Oklahoma, 5-1
Last week: 6
The Sooners have the week off after Saturday’s loss to Texas. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops was let go after the game to further drive home the significance of the defeat. Oklahoma is not completely out of the playoff conversation, but the road ahead is challenging.
14. LSU, 5-1
Last week: 5
The Tigers took a big tumble on both polls after falling to Florida on Saturday. The schedule doesn’t get any easier from this point, as LSU has an absolutely brutal three-game stretch against Georgia, Mississippi State, and Alabama up next.
15. Wisconsin, 4-1
Last week: 16
The Badgers have been flying under the radar since their upset loss to BYU, but the program will be back in the spotlight in a big way this week. A primetime game against rival Michigan is up next, a game which will have major ramifications on both the Big Ten standings and the polls.
16. Miami, 5-1
Last week: 17
The Hurricanes have ripped off five consecutive wins since falling to LSU in the season opener. Saturday’s one-point win over Florida State exposed some chinks in the armor, so it’ll be interesting to see how the team responds. Road trips to Virginia and Boston College are up next.
17. Oregon, 4-1
Last week: 19
The Ducks bounced back from its devastating loss to Stanford with a solid 42-24 win over Cal. Stanford has fallen on hard times with two consecutive losses, and the Pac-12 remains wide open. Saturday’s tilt against Washington will shed some more light on what to expect the rest of the way.
18. Colorado, 5-0
Last week: 21
The Buffaloes are undefeated and in first place in the Pac-12 South. A talented offense led by junior QB Steven Montez has racked up 189 points so far, while opponents have scored just 92. Road dates with USC and Washington are up next, so Colorado’s status as a contender or a pretender should become clear soon.
19. North Carolina State, 5-0
Last week: 25
The Wolfpack heads into its bye week with an unblemished mark, but resting on its laurels is far from an option. NC State gets back in action on October 20 with a road tilt against #4 Clemson. That’s a daunting task regardless, but the stakes are even higher due to the Wolfpack’s hot start.
20. Kentucky, 5-1
Last week: 14
The Wildcats finally lost a game on Saturday night to the Texas A&M Aggies, but there’s no shame in dropping a road tilt at Kyle Field. Kentucky has performed much better than expected in 2018, and the squad can still go into its bye week with its head held high in spite of the loss.
21. South Florida, 5-0
Last week: NR
The Bulls currently hold the #23 spot in both the AP and coaches poll, but the school’s undefeated mark carries more weight in our power rankings. While South Florida hasn’t exactly faced a murderer’s row of competition, the school is handling business in efficient fashion.
22. Cincinnati, 6-0
Last week: NR
We can say similar about the Bearcats, who check in at #25 as far as the AP and Coaches are concerned. Late season dates with both UCF and USF loom large as far as the American Athletic conference is concerned, and the round robin results will have a huge bearing on the polls to boot.
23. Texas A&M, 4-2
Last week: NR
The Aggies needed overtime to handle Kentucky, but the win still goes down as perhaps the team’s most impressive victory of 2018. A road trip to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks is up next prior to Texas A&M’s bye week.
24. Auburn, 4-2
Last week: 9
We could easily swap out Auburn with Mississippi State here, especially since the Bulldogs came up the winners when the two squads went toe to toe on Saturday. However, the Tigers tougher schedule holds more weight in both the polls and our power rankings.
25. Washington State, 5-1
Last week: NR
The Cougars are on the outside looking in on both the AP and Coaches polls, and that really shouldn’t be the case. While not flashy, they have efficiently taken care of business while outscoring opponents by a margin of 251-143. The team is on bye this week and returns to action against Oregon on October 20.
Among the teams that have fallen from the polls and our power rankings are Stanford and Michigan State, both of whom had disappointing losses in Week 6. Teams that are knocking on the door of the polls include Iowa and TCU.
Looking ahead to this week’s games, there a number of contests that will have a huge impact on the Week 8 polls. Here are the three biggest matchups to look forward to.
- #2 Georgia @ #13 LSU, 3:30 PM EST, CBS
- #7 Washington @ #17 Oregon, 3:30 PM EST, ABC
- #15 Wisconsin @ #12 Michigan, 7:30 PM EST, ABC
Georgia, Washington, and Michigan are the favorites for those three contests per early game lines. Enjoy the games this week!