1. GEORGIA BULLDOGS (9-0) (LW: 1)
The Bulldogs remained perfect with a 9-point victory over Missouri. The College Football Playoff Selection Committee released their first rankings of the season on October 31st, and surprisingly Georgia was slotted in at #2 despite being the undefeated reigning National Champions. Maybe that will light a fire under this team (not that they really need it).
2. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (9-0) (LW: 2)
I fully expected Michigan to be 2nd in the Selection Committee’s opening rankings, but they came in at #3. I guess the Committee isn’t too impressed with Michigan’s schedule, as despite being undefeated – and obliterating everything in their path – the Wolverines have no victories over ranked opponents. They will have the opportunity to change that on Saturday when they travel to Happy Valley to take on Penn State in Big Ten matchup between two Top 10 teams.
3. OHIO STATE BUCKEYES (9-0) (LW: 3)
The Buckeyes are the top dog at the moment. They opened at #1 in the Selection Committee’s rankings, but they weren’t all that impressive on Saturday. They ended up with a 19-point victory, but they were trailing to Rutgers at halftime, and it was only a 5-point game in the 4th quarter. Rutgers is no slouch, but this was a game that Ohio State should have controlled from start to finish – especially with their #1 status.
4. FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (9-0) (LW: 4)
The Seminoles stayed true to form by taking only a 3-point lead into the locker room at Pitt on Saturday. The ‘Noles were without WR’s Keon Coleman & Johnny Wilson, but even without them they are miles better than Pitt. Florida State would win the 2nd half 14-0, which helped them not only remain undefeated, but lock up a spot in the ACC Championship Game. The #4 Seminoles have higher aspirations than that, however.
5. WASHINGTON HUSKIES (9-0) (LW: 6)
The Huskies earned another quality win by defeating Caleb Williams & USC 52-42 in the Coliseum. This was a statement win for Washington, as well as their QB Michael Penix, who should be a Heisman finalist this year.
6. TEXAS LONGHORNS (8-1) (LW: 5)
Texas was without Quinn Ewers once again on Saturday, but they still got past a pesky Kansas State team. They forced the Wildcats to turn it over on downs in OT when Kansas State went for the win on 4th & goal from the Texas 4-yard-line in overtime.
7. OREGON DUCKS (8-1) (LW: 7)
The Ducks cruised to a 63-19 win over Cal as they will try to get to the PAC-12 Championship Game to avenge their loss to Washington. Bo Nix has pushed his way into the Heisman conversation, and his performance against Cal only strengthened his case, as he dropped 4 TD’s and racked up 386 passing yards.
8. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (8-1) (LW: 8)
Alabama got a big win on Saturday over LSU. This team, and especially QB Jalen Milroe, have come a long way since the Texas & South Florida games. Unless disaster strikes, they should find themselves in Atlanta… once again.
9. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (8-1) (LW: 10)
I thought Saturday’s game at Maryland could be a trap spot for Penn State. They had Ohio State two weeks ago, and are surely looking ahead to Michigan this Saturday. I thought the Terrapins pass game could catch the Nittany Lions napping, but Penn State answered the call, defeating the Terrapins 51-15.
10. MISSISSIPPI REBELS (8-1) (LW: 11)
The Rebels had a near-miss on Saturday against Texas A&M. They needed a TD in the final 2 minutes to take the lead, and then a missed FG from the Aggies that would have forced overtime. They will need outside help to win the SEC West, but they have to take care of their own business first – which includes a trip to Athens to take on the reigning champs this Saturday.
11. LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (8-1) (LW: 13)
Louisville had a dominant performance over Virginia Tech on Saturday, winning the game 34-3. The Cardinals will try to get to the ACC Championship Game. They control their destiny, and with only Virginia & Miami left on their conference schedule, I like their chances.
12. OREGON STATE BEAVERS (7-2) (LW: 16)
The Beavers earned a 7-point win on the road at Colorado this week. The Buffaloes have fallen off quite a bit since their hot start, but this was still a quality win in a hostile environment against a team with a very capable offense.
13. TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (7-2) (LW: 17)
The Vols put a hurting on Connecticut this Saturday, beating the Huskies 59-3. This was a good win, and a real confidence booster, which could come in handy when they host a ranked Missouri team this week.
14. UTAH UTES (7-2) (LW: 20)
The loss to Oregon must have really stirred this Utes team up, as they went out and put a 55-3 beatdown on Arizona State on Saturday. The defense & run game was clicking for Utah, as they conceded only 83 yards, while racking up over 350 yards on the ground.
15. KANSAS JAYHAWKS (7-2) (LW: 21)
The Jayhawks continued their winning ways on the road at Iowa State on Saturday in a game that had some conference championship implications in the jumbled Big 12. They would need an Oklahoma State loss to get to the Big 12 title game, but they are still waiting in the wings.
16. OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS (7-2) (LW: 25)
Saturday was marvelous for the Cowboys. They have been badgering the Sooners to continue “Bedlam” after Oklahoma bails for the SEC. So, in what could be the final “Bedlam” game for a very long time, walking out of your home stadium with a 3-point victory over a Top 10 Sooners team had to be a great feeling.
17. OKLAHOMA SOONERS (7-2) (LW: 9)
The wheels are falling off in Norman. The Sooners fell to Oklahoma State by 3 in what could be the last “Bedlam” game in a very long time. College football is wild. Two weeks ago Oklahoma had playoff hopes, but now they don’t even control their own destiny to play for the Big 12 Championship.
18. NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (7-3) (LW: 12)
The Irish didn’t do themselves any favors on Saturday. They turned the ball over 3 times and couldn’t find their offense when they needed to, which led to an 8-point loss to Clemson.
19. LSU TIGERS (6-3) (LW: 14)
The disappointment continues to mount for LSU. This season began with National Championship aspirations, but the Tigers now have 3 losses after losing by 14 at Alabama. It gets even worse, as LSU QB Jayden Daniels left with an injury in the 4th quarter after taking a questionable hit. This is a good team with a high-powered offense, but sometimes things just don’t fall your way.
20. MISSOURI TIGERS (7-2) (LW: 15)
The Tigers kept it close on the road against Georgia, but eventually would fall by 9. They will get right back on the horse this Saturday, as they will face a ranked Tennessee team.
21. TULANE GREEN WAVE (8-1) (LW: 18)
Tulane eked by East Carolina this week by a score of 13-10. The Green Wave still haven’t lost since Mississippi handed them their lone defeat, but you would expect a wider margin of victory against ECU from a ranked Group of 5 team.
22. JAMES MADISON DUKES (9-0) (LW: 24)
The Dukes were left out of the Committee’s Top 25, and it looks like they took it personally. They faced a 2-loss Georgia State team on the road and handed the Panthers a 42-14 loss.
23. ARIZONA WILDCATS (6-3) (LW: NR)
This Wildcats team has been having a solid, under-the-radar season. They are 6-3, with two wins against ranked opponents. Two of their three losses have come against teams who were ranked in the Top 10 at the time. This team can really make a statement when they host Utah in two weeks.
24. NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS (7-2) (LW: NR)
The Tar Heels got back in the win column this week after dropped two straight games. They didn’t exactly have the toughest test, but beating up Campbell 59-7 should be a morale boost for this team. They need to keep the wins coming if they want a shot to play in Charlotte come December, as they no longer control their own destiny.
25. FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS (8-1) (LW: NR)
Fresno State has rattled off three straight wins since dropping their game at Wyoming. This season has been really solid for the Bulldogs, as they are 8-1 with multiple victories over Power 5 opponents.