In the wildest college football weekend I can remember, the top 25 got turned upside down. Five of the top eight teams lost, while every team ranked between 14 and 19 also bit the dust. There were upsets and dramatic finishes everywhere you turned, and it was one of those days where you remember exactly why you love college football so much. Clemson managed to sneak back into the coaches' poll after its 41-0 trouncing of NC State, but it remained one spot outside of the AP rankings, which are the basis for this weekly piece. For the record, there are several teams near the bottom of the poll I think Clemson would run out of the building. That is the least of our worries with this week's poll though, as overreactions and rash judgement seem to dictate what we see here on a weekly basis. Let's get into the chaos.
1. Florida State (Last Week: 1)
The Seminoles seemed immune to yesterday's drama, but that's probably because they were playing Wake Forest. Anybody else wondering if the ACC can dump Wake for East Carolina? Oh yeah, academics and all that...
2. Auburn (Last Week: 5)
The Tigers blasted what appears to be the worst LSU team in some time, and there is certainly an argument for Auburn as the best team in the country. But I guess you have to give the defending champs their due. Auburn's problem, though, is that its schedule is absolutely murderous from here on out. Good thing they have a couple games like South Carolina and Samford to lighten the load a bit.
3. Ole Miss (Last Week: 11)
I'm forced to eat some crow here as I didn't give the Rebels much of a chance against Alabama in last week's article, but if you believe Ole Miss is the third best team in the country, you're crazier than Katy Perry.
3. Mississippi State (Last Week: 12)
I believe this is the better of the two Mississippi teams. The reason? Quarterback play. Dak Prescott is a legitimate Heisman candidate right now, whereas Bo Wallace is quite the enigma. Nice win on Saturday ... Oh, by the way, Auburn is coming to town this week.
5. Baylor (Last Week: 7)
Baylor didn't quite do Texas like I thought it would, but the Bears still took care of business and are in great position to benefit from the inevitable carnage of the SEC West as long as they remain undefeated.
6. Notre Dame (Last Week: 9)
Another team that benefits from all the upsets is Notre Dame, which needed a late touchdown on a fourth-down play to edge Stanford at home. Again, this is not even a top-10 team in my eyes, but as long as they continue to eek out wins the Irish will continue to climb.
7. Alabama (Last Week: 3)
It's funny how Alabama plays by different rules than everybody else. Oklahoma loses on the road and drops seven spots, while the Tide lose in similar fashion and drop just four. Sure, Oregon was at home, but the Ducks plummeted 10 spots after losing to Arizona. Pollsters will do anything to keep Alabama in position to make the playoff.
8. Michigan State (Last Week: 10)
The Spartans were cruising against Nebraska and then came close to choking away a 24-point lead at home. Sparty should win the remainder of its games, but they need to learn to kick a man when he's down.
9. TCU (Last Week: 25)
Ding ding ding! Our upset special came to fruition as the Frogs used a pick-six in the fourth quarter to pull off the stunner against Oklahoma. Was it worth 16 spots in the rankings? Probably not, but I guess the voters had to move them high enough to be ahead of the Sooners.
10. Arizona (Last Week: NR)
Speaking of jumps, the Wildcats shot up 19 spots in the poll after shocking Oregon in notoriously unfriendly Autzen Stadium. I mean, the win was great and all, and I suppose they had to clock in ahead of the Ducks, but let's keep in mind that this is the same team that had to come from 18 down at home to beat Cal with a Hail Mary at the buzzer. Somebody will bring them crashing back down to earth, I just haven't decided who.
11. Oklahoma (Last Week: 4)
My badmouthing of the Sooners was finally substantiated as they couldn't get it done on the road against TCU. Don't get me wrong, Oklahoma is a good team, but the playoff talk was always a bit premature for me.
12. Oregon (Last Week: 2)
What we're starting to realize about the Ducks is that they may have a case of what I can now officially call UCLA syndrome (More on that in a minute). That is, aside from superstar quarterback Marcus Mariota, they really just aren't that good.
13. Georgia (Last Week: 13)
Georgia has to be a little perturbed that it moved up exactly zero spots in the poll despite teams losing all over the place. But when you lost to South Carolina, you can only complain so much.
14. Texas A&M (Last Week: 6)
Yet another team we dubbed overrated, Texas A&M got ambushed in Starkville and trounced by Mississippi State. We knew the Aggies' defense was certainly nothing to write home about, but Kenny Trill threw three picks (all to the same linebacker) that sealed the fate of the offensive-minded team.
15. Ohio State (Last Week: 20)
Ohio State has been playing better, but Poll Problems hasn't forgotten the debacle against Virginia Tech. We will never forget.
16. Oklahoma State (Last Week: 21)
Oklahoma State was a quiet beneficiary this week, but how long can it stay here? Their remaining schedule includes road trips to the four other ranked teams in the Big 12. Ouch.
17. Kansas State (Last Week: 23)
Likewise, K-State's remaining road schedule is quite the chore, with trips to Oklahoma, TCU and Baylor still on the docket. I will say, the Wildcats have bounced back admirably from the heartbreaker against Auburn.
18. UCLA (Last Week: 8)
We've been waiting anxiously, and UCLA finally rewarded our patience with a home loss to Utah. Brett Hundley is good, dang good. But you simply can't base expectations for an entire football team on one guy. Case in point, UCLA's offensive line allowed 10 sacks on Saturday night. Your superstar can't win a game for you if he spends all night on the ground.
19. East Carolina (Last Week: 22)
I'll come right out and say it: I was very disappointed in ECU's performance this week. After three quarters, the Pirates led by just 11 points in a game where they were 41-point favorites. That said, I can't fathom how ECU won't finish the season undefeated in an AAC that is just so sad to behold.
20. Arizona State (Last Week: NR)
Bat it down! Arizona State completed a Hail Mary as time expired to beat USC, thanks to Trojan linebacker Hayes Pullard defending the pass as if he were fair catching a punt.
21. Nebraska (Last Week: 19)
You can blame Michigan State for Nebraska's remaining in the poll, as the Spartans let a blowout turn into a near-loss against the Huskers. Apparently that is impressive enough for the voters to drop them just two spots? I don't know what else about their resume warrants this position.
22. Georgia Tech (Last Week: NR)
I don't know that Georgia Tech is any good, but the interesting thing here is that it's not out of the realm of possibility for the Jackets to feast on a painfully weak ACC Coastal and be 10-0 when Clemson comes to Atlanta on Nov. 15. Do I think that will happen? No. But could it...
23. Missouri (Last Week: 24)
The Tigers have their biggest game of the season thus far when Georgia comes calling on Saturday. I think the common belief is that the Bulldogs are the best team in the SEC East, but Missouri can change that perception quickly with a win.
24. Utah (Last Week: NR)
Utah lost to Washington State at home. Get out of here.
25. Stanford (Last Week: 14)
I'm not really sure why Stanford's 3-2 is more impressive than Clemson's 3-2 (Hint: it's not), but this team has somehow managed to lose two games despite leading the nation in points allowed per game. That's pretty tough to do.