Clemson checked in just outside the top 25 again this week at 28th. I think a more resounding win over North Carolina could have helped the Tigers sneak back in, but that's neither here nor there. South Carolina dropped out after coughing up a two-score lead and losing to Missouri, who returned to the poll as if everyone has forgotten they lost at home to Indiana. Also, the SEC West has six teams in the top 15. Let that sink in.
1. Florida State (Last Week: 1)
Florida State trailed NC State by 17 after the first quarter before coming back to win. Maybe the Seminoles had an emotional hangover from the Clemson game, or maybe they just aren't that good.
2. Oregon (Last Week: 2)
The Ducks have an interesting Thursday night game against fellow unbeaten Arizona, but I expect them to roll at home.
3. Alabama (Last Week: 3)
The Tide heads to Oxford this weekend in one of three huge SEC West showdowns. I think Ole Miss comes out hyped up and plays well early, but Bama will show the Rebels they aren't quite ready for primetime.
4. Oklahoma (Last Week: 4)
Oklahoma gets another road test this week against newly ranked TCU. If the Sooners get a win there, I'll be forced to admit they are pretty good. But for now, I'm predicting an upset in Fort Worth.
5. Auburn (Last Week: 5)
Gus Malzahn's offense got back in gear against Louisiana Tech, and that's important because LSU is coming to town this week.
6. Texas A&M (Last Week: 6)
I thought Arkansas had a shot to make it interesting against the Aggies, and they did that and more, holding a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter. But alas, Kenny Trill had other ideas, and A&M escaped with an overtime victory. We had said they were a bit overrated though, no?
7. Baylor (Last Week: 7)
There is nothing funnier than Baylor going into Austin and routing the Longhorns. We get to see that on Saturday.
8. UCLA (Last Week: 11)
I still don't believe the Bruins are a top-10 team, but they demolished quarterback-less Arizona State in Tempe, so I have to give them some credit.
9. Notre Dame (Last Week: 8)
Speaking of teams that don't belong in the top-10... Notre Dame managed to get past mighty Syracuse despite turning the ball over five times. The Irish get Stanford this week, so the mediocre play needs to come to an end quickly if they want to stay unbeaten.
10. Michigan State (Last Week: 9)
Thankfully Michigan State gets to serve up a little humble pie to Nebraska, as the Spartans begin their undefeated run through the Big Ten.
11. Ole Miss (Last Week: 10)
As I said above, I expect the Rebels to be put back in their place on Saturday. But don't worry about them, because Ole Miss never loses the party.
12. Mississippi State (Last Week: 14)
The Bulldogs are right on their in-state rival's heels in the rankings, and they also have a marquee home game this weekend with Texas A&M coming to town. Unlike Ole Miss, however, I actually give State a shot to win its game.
13. Georgia (Last Week: 12)
Georgia barely held off Tennessee at home, and, wow, the SEC East is an absolute mess. The Bulldogs are in the driver's seat again (I guess?) but will need to win at Mizzou in two weeks for that to still be the case.
14. Stanford (Last Week: 16)
I want to believe Stanford will beat Notre Dame, but the Cardinal have been equally as unimpressive as the Irish. Unfortunately, Notre Dame will probably edge them out at home.
15. LSU (Last Week: 17)
If LSU wants to get back in the SEC West race (Anybody got any idea how that division is going to turn out?), upsetting Auburn would go a long way. I don't see that happening, however.
16. USC (Last Week: 18)
Any team that can't beat Boston College should not be ranked this high. I'm sorry.
17. Wisconsin (Last Week: 19)
Next up on Wisconsin's embarrassment of a schedule is a trip to Northwestern, which inexplicably went into Happy Valley and drilled Penn State. That just means the Big Ten is even worse than I thought.
18. BYU (Last Week: 20)
The Cougars actually have a legitimate shot to go undefeated, but their strength of schedule would likely leave them far short of the College Football Playoff.
19. Nebraska (Last Week: 21)
I know you're sick of seeing them here too, but Michigan State will put an end to the madness this weekend.
20. Ohio State (Last Week: 22)
The Buckeyes handled Cincinnati, but no player delivered a hit like the one their assistant strength coach planted on a fan who ran on the field. I don't think they will have any more problems with rogue fans in the Horseshoe.
21. Oklahoma State (Last Week: 24)
Oklahoma State has scored more than 30 points in each of its games this season, and there aren't many defenses in the Big 12 that will quell that pace.
22. East Carolina (Last Week: 23)
A bloodbath is imminent when floundering SMU comes to town this week, but can the Pirates top their 70-point performance against North Carolina?
23. Kansas State (Last Week: 25)
The Wildcats shook off the coulda-woulda-shoulda loss to Auburn and waxed UTEP. They are still very much in contention for the Big 12 championship and have a home date with Oklahoma in a few weeks to state their case.
24. Missouri (Last Week: NR)
Lose at home to Indiana, win at South Carolina. Logic.
25. TCU (Last Week: NR)
Welcome, TCU. Your reward for jumping into the top 25 is a matchup with Oklahoma. Godspeed.