Another week of college football came and went, and with it were some close finishes, some mind-scratching decisions, and, most importantly, some movement at the top of the newest AP Poll. Let’s see how our writers decided to rank the top teams in the nation:
1. Ohio State
Last Week STS Poll: 1
Current AP Poll: 2
Avg. Rank @ STS: 1.4
Ohio State continued its impressive offensive campaign, throttling Michigan State in East Lansing by a score of 49-20. C.J. Stroud kept shining on the field, completing 21/26 passes for 361 yards as well as 6 touchdowns compared to 1 interception. If Ohio State continues to showcase this type of offensive output, it will be hard for the rest of the nation to keep up.
Next Up: vs. Iowa (October 22)
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Jon had the Buckeyes at number 4, no other writer had them lower than number 2
Last Week STS Poll: 3
Current AP Poll: 1
Avg. Rank @ STS: 2.4
Georgia easily handled Auburn in the 127th edition of the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.” The Bulldogs bullied the (lesser) Tigers to the tune of 292 yards rushing as well as 6 rushing touchdowns. Georgia led 14-0 at halftime but came out in the second half determined to put this one away. While Stetson Bennet did not have a passing touchdown for the third straight week (maybe ending his Heisman candidacy), he did produce a 64-yard rushing touchdown.
Next Up: vs. Vanderbilt, 3:30 PM, SECN
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: My own, as I had the Bulldogs ranked 4 behind Ohio State, Alabama, and Clemson
Last Week STS Poll: T1
Current AP Poll: 3
Avg. Rank @ STS: 3.1
There was a lot of chatter surrounding how Nick Saban would handle his first game against Jimbo Fisher since Jimbo’s offseason comments about recruiting. Turns out: Nick wanted a close one. With Bryce Young held out due to a shoulder sprain, it was freshman Jalen Milroe getting his first career start. Milroe finished the game completing 12/19 passes for 111 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. He also rushed for 83 yards on 17 carries. A&M had a chance to win this one late, but a questionable play call (how do you not throw the ball into the end zone with no time left from the two) resulted in the Tide escaping. Not much can be taken from this game with Bryce Young out, but you can bet all of Tuscaloosa will be waiting for news on his shoulder as they make the trip to Knoxville for a Top 10 matchup with the Volunteers.
Next Up: @ #6 Tennessee, 3:30 PM, CBS
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Brian has the Tide as his number-one team in the country, the only writer to think that this week.
Last Week STS Poll: 4
Current AP Poll: 4
Avg. Rank @ STS: 3.2
Clemson handled Boston College, pulling away in the second half behind 3 touchdown passes from DJ. The defense continues to shine and get healthy, as Xavier Thomas made his season debut and flashed his potential, racking up 2 sacks in only 6 snaps. Boston College is always a tough opponent, not to mention the Tigers were playing the Eagles during their “Red Bandana Game,” the annual game that memorializes 9/11 hero and Boston College alum Welles Crowther. With a win this week, Clemson will cement itself in the driver's seat for the ACC Atlantic, having already played potentially the three toughest members of the division outside of TigerTown (Wake Forest, NC State, Florida State).
Next Up: @ Florida State, 7:30 PM, ABC
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Jon, Matt, and Calvin all had the Tigers as #2 this week.
Last Week STS Poll: 7
Current AP Poll: 6
Avg. Rank @ STS: 5.6
Tennessee looked impressive. Very impressive. Granted, the test they face this week is leaps and bounds ahead of LSU, but Tennessee's defense looked good, and Hendon Hooker began his campaign for the Heisman. Tennessee now has three ranked wins (however every ranked team they have played is now currently unranked), and they are looking to break through in a rivalry that has been dominated by Alabama in recent years. College Gameday is making the trip back to Rocky Top for the game, and almost every eye in the country will be watching the game in Knoxville this week. Tennessee, the message is simple. Prove that you are for real this week by beating Bama. It’s right there for you.
Next Up: v.s. #3 Alabama, 3:30 PM, CBS
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: D’arve is the most critical of the Vols, having them ranked number 7 this week, their lowest ranking out of all the writers.
Last Week STS Poll: 5
Current AP Poll: 5
Avg. Rank @ STS: 6.0
It feels like Michigan is going through something. I don’t know what, but they need to figure it out. Coming out of halftime, Michigan was tied with Indiana on the road. A team that desperately needed to make a statement to prove that they were deserving of a top 4 spot seemingly sleep-walked through a rough first half in Bloomington. I am just glad teams not named Clemson are finally being penalized for not looking dominant against lesser opponents. Luckily for the Wolverines, they finally get a chance to play someone with a pulse when Penn State comes to town. With Ohio State looming for both teams, this seems like an elimination game in the Big Ten East.
Next Up: vs. #10 Penn State, 12:00 PM, FOX
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Jon had the Wolverines ranked all the way at #13!
7. Oklahoma State
Last Week STS Poll: 6
Current AP Poll: 8
Avg. Rank @ STS: 8.4
Oklahoma State found itself in a bit of a shootout against Texas Tech at home this week, but they pulled out of the game with win number 5 on the season. Spencer Sanders was 22/45 for 297 yards and a touchdown on a somewhat inefficient day. I am high on this Cowboys team, having gone into a tough environment a couple of weeks ago against Baylor and pulling out a win. However, if they want to compete for a playoff bid, I think they are going to start playing up to their offensive potential. Luckily for them, or unluckily, the schedule gets tougher, as they are at TCU this week, home against Texas, at Kansas State, and then at Kansas, all of which are currently ranked in the top 25. If Oklahoma State can come out of this stretch unbeaten, they will undoubtedly put themselves in a prime position to secure their first playoff bid.
Next Up: @ #13 TCU, 3:30 PM, ABC
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Brian has the Cowboys at #12, while Alex (#11) also had them checking in outside of the top 10.
Last Week STS Poll: 8
Current AP Poll: 7
Avg. Rank @ STS: 9.0
USC relied on their defense in beating a promising Washington State team at home, 30-14 this past week. While no turnovers happened, the Trojan's defense held its own, preventing Washington State from scoring. Caleb Williams went 15/29 for 188 yards and 2 touchdowns, leaving fans craving more. It will be interesting to see how the Trojans fare on the road against a tough Utah team, and oddly enough, Utah is the betting favorite right now. This PAC-12 matchup will surely be an interesting game and one that I will have up on my phone while Clemson plays their own game.
Next Up: @ #20 Utah, 8:00 PM, FOX
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: D’arve had the Trojans ranked number 6, while 5 writers had them outside of the top 10.
9. Ole Miss
Last Week STS Poll: 9
Current AP Poll: 9
Avg. Rank @ STS: 9.8
Lane Kiffin had us concerned there for a second. Losing to Vanderbilt at halftime is not the best look for Ole Miss, but outscoring your opponent by 27 points in the second half will ease some of the concerns. Jaxon Dart threw for 448 yards and 3 touchdowns, but he also threw 2 interceptions. The best way I can put this game into words is that it was a Jekyll and Hyde kind of performance for Ole Miss. If Ole Miss wants to compete in Atlanta for the SEC Championship, they are going to have to shore up their play before a tough stretch of Texas A&M, Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi State is upon them.
Next Up: @ LSU, 3:30 PM, CBS (October 22)
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: D’arve ranked the Rebs #15, while Will (#12) also had them outside the top 10.
10. Penn State
Last Week STS Poll: 10
Current AP Poll: 10
Avg. Rank @ STS: 10.1
Penn State was idle this weekend, having last beat Northwestern in a 17-7 last weekend. Now comes their toughest stretch of the season, as they travel to Ann Arbor this week before playing host to Minnesota and Ohio State in consecutive weeks. I said it earlier, but if Penn State wants a shot at the Big Ten title, they need to win this week before they have to play Ohio State. I firmly believe that the loser of the Penn State-Michigan game this week will see their postseason hopes begin to dwindle.
Next Up: @ #5 Michigan, 12:00 PM, FOX
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Drew and Calvin both had Penn State ranked number 7, while Ryan (#9) and John (#8) also included the Nittany Lions in the top 10.
What do you think of our rankings? Let us know in the comments!