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STS Writers Poll Week 7

Alabama v Tennessee
Tennessee Volunteers fans tear down the goal post after upsetting Alabama at home.
Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

With 6 ranked vs. ranked matchups this week, movement in the polls was guaranteed. Some teams, like Tennessee and Michigan, used the weekend to make a statement to the playoff committee. Others, like Alabama and Penn State, need to refocus if they don’t want to see their season go down the drain in October. Let’s see how our writers decided to rank the top teams in the nation:

  1. Georgia

Last Week STS Poll: 2

Current AP Poll: 1

Avg. Rank @ STS: 1.92

Last Week: W vs. Vanderbilt, 55-0

Georgia heard the noise. After struggling with lesser opponents Kent State and Missouri, Kirby Smart’s team took it to Vanderbilt early and often. Stetson Bennett finished 24/30 for 289 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Bulldogs rolled to a home conference win. Also of note, the defense looked smothering, holding Vandy to 150 yards… total. Maybe Georgia just had a couple of weeks off, because this team still looks the part of a National Championship contender. Georgia now has a bye week and Florida to fine-tune themselves before a mounting showdown with Tennessee in November.

Next Up: IDLE

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Alex and Jon had the Bulldogs in third, their lowest ranking among the writers.

2. Ohio State

Last Week STS Poll: 1

Current AP Poll: 2

Avg. Rank @ STS: 1.92

Last Week: IDLE

With Ohio State being idle, they were able to focus on preparing for their upcoming game against the Hawkeyes in Columbus. Never say never with Iowa and top 5 teams, but that magic typically comes in Iowa City. I think the Buckeyes will dispatch Iowa relatively quickly. But who knows, maybe I’m wrong (a Clemson fan that wants Ohio State to lose in an embarrassing fashion can dream, right?).

Next Up: vs. Iowa, 12:00 PM, FOX

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Brian has the Bucks at 5.

3. Tennessee

Last Week STS Poll: 5

Current AP Poll: 3

Avg. Rank @ STS: 2.9

Last Week: W vs. #3 Alabama, 52-49

Tennessee! Wow! In the game of the season (so far), Tennessee took advantage of the opportunity in front of them and finally vanquished Alabama in “The Third Saturday in October”. Hendon Hooker looked all the part of a Heisman winner, finishing 21/30 for 385 yards and 5 touchdowns. However, he did lose a fumble and throw an interception, but I think Vols fans aren’t too worried about that. Jalin Hyatt showed the strength of wide receivers from Irmo, SC this weekend, finishing with 6 receptions for 207 yards and 5 touchdowns. Suddenly, Tennessee is in the thoughts of every college football fan, and people on Rocky Top are saying it feels like ‘98. What a weekend for them.

Next Up: vs. UT Martin, 12:00 PM, SECN

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Matt wasn’t feeling the Tennessee love, ranking them 5th this week.

4. Clemson

Last Week STS Poll: 4

Current AP Poll: 5

Avg. Rank @ STS: 3.9

Last Week: W @ Florida State, 34-28

I wish Clemson didn’t take their foot off the gas. Clemson used the middle 8 to take control of this game and beat Florida State for the seventh straight time, as well as the third straight time in Tallahassee. Will Shipley had a career game, ending up with 238 all-purpose yards. Florida State looked poised to give the Tigers a scare, but thankfully Clemson recovered an onside kick to ensure the win. Myles Murphy and Jeremiah Trotter Jr. had great games - Murphy had 6 tackles, 2 sacks, and 3.5 TFL, while Trotter Jr. had 13 tackles and a TFL. While the Tigers have dominated the series as of late, I believe Florida State is proving that they are on their way back. I hope Florida State continues its upwards trajectory, as this rivalry is a lot more fun when both teams are good.

Next Up: vs. #14 Syracuse, 12:00 PM, ABC

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: 4 of our writers had the Tigers ranked 5th, while everyone else either had them 3rd or 4th.

5. Michigan

Last Week STS Poll: 6

Current AP Poll: 4

Avg. Rank @ STS: 4.3

Last Week: W vs. #10 Penn State, 41-17

Michigan was another team that heard the criticism. It was tight in the first half on the scoreboard, but anyone watching knew Michigan was in complete control. Donovan Edwards and Blake Corum combined for 339 yards on 44 carries to go along with 4 touchdowns. The defense looked incredible, holding Penn State to 268 total yards and only 10 offensive points (Penn State had a pick-6 right late in the second quarter). If Michigan can continue running the ball the way they did, this team can beat anyone. This win also sets the showdown with Ohio State at the end of the year as a game with massive Big Ten and National Championship implications.

Next Up: IDLE

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: All of our writers had the Wolverines either 4th or 5th.

6. Alabama

Last Week STS Poll: 3

Current AP Poll: 6

Avg. Rank @ STS: 7.1

Last Week: L @ #6 Tennessee, 49-52

Wow. This was not the Alabama team we have come to know and hate. The offense showed up, with Bryce Young throwing for 455 yards and 2 touchdowns on 35/52 passing to go along with Jahmyr Gibbs rushing for 103 yards on 24 carries with 3 touchdowns. However, the defense got torched. Absolutely torched. Tennessee gained 567 total yards (oddly enough Alabama outgained Tennessee by 2 yards). Alabama had 17! Penalties for 130 yards. I can’t believe I just typed that sentence. The Tide also out-possessed the Vols by almost 15 minutes. If Alabama wants to save its season, the defense needs to step up, and they need to get more discipline. You can’t beat anyone when you’re giving up 130 yards of penalties added on to 567 yards of offense.

Next Up: vs. #24 Mississippi State, 7:00 PM, ESPN

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Will had the Tide ranked 10th!

7. Ole Miss

Last Week STS Poll: 9

Current AP Poll: 7

Avg. Rank @ STS: 7.42

Last Week: W vs. Auburn, 48-34

Ole Miss secured their second 6-0 start in the last 60 years by beating Auburn by two scores. The blueprint was simple for Ole Miss: run the ball. As a team, the Rebels ran for 448 yards on 69 carries, also scoring 3 touchdowns. Freshman Quinshon Judkins continued his strong introduction to college football with 25 carries for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Zach Evans contributed 136 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. The Bryan Harsin era continues to spiral, and Lane Kiffin and his squad keep on winning. Can this team win the SEC West? The next three weeks will decide that, culminating in a November 12 matchup in Oxford against Alabama.

Next Up: @ LSU, 3:30 PM, CBS

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Most writers had the Rebs somewhere between 6th and 9th, but Calvin, interestingly, was the only writer that had them in 8th.

8. TCU

Last Week STS Poll: NR

Current AP Poll: 8

Avg. Rank @ STS: 7.42

Last Week: W vs. #8 Oklahoma State, 43-40 (2OT)

TCU continues to win. After going on the road to beat an upstart Kansas team, TCU turned around and beat a popular Big 12 champion pick in Oklahoma State in 2OT. Max Duggan continues to be a leader, throwing for 286 yards, rushing for 57 yards, and scoring 3 touchdowns in the upset. Spencer Sanders had another rough game for the Cowboys, finishing 16/36 for 245 yards, throwing 1 touchdown and 1 interception. TCU put itself in the driver’s seat for the Big 12, while Oklahoma State saw its high postseason aspirations take a massive hit. TCU has another massive conference matchup this week, as Kansas State comes to town.

Next Up: vs. #17 Kansas State, 8:00 PM, FS1

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: More of the same, with every writer having TCU somewhere between 6th and 9th.


Last Week STS Poll: NR

Current AP Poll: 9

Avg. Rank @ STS: 9.3

Last Week: IDLE

UCLA has another tough matchup this week, heading up to Eugene to play Oregon in Autzen Stadium. If UCLA can get through this matchup unscathed, the schedule lines up favorably for the Bruins to run the table before a matchup with USC in the Rose Bowl. UCLA’s schedule is @ Oregon, vs. Stanford, @ Arizona State, and vs. Arizona. As a fan of massive rivalry games, I hope UCLA takes care of business.

Next Up: @ #10 Oregon, 3:30 PM, FOX

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Only three writers had UCLA outside of the top 9 - D’arve (10th), Matt (12th), and Drew (15th!).

10. Syracuse

Last Week STS Poll: NR

Current AP Poll: 14

Avg. Rank @ STS: 11.2

Last Week: W vs. #15 NC State, 24-9

Look at Cuse! The top defense in the ACC statistically smothered an NC State offense that looked lost without Devin Leary. Syracuse has become bowl eligible in October, largely thanks to that D. However, they have not had to leave the Carrier Dome all season except for a road game @ UCONN, so it will be interesting to see how they fare on the road. What a stadium to have your first conference away game than the real Death Valley (Clemson hasn’t lost at home in almost 6 years, LSU lost last time they were home).

Next Up: @ #5 Clemson, 12:00 PM, ABC

Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: My own and John, who both had them at 14th, while Drew and Will had them at 8th. There is diversity when it comes to the opinion of the Orange within the writer’s ranks.

What do you think of our rankings? Let us know in the comments!