How far do the Georgia Bulldogs drop in this week’s college football power rankings after their stunning home loss to South Carolina?
1. Clemson Tigers (6-0) | Last week: 1
Clemson came off the bye and completely dominated against ACC rival Florida State, scoring 14 points in each of the first three quarters while jumping out to a 42-0 lead. The game could have been an even bigger blowout than the 45-14 final score, but the Tigers took their foot off the gas a bit after their six-touchdown lead was established just over 35 minutes into the game. After a relatively sluggish open to the season, Clemson might start destroying teams now.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0) | Last week: 2
In a ranked SEC matchup on the road at College Station, Alabama had little trouble taking care of Texas A&M to improve to 6-0. Tua Tagovailoa threw another four touchdowns in the victory, but the Crimson Tide had a little more balance on offense, with Najee Harris (114 yards on 20 carries) and Brian Robinson Jr. (51 yards and a touchdown on ten carries) getting their most extensive work of the season.
3. LSU Tigers (6-0) | Last week: 4 (+1)
With two top-ten wins this season (on the road at Texas and at home against Florida), there’s a strong case for LSU being in the top spot of the power rankings. The defense is somewhat concerning, but the Tigers’ rushing attack led by Clyde Edwards-Helaire (134 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Gators) helped make the offense look unstoppable while complementing Joe Burrow and the passing game.
4. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0) | Last week: 5 (+1)
Ohio State had off last week, and they’ll now play a Friday night game at Northwestern. The Buckeyes should be able to improve to 7-0, but they can’t look ahead to an October 26 matchup with Wisconsin.
5. Oklahoma Sooners (6-0) | Last week: 6 (+1)
Anything can happen, and games toward the end of the season—including at Waco and at Stillwater—won’t be cakewalks, but the Sooners passed what will likely be their biggest test of the regular season with a Red River Showdown win versus Texas. While the Longhorns came back and had a shot at the end, Oklahoma was in full control of the game in large part because of the play of their defense. If OU plays defense like they did last Saturday, this could be their best team under Lincoln Riley.
6. Wisconsin Badgers (6-0) | Last week: 7 (+1)
Wisconsin is off to a 6-0 start, and their games haven’t even been close. The Badgers own all more-than-one-possession victories by scores of 49-0, 61-0, 35-14, 24-15, 48-0, and 38-0, with the second-best point differential in the nation. The elite defense has scored as many touchdowns (four) as it has given up (four), which is mind-boggling—that, paired with an offense led by Heisman hopeful running back Jonathan Taylor, makes the Badgers a scary team.
7. Penn State Nittany Lions (6-0) | Last week: 10 (+3)
The Nittany Lion defense has not been quite as impressive as Wisconsin’s, but they had another outstanding game in last Saturday night’s win at Iowa (a very difficult place to play). Penn State hasn’t allowed more than 13 points in a game this season, and they’re behind only Wisconsin in points allowed per game this season (8.2). It’s a White Out this weekend in Happy Valley when Penn State hosts Michigan.
8. Georgia Bulldogs (5-1) | Last week: 3 (-5)
That was obviously a very disappointing loss for the Bulldogs, but by no means does it end the school’s College Football Playoff chances this season. They’ll have as many as four ranked SEC matchups over their final six games, including road games against Florida and Auburn. But Georgia will need to figure out some things offensively, as they’ve had trouble getting chunk plays down the field after losing a few receivers to the NFL in the past couple of seasons.
9. Florida Gators (6-1) | Last week: 8 (-1)
Florida drops just one spot after their first loss of the season in Death Valley, and they’re another team that should remain in the Playoff mix if they finish their SEC slate without another loss. Quarterback Kyle Trask played well in the Gators’ defeat, and the offense is in good hands with him (and Emory Jones mixing in) targeting talented playmakers on the outside. The defense will look to get back on track this week against South Carolina before a matchup with Georgia.
10. Auburn Tigers (5-1) | Last week: NR
Coming off a bye, Auburn is back in the top ten after they lost to Florida a couple of weeks ago, and they still have games versus LSU, Georgia, and Alabama left on the schedule—so there’s certainly still hope for them in the Playoff discussion. True freshman Bo Nix might have to play out of his mind for the Tigers to even get one win in that span, but the first order of business is winning this Saturday at Arkansas.