One of the craziest college football weeks in recent memory included four top-ten losses, as Penn State, Washington, and West Virginia might be knocked out of the College Football Playoff race unless they get a lot of help down the stretch.
1. Alabama (7-0) | Last week: 1
Thankfully Tua Tagovailoa appears to be OK after leaving Saturday’s game with a knee injury, and Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide must be at ease knowing they have the excellent Jalen Hurts ready to take over the starting role if necessary. Alabama will look to avoid giving Tennessee its second straight SEC victory this Saturday, and then they have their bye week.
2. Ohio State (7-0) | Last week: 3 (+1)
Minnesota made it close for a bit, but the Buckeyes separated to remain undefeated. Dwayne Haskins threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns in the victory, and the Urban Meyer suspension from earlier this season feels like a distant memory. Remember, the Buckeyes are still without star pass rusher Nick Bosa.
3. Clemson (6-0) | Last week: 4 (+1)
Clemson had a bye week, but they move up one spot in the rankings after the loss by Georgia. As it stands now, this Saturday against NC State is the lone remaining ranked matchup for the Tigers this regular season.
4. LSU (6-1) | Last week: 10 (+6)
It wasn’t a night game, but LSU defended Death Valley in a convincing blowout victory against then-No. 2 Georgia over the weekend. The pass defense was phenomenal in the win, and LSU is squarely in the Playoff race despite the loss in Gainesville a couple weeks ago. The Tigers face Mississippi State this weekend before a bye and then the huge matchup against Alabama.
5. Georgia (6-1) | Last week: 2 (-3)
Remember, Georgia also suffered a blowout loss last year—even later in the season, in November to Auburn—and they bounced back with an SEC title and national title game appearance. The Bulldogs probably aren’t panicking after this loss, and they remain right in the Playoff discussion. It certainly won’t get easy this weekend against Florida, though.
6. Notre Dame (7-0) | Last week: 5 (-1)
Despite surviving against Pitt to remain undefeated, Notre Dame drops one spot in the power rankings. The Fighting Irish are in danger of being leapfrogged by other teams down the stretch, too. However, they look to have a very good chance at an undefeated regular season, as Pitt was probably their toughest remaining matchup.
7. Michigan (6-1) | Last week: NR
Michigan lost to the wrong team to open the season, as they simply cannot be ahead of Notre Dame at this point after their home loss to them. Still, the offense and defense have been great, as the Wolverines have been playing like an elite team. They must get over the hump against Michigan State this weekend.
8. Texas (6-1) | Last week: 9 (+1)
Baylor nearly knocked off Texas, but the Longhorns got a stop when they needed it at the end of the game. It was a good sign for Texas that they avoided a letdown after the Red River Showdown victory a couple of Saturdays ago. Sam Ehlinger is dealing with a shoulder sprain, but Shane Buechele certainly has the ability to lead the program for as long as necessary.
9. Florida (6-1) | Last week: NR
Florida fell behind early against Vanderbilt, but they stayed composed and dominated with a 24-6 second half. The end of the first half was an interesting moment with a shouting match between the coaches, but it was cool to see Dan Mullen and Derek Mason hug and talk it out after the game. A win in the Florida-Georgia game this Saturday would get the Gators into the top five.
10. Oregon (5-1) | Last week: NR
UCF and Oklahoma are among the other teams in the mix for the final spot in the rankings, but the Ducks get the nod after their home win against Washington. Oregon is probably the Pac-12’s only hope for a Playoff spot at the moment, and they have one of the best players in the country (quarterback Justin Herbert) leading them.