The first College Football Playoff rankings will be announced in less than a month (Tuesday, November 5), and a lot will change between now and then. But this is where we see each team standing after the first week of October.
1. Clemson Tigers (5-0) | Last week: 1
Clemson had a bye week to take a step back and regroup after they were not as sharp as expected through five games and nearly fell to North Carolina a couple of Saturday’s ago. An ACC game against former perennial contender Florida State could be the matchup that gets the Tigers going in 2019.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0) | Last week: 2
Also coming off a bye, the Crimson Tide obviously have an excellent case to be the top team in the nation. Alabama has not had much trouble with their early competition, and they’ll now play in their first ranked matchup of the season when they face Texas A&M at College Station.
3. Georgia Bulldogs (5-0) | Last week: 3
It was surprising that Georgia trailed a one-win Tennessee team in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs flipped the switch and dominated with 33 unanswered points in their eventual 43-14 victory to improve to 5-0. Georgia is currently top ten in both scoring defense and total defense, while they are top 15 in both scoring offense and total offense.
4. LSU Tigers (5-0) | Last week: 4
LSU leads the country in points per game at 57.8—edging out Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Alabama—which is not something many people expected despite the switch to a spread offense. That said, the Tigers have beaten up on Georgia Southern, Northwestern State, and Utah State in three of their five wins, so this Saturday against Florida will be a huge test.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0) | Last week: 5
Ohio State wasn’t quite as dominant as they had been this season in their 34-10 win over Michigan State, but they’re simply too talented and were able to separate with 24 points in the second quarter. The early performance by the Spartans showed that the Buckeyes certainly aren’t unbeatable in the Big Ten, especially against similarly tough teams like Wisconsin and Penn State. Ohio State now has a bye week.
6. Oklahoma Sooners (5-0) | Last week: 6
The Sooners were held to their lowest point total of the season (45) in their win at Kansas, but the defense did well to hold the Jayhawks to seven points through the first three quarters. A loss in the Red River Showdown last year did not end OU’s Playoff chances, but in what looks like a stronger year overall, this Saturday will obviously be a critical game for Lincoln Riley’s squad.
7. Wisconsin Badgers (5-0) | Last week: 8 (+1)
Jonathan Taylor totaled five touchdowns in the Badgers’ 48-0 victory against Kent State, while the passing attack led by Jack Coan had ten different guys get involved with a reception. Wisconsin is averaging 42.3 points per game while allowing an FBS-best 7.3 points per game. They face Michigan State this Saturday.
8. Florida Gators (6-0) | Last week: 10 (+2)
After defending “The Swamp” with a great defensive performance versus an undefeated SEC opponent in Auburn, the Gators improved to 6-0 and move up a couple of spots in this week’s college football power rankings. The trio of quarterback Kyle Trask, running back Lamical Perine, and receiver Freddie Swain led the offense in the victory, and it was good to see Trask avoided a serious knee injury after it looked like his season might be over after being patient and waiting for his opportunity at Florida.
9. Texas Longhorns (4-1) | Last week: 9
Texas did force four interceptions on defense, but they gave up 31 points in what wasn’t a sharp game for the team. But this Saturday against Oklahoma will probably be about taking care of the football and taking advantage of every possession on offense, as a bunch of points should be scored between the two Big 12 rivals. The Longhorns should get big receiver Collin Johnson (hamstring) back in the lineup, which is key after he had 258 yards and two touchdowns in the two matchups last season.
10. Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0) | Last week: NR
Penn State has an obvious case for being ahead of the Longhorns at No. 9 in the power rankings. The Nittany Lions boast the No. 2 scoring defense in the nation behind only Wisconsin, they’re one of five teams averaging 50 points per game, and they’re 5-0. Things will start to get tougher moving forward, as Penn State plays Iowa and Michigan in back-to-back weeks.