College football doesn’t get more exciting than that Michigan-Michigan State game. The absolutely shocking, absurd, and amazing ending had Jim Harbaugh almost weeping in his khakis. This week also showed us that a team is capable of turning the ball over 7 times in the first half. Way to go Boise. Oh, and Baylor was held to just 62 points. Just another week in college football!
Top 25 Poll
Others receiving votes: Arizona, Duke, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Marshall, Western Kentucky
Dropped from the rankings: Boise State (16), UCLA (17), Northwestern (18), Arizona State (24)
25 (20). Mississippi (5-2) – Everyone made their loss out to be some big upset, but they were playing on the road in the non-conference in the middle of the season against a borderline elite offense. They were going to lose, and they lost their best player to an injury because they decided to keep playing their DT at RB with a 2 touchdown lead. This team can’t get out of its own way.
24 (NR). North Carolina (5-1) – Their resume is looking stronger each week. This team can really score. Their only loss was an ugly season opener to South Carolina by 4 points.
23 (NR). California (5-1) – IDLE
22 (22). Florida State (6-0) – I cannot buy into this team. They have some real players, but they can’t take over a game. They are the weakest of the unbeatens.
21 (NR). Pittsburgh (5-1) – Pitt has quietly moved up the rankings in the ACC. Their sole loss was against Iowa, which is looking more reasonable with each passing week.
20 (NR). Temple (6-0) – The only time the Owls have appeared to struggle with anyone this year was against Cincinnati. They have one of the most underrated defenses in the land.
19 (21). Houston (6-0) – Any other year, this would be the slam dunk Group of 5 choice. They are dominant in every way. Tom Herman is going to get a great job next year.
18 (23). Toledo (6-0) – Toledo continues to ride the momentum of beating Arkansas to just dismantle every team that steps in their way.
17 (25). Memphis (6-0) – The American Conference is the 4th best conference in America. Memphis appears to have one of the best offenses in the country, and their defense actually showed up in their whipping of Ole Miss as well.
16 (9). Florida (6-1) – The Gators performed admirably after Will Grier was suspended for a year due to PEDs. Losing in Death Valley is no shame, but their potential going forward looks a little bleak.
15 (6). Texas A&M (5-1) – They simply cannot win big SEC games at home. They rallied in the second half, but Alabama put them away by running the ball down their throat.
14 (3). Michigan (5-2) – There really are no words for their loss. They lead for the entire game...until the last play.
13 (13). Oklahoma State (6-0) – IDLE
12 (15). Iowa (7-0) – Iowa exposed Northwestern on Saturday. Iowa hasn’t really played anyone, and they won’t play anyone. But they are undefeated.
11 (19). Oklahoma (5-1) – Their 55-0 win on the road in Manhattan just shows how much of a fluke losing to Texas was. They played angry, and they took it out on Bill Snyder’s overmatched squad.
10 (14). Notre Dame (6-1) – The Irish looked pretty good against an inspired and upset-minded USC team. They are just going to quietly move along with one-loss until they play Stanford.
9 (11). Alabama (6-1) – They had a mightily impressive win on the road. Their loss to Ole Miss seems less and less like a great loss.
8 (4). TCU (7-0) – TCU simply has no defense. You cannot give up points to Iowa State, especially not 21 in the first quarter.
7 (5). Clemson (6-0) – Clemson struggled a bit with Boston College, which is surprising considering how much they struggle to put any points on the board. They are still one of the best teams out there, and they are probably not going to lose in the regular season.
6 (12). Stanford (5-1) – They are maybe the best team playing right now. That offense has really gotten going. It is just hard to justify their loss to Northwestern given what we now know about both teams.
5 (10). Michigan State (7-0) – Yeah, they won with a lucky last play. They played way better than I thought they were going to, though. Connor Cook is a big game QB.
4 (6). LSU (6-0) – They won differently this week. Fournette did not exactly go off, but Brandon Harris played a strong game at quarterback and proved that this is the team to beat in the SEC.
3 (8). Ohio State (7-0) – The Buckeyes have finally figured it out. Cardale Jones is the starter, and JT Barrett is the red zone guy. They will not lose in the regular season if they keep that up.
2 (2). Utah (6-0) – I was impressed with Utah taking down a pesky, talented, and upset-minded Arizona State squad. They are going to be a force, but they are now the hunted. I would be surprised if they can get through conference play unscathed.
1 (1). Baylor (6-0) – They could drop 50 points on any defense. They can actually stop some people too…not well, but they aren’t giving up 40 points to anybody outside of maybe Oklahoma or TCU. They probably shouldn’t lose, but then again last year I thought the same thing before they got a 14 point loss on the road. This team just seems different.
Top 5 Games for Next Weekend
5. Western Kentucky at LSU (#4), 4:00PM ESPNU – You know it is a weak slate of games when I am looking for a potentially closer than expected game. WKU can score, and those midseason non-conference mid major games for SEC teams don’t always go as planned.
PREDICTION: LSU 41-27
4. Washington State at Arizona, 1:00PM TBD – The Cougars have been great since getting beat by Portland State to start the year. Arizona has been struggling. This could be a great game, and Gameday said that they will likely be in Pullman on Halloween night if WSU gets past the Cats.
PREDICTION: Washington State 31-28
3. California (#23) at UCLA, THU 6:00PM ESPN – UCLA is still one of the most talented teams out there. They have never been a traditionally good home team. California had a week off after the heartbreaker in Salt Lake. I like this matchup.
PREDICTION: UCLA 24-16
2. Utah (#2) at USC, 4:30PM FOX – I am not sure what else could go wrong for USC. Utah rolls into town, not having exactly been most impressive in recent weeks. Upset?
PREDICTION: USC 35-28
1. Texas A&M (#15) at Mississippi (#25), 4:00PM ESPN – The only matchup of ranked teams has a couple teams coming off tough losses. Ole Miss at home is tough to beat, but A&M can travel.
PREDICTION: Texas A&M 34-20
Heisman Trophy Watch
5. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State – He is the best player on the team, maybe the best player in the ACC. He is single-handedly keeping the team unbeaten when they are not asking the QB to do much of anything.
4. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU – He might not be having the statistical year he had a year ago, but he is still dominant and scoring touchdowns at will.
3. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford – He is setting all-purpose records in Palo Alto. His emergence alone has ensured that Stanford will no longer struggle to score. He is a gamebreaker.
2. Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor – He is being put in the same sentence as two-time Biletnikoff winners Justin Blackmon and Michael Crabtree. His first half season has been absolutely unreal.
1. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU – He is the best player in the country. The entire defense keys on him, and he still drops 125. He is unstoppable. Only an injury will prevent him from taking the trophy.
College Football Playoff Projections
Chik-fil-A Peach Bowl: Michigan State over Memphis
Rose Bowl: Utah over Iowa
Fiesta Bowl: Toledo over TCU
Sugar Bowl: Alabama over Florida State
College Football Playoff Semifinal #1 (Orange Bowl): Ohio State over Stanford
CFB Playoff Semifinal #2 (Cotton Bowl): Baylor over LSU
National Championship Game: Baylor over Ohio State
There you have it! Comment below and give me your take on that Michigan-Michigan State finish, which is, for my money, the craziest walk-off win I have ever seen,