A slightly less volatile Week 6 didn’t short college football fans on excitement. Two teams hung 70 points apiece. One College Football Playoff contender lost that status. Oklahoma and Texas delivered a thrilling Red River Rivalry. Florida State survived Miami only because of a blocked extra point.
In summary, eight teams from last week’s rankings lost and four dropped out of this week’s altogether. With Houston’s loss, the upper tier of the sport becomes slightly less crowded. Buckle up as the pressure on these top 25 teams ratchets up.
11Alabama Crimson Tidelast week: 1record: 6–0Yet another convincing effort keeps Alabama above every other unbeaten team. Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts continued to show improvement with another four touchdowns while defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick hauled in three interceptions and returned one 100 yards for a touchdown. An uncharacteristic three turnovers were about the Crimson Tide’s only blemish ahead of season-defining games against Tennessee and Texas A&M.
Last week: Beat Arkansas 49–30
Next week: Saturday at Tennessee
22Ohio St. Buckeyeslast week: 2record: 5–0Only the final score was impressive in Ohio State’s 38–17 win over. Indiana. J.T. Barrett managed only 93 passing yards, so a career-high 26 rushing attempts for 137 yards were needed to keep the Buckeyes moving downfield. Next up is a trip to Wisconsin, where the Badgers will be eager to atone for their loss to Michigan coming off a bye.
Last week: Beat Indiana 38–17
Next week: Saturday at Wisconsin
33Clemson Tigerslast week: 3record: 6–0A short week had a negligible impact on Clemson, which rumbled past Boston College on Friday night. Four touchdowns from Deshaun Watson led a balanced Tigers attack, which gets one more tuneup against NC State and a week off before to prepare for the Oct. 29 showdown at Florida State.
Last week: Beat Boston College 56–10
Next week: Saturday vs. NC State
44Washington Huskieslast week: 5record: 6–0Even if Houston had avoided its upset to Navy, it would be difficult not to bump Washington over the Cougars into the top four. An unbelievable 70–21 win at Oregon strengthened Jake Browning’s Heisman case (22-of-28, 304 yards, eight total touchdowns), snapped the Huskies’ 12-game losing streak to the Ducks and further cemented UW’s status as the class of the Pac-12.
Last week: Beat Oregon 70–21
Next week: Off
55Michigan Wolverineslast week: 6record: 6–0After struggling offensively against Wisconsin, Michigan had zero trouble in a 78–0 win over Rutgers. You decide whether to credit the Wolverines or simply roll your eyes at the level of competition. With Michigan State and Iowa both disappointing this season, Michigan appears well on track to face Ohio State with an unblemished record in the regular-season finale.
Last week: Beat Rutgers 78–0
Next week: Off
66Louisville Cardinalslast week: 7record: 4–1Louisville had the weekend off following its crushing loss to Clemson. The Cardinals’ schedule is manageable until a trip to Houston on Nov. 17.
Last week: OFF
Next week: Friday vs. Duke
77Texas A&M Aggieslast week: 8record: 6–0Texas A&M nearly became the latest victim of Tennessee’s late-game voodoo, as the Volunteers erased a 21-point second-half lead and forced double overtime before the Aggies pulled out the win for their first 6–0 start since 1994. A well-deserved bye is up next, and Texas A&M gets it at a favorable time. Its next game is at Alabama.
Last week: Beat Tennessee 45–38 in double overtime
Next week: Off
88Tennessee Volunteerslast week: 9record: 5–1Tennessee’s magic finally ran out, and now the Volunteers have to try to rebound against Alabama on Saturday. At least the Crimson Tide is the only currently ranked opponent remaining on Tennessee’s schedule. The Volunteers remain in good shape in the SEC East.
Last week: Lost to Texas A&M 45–38 in double overtime
Next week: Saturday vs. Alabama
99Wisconsin Badgerslast week: 10record: 4–1Wisconsin entered last weekend’s bye in better shape than most expected after losing just one game of its daunting early-season slate. Things won’t get much easier from here, as Ohio State is up next, a trip to Iowa follows and then a meeting with Nebraska on Oct. 29 that could decide the Big Ten West division.
Last week: Off
Next week: Saturday vs. Ohio State
1010Nebraska Cornhuskerslast week: 11record: 5–0Nebraska remains undefeated, and if the Cornhuskers continue to perform as well as they have so far this season, they shouldn’t be seriously tested until traveling to Wisconsin and Ohio State to close October and begin November.
Last week: Beat Illinois 31–16
Next week: Off
1111Ole Miss Rebelslast week: 13record: 3–2Ole Miss was off and would have remained out of the headlines had Chad Kelly not found himself involved in a brawl at his younger brother’s high school game. Coach Hugh Freeze reportedly isn’t expected to punish Kelly, which isn’t too surprising considering a trip to Arkansas is up next.
Last week: Off
Next week: Saturday at Arkansas
1212Baylor Bearslast week: 16record: 5–0Coming off a bye week, Baylor can’t afford to take Kansas lightly. The Jayhawks nearly knocked off TCU before blowing a nine-point lead, and the Bears’ last game was an unconvincing three-point win over Iowa State. Something tells us a considerable amount of chaos is in store for the Big 12.
Last week: Off
Next week: Saturday vs. Kansas
1313Houston Cougarslast week: 4record: 5–1Saturday’s stunning loss to Navy marks quite a setback for Houston, which has to wait until Nov. 17 for a shot at elite competition when Louisville travels to TDECU Stadium. The Cougars said goodbye to their playoff hopes and Greg Ward Jr. did the same to his Heisman hopes after committing three turnovers.
Last week: Lost to Navy 46–40
Next week: Saturday vs. Tulsa
1414Florida StATE Seminoleslast week: 19record: 4–2DeMarcus Walker’s blocked extra point allowed Florida State to pull out an improbable, uneven win over Miami, the Seminoles’ seventh consecutive victory against the Hurricanes. Deondre Francois briefly exited with a right shoulder injury in the first half and played through obvious pain once he returned, but remained the catalyst of FSU’s offense with 234 passing yards and two touchdowns. Credit Florida State for keeping the game close in the second half and putting Walker in position to save their season, but a sharper effort will be needed in three weeks against a Clemson team that’s finally firing on all cylinders.
Last week: Beat Miami 20–19
Next week: Saturday vs. Wake Forest
1515Miami Hurricaneslast week: 12record: 4–1Brad Kaaya’s beautiful 11-yard touchdown pass to Stacy Coley on a fourth-and-5 with 1:38 remaining appeared to tie Miami with Florida State before Walker’s block extra point paved the way for the Hurricanes’ first loss. The next two weeks should provide clarity for Miami and the crowded ACC Coastal, as the Hurricanes host North Carolina before a Thursday-night trip to Virginia Tech on Oct. 20.
Last week: Lost to Florida State 20–19
Next week: Saturday vs. North Carolina
1616Virginia Tech Hokieslast week: 23record: 4–1Despite miserable weather brought on by Hurricane Matthew, Virginia Tech dominated North Carolina on the road for its first 4–1 start since 2013. The Hokies capitalized on four Tar Heel turnovers and held the explosive North Carolina offense to just a field goal. Should Virginia Tech knock off Syracuse on the road, the Oct. 20 matchup with Miami will be must-watch material.
Last week: Beat North Carolina 34–3
Next week: Saturday at Syracuse
1717Oklahoma Soonerslast week: 21record: 3–2Racking up 45 points and 672 yards of offense against Texas’s pathetic defense is more an instance of taking care of business as opposed to a magnificent achievement, but credit Oklahoma for continuing its recovery from two high-stakes, early-season losses to Houston and Ohio State with a win in the highest-scoring installment of the Red River Rivalry. Ten of Baker Mayfield’s 22 completions went to Dede Westbrook, who gained a school record 232 yards and scored three touchdowns. Had Texas managed more than three points off Oklahoma’s four turnovers, a much different story could be getting told right now. Instead, Oklahoma joins Baylor and West Virginia atop the Big 12.
Last week: Beat Texas 45–40
Next week: Saturday vs. Kansas State
1818Boise State Broncoslast week: 22record: 5–0Boise State enters Week 7 as the pride of the Group of 5 following Houston’s loss. The Broncos dispatched New Mexico thanks in large part to five touchdowns passes from quarterback Brett Rypien, who racked up 368 of his 391 passing yards in the first half. A nationally televised meeting with BYU looms in two weeks, and a still-undefeated Boise State team at that point would make postseason projections awfully interesting.
Last week: Beat New Mexico 49–21
Next week: Saturday vs. Colorado State
1919West Virginia Mountaineerslast week: 23record: 4–0West Virginia was off this weekend, but its schedule finally gets interesting, with a trip to Texas Tech before TCU comes to Morgantown.Last week: Off
Next week: Saturday at Texas Tech
2020Florida Gatorslast week: 18record: 4–1The postponement of LSU–Florida and Tennessee’s loss threw the SEC East into chaos, especially with rescheduling the former remaining a complex, confusing issue. For now, the Gators just have to take care of business, especially with challenging games still remaining against Georgia, Arkansas and Florida State.
Last week: Game vs. LSU postponed
Next week: Saturday vs. Missouri
2121Arkansas Razorbackslast week: 15record: 4–2Nobody outside of Fayetteville really expected Arkansas to challenge Alabama, but the Razorbacks weren’t even competitive on Saturday. The Razorbacks committed five turnovers and averaged only 2 yards per carry, not remotely enough to keep pace with the Crimson Tide’s 517 yards (on just 51 plays, no less). Let’s see if coach Bret Bielema’s team can bounce back in Saturday night’s clash with Ole Miss.
Last week: Lost to Alabama 49–30
Next week: Saturday vs. Ole Miss
2222Western Michigan Broncoslast week: 24record: 6–0The magic run for P.J. Fleck’s Broncos continued Saturday night as Western Michigan knocked off Northern Illinois 45–30 and became bowl eligible for the third consecutive season.
Last week: Beat Northern Illinois 45–30
Next week: Saturday at Akron
2323Utah Uteslast week: NRrecord: 5–1Saturday’s win over Arizona doesn’t do much for Utah, which committed 11 first-half penalties and trailed at halftime. It does, at least, keep the Utes in step with Colorado and Arizona State atop the Pac-12 South.
Last week: Beat Arizona 36–23
Next week: Saturday at Oregon State
2424Auburn Tigerslast week: NRrecord: 4–2Auburn’s first road game since last Nov. 7 provided little challenge, aside from the ankle injury to starting running back Kerryon Johnson. Even that was negated by the emergence of Kamryn Pettway (39 carries, 169 yards, three touchdowns) and a steady showing from quarterback Sean White (14-of-18, 204 yards, one touchdown, one interception). Despite suffering early losses to Clemson and Texas A&M, Auburn remains a factor in the SEC West.
Last week: Beat Mississippi State 38–14
Next week: Off
2525Arizona St. Sun Devilslast week: NRrecord: 5–1Saturday’s narrow win over UCLA came with kicker Zane Gonzalez becoming the NCAA all-time record holder in field goals as he knocked in three. The Sun Devils needed the points those kicks provided because starting quarterback Manny Wilkins was out and backup Brady White sustained a leg injury in the fourth quarter. Arizona State enters Week 7 tied for the Pac-12 South lead with Utah and Colorado, and the Sun Devils travel to face the Buffaloes on Saturday.
Last week: Beat UCLA 23–20
Next week: Saturday at Colorado
Dropped out: North Carolina, Stanford, Colorado, UCLA
Next five: Georgia, TCU, Washington State, LSU, Navy