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  • After four top-10 teams fell to unranked opponents this weekend, including Clemson and Washington, how has the top 10 changed?
By Bruce Feldman
October 15, 2017

A wild Friday the 13th took down Clemson and Washington State, as massive underdogs Syracuse and Cal stepped up and set the tone for a weekend of upheaval in which four AP top-10 teams lost. Once again, it’s Alabama and everyone else. No one feels right at No. 2, leaving us all to sort out one-loss teams as we’ve reached a new stage of the season. Here's how this week’s Top 10 looks behind the Tide.

1. Alabama: Nick Saban’s squad hammered another SEC foe, blasting Arkansas 41–9, the fifth time in seven games Alabama has held an opponent to single-digits. Junior RB Damien Harris surpassed the 100-yard mark for the third time in the past four games, cruising for 125 yards on just nine carries. Alabama has now outscored its opponents 100–9 in the first quarter and 169–26 in the first half this season.

2. Penn State: The Nittany Lions haven’t had a brutal slate thus far and had this week off, but things are about to get rough with games against Michigan, at Ohio State and at Michigan State up next. Penn State has a loaded offense and an impressive defense, but we’re about to find out much more about it in the next few weeks.

3. Georgia: The Bulldogs struggled some with lowly Missouri before blowing the game open on the way to a 53–28 win, as coordinator Jim Chaney’s offense piled up almost 700 yards. Georgia is the class of the SEC East.

4. TCU: It was a looong day for the Horned Frogs at Kansas State: They endured one three-hour lightning delay and another one that lasted almost an hour before leaving with a 26–6 win. Kenny Hill was solid and Gary Patterson’s defense was stingy, limiting the Wildcats to 216 yards and a 2-for-15 mark on third down. TCU has two very good wins on its resume in Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

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5. Wisconsin: The Badgers rode their standout freshman Jonathan Taylor to bulldoze Purdue, 17–9, going 9-for-14 on third down and surrendering only three second-half points. On the season, Wisconsin's defense has allowed just 17 total points in the second half and scored 18 points itself after the half.

6. Clemson: Friday night’s upset loss at Syracuse after the Orange battered QB Kelly Bryant was a stunner, but don’t write off the Tigers. However, two of their three wins over ranked opponents don’t look quite as impressive after this week, as both Auburn and Louisville lost to unranked opponents.

7. Oklahoma: Texas gave the Sooners all it could handle, but Baker Mayfield rallied them to a bounce-back victory after last week’s loss in Norman to Iowa State. The Sooners still have one of the season’s most impressive wins, Week 2’s thumping of Ohio State in Columbus.

8. Ohio State: Urban Meyer’s team is rampaging through the soft part of its schedule. Ohio State crunched Nebraska 56–14 on Saturday. Since losing to OU, the Buckeyes have averaged over 53 points per game.

9. Miami: Another week, another close shave for the Canes, but they remain unbeaten with a 25–24 win at home against Georgia Tech. We’ll find out much more about this young team in the second half of the season: They get an improving Syracuse next and then face consecutive games against Virginia Tech and Notre Dame in November.

10. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys put up 59 points for the third time this season, whipping Baylor 59–16. Their lone loss was to a good TCU team, but their most impressive win was at a Texas Tech team that is about to fall out of the top 25.

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