Texas and Florida bowed out of playoff contention, and the race is down to 12 viable teams. How many teams will be eliminated this week?
This week, Michigan State-Maryland, Georgia-Kentucky, West Virginia-Texas, Penn State-Michigan, Notre Dame-Northwestern, Stanford-Washington, and Cal-Washington State are worth watching, but all eyes are on Alabama-LSU.
Also Receiving Consideration: Cincinnati, Virginia, Michigan State, UAB, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Maryland, Army, and Buffalo
Dropped Out: Washington, South Florida, Oregon, Wisconsin, NC State, Stanford, and San Diego State
25. Texas A&M (5-3, Last Week #15)- Jimbo’s squad was run over by Mississippi State, but, still, this is the team that had previously only lost to the nation’s top 2 teams. Nobody in Aggieland is regretting the coaching change.
24. Fresno State (7-1, Last Week NR)- Who’s the best team in California? That’d be the Bulldogs who have won 6 straight.
23. Northwestern (5-3, Last Week NR)- With wins over Michigan State and Wisconsin a part of their 4 game win streak, the Wildcats are one of the nation’s hottest teams.
22. Boston College (6-2, Last Week NR)- Boston College handled Miami in a key win for the Eagles’ program.
21. Iowa (6-2, Last Week #16)- The Hawkeyes narrowly missed out on a huge win over Penn State. Now, they have a contest against Purdue in a battle of teams to recently destroy Ohio State’s season.
20. Utah State (7-1, Last Week NR)- Florida, Texas, and … Utah. The 3 states with multiple teams in the top 20. The Aggies have played stellar football since pushing Michigan State in Week 1.
19. Syracuse (6-2, Last Week NR)- Dino Babers has the ‘Cuse looking like the #2 team in the ACC and a potential spoiler for Notre Dame’s playoff run after beating NC State by 10.
18. Houston (7-1, Last Week NR)- After posting a 3 touchdown victory over South Florida, Houston stands behind only UCF for the best Group of 5 team.
17. Mississippi State (5-3, Last Week NR)- You never know what you are going to get with the Bulldogs, but they look borderline elite when they are on (and, yes, atrocious when they are off). That was a strong win over a hot Texas A&M team.
16. Utah (6-2, Last Week #23)- The Utes have won their last 4 games- all against PAC 12 foes by an average of almost 24 points. Not exactly the team Arizona State wants to face right now.
15. Penn State (6-2, Last Week #19)- A much-needed win over Iowa gives the Nittany Lions a boost heading into a tough contest against Michigan. September 21st was the last time they played in a game decided by more than 6 points. Expect another close one.
14. Texas (6-2, Last Week #4)- Oklahoma State had lost 3 of its last 4 (to Texas Tech, Iowa State, and Kansas State) before it shocked Texas and killed their playoff dreams. Tom Herman’s program still needs growth as it takes on WVU.
13. Florida (6-2, Last Week #6)- In his first year, Dan Mullen has definitely made Florida better, but he still has work to do. The Gators should have no problem against Missouri this week.
12. Washington State (7-1, Last Week #14)- Is there any way Washington State can make the playoff? After beating Stanford, the hopes are (narrowly) alive. The Cougars shouldn’t take Cal for granted, however.
11. West Virginia (6-1, Last Week #13)- The Mountaineers embarrassed Baylor in a nice bounce-back win. They can re-enter the playoff discussion with a win over Texas this week.
10. Kentucky (7-1, Last Week #12)- With a squeaker of a win over Missouri, Kentucky looks much more like a typical Wildcats team than the one that defeated Florida and Mississippi State. Expect a rough week against UGA.
9. UCF (7-0, Last Week #10)- As UCF sat at home and saw Florida and Texas falter, they are faced with the reality that there is likely no plausible scenario that allows them to avoid a second straight season of being left out of the playoff.
8. Ohio State (7-1, Last Week #9)- Ohio State licked its wounds following its embarrassing loss to Purdue. Scott Frost’s Nebraska squad should provide some relief.
7. Georgia (7-1, Last Week #11)- The Dawgs found themselves in a strong performance over Florida and can earn the SEC East title with a win over Kentucky this week.
6. LSU (7-1, Last Week #8)- Few circled LSU-Alabama as a game of epic playoff considerations heading into the season, but here we are. What happens, though, if LSU pulls a 2017 Auburn and beats Alabama only to lose in the SEC title game?
5. Oklahoma (7-1, Last Week #7)- After putting the hurt on Kansas State and seeing Texas falter, the Sooners are very much back in the thick of the playoff hunt. QB Kyler Murray might be the toughest player to replace in 2019.
4. Michigan (7-1, Last Week #5)- Jim Harbaugh’s hot squad is knocking at the door of a playoff berth and took a week off to gear up for Penn State.
3. Notre Dame (8-0, Last Week #3)- The Fighting Irish know what they have to do: just keep winning. They took care of business against Navy and now face a tricky Northwestern team that, after starting 1-3, has won its last 4.
2. Clemson (8-0, Last Week #2)- After making a mockery of what was once the ACC’s premier showdown, the Tigers have won their last 3 games by an average of 51 points- looking like the one team that can challenge the Tide.
1. Alabama (8-0, Last Week #1)- Alabama was off Saturday preparing for its first real test of the season.