Big Ten

See how they stack up: Week 10 college football top 25 rankings

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USA TODAY

See how they stack up: Week 10 college football top 25 rankings

With Week 10 in the books, here’s my top 25:

1. Georgia (9-0)

It was “beat a mediocre two-loss team by two touchdowns” week for the two top teams in the SEC, and the Dawgs held up their end of the bargain. They get a chance for a resume-booster next time out against Auburn.

2. Alabama (9-0)

Bama played a ranked team for the first time since the opener. LSU and Florida State, the two ranked teams the Tide have rolled (ranked at the time they played them, that is), have a combined record of 9-8. And everyone says Wisconsin’s schedule is soft.

3. Notre Dame (8-1)

The Irish somehow managed to give up 37 points to Wake Forest. But they dropped 48 on the Deacs and haven’t scored fewer than 33 points in any of their eight wins this season.

4. Oklahoma (8-1)

Bedlam lived up to its name, and the Sooner Schooner rolled out of Stillwater with one heck of an impressive shootout win. Baker Mayfield went bonkers, establishing himself as the new Heisman frontrunner with almost 600 passing yards.

5. Miami (8-0)

And there’s the impressive Canes victory we were all waiting for. Miami beat Virginia Tech and held the Hokies to just 10 points, finally not looking like a shaky unbeaten. Kings of the ACC for now, but Notre Dame is next.

6. Clemson (8-1)

The Tigers trailed deep into the third quarter, but two touchdowns in the final three and a half minutes of that period earned a win at NC State. With just three games left against Florida State, the Citadel and South Carolina, the champs are still very much in Playoff position.

7. Wisconsin (9-0)

Well, the Big Ten seems to now be Wisconsin’s to lose. Or rather, if the conference is gonna get any team in the Playoff, it has to be the Badgers. They’re holding up their end of the deal so far, but giant-killer Iowa is next. Gulp?

8. TCU (8-1)

The Frogs play at Oklahoma next. A win pretty much puts one of ‘em in the conference title game. Remember how that’s a thing in the Big 12 again? Playoff door status: still open.

9. Washington (8-1)

After the Big Ten blew itself up over the weekend, the notion of a Pac-12 team in the Playoff doesn’t seem so nuts anymore. Of course, Washington is the only team that could make it, and do the Huskies inspire that much confidence? They’re at Stanford next.

10. Oklahoma State (7-2)

Good on the Cowboys putting up 52 points against one of the country’s best teams. But that was Okie State’s second loss, and now the Playoff looks like a long shot with OU and TCU standing in its way of a Big 12 title game appearance.

11. Virginia Tech (7-2)

By getting shut down by Miami, the Hokies saw any outside Playoff chances vanish — chances that were slim already considering they lost to Clemson. It doesn’t mean they aren’t a good team, though.

12. Michigan State (7-2)

Another week, another upset win for Sparty, which is suddenly and shockingly the king of the Big Ten East. They still have to beat Ohio State if they want to get a firm grasp on a Big Ten title game berth, but man who saw this coming?

13. Penn State (7-2)

The world has crashed down around the Nittany Lions in the last two weeks with losses to Ohio State and Michigan State derailing their once-promising campaign. Not getting demolished by Iowa doesn’t seem like much of a consolation prize, does it?

14. Ohio State (7-2)

Speaking of getting demolished by Iowa. What the heck happened, Buckeyes? Getting pummeled into a 55-24 pulp by Iowa was the last thing anyone expected. But a win this weekend over Sparty and they’re still in the Big Ten East driver’s seat. But the Playoff? Goodbye.

15. UCF (8-0)

UCF is still undefeated. Good on ‘em. Games against UConn and Temple follow before the season-ender against USF. That game could feature an awful lot of points, which would be nice.

16. Auburn (7-2)

Congratulations, Auburn, you are currently the third-best team in the SEC. But you also have to face the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in the country over the next three weeks, so that title might not last long.

17. West Virginia (6-3)

The ‘Neers stopped the Big 12 juggernaut that was Iowa State this past weekend. West Virginia’s got three losses and could have one more with Oklahoma still on the schedule. But this is fine team. Too bad it’s already played five ranked opponents.

18. Washington State (8-2)

The Pac-12 is so ridiculous that a team with blowout losses to Cal and Arizona in its last four games is the conference’s second-best group. Wazzu gets that title for now after beating another contender, Stanford.

19. USC (8-2)

Despite being mired in a disappointing year that has in no way lived up to expectations, USC could still win a Pac-12 title. By quieting upstart Arizona this past weekend, the Trojans have a 6-1 mark in league play. No one in the Pac-12 has a better one.

20. Mississippi State (7-2)

Mississippi State’s only two losses have come against Georgia and Auburn. The Bulldogs should soon have a third with Alabama on the docket this weekend.

21. Memphis (8-1)

Memphis has won five in a row and has a sterling 8-1 record overall with wins against some of the Group of Five’s best. But if UCF goes undefeated, no one will care.

22. Iowa State (6-3)

America’s dream of seeing the ‘Clones play for a Big 12 title isn’t exactly over, but it’s looking very unlikely after a loss at West Virginia. Iowa State could still notch another huge win with Okie State on tap this weekend.

23. NC State (6-3)

Not being able to beat Clemson isn’t too big a deal, but the once impressive NC State (I still can’t figure out how they lost to South Carolina) has lost back-to-back games to two of the best teams in the country. Bummer.

24. Arizona (6-3)

The runaway Arizona train got knocked off the tracks against USC. Khalil Tate is still amazing, though.

25. Stanford (6-3)

Bryce Love returned only for the Trees to get chopped down by Wazzu. Love rushed just 16 times for 69 yards. Stanford can still shake things up, though, with a game this weekend against Washington.

Others receiving votes:

LSU (6-3)

The Bayou Bengals couldn’t score many points against Bama. What else is new?

USF (8-1)

That loss to Houston two Saturdays back ruined our shot at a Group of Five championship game between UCF and USF at the end of the regular season. But that game could still be a high-scoring affair, so excitement somewhat restored.

Michigan (7-2)

The Wolverines have beat up on Rutgers and Minnesota and now get a chance to do it again against Maryland before a gruesome two-step against Wisconsin and Ohio State to end the year. Jim Harbaugh’s team gonna play spoiler or what?

Northwestern (6-3)

Let’s give the Cats some love, why don’t we? They’re the first FBS team ever to win three straight games in overtime. That’s cool. And they’re also the second-best team in the Big Ten West, if that means anything.

Iowa (6-3)

The Hawkeyes obliterated Ohio State and with it the Buckeyes' Playoff chances. Iowa's been a hard-to-read team all year long, but the resume looks all right, doesn't it? Wins over Ohio State and Iowa State with losses to Penn State, Michigan State and Northwestern. Not bad.

Toledo (8-1)

Toledo’s undefeated in every game it’s played against teams not named the Miami Hurricanes.

Northwestern becomes first FBS team ever to win three straight games in overtime

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USA TODAY

Northwestern becomes first FBS team ever to win three straight games in overtime

The Cardiac Cats were at it again.

For the first time ever, an FBS team won three straight games in overtime. That team? Northwestern. The Wildcats grabbed an overtime win at Nebraska on Saturday, the third in a row they won in extra time.

This one didn't require the three overtime periods that last week's upset of Michigan State did, but it involved some late heroics nonetheless.

The Huskers took a 21-17 lead on a pick six in the third quarter, but Cats quarterback Clayton Thorson redeemed himself with a game-tying touchdown run in the fourth quarter, a seven-yard scoring dash that knotted the score at 24 with five and a half minutes to go. That touchdown drive was setup by Godwin Igwebuike's interception of Tanner Lee with Nebraska inside the red zone.

Then Pat Fitzgerald put on his riverboat-gambler hat in overtime, sending his offense back out on fourth and goal from the one-yard line, with Thorson plunging in for the go-ahead score. Northwestern's defense forced a three and out on Nebraska's ensuing possession, ending the game.

The Cats racked up 475 total yards in this, their fourth straight win. Justin Jackson rushed for 154 yards. Jackson, Thorson and Jeremy Larkin combined to score four rushing touchdowns. The Northwestern defense picked off Lee three times.

Saturday's win followed the triple-overtime victory over Michigan State and the win prior, an overtime victory against Iowa. Northwestern now boasts a 6-3 overall record and a 4-2 mark in Big Ten play. Though two games behind unbeaten Wisconsin, Northwestern is all alone in second place in the Big Ten West.

And after a crazy day in the conference, only Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State have better conference records than the Cats.

See how they stack up: Week 9 college football top 25 rankings

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USA TODAY

See how they stack up: Week 9 college football top 25 rankings

With Week 9 in the books, here’s my top 25:

1. Georgia (8-0)

The Dawgs are just beating up on everyone, most recently clubbing Florida 42-7 in the Cocktail Party. It looks like a no-doubt collision course with Bama for the SEC crown — but Georgia’s actually beaten some teams.

2. Alabama (8-0)

The Tide are obviously rolling and beating the brains out of everyone. They’ve allowed more than 10 points in just two of their eight games. But their best win to this point is … Texas A&M?

3. Notre Dame (7-1)

The Irish continue to run all over any and every team that lines up across from them, most recently dispatching of a good NC State team in impressive fashion. Josh Adams has 1,169 rushing yards on the season, which is a lot.

4. Ohio State (7-1)

There might not be a more impressive win this season than what the Buckeyes did against Penn State on Saturday. J.T. Barrett looked like the best quarterback in the country in leading an 18-point comeback and jaw-dropping one-point win.

5. Penn State (7-1)

Despite a narrow loss in The Shoe, the Lions might still be the Big Ten’s best team on a neutral field. But now they’ll need Ohio State to lose to get to that neutral field in Indianapolis.

6. Wisconsin (8-0)

Style points were in short supply in a snooze-worthy win over Illinois this weekend, though an offensive lineman did score a touchdown. Still, the Badgers are undefeated and barring a shocking loss will have a chance to play for a Playoff spot in the Big Ten title game.

7. Oklahoma (7-1)

There would be no upset bid for Texas Tech this weekend, and Baker Mayfield and the Sooners were back to looking the part of Big 12 heavyweight. And thanks to TCU’s loss, they’re once more the team to beat.

8. Miami (7-0)

Somehow the Canes are still unbeaten despite coming very close to losing numerous times throughout the last few weeks. That included sweating out a win over one-win North Carolina this weekend.

9. Clemson (7-1)

With Kelly Bryant healthy, Clemson looks like itself. With undefeated Miami teetering and a win over Virginia Tech already in the bank, this could be the Tigers’ ACC to lose once more.

10. TCU (7-1)

You don’t just walk into Jack Trice Stadium and walk out with a win! The Frogs were the latest victims of the Attack of the ‘Clones, and so now their inside lane to the Big 12 title is gone.

11. Oklahoma State (7-1)

Bedlam ought to be fun this week, as Mason Rudolph & Co. got their mojo back and rained 50 points down upon West Virginia this weekend. Hopefully the balls aren’t as slick as they were in Morgantown. So many turnovers.

12. Virginia Tech (7-1)

The Hokies just keep going about their business, unbeaten in all seven of their games not against Clemson. That includes a current three-game winning streak where they’ve outscoring opponents 106-20.

13. Washington (7-1)

The Pac-12 is in full-blown nightmare mode with what seems like no good Playoff contenders. Washington has the best chance with its one-loss record, but is anyone thinking the Pac-12 gets somebody into the final four right now?

14. Iowa State (6-2)

Matt Campbell’s ‘Clone army is slaying Big 12 giants left and right these days. If only Iowa State hadn’t lost in overtime to Iowa, it’d be a top-10 team right now. The ‘Clones are currently tied atop the Big 12 standings with wins over Oklahoma and TCU — two of the teams they’re tied with.

15. UCF (7-0)

After USF’s loss this weekend, UCF is the Group of Five’s last remaining unbeaten. And the Knights are a darn good one, too, averaging 51 points a game for the FBS’ best offense.

16. Stanford (6-2)

Without Bryce Love, the Trees were horrendous against a real bad Oregon State team and needed a late touchdown to sneak out of Corvallis with a 15-14 win. Ugh. Get well soon, Bryce.

17. NC State (6-2)

The Wolfpack’s six-game win streak finally got busted by what looks like a juggernaut of a Notre Dame team. And now comes Clemson. And to think they could’ve had a shot at a 10-win regular season if not for a confounding opening-week loss to South Carolina.

18. Auburn (6-2)

The race for the third-best team in the SEC is extraordinarily unexciting. Auburn is probably the winner as of this moment, but the poor Tigers have to play both Georgia and Alabama in November. So yeah.

19. LSU (6-2)

So maybe it’s LSU? The Bayou Bengals — a team that lost to Troy — could emerge as the SEC’s third-best team because they only have to play one of the top two teams (Bama) in the season’s final month.

20. USC (7-2)

USC back?!? The Trojans demolished Arizona State by a 48-17 score. They can still actually win this year’s whacky Pac-12, but they’ll have to go through menacing Arizona, of all teams, to do it.

21. Arizona (6-2)

Arizona’s quarterback, Khalil Tate, is quietly having one of the best seasons of any player in the country. He’s played in only six games yet ranks 13th in the land in rushing yards. This weekend in a rout of Wazzu? 275 passing yards and two passing touchdowns, 146 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.

22. Michigan State (6-2)

While you were watching the fantastic finish between Ohio State and Penn State, Sparty was busy getting upset in triple overtime by Northwestern. A great game in which Brian Lewerke was clutch as heck, but Sparty’s perfect conference mark is now kaput.

23. Memphis (7-1)

After South Florida lost its undefeated season this weekend, Memphis gets to be the new No. 2 in the Group of Five thanks to the Tigers having a much better resume than the Bulls: that awesome win over UCLA plus wins over other good Group of Five teams like Navy and Houston.

24. Mississippi State (6-2)

Six wins and just two losses to Georgia and Auburn? Give Mississippi State some credit. Dan Mullen’s done a good job down there, and so now he might be rewarded (if that's what you want to call it) with the Florida job.

25. Washington State (7-2)

Quite the tumble for the Cougs, who went from a perfect 6-0 to 7-2 thanks to a pair of huge road losses to Cal and Arizona. The first came by 34 points, the most recent by 21.

Others receiving votes:

South Florida (7-1)

There's no margin for error when you're trying to be a Group of Five team of the year. The Bulls lost to Houston and now can really only play spoiler in that season-ending battle against UCF.

Oregon (5-4)

The Ducks have lost three of their last four and four of their last six. But they just beat a previously believed to be good Utah team 41-20. So that’s something. God, the Pac-12 is weird.

West Virginia (5-3)

The balls in Morgantown were real slippery on Saturday. That’s really the only explanation for the ‘Neers’ turnover woes: five of ‘em including four Will Grier interceptions.

Toledo (7-1)

Toledo is 7-1. They play in the MAC. That is all.

Wake Forest (5-3)

The Deacs dropped 42 points on Louisville on Saturday, which might say something about the Deacs but more likely says something about Louisville.

Michigan (6-2)

Hello, Brandon Peters! Jim Harbaugh finally pulled the trigger on a quarterback change, and the results were instant. The fact they were playing Rutgers probably had nothing to do with it, right?

South Carolina (6-2)

I figured I had to give some mention to the Gamecocks being a two-loss SEC team. But so is Kentucky, so maybe I didn’t have to.