Big Ten

Big Ten

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.