College Football Power Rankings: Ohio State jumps Georgia as Oklahoma, West Virginia surge


1


Clemson
Looks like Dabo Swinney has a quarterback for the Notre Dame game, because he sure doesn’t have Lawrence. D.J. Uiagalelei threw for 342 yards in his first start, a 34-28 win over Boston College. Now comes the hard part: repeating that performance against a conference foe (for this season). — 7-0
2


Alabama
Jaylen who? Devonta Smith caught 11 passes for 203 yards and four touchdowns against Mississippi State. Even without Waddle, the Crimson Tide have one of the most formidable receiving corps in the country. For the first time in Mike Leach’s 234 games as a coach, he was shut out at 41-0. — 6-0
3


Ohio State
Ninety seconds into the second quarter of his second game, Justin Fields had one incompletion for the season. There’s your indicator of how dominant Ohio State has been. The game of the week wasn’t much of one. Penn State fell 38-25, and the Buckeyes pulled further away from the rest of the Big Ten. Fields has to be your Heisman Trophy leader at this point after now piling up all of seven incompletions after two games (48 of 55). 1 2-0
4


Georgia
Just in time for Florida, four defensive starters were knocked out in the 14-3 win over Kentucky. “I definitely wouldn’t say we were struggling, not at all,” coach Kirby Smart said of the offense. “It depends on what your appetite and your view is.” Smart blamed the noon ET start. Yeah, right. The snooze button was hit all right. Zamir White ran for 136 yards and Stetson Bennett IV threw two interceptions. Yawn. 1 4-1
5


Notre Dame
So here we are, a reckoning for the Irish. They’re 6-0 with five of the wins coming by at least two touchdowns. The offense actually gave up more points (seven) than the defense (six) on Saturday in a 31-13 win over Georgia Tech. But what does all that mean heading into Clemson? The Irish get their chance at what might be two meetings in the next six weeks against the Tigers. — 6-0
6


Cincinnati
The Group of Five’s best team continues to roll. The awakened offense continues to be … awakened. In the last two games, the Bearcats have scored 91 points, run up 952 yards and averaged 7.7 yards per play. The latest victim was Memphis in a 49-10 win. Only Army (24-10) has been within a couple of touchdowns of the Bearcats this season. 1 5-0
7


Florida
When you don’t play for three weeks, there are a lot of pent-up emotions. Or maybe it’s just a prelude to Georgia week. A brawl with Missouri broke out at halftime of a 41-17 win after QB Kyle Trask was hit late. It’s not fair to say that woke up the Gators. They were already up 20-7. But it was Dan Mullen who made sure to gesture to the crowd before going in for halftime. It’s Georgia week. Now’s the time to get fired up, Dan. 1 3-1
8


Oklahoma State
1. The Big 12’s playoff chances might have died with Texas’ 41-34 overtime win. The Cowboys were the league’s last undefeated team. It’s hard to win turning it over four times. Texas converted those turnovers into 18 points. 2 4-1
9


BYU
It’s been a nice story so far, but the Cougars play their first and only probably only ranked team in Boise State this week. These old rivals have met eight years in a row with Boise winning five. The Cougars have gotten to this point steamrolling five of six opponents by at least 17 points. — 7-0
10


Oregon
Idle. It’s finally here — game week. The Ducks open their 103rd season welcoming Stanford. No pressure, but it would be advisable for Oregon to run the table. They are the Pac-12’s best program and best shot to get to the CFP. One big problem: The league starts in November and plays the fewest games (seven) in the Pac-12. — 0-0
11


Miami (FL)
Idle. After its second ACC bye week, the Hurricanes hope to win the stretch run. There are three of five on the road starting this week with a trip to NC State. A possible COVID-19 issue: The Miami Herald reported Saturday the number of players in quarantine is “well beyond” the six who missed the Virginia game. Stay tuned. — 5-1
12


Texas A&M
1. Three straight wins since the loss to Alabama. It’s time to consider the Aggies the SEC West’s second-best team. Kellen Mond passed one Jonathan Football (Johnny Manziel) to become the Aggies’ career leader in total offense. The 42-31 clubbing of Arkansas sets up the Aggies for dreams of a New Year’s Six bowl. 3 4-1
13


Oklahoma
The Sooners have gone to a shrink, laid on a coach and worked out their issues in Saturday’s 38-point strafing of Texas Tech. Running back Rhamondre Stevenson and defensive end Ronnie Perkins were finally cleared to play after failing drug tests late last year. Stevenson ran for three touchdowns. The Sooners are probably out of the playoff consideration but sit a game out of first, tied for fourth place in the Big 12. 6 4-2
14


Indiana
The Hoosiers won as expected over Rutgers but were almost victim of one of the most embarrassing plays of the season: an eight-lateral desperation play that lasted 33 seconds late in the game resulted in a touchdown. At first. One of those laterals was ruled to be forward. The Hoosiers are tied with Ohio State, Northwestern and Purdue for best record in the Big Ten. 3 2-0
15


Wisconsin
Idle. The program has seen better weeks. It started with a COVID-19 positive test for quarterback Graham Mertz. Then 11 more staff and players tested positive causing the cancellation of the Nebraska game. The last report has 16 staff and players impacted by the coronavirus. We’ll soon find out if this week’s Purdue game is on. 1 1-0
16


West Virginia
Neal Brown has done a masterful job in Year 2. The Mountaineers stifled Kansas State, 37-10. The Big 12’s top defense held the Wildcats to only 225 yards, 73 after halftime. NR 4-2
17


Kansas State
1. The road was not kind. The Wildcats first loss to a Power Five team this season was decisive. True freshman quarterback Will Howard was picked off three times with one returned for a touchdown. The Wildcats ran for only 41 yards. 5 4-2
18


Coastal Carolina
Coach Jamey Chadwell sensed a trap game. Instead, he won 51-0 win over Georgia State. The Chanticleers are 6-0 for the first time. This is simply one of the most complete teams you’ll see. Quarterback Grayson McCall returned to the lineup to throw for 254 yards and four touchdowns. The Panthers had been leading the Sun Belt averaging 42 points a game. 5 6-0
19


North Carolina
Defense is a concern, but damn, are the Tar Heels fun to watch. Sam Howell threw four touchdowns against Virginia. Three of them went to Dyami Brown in a 44-41 loss. Howell leads the ACC in passing yards. 6 4-2
20


USC
Idle. #Pac12AfterDark has turned into #Pac12BeforeDawn. At least for the pregame meal. The opener against Arizona State will begin at 9 a.m. PT. Kedon Slovis leads a loaded offense. Obviously, it’s a weird year. In the same season coach Clay Helton is under fire, his team is favored by many to win the Pac-12 South. NR 0-0
21


Iowa State
The Cyclones rebounded nicely from the Oklahoma State loss to beat Kansas by 30. (Actually, who doesn’t beat Kansas?) Iowa State remains tied with Kansas State for the Big 12 lead. Breece Hall tied a career-high with 185 rushing yards. “I think we’re growing,” coach Matt Campbell said. He’s right. Going into the last four Novembers, the Cyclones are a combined 19-10. NR 4-2
22


Tulsa
I can’t give up on the Golden Hurricane even if AAC officials handed them a win over East Carolina. With 1:52 left in an eventual 34-30 win, Tulsa RB T.K. Wilkerson was ruled to have fumbled. The replay official overturned the call, allowing the Hurricane to keep the ball. Wilkerson then ran 1 yard for the winning score with 29 seconds left. The AAC later released a statement saying the replay official goofed. 1 3-1
23


SMU
The Mustangs scored more points in the second quarter against Navy (31) than 40 teams scored in Week 9. After four rushing touchdowns in a 51-37 win over Navy, the Mustangs have 53 rushing scores in their last 20 games. 2 6-1
24


Marshall
1. Idle. Suddenly, the Thundering Herd have only three games left in the season. As one of the 13 remaining undefeated teams, an 8-0 season is a definite possibility. UMass this week is followed by Middle Tennessee and Charlotte. Combined records of those three teams: 4-9. — 5-0
25


Boise State
Lots of mystery coming out of a 49-30 win at Air Force. QB Hank Bachmeier and starting safety JL Skinner were out for undisclosed reasons. They were reportedly not being disciplined. Only one Broncos player tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Something’s going on. All of it meant USC graduate transfer Jack Sears made his first start in place of Bachmeier. He did not disappoint, completing 17 of 20 for 280 yards and three touchdowns. NR 2-0

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