The Crimson Tide may not be as flashy as Oregon or Baylor, but they can light up the scoreboard, too. Can Tennessee challenge them on Saturday?
2. Oregon Ducks 7-0 —
Washington State was game last week, but keeping up with the Ducks is difficult. Next up: a big showdown with Pac-12 South frontrunner UCLA on Saturday.
3. Florida State Seminoles 6-0 +6
WOW! Jameis Winston isn’t fazed by anything, and FSU’s win at Clemson was beyond impressive. Good luck this week, NC State.
4. Baylor Bears 6-0 +6
The Bears score, score and score, but they play defense, too. They’re off to their best start since 1980 and are setting the pace in the Big 12.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes 7-0 -2
The Buckeyes had a few anxious moments before subduing Iowa. Has anyone noticed that QB Braxton Miller is really playing well? Penn State visits this Saturday.
6. Stanford Cardinal 6-1 +7
The Cardinal really responded to the upset loss at Utah by getting back to “Stanford Football,” and UCLA paid the price. They have a huge game at Oregon State on Saturday.
7. Missouri Tigers 7-0 +7
The Tigers followed their win at Georgia with another over Florida at home, giving them their first back-to-back wins over ranked foes since 1973. Another big SEC East game awaits at home this week against South Carolina.
8. Miami Hurricanes 6-0 +4
I thought North Carolina had the win secured last Thursday night against “The U,” but Miami found a way to pull it out. Don’t concede the ACC to Florida State just yet.
9. UCLA Bruins 5-1 +3
A tough afternoon at Stanford last week for the Bruins (the third meeting between those teams in the last two seasons), but they can get right with an upset at No. 2 Oregon this weekend.
10. Texas Tech Red Raiders 7-0 +5
The Red Raiders appeared to be on the ropes at West Virginia last week, but coach Kliff Kingsbury’s team does not panic. Statement opportunity at No. 11 Oklahoma on Saturday.
11. Oklahoma Sooners 6-1 +5
Had to scrap a bit to win at Kansas, but expect No. 10 Texas Tech to get the Sooners’ full attention. The defensive backs had better get their rest this week.
12. Auburn Tigers 6-1 +16
If Florida State had win No. 1 over the weekend, the Tigers going to Texas A&M and closing out the Aggies was definitely win No. 1(a).
13. Clemson Tigers 6-1 -9
Is a trip to Maryland the cure for the post-Florida State blues? Or will the FSU loss linger and become a second one? Stay tuned.
14. Fresno State Bulldogs 6-0 +4
If you haven’t seen the Bulldogs play, I suggest you give them a look. QB Derek Carr to receiver Davante Adams is well worth your time.
15. UCF Knights 5-1 +18
In the last few weeks, UCF has won at Penn State and at Louisville. Yes, the Knight are good. Yes, QB Blake Bortles is good. Yes, they can dream about a BCS berth and believe it.
16. Louisville Cardinals 6-1 -11
Their season is not over in terms of winning the AAC and competing for a second straight BCS berth. But the Cardinals’ national title dreams are gone.
17. Virginia Tech Hokies 6-1 —
The Hokies’ defense is back, ranked in the top 12 nationally in most categories. They have not lost since the opener against Alabama in Atlanta.
18. Nebraska Cornhuskers 5-1 +1
The Cornhuskers had last week off, and now they must prove they belong in this poll. They are at feisty Minnesota this weekend.
19. Texas A&M Aggies 5-2 -12
The Aggies had the ball in QB Johnny Manziel’s hands with a chance to win against Auburn but couldn’t pull it off. Better not hang their heads against Vandy this weekend.
20. LSU Tigers 6-2 -12
Much of the country doesn’t know it, but LSU-Ole Miss is a mammoth rivalry, and the Rebels pulled the upset this time. Tough night for QB Zach Mettenberger.
21. Northern Illinois Huskies 7-0 +1
If there is a tougher QB than the Huskies’ Jordan Lynch, I would love to see him play. Lynch is a lock for 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing again.
22. Oregon State Beavers 6-1 —
The duo of QB Sean Mannion and receiver Brandin Cooks is as good as there is in the country. They eagerly await Stanford’s arrival on Saturday.
23. Michigan Wolverines 6-1 —
It’s not always pretty, but it’s fun to watch. QB Devin Gardner, receiver Jeremy Gallon and running back Fitz Touissant put on a show in a shootout win over Indiana.
24. Notre Dame Fighting Irish 5-2 +2
Gritty, grinding win at home over USC on Saturday night. Don’t look now, but the Irish’s schedule set up favorably for them to make a BCS bowl push.
25. Arizona State Sun Devils 5-2 +4
The Sun Devils pounded a top-20 Washington team on Saturday, establishing themselves as true contenders in the Pac-12 South.