But at this point in the proceedings, about the only thing you can say with certainty is that Clemson's Trevor Lawrence has a lot of work to do to get back into mix amid shaky performances in the first five games.
This week, though, is poised to provide some small bit of clarity in the race, with a separation kind of Saturday as the Big 12's top two challengers clashing in the Red River Showdown, and two SEC matchups with that conference's biggest threats.
But before we dive into who will rise and fall this week, here's a look at the Forecaster's real-time rankings.
1. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama QB 2. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma QB 3. Joe Burrow, LSU QB
ON THE RISE: Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma QB
Ahead of the Red River Showdown vs. No. 11 Texas, Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts said bluntly that he's already played in plenty of big games. The former Alabama QB, who has appeared in two national title games, isn't wrong. But he's also never entered a Top-25 game as a leading contender for college football's top award and against another contender in the Longhorns' Sam Ehlinger. All that being said, Hurts, who is second in total offense at over 400 yards per game, is poised to feast on a 104th-ranked Texas defense.
Jay BiggerstaffJay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
ON THE RISE: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama QB
And now the fun begins for the current Las Vegas favorite in Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa, who faces his first ranked opponent of the season in No. 24 Texas A&M. A year ago, Tua blitzed the Aggies for nearly 400 yards passing and four TDs. While this is an improved A&M pass defense, ranking 16th in pass efficiency D, Tua has yet to thrown a pick, and sits second in FBS with a 225.1 rating.
John David MercerJohn David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor
ON THE RISE: Joe Burrow, LSU QB
Second in the nation in passing yards and third in total offense and efficiency rating, LSU's Joe Burrow has been sensational. He and the No. 5 Tigers get the first of four ranked opponents in a four-game stretch as they face seventh-ranked Florida in Baton Rouge. LSU, which is scoring an FBS-best 54.6 points per game, has a fascinating matchup vs. a Gators defense that's yielding just 9.5 points per game, but hasn't face an offense as loaded as the Tigers have.
Derick E. HingleDerick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport
FALL GUY: Sam Ehlinger, Texas QB
Since the loss to LSU on Sept. 7, Ehlinger has averaged 304 yards of offense and totaled 11 touchdowns. He's also done that against defenses ranked 62nd (West Virginia), 79th (Rice) and 91st (Oklahoma State). Oklahoma hasn't been much better, going into the Red River Showdown at 46th, allowing 346.4 yards per game, but if Hurts puts on another transcended performance, can Ehlinger match him? The thought here is a QB who has played on more than his share of big stages in Hurts strengthens his case and hurts Ehlinger's.
Ben QueenBen Queen-USA TODAY Sports
FALL GUY: D'Andre Swift, Georgia RB
First, there's the fact that Swift hasn't had a 100-yard game since the season opener vs. Vanderbilt, and then there's the possibility that his teammate, QB Jake Fromm, is in position to further cement his status as the Bulldogs' top candidate with a Saturday matchup vs. South Carolina. The Gamecocks are allowing 390.8 yards per game (67th) and were already torched for 444 yards and five touchdowns by Tagovailoa.
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FALL GUY: Kellen Mond, Texas A&M QB
While Tagovailoa is poised to have his way with the Aggies defense, is Mond in for a big day agains a Crimson Tide defense that's not nearly as dominant as its predecessors? Coming in 35th in total defense, this currently ranks as the worst defense from a statistical standpoint since Nick Saban's arrival in Tuscaloosa in 2007. But even if Mond has a monster day numbers-wise, it's unlikely his own defense can do enough to pull off the upset, pushing down the Aggies QB's chances.