Rankings updated thru Week 8 (10/24/15):
Highlights from Week 8:
B1G: Ohio State takes over the top spot after a blowout road win over Rutgers. Michigan State finally beats a Power 5 team by more than a touchdown.
ACC: Clemson puts itself in the mix as a serious playoff contender after a huge statement win at Miami. Their strength of schedule took a bit of a hit though, as Florida State drops a last second contest at Georgia Tech.
XII: Oklahoma moves into a position to make a run in November, after a big win over Texas Tech. The Big XII doesn’t appear to have a team in contention by today’s rankings, but that will change in November as all the conference’s unbeatens square off against each other.
PAC12: Utah drops a road game at USC by a surprisingly large margin. They’re still in the running for a playoff spot if they win out and claim the PAC12 title, but their margin of error is now razor thin.
SEC: Alabama narrowly escapes with a win over Tennessee, now Saban has two weeks to prepare for LSU, who just came off a more-impressive-than-it-looks win over Western Kentucky (LSU also has a bye week; this is basically the SEC’s Super Bowl with two weeks of hype looming). Ole Miss still controls their playoff destiny after an easy win over A&M, but if they win the SEC then what happens if…
Amer: Memphis stays unbeaten! Another easy win for the Tigers, who have a pair of huge road games in November to decide the conference and perhaps earn an unlikely Group of 5 playoff bid. The committee’s first poll next week will tell us if the American has a realistic shot at getting in. If you’re a fan of chaos, you want both Ole Miss and Memphis to win out.
Important games in week 9:
Notre Dame at Temple. Game of the week? If Temple can win big here, they have a case for a playoff bid if they go on to run the table. Notre Dame is barely still in the playoff discussion, but a big win here would go a long way. Their season finale at Stanford will be huge. The Irish can’t afford another loss, and probably not even a close call, since they have no conference title game to rely on.
Stanford at Washington State. Did anyone know the Cougars are 5-2? This is a tricky road game for the Cardinal, who need to win out to ensure the Utah/Stanford PAC12 title game winner gets in the top 4.
Georgia vs Florida. The Cocktail Party isn’t quite as meaningful as it may have looked a few weeks ago, but Florida still has a playoff spot within reach if they win out.
North Carolina at Pitt. The winner here is in the driver’s seat for the Coastal division, and since each play Duke in the following 2 weeks we’ll soon know who’s playing the Clemson/Florida State winner for the ACC title.
A surprisingly thin slate of games this late in the year, but November promises to be LOADED week after week. Stay tuned.