Two top 5 teams had close calls last weekend, as Ohio State and Stanford had to hang on to beat conference rivals. Expect more exciting games for the rest of the year.
The remaining weeks of the season will answer a lot of questions, as teams will learn how they stack up to the rest of their conferences. We’ll also get to see some of the most anticipated matchups of the year soon, including Florida State-Clemson on Oct. 19 and Alabama-LSU on Nov. 9.
1. Alabama (5-0, Last week’s ranking: 1)
Alabama beat Georgia State 45-3 last weekend, and led 38-0 after two quarters. The Crimson Tide haven’t been tested since playing Texas A&M last month, but that could change. With Tennessee and Number 10 LSU on the schedule later this month, Alabama could be on upset alert soon. Of course, no one would be surprised if Alabama goes undefeated into the SEC Championship Game.
2. Oregon (5-0, Last week’s ranking: 2)
Quarterback Marcus Mariota made sure the Ducks wouldn’t miss running back De’Anthony Thomas, as he scored two rushing touchdowns in addition to five through the air. Mariota has 21 total touchdowns and no interceptions this season. If Oregon keeps it up, they’ll be in great position to make it to the BCS National Championship.
3. Ohio State (6-0, Last week’s ranking: 3)
Ohio State showed a lot of resilience in its close win over Northwestern last weekend. Quarterback Braxton Miller did not play well, but the Buckeyes’ ground game and defense led them to a win over a good Wildcats teams. Ohio State can’t afford another game like this, or it could lose to a Big Ten rival and plummet in the rankings.
4. Clemson (5-0, Last week’s ranking: 4)
The only blemish in Clemson’s 49-14 win over Syracuse was that quarterback Tajh Boyd threw two picks. Besides that, it was another impressive victory for a team that is averaging 44 points a game.
5. Stanford (5-0, Last week’s ranking: 6)
The Cardinal took down then-No. 15 Washington last weekend in a close game, in what was the first of many tough Pac-12 games. Stanford must play No. 11 UCLA and No. 2 Oregon in the next four weeks. The Cardinal will have to play its best football to win those games, but if any team can slow down the high-scoring offenses of UCLA and Oregon, it’s Stanford.
6. Florida State (5-0, Last week’s ranking: 8)
Other quarterbacks might be flashier or more athletic, but no passer is playing better than Jameis Winston right now. He threw five touchdown passes to lead Florida State’s 63-0 embarrasment of then-No. 25 Maryland. Now the Seminoles take a week off before playing Boyd and the Clemson Tigers to see which team is the best in the ACC.
7. Georgia (4-1, Last week’s ranking: 5)
Georgia won a nail-biter against Tennessee, but more key players to injury. This time, it was running back Keith Marshall and wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley, who are out for the season with knee injuries. It will be extremely difficult for the Bulldogs to compete in the SEC if they’re not at full strength, but quarterback Aaron Murray is a good enough leader to rally his team.
8. Louisville (6-0, Last week’s ranking: 8)
Though he had more than 310 passing yards and two touchdowns in a win over Rutgers on Thursday, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had an below-average game for his standards. Louisville will need to win big the rest of the season, though. The Cardinals play an easy schedule, so they must dominate opponents to prove they are as good as teams from the top conferences.
9. Texas A&M (4-1, Last week’s ranking: 10)
When you’ve got the best playmaker in the country, you always have a chance to win. That’s the luxury Texas A&M has, because Johnny Manziel can make exciting plays happen with his arm and his feet. Unless several teams ranked above them suffer upsets, the Aggies are probably out of the national championship picture, but it will be fun to see what Manziel and his weapons can do.
10. LSU (5-1, Last week’s ranking: 10)
The Tigers aren’t traditionally known for exciting offenses, but they can score a lot of points with their balanced attack. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger threw two touchdowns last weekend against Mississippi State, and the LSU running game accounted for six more. It’s tough to beat teams who can score like that. The Tigers have to keep it up — they play Florida this weekend and then Alabama and Texas A&M next month.
How would you rank the top college teams in the country? Who should be in the top 10 heading into week seven? Let us know in the comments section below!
Photo: AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide calls to his offense against the Georgia State Panthers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 5, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)