After Stanford’s win over Oregon last Thursday, the weekend games didn’t offer any surprises. There are some pretty big regular season finale matchups in a few weeks, but the top 10 teams must make sure they win games against lesser opponents to stay high in the rankings.
An upset this weekend could set up some huge late-season changes in the standings.
1. Alabama (9-0, Last week: 1)
Alabama got another impressive SEC win, this time against rival LSU. The No. 21 Tigers put up a fight, but the Crimson Tide defense played a great second half and quarterback AJ McCarron had another strong performance, with three touchdowns, no interceptions, and only six incompletions. Alabama may never give up the top spot in the rankings this season.
2. Florida State (9-0, Last week: 2)
The Seminoles might have had the most complete win of any team this season in their 59-3 victory over Wake Forest. Quarterback Jameis Winston only needed to throw two touchdown passes. The defense, running game, and special teams did the rest. This win should encourage Florida State -- it shows that even if Winston doesn’t put up spectacular numbers, it can rally around him.
3. Stanford (8-1, Last week: 3)
After beating Oregon, Stanford showed it belongs in the top 3. Now, all it has to do to is beat three unranked teams – USC, California, and Notre Dame – to remain high in the rankings. Stanford isn’t a lock to remain this high, as anything can happen and it already got upset by Utah earlier this year, but this team is clearly one of the best in the nation.
4. Ohio State (9-0, Last week: 4)
After two straight blowout wins, the Buckeyes got a week off. Now, they must continue winning by a wide margin, starting with a road game against Illinois on Saturday. Getting style points from big wins could really pay off if a top 3 team gets upset.
5. Oregon (8-1, Last Week: 5)
Oregon’s loss to Stanford knocked it out of the top 3, but the Ducks can still have a great season. Oregon’s only loss has come against a top 5 team, and the Ducks can easily win their remaining games. Quarterback Marcus Mariota and the Ducks should regroup against Utah this weekend and finish the regular season in the top 5.
6. Baylor (8-0, Last week: 6)
Baylor’s game against Texas Tech could be the most exciting matchup of the weekend. Both teams have the talent to score 60 points, and Baylor will need to play a great game to keep its spot in the top 10. There should plenty of touchdowns in this game.
7. Auburn (9-1, Last week: 9)
Auburn’s running game will cause opposing defenses to worry. Nick Marshall rushed for 214 yards in the Tigers’ 55-23 win over Tennessee, and he’s Auburn’s quarterback! Running back Tre Mason added 117 rushing yards, and the Tigers finished with more than 400 yards on the ground. Auburn must play No. 25 Georgia and No. 1 Alabama, so there’s a good chance it could drop from the top 10, but the Tigers won’t lose easily.
8. Clemson (8-1, Last week: 7)
Tajh Boyd’s four touchdown passes against Georgia Tech made him the career leader in touchdown passes in ACC history. He’s led the Tigers to a great season, one in which their only loss came to Florida State, which is now the number 2 team in the nation. Clemson has everything it needs to beat number 10 South Carolina on Nov. 30 and end its regular season in the top 10.
9. Missouri (9-1, Last week: 8)
Missouri’s win over Kentucky got it another step closer to setting up a huge regular season finale against No. 11 Texas A&M. The Tigers will need more big games from quarterback Maty Mauk, who threw for five touchdown passes, and receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who caught four of them, to compete with Texas A&M. Missouri also can’t overlook Ole Miss this weekend.
10. South Carolina (7-2, Last week’s ranking: 10)
Now that South Carolina’s regular season is down to three games, it should feel great if it can stay at number 10 at the end of the month. South Carolina faces a tough Florida team, then Coastal Carolina, and then No. 8 Clemson to end the regular season. Upsetting Clemson could put South Carolina in a great spot in the rankings if teams above it lose.
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: Kevin Hogan #8 of the Stanford Cardinal (R) is congratulated by David Yankey #54 of the Stanford Cardinal after Stanford beat the Oregon Ducks at Stanford Stadium on November 7, 2013 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)