Here’s What We Think the College Football AP Top 25 Poll Will Look Like for Week 10

One week after Purdue’s upset of then-No. 2 Ohio State caused a major shakeup atop the AP Top 25 Poll, Week 9 of the college football season saw 11 ranked teams fall. It was an especially difficult week for teams in the back half of the poll as nine of the teams ranked between No. 15 and No. 25 lost.

We did our best to pick up the pieces, make sense of the national college football landscape and predict what next week’s AP Top 25 Poll will look like.

  1. Alabama (8-0)The Crimson Tide had its first bye week of the season in Week 9 after playing on eight straight Saturdays. Alabama has looked like the most dominant team in the country with an average margin of victory of almost 40 points. Those college football fans who say that Bama hasn’t played anyone won’t be able to toss that verbal jab after next week, when the Crimson Tide travel to play LSU.
  2. Clemson (8-0): Clemson extended its winning streak against Florida State to four games with a 59-10 victory in Tallahassee on Saturday – the Seminoles’ worst home loss in school history. The game was so lopsided – the Tigers led 45-0 halfway through the third quarter – that quarterback Trevor Lawrence spent the fourth quarter on the sideline. Three of Clemson’s four remaining games are at home.
  3. Notre Dame (8-0): The Fighting Irish jumped out to a 27-0 lead over Navy in their 44-22 win. Running back Dexter Williams put together another impressive stat line with 23 carries for 142 yards and three touchdowns. Notre Dame is likely four wins away from its first-ever College Football Playoff appearance if it’s able to win out.
  4. LSU (7-1): The Tigers had the week off in advance of their colossal showdown against No. 1 Alabama. LSU has beaten four teams that were ranked in the AP Top 25 at the time of their matchup, including three that were ranked in the top 10. In order for the Tigers to keep their SEC Championship and College Football Playoff hopes alive, they have to beat the Crimson Tide. It’s a tall task, but LSU has the chance to repeat what Auburn accomplished last season: defeating Georgia and Alabama at home to give itself the chance to win the SEC Championship.
  5. Michigan (7-1): The Wolverines took a seven-game winning streak into their bye week, with their most recent two victories coming against ranked opponents in Wisconsin and Michigan State. They currently lead the Big Ten East, but two of their four remaining games are against Penn State and at Ohio State. As long as Notre Dame stays undefeated and Michigan doesn’t lose again, it can make a push for the top four.
  6. Georgia (7-1): Georgia picked up its biggest win of the season by defeating No. 9 Florida 36-17 in Jacksonville, and it came in the midst of a vastly important four-game stretch that includes upcoming games against Kentucky and Auburn. As long as the Tigers – the ones in Baton Rouge, that is – keep winning, the Bulldogs’ one-loss resume will only look better.
  7. Oklahoma (7-1): The Sooners scored touchdowns of 86, 82 and 57 yards against Kansas State as Oklahoma accumulated 702 total yards of offense in its 51-14 win. The biggest game left on OU’s schedule is its regular season finale against West Virginia in Morgantown.
  8. UCF (7-0): UCF was off in Week 9, but you could argue the Knights took a bit of a hit over the weekend in the form of No. 21 South Florida losing to Houston. The Knights and Bulls will square off in the final week of the regular season, and South Florida was possibly the last hope for UCF to pick up a win over a ranked opponent. The Knights’ conference affiliation was always going to make the College Football Playoff a challenge for them and not playing a single ranked opponent would make their case even harder to argue.
  9. Ohio State (7-1): The Buckeyes had a bye week to regroup following their 49-20 throttling suffered at the hands of Purdue. If they win their next four games – against Nebraska, at Michigan State, at Maryland and against Michigan – they’ll win the Big Ten East, play for a conference championship and keep their playoff hopes alive.
  10. Washington State (7-1): The Cougars are in sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 North after beating No. 24 Stanford on the road 41-38 on Blake Mazza’s 42-yard field goal with 19 seconds left. Washington State is a three-point loss at USC away from being in the thick of the College Football Playoff discussion.
  11. Kentucky (7-1): What a comeback for Kentucky. After a defensive pass interference on what was supposed to be the final play against Missouri, the Wildcats received one final play on an untimed down. They made the most of it. Quarterback Terry Wilson found tight end C.J. Conrad for a walk-off, 15-14 win, setting up a major SEC East clash next week with Georgia traveling to Lexington. They share the division lead at 5-1 in SEC play.
  12. West Virginia (6-1): The Mountaineers left no doubt in their 58-14 win over Baylor on Thursday. Quarterback Will Grier threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns, plus he ran for another, as wide receivers David Sills V and Gary Jennings Jr. had huge days receiving. West Virginia travels to Austin next week to play Texas in a high-stakes game where the loser could be kept out of the Big 12 Championship.
  13. Florida (6-2): The Gators let what was a largely competitive game with Georgia slip away from their grasp as the Bulldogs pulled away with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns. Despite wins over LSU and Mississippi State, Florida is now third in the SEC East and likely out of the SEC Championship hunt.
  14. Texas (6-2): After a series of narrow wins over Tulsa, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Baylor, Texas finally met its match on the road at Oklahoma State, falling 38-35. The Longhorns still share the Big 12 lead with Oklahoma and West Virginia, but there’s a good chance their losses to unranked Maryland and Oklahoma State have ruined their playoff hopes.
  15. Penn State (6-2): After having a pair of one-score games go in favor of Ohio State and Michigan State, Penn State has now won two such games in a row, the latest over No. 18 Iowa. The Nittany Lions are tied for third in the Big Ten East and won’t be contending for a spot in the playoff this season, but they could spoil Michigan’s playoff hopes next week in Ann Arbor.
  16. Utah (6-2): The Utes are the only team in the Pac-12 South with a conference record above .500 this season. Their latest victory was a 41-10 win at UCLA on Friday. Having already played the Washington schools and Stanford, Utah’s most difficult part of its schedule is in the rearview mirror.
  17. Northwestern (5-3): The Wildcats are in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten West after a 31-17 win over No. 20 Wisconsin. Northwestern will host Notre Dame in Week 10 as it gets another shot at knocking off a playoff contender, after blowing a lead against Michigan in Evanston in September.
  18. Houston (7-1): The Cougars picked up a Top 25 win with their 57-36 victory over No. 21 South Florida in Week 9. Quarterback D’Eriq King was responsible for more than 550 yards of offense and seven total touchdowns. An AAC Championship featuring UCF and Houston would be a lot of fun to watch.
  19. Washington (6-3): The Huskies’ three losses this season have all come away from home and by five points or less. The latest was a 12-10 defeat on the road against Cal after a costly pick-six.
  20. Mississippi State (5-3): Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald had his most yards through the air since Week 3 as he completed 14-of-22 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-13 win over Texas A&M. Mississippi State could have used that passing attack in its losses to Kentucky, Florida and LSU.
  21. Texas A&M (5-3): The Aggies are the only team that’s beaten Kentucky, which continues to climb in the polls, and that’s the best thing you can say about them after they were upset on the road by unranked Mississippi State. Two of their three losses this season have come against the top two teams in the country – Alabama and Clemson.
  22. Syracuse (6-2): The Orange clinched bowl eligibility with a 51-41 win over No. 22 NC State on Saturday. Syracuse still has to play Wake Forest, Louisville and Boston College in ACC play, plus Notre Dame, which means an eight-win season could very well be in the cards.
  23. Iowa (6-2): There’s no shame in Iowa’s two losses against Wisconsin and at Penn State, but none of the Hawkeyes’ wins necessarily jump off the page, either. They let a winnable game slip away in State College on Saturday, and they’ll have to win out – plus have Wisconsin lose again – in order to make the Big Ten Championship.
  24. Utah State (7-1): The Aggies put up at least 60 points in a game for the third time this season in their 61-19 win over New Mexico. A 38-31 loss at Michigan State in Week 1 is the only blemish on Utah State’s resume.
  25. Fresno State (7-1): The Bulldogs improved to 7-1 on the season late Saturday night with a win over Hawaii. They’ve won six straight games while riding their stingy defense to first place in the Mountain West Conference’s West Division.