College Football Rankings 2013: Forecasting Big Week 6 Games for Top 25 Teams

Ethan Grant@DowntownEGAnalyst ISeptember 30, 2013

Sunday is ranking day for college football, and this week was no different. 

There were no changes at the top of the list from the AP or USA Today football coaches polls, where Alabama retained its top spot after defeating Ole Miss on Saturday night. 

Elsewhere, Oregon is the consensus No. 2 team in the country after another blowout victory. Clemson, Ohio State and Stanford round out the top five in both polls, though the Tigers and Buckeyes are ranked differently by voters in each format. 

Georgia, Louisville, Florida State and Texas A&M are the next teams in line for recognition, while LSU (No. 10 AP) and Oklahoma (No. 10 USA Today) both have a claim toward being one of the best 10 teams in the country. 

Week 6 is shaping up to be a big one for the national title picture. 

As conference action heats up across the nation, the level of focus and mental fortitude it takes to keep pace with other programs increases exponentially. Keeping that in mind, here are three big games to keep an eye on this weekend. 

 

College Football Week 6 Rankings

*via ESPN.com

 

Big Week 6 Games for Top 25 Teams

No. 25 Maryland vs. No. 8 Florida State

Freshman phenom Jameis Winston and the high-powered Florida State offense will host ACC rival Maryland this weekend, a game that will be the first big test for both teams. 

The Seminoles and Terrapins have cruised through their first four games. 

Winston and his 14 total touchdowns have guided Florida State to a 4-0 start, but wins over Nevada, Bethune-Cookman and Boston College hardly boost confidence that he's ready to explode against a defense that yields only 10.3 points per game. 

Maryland's nonconference slate isn't impressive, either, but coming off a 37-0 romp of West Virginia and two full weeks of preparation, the Terps will be a dangerous opponent for Jimbo Fisher's squad. 

 

No. 4 Ohio State at No. 16 Northwestern

Ohio State was previously among those which hadn't been tested in the 2013 season, but a 31-24 win over Wisconsin in Week 5 has helped silence doubters who would rather ignore Urban Meyer's undefeated start in Columbus. 

Could that streak come crashing down on the road at Northwestern?

The Wildcats have been a middle-of-the-pack team on the stat sheet but boast a 4-0 record and, like Maryland, will have had two weeks of preparation for a Top 10 team when the Buckeyes descend on Ryan Field. 

As noted by the Big Ten's Twitter account for football, ESPN's "College GameDay" will be making the trip to Evanston for the Legends-Leaders showdown:

There's little doubt Ohio State will be the favorite in this one, but don't be surprised if Northwestern is a popular upset sleeper pick over the next few days. 

 

No. 15 Washington at No. 5 Stanford

Oregon, Stanford and UCLA were expected to be the class of the Pac-12 when the season began. 

We will soon add Washington to that list if an upset is in the works in Palo Alto. 

For the first time since 2001, the Huskies are 4-0. Quarterback Keith Price has been very efficient under center over that span, throwing for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns while keeping costly turnovers to a minimum. 

That doesn't change the fact that Stanford is a national title contender. 

The Cardinal got off to an unceremonious start to the 2013 season, struggling to put San Jose State and Army away before eventually recording victories. Two more wins over Pac-12 rivals Arizona State and Washington State give Stanford momentum, but Washington is the toughest team on David Shaw's schedule to date. 

It will be in for a tough test come Saturday night, but the Stanford defense has stood up against tougher. As noted by ESPN the Magazine's Twitter account, Palo Alto is where high-powered offenses come to die:

Washington can make a huge statement by upsetting its North Division rival, but Stanford is not a program that lays down easily.

All three of these matchups should help college football fans have a successful Saturday in front of the tube. 

 

Follow B/R's Ethan Grant on Twitter. 

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