College Football Rankings 2013: Full Top 25 Breakdown for Week 7
Two Top 5 teams, Stanford and Ohio State, were challenged mightily by conference opponents in Week 6 but emerged victorious to hold strong in the Week 7 Top 25 rankings.
While there was no change at the very top, Florida State forcefully entered the BCS title conversation with its 63-0 manhandling of Maryland.
The polls continue to disagree on several teams, including Oklahoma, LSU, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
The two rankings did rightfully agree to grant mercy to Northwestern and Washington after their losses to Top 5 foes. However, they also agreed to disrespect Baylor, despite the Bears' dominant effort in their Big 12 opener.
Finally, several new additions woke up with a number next to their name after a trio of teams fell out of the rankings.
24. Virginia Tech
23. Northern Illinois
22. Oklahoma State
21. Fresno State
25. Virginia Tech
23. Northern Illinois
22. Fresno State
21. Texas Tech
Losses by Ole Miss, Arizona State and Maryland left room for several new additions at the back of the polls.
Missouri, Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois all joined the party in the AP poll, while VT was the lone new addition in the coaches poll.
The Hokies have just one loss, to Alabama, and moved to 2-0 in ACC play with a 27-17 win over North Carolina this week. After a slow start the year, they are now right next to Miami (FL) as an ACC Coastal Division favorite.
Missouri, meanwhile, joins Alabama as one of two undefeated teams in the SEC. The Tigers won their conference opener, 51-28 over Vanderbilt. The stay in the Top 25 may be short for Mizzou, as it takes on Georgia, Florida and South Carolina before the end of October.
Northern Illinois is also undefeated and looking to make a second consecutive BCS run. The Huskies have two nonconference wins against Big Ten foes Iowa and Purdue. They beat Kent State 38-24 in their MAC opener this week.
Fresno State also has BCS aspirations and stands as the undefeated favorite in the Mountain West. The Bulldogs amassed 731 yards to clobber Idaho 61-14 this week. At this rate, it may be smooth sailing for Fresno, at least until its potential rematch with Boise State in the MWC title game.
The AP and coaches disagree on a pair of Big 12 teams in Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. The media has OSU at No. 22 behind Fresno and TTU at No. 20. Meanwhile, the coaches have the Red Raiders at No. 21 and the Cowboys at No. 20. The two conference foes won't play until Nov. 2 in Lubbock.
20. Texas Tech
20. Oklahoma State
As previously mentioned, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State share the No. 20 slot in the two polls. The Red Raiders remain as one of three undefeated teams in Big 12 play after smashing Kansas 56-16 in Lawrence. Meanwhile, the Cowboys struggled against Kansas State but escaped with a 33-29 win thanks to a couple of late interceptions.
Washington was shown respect and mercy in both polls, as the Huskies put up a remarkable fight on the road against No. 5 Stanford. UW looked strong on both offense and defense but fell just short of an epic comeback, losing 31-28. The Huskies will be tested yet again this week when they host No. 2 Oregon.
Northwestern was also shown mercy for its loss to a Top 5 foe, Ohio State. The Wildcats went back-and-forth with the Buckeyes through a thrilling fourth quarter but succumbed to the taxing OSU rushing attack in the end. After the 40-30 loss, NU dropped three spots in each poll but rightfully remained in the Top 20.
Two perennial powers, Michigan and Florida, round out this group. Both squads made a rise in the recent rankings after notching decisive conference wins.
After falling into an early season rut that nearly brought upsets to Connecticut and Akron, Michigan bounced back and dominated rival Minnesota, 42-13. Despite the lull in the previous weeks, UM looks like the biggest threat left standing to Ohio State's Big Ten title hopes.
Florida also continued its climb after losing in Week 2 to Miami (FL) and took down SEC foe Arkansas with little worry. The Gators had arguably their best offensive day of the season and held the Razorbacks' star running back Alex Collins to just 54 yards in the win. UF will head to Baton Rouge to take on LSU this week.
14. South Carolina
13. Miami (FL)
14. Miami (FL)
12. South Carolina
Baylor impressed yet again with a record day on offense in a 73-42 win over West Virginia. The tilt in Waco wasn't even as close as the final score suggested, as 21 of the Mountaineers' points came in garbage time. As strong as the Bears have looked, particularly with the most productive offense in football, they deserve more respect than they're receiving from the pollsters.
The polls were split on the issue of South Carolina, which has looked ordinary of late. In three wins over mediocre opponents, Vanderbilt, UCF and Kentucky, USC's largest margin of victory has been 10 points. With that kind of play, it's hard to justify putting the Gamecocks ahead of undefeated teams like Baylor, UCLA and Miami.
Miami and UCLA both started off their conference slates with wins this week. UCLA was on the road against Utah Thursday night and was challenged vehemently by the Utes. However, the Bruins escaped with a 34-27 win behind another big performance from quarterback Brett Hundley. UCLA plays both Stanford and Oregon before the end of the month.
Playing at home, the Hurricanes struggled early with Georgia Tech before pulling away late and winning 45-30. The U fell behind 17-7 in the first quarter but reeled off 38 of the next 44 points to win with ease.
Miami shouldn't have much problem making it through October undefeated, with just North Carolina and Wake Forest on the schedule. However, the Canes will face Florida State and Virginia Tech in consecutive weeks to start November.
9. Texas A&M
6. Florida State
9. Texas A&M
6. Florida State
Florida State emerged as the biggest winner of the week. The Seminoles mauled Maryland 63-0 to firmly enter their name in the BCS title conversation. Thought they sit at No. 6, they are essentially No. 5-A, neck-and-neck with the nation's best undefeated teams. They have a convenient bye this week before taking on Clemson Oct. 19.
As a result of FSU's dominance, Georgia slid back to No. 7 but is still the undisputed top one-loss team. The Bulldogs made a great escape in Knoxville against Tennessee, using a clutch touchdown drive led by quarterback Aaron Murray with five seconds left to force overtime. From there, UGA benefited from a fumble in the endzone to set up the game-winning field goal in its 34-31 win. While all looks well for the Dawgs right now, they need to get healthy in the coming weeks.
Louisville also dropped back, which could become a common trend as the Cardinals carry on through their cupcake schedule. None of UL's opponents are ranked, and that doesn't look like it will change anytime soon. To make any sort of headway, the Cards will have to start racking up style points, which they didn't this week in a rather vanilla 30-7 win over Temple.
Texas A&M had a bye week and didn't move at all in the polls. The Aggies head to Ole Miss this week and won't see another ranked opponent until their Nov. 23 date with LSU.
Finally, the coaches and media disagree on the placement of Oklahoma and LSU. The media has the Sooners back at No. 12 and LSU at No. 10, while the coaches tabbed OU at No. 10 and LSU at No. 11.
LSU looked strong offensively again, racking up 59 points and 563 yards on a staunch Mississippi State defense. The Tigers will host Florida this week for yet another tough test.
OU, meanwhile, was mediocre against TCU. The Sooners struggled offensively, though they were excellent on defense in a 20-17 home win. Right now, stacking them up against Baylor, there's no question which team looks better—even despite what the rankings show.
4. Ohio State
2. Oregon (5)
1. Alabama (55)
4. Clemson (1)
3. Ohio State
2. Oregon (4)
1. Alabama (57)
There was no change in the Top 5, as all of the nation's biggest BCS title hopefuls took care of business in Week 6.
Alabama finally gained some momentum with its passing game in a 45-3 win over 0-5 Georgia State. The Crimson Tide will likely have another snoozer on the road against 1-4 Kentucky this week.
Oregon continued its dominance on the road against Colorado. The Ducks amassed 755 yards in the 57-16 win. Currently, UO ranks No. 2 in the nation in scoring offense and defense, behind Baylor and Louisville respectively. At this point, Oregon might be the only team that can play itself off the No. 2 spot.
Ohio State and Clemson remain in possession of No. 3 and 4, alternating between the two polls. OSU beat its second straight ranked foe, but it is looking more and more like the Buckeyes won't have enough strength of schedule to take No. 2 from Oregon. The Buckeyes beat Northwestern 40-30 this week and will now have a bye before hosting Iowa.
The situation is similar for Clemson, though the Tigers have upcoming clashes with Florida State and South Carolina that could boost them to No. 2. CU dominated Syracuse 49-14 this week and will host Boston College and Florida State in the next two weeks.
Finally, Stanford once again rounds out the Top 5 and looked the part of one of the nation's best in its hard-fought win over Washington. As good as the Huskies looked, the Cardinal looked slightly better and just managed to thwart UW's late comeback try for a 31-28 win. They will be tested again later this month by UCLA before hosting Oregon on Nov. 7.
Note: As of Sunday afternoon, the online USA Today poll listed Clemson and Ohio State at a tie for No. 3, though USA Today tweeted a correction tabbing the Buckeyes alone at No. 3 and the Tigers at No. 4.