Power Ranking All 126 Teams Entering Week 8

Brian Pedersen@realBJPFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2013

Power Ranking All 126 Teams Entering Week 8

0 of 126

    If the first six weeks of the 2013 college football season were considered chalk, this past weekend was the equivalent of a destructive toddler getting into the markers and heading straight for the nearest living room wall.

    Several upsets occurred within the top tier of FBS teams, with three of those victims falling from the ranks of the unbeaten.

    With so much upheaval, Bleacher Report's power rankings for Week 8 are noticeably different than last time out. The rankings are comprised of an average of the Associated Press and USA Today coaches' top 25 polls as well as Bleacher's official poll, Jeff Sagarin's computer ratings and the author's personal ranking. 

    Scroll through the slides to see how we rank each and every one of the 126 FBS programs, from worst to first. Think someone's ranked too high or too low? Weigh in on the comments section with your thoughts.

126. New Mexico State Aggies

1 of 126

    Average rating: 162.5

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Aggies (0-6) will look to snap their 17-game losing streak (tied with Southern Miss for worst in FBS) when they host Rice (4-2) on Saturday in a non-conference game. NMSU will be donning special hot pink jerseys, in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    Notable: NMSU has lost its last 20 games against FBS competition, with its last win coming Nov. 12, 2011 against Fresno State.  

125. Georgia State Panthers

2 of 126

    Average rating: 160.0

    Week 7 result: The Panthers (0-6, 0-1 Sun Belt) narrowly missed out on their first win as an FBS program, falling 35-28 at home to Troy (4-3, 2-1).

    What's next: Georgia State plays Saturday at Texas State (3-3, 0-2).

    Notable: The Panthers aren't eligible for a bowl game as they continue transitioning from the FCS ranks. 

124. Miami (Ohio) Redhawks

3 of 126

    Average rating: 157.0

    Week 7 result: The Redhawks (0-6, 0-2 Mid-American) lost 17-10 at Massachusetts (1-5, 1-1).

    What's next: Miami is home to face Akron (1-6, 0-3) on Saturday, looking to snap a 10-game losing streak.

    Notable: Miami is scoring just nine points per game, but has come close of late in losses to Cincinnati, Central Michigan and UMass by a combined 33 points. 

123. Western Michigan Broncos

4 of 126

    Average rating: 152.5

    Week 7 result: The Broncos (0-7, 0-3 Mid-American) lost 33-0 at home to Buffalo (4-2, 2-0).

    What's next: Western Michigan faces another tough opponent at home, hosting Ball State (6-1, 3-0) on Saturday.

    Notable: WMU has lost nine consecutive games and is 4-15 since playing Purdue in a bowl game at the end of the 2011 season.

122. Eastern Michigan Eagles

5 of 126

    Average rating: 150.5

    Week 7 result: The Eagles (1-5) fell 50-25 at Army, its fifth straight loss

    What's next: After playing four out of five on the road, Eastern Michigan returns home—and to Mid-American Conference play—when it hosts Ohio (4-2, 1-1) on Saturday. EMU is 0-2 against MAC competition this season.

    Notable: EMU has lost nine of its last 11 games.

121. Florida International Golden Panthers

6 of 126

    Average rating: 143.5

    Week 7 result: The Golden Panthers (1-5, 1-1 Conference USA) fell just short of a two-game win streak, falling 27-24 at UAB (2-4, 1-1).

    What's next: FIU is off until Oct. 26 when it hosts Louisiana Tech (2-4, 1-1).

    Notable: The Golden Panthers scored just 23 points in their first four games, but in the last two contests they've exploded for 48 points.

T-119. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

7 of 126

    Average rating: 142.5

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Golden Eagles (0-5, 0-1 Conference USA) will take their 17-game losing streak (tied with New Mexico State for the longest active skid in FBS) into a game Saturday at East Carolina (4-2, 2-1).

    Notable: The 23 points Southern Miss scored in its last game, a one-point loss to Florida International, ballooned their scoring average to 12.2 points per game.

T-119. Idaho Vandals

8 of 126

    Average rating: 142.5

    Week 7 result: The Vandals (1-6) lost 48-24 at Arkansas State (3-3).

    What's next: Idaho has a week off before returning to the South to face Mississippi (3-3) on Oct. 26.

    Notable: Forced to play a nonconference schedule after the Western Athletic Conference dropped football, Idaho has played games so far in Arkansas, Texas, Washington and Wyoming and still must travel to Ole Miss, Florida State and New Mexico State.

118. Massachusetts Minutemen

9 of 126

    Average rating: 142.0

    Week 7 result: The Minutement (1-5, 1-1 Mid-American) held on for a 17-10 home win over Miami, Ohio (0-6, 0-2).

    What's next: Massachusetts visits Buffalo (4-2 2-0) on Saturday.

    Notable: The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak and marked just the program's second victory since joining FBS.

117. UTEP Miners

10 of 126

    Average rating: 136.5

    Week 7 result: The Miners (1-5, 0-3 Conference USA) lost 34-20 at home to Tulsa (2-4, 1-1).

    What's next: UTEP is off until Oct. 26 when it visits Rice (4-2, 3-0).

    Notable: The Miners' only win this season has been a 42-21 decision over Rio Grande rival New Mexico State. They've allowed 41 points per game in the other five losses.

116. Temple Owls

11 of 126

    Average rating: 131.5

    Week 7 result: The Owls (0-6, 0-3 American) fell 38-20 at Cincinnati last Friday, getting outscored 31-7 over the final three quarters, their seventh straight loss overall and eighth consecutive setback to an AAC/Big East foe.

    What's next: Temple hosts Army (3-4) on Oct. 19. The Owls' last win came against the Black Knights, a 63-32 decision last November.

    Notable: The Owls' highest-scoring output of the season has been 29 points, which came in a one-point loss to FCS opponents Fordham.

115. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

12 of 126

    Average rating: 129.0

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Bulldogs (2-4, 1-1 Conference USA) host North Texas (3-3, 1-1) on Saturday. The teams, both new to C-USA this season, last met in 2006.

    Notable: Louisiana Tech has won three straight games against opponents from Texas. It's last loss came last October when the Bulldogs dropped a 59-57 shootout to Johnny Manziell and Texas A&M.

114. Akron Zips

13 of 126

    Average rating: 128.5

    Week 7 result: The Zips (1-6, 0-3 Mid-American) lost 27-20 at Northern Illinois (6-0, 2-0).

    What's next: Akron hosts Miami, Ohio (0-6, 0-2) on Saturday.

    Notable: Akron has lost 29 straight games against FBS competition, its last win coming in the 2010 season finale against Buffalo.

113. Old Dominion Monarchs

14 of 126

    Average rating: 126.0

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The FBS-transitioning Monarchs (4-2) take a break from beating up on FCS competition with a visit to Pittsburgh (3-2) on Saturday.

    Notable: Old Dominion has averaged 55.5 points per game during its four-game win streak, all against lower-division opponents. It is 0-2 against FBS foes. 

112. UAB Blazers

15 of 126

    Average rating: 125.0

    Week 7 result: The Blazers (2-4, 1-1 Conference USA) won 27-24 at Florida International (1-5, 1-1) on a 28-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining.

    What's next: UAB is off until Oct. 26 when it hosts UTSA (2-5, 1-2).

    Notable: The victory snapped a six-game skid against FBS opponents.

111. New Mexico Lobos

16 of 126

    Average rating: 124.0

    Week 7 result: The Lobos (2-4, 0-2 Mountain West) fell 38-31 at Wyoming (4-2, 2-0).

    What's next: New Mexico hosts Utah State (3-4, 2-1) on Saturday.

    Notable: The Lobos have dropped eight straight league games.

110. Connecticut Huskies

17 of 126

    Average rating: 121.5

    Week 7 result: The Huskies (0-5, 0-1 American) lost the debut of interim coach T.J. Weist, falling 13-10 at home to South Florida (2-4, 2-0).

    What's next: UConn visits Cincinnati (4-2, 1-1) on Saturday in hopes of snapping a six-game losing streak dating back to the final game of the 2012 season, which was also a loss to Cincinnati.

    Notable: The Huskies are 10-20 since reaching the playing in the Fiesta Bowl following the 2010 season.

109. Air Force Falcons

18 of 126

    Average rating: 120.5

    Week 7 result: The Falcons (1-6, 0-5 Mountain West) blew a 14-point fourth quarter lead in falling 27-20 at home to San Diego State (3-3, 2-0) last Thursday. It was Air Force's sixth straight loss.

    What's next: Air Force are on a 16-day break before its next game, an Oct. 26 visit from Notre Dame (4-2.

    Notable: The Falcons have allowed 41.7 points per game during their six-game losing streak.

108. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

19 of 126

    Average rating: 120.0

    Week 7 result: The Warhawks (3-4, 1-1 Sun Belt) earned a 21-14 win at Texas State (3-3, 0-2).

    What's next: UL-Monroe is off until Oct. 26 when it hosts Georgia State (0-6, 0-1).

    Notable: Take out the 48 points they scored against FCS foe Grambling and the Warhawks are managing just 12.2 points per game.

107. Purdue Boilermakers

20 of 126

    Average rating: 118.0

    Week 7 result: The Boilermakers (1-5, 0-2 Big Ten) dropped their fourth straight game, coming within 39 seconds of being shut out for the first time in three years, falling 44-7 at home to Nebraska (5-1, 2-0).

    What's next: Purdue, which has failed to score more than 24 points this season, now must travel to defensive stalwart Michigan State (5-1, 2-0) on Saturday.

    Notable: Purdue has been outscored 227-92 to this season.

106. Hawaii Warriors

21 of 126

    Average rating: 116.0

    Week 7 result: The Warriors (0-6, 0-4 Mountain West) lost 39-37 at UNLV (4-2, 2-0), rallying from 19 points down in the fourth quarter only to see UNLV kick a game-winning field goal at the buzzer.

    What's next: Hawaii is off until Oct. 26 when it hosts Colorado State (2-4, 0-1).

    Notable: The Warriors appear on the cusp of breaking through for a win, assuming they can avoid big deficits early. They've outscored their last three opponents 46-12 in the fourth quarter, games they've lost by a combined 17 points.

105. UTSA Roadrunners

22 of 126

    Average rating: 114.5

    Week 7 result: The Roadrunners (2-5, 1-2 Conference USA) lost 27-21 at home to Rice (4-2, 3-0).

    What's next: UTSA gets a break before hosting UAB (2-4, 1-1) on Oct. 26.

    Notable: Both of UTSA's wins have come on the road, while in games at their home field of the Alamodome the Roadrunners are 0-3 and giving up 47.3 points per game.

104. Troy Trojans

23 of 126

    Average rating: 114.0

    Week 7 result: The Trojans (4-3, 2-1 Sun Belt) scored two touchdowns in the final nine minutes to score a 35-28 win at Georgia State (0-6. 0-1).

    What's next: Troy next play on Oct. 26 when it hosts Western Kentucky (4-2, 1-1).

    Notable: Following his 350-yard effort at Georgia State, senior QB Corey Robinson now has 12,147 career passing yards, most among active FBS players and No. 20 all-time.

103. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

24 of 126

    Average rating: 111.0

    Week 7 result: The Blue Raiders (3-4, 1-2 Conference USA) lost 34-7 at North Texas (3-3, 1-1).

    What's next: MTSU is off until Oct. 24 when it hosts East Division-leading Marshall (4-2, 2-0).

    Notable: The Blue Raiders have dropped three in a row, losing by an average score of 32-12.

102. Kent State Golden Flashes

25 of 126

    Average rating: 110.5

    Week 7 result: The Golden Flashes (2-5, 1-3 Mid-American) came up short in a 27-24 loss at Ball State (6-1, 3-0).

    What's next: Kent State steps away from the MAC to visit South Alabama (2-3) on Saturday.

    Notable: Since starting last season 11-1, the Flashes have lost seven of nine, with the victories coming against an FBS team and winless Western Michigan.

101. Central Michigan Chippewas

26 of 126

    Average rating: 109.0

    Week 7 result: The Chippewas (3-4, 2-1 Mid-American) forced four turnovers to pull out a 26-23 win at Ohio (4-2, 1-1).

    What's next: Central Michigan rides a two-game win streak into a Saturday home tilt against MAC flag-bearer Northern Illinois (6-0, 2-0).

    Notable: CMU has won the last three meetings with Northern Illinois played on its home field in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

100. UNLV Runnin' Rebels

27 of 126

    Average rating: 107.5

    Week 7 result: The Runnin' Rebels (4-2, 2-0 Mountain West) doubled their win total from all of last season with a wild 39-37 win over Hawaii (0-6, 0-4).

    What's next: UNLV puts its four-game win streak on the line when it visits Fresno State (5-0, 2-0) on Saturday.

    Notable: The Rebels have rebounded from a pair of blowout losses, both times allowing more than 50 points, to score 41 points per game during its 4-0 run.

T-97. South Florida Bulls

28 of 126

    Average rating: 106.5

    Week 7 result: The Bulls (2-4, 2-0 American) won 13-10 at winless Connecticut (0-5, 0-2) despite not scoring an offensive touchdown.

    What's next: South Florida gets a week off to celebrate its two-game win streak before hosting Louisville (6-0, 2-0) on Oct. 26.

    Notable: Despite beginning the season 0-4, USF is off to its best start in conference play in 10 years. The last time the Bulls began 2-0 was in 2003, when they were in Conference USA.

T-97. South Alabama Jaguars

29 of 126

    Average rating: 106.5

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Jaguars (2-3) host Kent State (2-5) on Saturday in a nonconference game.

    Notable: In their first year of bowl eligibility since transitioning from FBS, South Alabama is keeping games close, winning or losing every contest by no more than seven points.

T-97. Arkansas State Red Wolves

30 of 126

    Average rating: 106.5

    Week 7 result: The Red Wolves (3-3) pounded out a 48-24 win over visiting Idaho (1-6) in a nonconference game.

    What's next: Arkansas State's next game isn't until Oct. 22, when it hosts Louisiana-Lafayette (3-2, 1-0).

    Notable: It's feast or famine for ASU, which is scoring 50.3 points per game in its wins and 11.7 per game in its defeats.

96. Florida Atlantic Owls

31 of 126

    Average rating: 105.0

    Week 7 result: The Owls (2-5, 1-4 Conference USA) lost a heartbreaker to Marshall (4-2, 2-0), falling 24-23 at home.

    What's next: FAU is off until Oct. 26 when it steps out of league play for a game at Auburn (5-1).

    Notable: The Owls' last three losses have been by a combined 12 points.

T-94. Texas State Bobcats

32 of 126

    Average rating: 103.0

    Week 7 result: The Bobcats (3-3, 0-2 Sun Belt) lost 21-14 at home to Louisiana-Monroe (3-4, 1-1).

    What's next: Texas State hosts Georgia State (0-6, 0-1) on Saturday.

    Notable: TSU has dropped three of four since a 2-0 start, the only win resulting in coach Dennis Franchione's 200th career victory.

T-94. Memphis Tigers

33 of 126

    Average rating: 103.0

    Week 7 result: The Tigers (1-4, 0-2 American) played maybe their best defensive game of the season but managed only five field goals on offense in falling 25-15 at Houston (5-0, 2-0).

    What's next: Memphis hosts Southern Methodist (1-4, 0-1) on Saturday.

    Notable: Outside of its 31-7 win over Arkansas State, Memphis is scoring a mere 15.3 points per game.

93. Kansas Jayhawks

34 of 126

    Average rating: 102.5

    Week 7 result: The Jayhawks (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) fell 27-17 at Texas Christian (3-3, 1-2), their 23rd consecutive conference loss.

    What's next: Kansas returns home on Saturday, but will face an Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1) looking to rebound from a devastating 36-20 loss to Texas.

    Notable: Kansas hasn't beaten an active member of the Big 12 since November 2008, when it downed in-state rival Kansas State 52-21.

92. Army Black Knights

35 of 126

    Average rating: 100.5

    Week 7 result: The Black Knights (3-4) surpassed its win total from 2012 on the heels of a school-record rushing performance from Terry Baggett, who ran for 304 yards and four touchdowns (including a 96-yard score) in a 50-25 thumping of Eastern Michigan (1-5).

    What's next: Army will be trying for back-to-back wins for the first time since September 2010 when it visits Temple (0-6) on Saturday.

    Notable: Baggett, a junior, entered the game against Eastern Michigan with 440 yards in Army's first six games. His four TDs were as many as he'd scored in his two-plus seasons with the Black Knights.

91. Colorado Buffaloes

36 of 126

    Average rating: 96.5

    Week 7 result: The Buffaloes (2-3, 0-2 Pac-12) trailed 25-0 after the first quarter on their way to a 54-13 loss at Arizona State (4-2, 2-1).

    What's next: Colorado steps out of league play to host FCS opponent Charleston Southern (7-0) on Saturday.

    Notable: The game with CSU was added mid-season, serving as a replacement for the Buffaloes' matchup with Fresno State that was canceled due to mass flooding in Colorado.

90. Colorado State Rams

37 of 126

    Average rating: 96.0

    Week 7 result: The Rams (2-4, 0-1 Mountain West) fell 34-27 at home to San Jose State (3-3, 2-1).

    What's next: Colorado State now travels north to face border rival Wyoming (4-2, 2-0) on Saturday.

    Notable: The Rams have dropped four in a row in the series with Wyoming.

89. California Golden Bears

38 of 126

    Average rating: 93.0

    Week 7 result: The Golden Bears (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12) lost 37-10 at UCLA (5-0, 2-0), their eighth straight league setback.

    What's next: California plays host to Oregon State (5-1, 3-0) on Saturday.

    Notable: Cal is giving up 43.7 points per game, worst in FBS.

88. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

39 of 126

    Average rating: 94.5

    Week 7 result: The Golden Hurricane (2-4, 1-1 Conference USA) won 34-20 at UTEP (1-5, 0-3), ending a three-game losing streak.

    What's next: Tulsa is off until Oct. 26 when it plays at Tulane (5-2, 3-0).

    Notable: Senior running back Trey Watts has run for 307 yards in the Hurricanes' past two games.

87. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

40 of 126

    Average rating: 91.5

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Demon Deacons (3-3, 1-2 ACC) look to win back-to-back games for the first time since the start of the 2012 season when they host Maryland (5-1, 1-1).

    Notable: Wake has managed to play .500 ball to this point despite scoring only 20 points per game, a number that drops to 17.8 against FBS opponents.

T-85. Southern Methodist Mustangs

41 of 126

    Average rating: 91.0

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Mustangs (1-4, 0-1 America) play their first-ever American Athletic Conference road game with a trip to Memphis (1-4, 0-2) on Saturday.

    Notable: SMU's allowing 43.2 points per game, third-worst among FBS programs.

T-85. Nevada Wolfpack

42 of 126

    Average rating: 91.0

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Wolfpack (3-3, 2-1 Mountain West) look for their first road win of the season when they visit Boise State (4-2, 2-1) on Saturday.

    Notable: Nevada wins by an average score of 37-19 in its three home wins, but away from Reno the Wolfpack are losing 57-24 on average.

84. Tulane Green Wave

43 of 126

    Average rating: 86.0

    Week 7 result: The Green Wave (5-2, 3-0 Conference USA) got five field goals from kicker Cairo Santos, the last one proving to be the difference in a 36-33 win in three overtimes over visiting East Carolina (4-2, 2-1).

    What's next: Tulane is home for the third straight week, this time against Tulsa (2-4, 1-1).

    Notable: Tulane is off to its best start since its 12-0 campaign in 1998 and are one victory away from becoming bowl-eligible for the first time since 2002.

83. Buffalo Bulls

44 of 126

    Average rating: 85.0

    Week 7 result: The Bulls (4-2, 2-0) won their fourth straight, rolling to a 33-0 win at Western Michigan (0-7, 0-3).

    What's next: Buffalo hosts Massachusetts (1-5, 1-1) on Saturday.

    Notable: Since getting outscored by a combined 110-33 in losses at Ohio State and Baylor to open the year, the Bulls are winning by an average margin of 35-12.

82. North Carolina State Wolfpack

45 of 126

    Average rating: 84.5

    Week 7 result: The Wolfpack (3-3, 0-3 ACC) lost for the third time in four games, dropping a 24-10 home decision to league newbie Syracuse (3-3, 1-1).

    What's next: North Carolina State is off until Oct. 26 when it plays at Florida State (5-0, 3-0).

    Notable: The Wolfpack are averaging 24.7 points per game, but in ACC play that number falls to just 12.3 per contest.

81. North Texas Mean Green

46 of 126

    Average rating: 84.0

    Week 7 result: The Mean Green (3-3, 1-1 Conference USA) earned their first league win since moving from the Sun Belt, a 34-7 home win over fellow newcomer Middle Tennessee State (3-4, 1-2).

    What's next: North Texas is on the road to face another of the many new Conferece USA members, this time playing Saturday at Louisiana Tech (2-4, 1-1).

    Notable: North Texas' most impressive win this season came in mid-September when it handed Ball State its only loss.

T-79. Navy Midshipmen

47 of 126

    Average rating: 81.5

    Week 7 result: The Midshipmen (3-2) struggled offensively for the second time in three games, falling 35-7 at Duke (4-2).

    What's next: Navy visits Toledo (3-3) on Saturday in a game featuring two of the nation's better rushing attacks.

    Notable: Though it doesn't play them that often, Navy hasn't lost to a Mid-American Conference team since falling to Ball State in September 2008.

T-79. San Diego State Aztecs

48 of 126

    Average rating: 81.5

    Week 7 result: The Aztecs (3-3, 2-0 Mountain West) scored 21 fourth-quarter points to pull out a 27-20 win at Air Force (1-6, 0-5).

    What's next: SDSU gets a chance to play BCS spoiler, and take control of the Mountain West's West Division, when it hosts Fresno State (5-0, 2-0) on Oct. 26.

    Notable: The Aztecs have shaken off a rough start to the year, which included a painful 21-point home loss to FCS foe Eastern Illinois, to win three straight. Two of those have come on the road.

78. Kentucky Wildcats

49 of 126

    Average rating: 80.5

    Week 7 result: The Wildcats (1-5, 0-3 SEC) put up as much fight as anyone could have expected against Alabama (6-0, 3-0), losing 48-7 at home.

    What's next: Kentucky is off until Oct. 24 when it visits Mississippi State (3-3, 0-2).

    Notable: The Wildcats are on an 11-game conference losing streak, their last SEC win coming over Tennessee in the 2011 regular season finale.

77. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

50 of 126

    Average rating: 80.0

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Ragin' Cajuns (3-2, 1-0 Sun Belt) visit Western Kentucky (4-2, 2-1) in a rare Tuesday night game, the first-of-back Tuesday road tilts as part of the Sun Belt's we'll-take-whatever-we-can-get TV deal with ESPN.

    Notable: ULL, on a three-game win streak, only plays one traditional Saturday game between now and mid-November.

76. Virginia Cavaliers

51 of 126

    Average rating: 79.0

    Week 7 result: The Cavaliers (2-4, 0-2 ACC) lost a heartbreaker, falling 27-26 at Maryland (5-1, 1-1).

    What's next: Virginia hosts Duke (4-2, 0-2) on Saturday.

    Notable: Tailback Kevin Parks has rushed for a 100 or more yards in three of Virginia's last four games.

75. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

52 of 126

    Average rating: 78.5

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Hilltoppers (4-2, 1-1 Sun Belt) are in the non-conformist part of their schedule, hosting Louisiana-Lafayette (3-2, 1-0) on Tuesday night after last playing on a Thursday almost two weeks ago.

    Notable: Western Kentucky running back Antonio Andrews has 882 rushing yards, second-most in FBS, and nine touchdowns.

74. San Jose State Spartans

53 of 126

    Average rating: 78.0

    Week 7 result: The Spartans (3-3, 2-1 Mountain West) got 436 yards from quarterback David Fales to pace a 34-27 win at Colorado State (2-4, 0-1).

    What's next: San Jose State is off until hosting Wyoming (4-2, 2-0) on Oct. 26.

    Notable: Fales, a senior who threw for nearly 4,200 yards and 33 touchdowns last season, is averaging 324 yards per game in 2013.

73. Boston College Eagles

54 of 126

    Average rating: 77.5

    Week 7 result: The Eagles (3-3, 1-2 ACC) couldn't hold a second half lead at Clemson (6-0, 4-0), falling 24-14.

    What's next: Boston College is off until Oct. 26, when it visits North Carolina (1-4, 0-2).

    Notable: Running back Andre Williams is fifth nationally with 838 yards to go with seven touchdowns.

72. Ohio Bobcats

55 of 126

    Average rating: 76.0

    Week 7 result: The Bobcats (4-2, 1-1 Mid-American) saw their four-game winning streak end with a 26-23 home loss to Central Michigan (3-4, 2-1).

    What's next: Ohio plays three of its next four on the road, starting with Saturday's game at Eastern Michigan (1-5, 0-2).

    Notable: After seeming to improve each week during its win streak, the Bobcats had a major regression due to four turnovers, including a muffed punt with under five minutes left that set up the game-winning touchdown.

71. North Carolina Tar Heels

56 of 126

    Average rating: 75.5

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Tar Heels (1-4, 0-2 ACC) host Miami, Fla. (5-0, 1-0) on Thursday night riding a three-game losing streak.

    Notable: North Carolina is rushing for only 100 yards per game, among the worst averages in FBS.

70. Wyoming Cowboys

57 of 126

    Average rating: 71.5

    Week 7 result: The Cowboys (4-2, 2-0 Mountain West) sported helmets with a pink logo en route to a 38-31 win over New Mexico (2-4, 0-2).

    What's next: Wyoming returns home for its annual grudge match with rival Colorado State (2-4, 0-1) on Saturday.

    Notable: Cowboys quarterback Brett Smith, who threw for 247 yards and a touchdown and ran for 140 yards with two scores, is third nationally in total offense at 379 yards per game.

69. Rice Owls

58 of 126

    Average rating: 71.0

    Week 7 result: The Owls (4-2, 3-0 Conference USA) held off a late rally to register a 27-21 road win over UTSA (2-5, 1-2).

    What's next: Rice takes a step away from C-USA play to visit New Mexico State (0-6) on Saturday.

    Notable: Rice is on a three-game win streak in which its been victorious by a mere 13 points, collectively.

68. Cincinnati Bearcats

59 of 126

    Average rating: 69.5

    Week 7 result: The Bearcats (4-2, 1-1 American) shook off a slow start to earn a 38-20 win over visiting Temple (0-6, 0-3).

    What's next: Cincinnati continues the ultra-soft middle portion of its schedule when it hosts Connecticut (0-5, 0-1) on Saturday.

    Notable: UConn is the fourth straight winless team the Bearcats will have faced, having also beaten Miami (Ohio) and losing at South Florida.

67. Duke Blue Devils

60 of 126

    Average rating: 67.5

    Week 7 result: The Blue Devils (4-2) completed a perfect nonconference slate with a convincing 35-7 win over Navy (3-2).

    What's next: Duke, which is 0-2 in ACC play, visits fellow league slow-starter Virginia (2-4, 0-2) on Saturday.

    Notable: The last time the Blue Devils went unbeaten in the regular season against non-ACC competition was 1994, when they beat Army, East Carolina and Navy en route to an 8-4 season and a trip to the Hall of Fame Bowl.

66. Iowa State Cyclones

61 of 126

    Average rating: 66.0

    Week 7 result: The Cyclones (1-4, 0-2 Big 12) lost yet another one-score game, falling 42-35 at Texas Tech (6-0, 3-0).

    What's next: Iowa State might be hard-pressed to stay close in its next game, a Saturday visit to Baylor (5-0, 2-0) and its ridiculous stable of offensive weapons.

    Notable: All four of the Cyclones' losses have been by eight points or fewer, meaning that despite their record they've only been outscored by five points.

65. Marshall Thundering Herd

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    Average rating: 66.5

    Week 7 result: The Thundering Herd (4-2, 2-0 Conference USA) eeked out a 24-23 win at Florida Atlantic (2-5, 1-4), getting a game-winning 41-yard field goal from Justin Haig as time expired.

    What's next: Marshall is off until Oct. 24 when it visits Middle Tennessee State (3-4, 1-2).

    Notable: The Herd could very easily be 6-0, losing by three points at Ohio and in overtime at Virginia Tech on back-to-back weeks in September.

64. Arkansas Razorbacks

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    Average rating: 65.5

    Week 7 result: The Razorbacks (3-4, 0-3 SEC) continued its backward slide after a strong start to the season, dropping its fourth straight in embarrassing fashion via a 52-7 home loss to South Carolina (5-1, 3-1).

    What's next: It just keeps getting tougher for Arkansas, which now must visit Alabama (6-0, 3-0) on Saturday.

    Notable: Arkansas' already weak passing offense hit rock bottom against South Carolina, as Brandon Allen was just 4-of-12 for 30 yards and an interception, a week after going 17-for-41 for 164 yards in a loss to Florida.

63. Minnesota Golden Gophers

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    Average rating: 65.0

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Golden Gophers (4-2, 0-2 Big Ten) look to end a two-game losing streak when it visits equally struggling Northwestern (4-2, 0-2) on Saturday.

    Notable: The game will be the first since Minnesota coach Jerry Kill announced he was taking a leave of absence to treat his epilepsy, which has caused him to miss parts or all of several games due to seizures.

62. Toledo Rockets

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    Average rating: 64.0

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Rockets (3-3) take a break from league play to host Navy (3-2) on Saturday.

    Notable: Toledo's most impressive win this season was a 33-21 victory over Eastern Washington, an FCS team that won at 5-1 Oregon State in late August.

T-60. West Virginia Mountaineers

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    Average rating: 60.0

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Mountaineers (3-3, 1-2 Big 12) host Texas Tech (6-0, 3-0) on Saturday.

    Notable: The visit from Tech marks the fourth straight opponent West Virginia will face that is unbeaten at kickoff. The Mountaineers were shut out at Maryland, handed Oklahoma State its first loss and were blown out at Baylor.

T-60. Bowling Green Falcons

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    Average rating: 60.0

    Week 7 result: The Falcons (5-2) fell short of slipping out of SEC country with an upset victory, losing 21-20 at Mississippi State (3-3).

    What's next: Bowling Green returns to Mid-American Conference play, where it's 3-0 so far, when it hosts Toledo (3-3, 2-1) on Oct. 26.

    Notable: The Falcons' two losses are to teams from BCS conferences, the other a 42-10 setback at Indiana.

59. East Carolina Pirates

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    Average rating: 59.5

    Week 7 result: The Pirates (4-2, 2-1 Conference USA) lost a three-overtime thriller at Tulane (5-2, 3-0), falling 36-33 despite a 480-yard passing effort from Shane Carden.

    What's next: East Carolina returns home to face Southern Mississippi (0-5, 0-1) on Saturday.

    Notable: Carden, a junior, has 2,017 yards and 13 touchdowns. He threw for 376 yards and three scores in the Pirates' 55-31 win last month at North Carolina.

T-57. Syracuse Orange

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    Average rating: 59.0

    Week 7 result: The Orange (3-3, 1-1 ACC) earned an impressive 24-10 win at North Carolina State (3-3, 1-1).

    What's next: Syracuse looks to make it 2-0 in road games in its new league when it visits Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-2).

    Notable: Running backs Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley, each of whom ran for more than 100 yards against NC State, are a big reason the Orange are rated 22nd nationally in rushing offense.

T-57. Pittsburgh Panthers

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    Average rating: 59.0

    Week 7 result: The Panthers (3-2, 0-2 ACC) took another step backward offensively, falling 19-9 at Virginia Tech (6-1, 3-0) on Saturday.

    What's next: Pittsburgh takes a break from league play with a nonconference game against transitional FBS program Old Dominion (4-2) on Saturday.

    Notable: Since winning a 58-55 shootout at Duke on Sept. 21, the Panthers have managed just 23 points in their last two games. Quarterback Tom Savage, who threw for 424 yards and tied an ACC record with six TD passes in the Duke game, has since completed just 26-of-59 passes for 378 yards and one score.

56. Illinois Fighting Illini

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    Average rating: 58.0

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Fighting Illini (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten) host Wisconsin (4-2, 2-1) on Saturday.

    Notable: Senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase has nearly surpassed his yardage total for 2012, despite almost 100 fewer pass attempts.

55. Ball State Cardinals

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    Average rating: 57.0

    Week 7 result: The Cardinals (6-1, 3-0 Mid-American) pulled out a sluggish 27-24 home win over Kent State (2-5, 1-3).

    What's next: Ball State hits the road to face Western Michigan (0-7, 0-3).

    Notable: Ball State has won eight in a row against MAC competition, a streak that began with an overtime win over Western Michigan last October.

54. Kansas State Wildcats

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    Average rating: 56.0

    Week 7 result: The Wildcats (2-4, 0-3 Big 12) put a scare into visiting Baylor (5-0, 2-0) but fell apart late in the 35-25 loss.

    What's next: K-State is off until Oct. 26, when it hosts West Virginia (3-3, 1-2).

    Notable: Since opening last season at 10-0, the Wildcats have dropped six of nine games and going 1-4 in Big 12 play.

T-52. Mississippi State Bulldogs

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    Average rating: 54.0

    Week 7 result: The Bulldogs (3-3) held on for a 21-20 nonconference win over Bowling Green (5-2).

    What's next: Mississippi State is off until Oct. 24 when it hosts Kentucky (1-5, 0-3) in hopes of earning its first SEC win after starting 0-2.

    Notable: Dak Prescott, part of a two-quarterback rotation, leads the Bulldogs in passing and rushing.

T-52. Indiana Hoosiers

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    Average rating: 54.0

    Week 7 result: The Hoosiers (3-3, 1-1 Big Ten) dropped a 42-28 decision at Michigan State (5-1, 2-0), scoring 11 more points than any other Spartans foe this season but once again was let down by a subpar defense that has allowed 400 or more yards to five straight opponents.

    What's next: Indiana continues its tour of the Great Lakes State on Saturday, as it will face a Michigan (5-1, 1-1) team coming off its first loss of the season.

    Notable: Indiana lives and dies by its need to score lots of points, as can be seen by its 3-0 record when scoring 40 or more points and 0-3 mark when allowed 40-plus.

51. Vanderbilt Commodores

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    Average rating: 50.0

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Commodores (3-3, 0-3) host Georgia (4-2, 3-1) on Saturday.

    Notable: Vandy is 0-3 in games it lets opponents score more than 30 points and unbeaten in games in which it holds foes under 30.

50. Washington State Cougars

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    Average rating: 49.5

    Week 7 result: The Cougars (4-3, 2-2) fell apart in the final 20 minutes of their 52-24 home loss to Oregon State (5-1, 3-1), giving up 35 unanswered points after taking a 24-17 lead midway through the third quarter.

    Wazzu quarterback Connor Halliday had his worst game after a strong first six efforts, getting picked off three times as part of a six-turnover performance against the Beavers. The Cougars also allowed 493 passing yards to OSU quarterback Sean Mannion, who threw four TD passes during that 35-0 run.

    What's next: Wazzu now must travel to Oregon (6-0, 3-0) on Saturday. The Cougars have lost the last six meetings by a 51-17 average score.

    Notable: The Cougars remain the nation's worst rushing team, gaining just over 66 yards per game. The lack of a reliable run came has put extra pressure on Halliday to perform, and the result is 14 TD passes but also 13 interceptions.

49. Utah State Aggies

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    Average rating: 46.0

    Week 7 result: The Aggies (3-4, 2-1 Mountain West) lost for the third time in four games, falling 34-23 at home to Boise State (4-2, 2-1).

    Utah State appears to be on the way down after an upswing the last few years, but not just because Gary Andersen left to coach Wisconsin. The season-ending injury to electric quarterback Chuckie Keeton, who was hurt early in an Oct. 4 loss to BYU, appears to be one of those unrecoverable setbacks, as neither Craig Harrison or Darrell Garretson looks to be able to be as effective.

    What's next: Utah State hopes to right the ship Saturday at New Mexico (2-4, 0-2).

    Notable: How good was Keeton? Before going down he had been averaging 270 passing yards per game and had thrown 17 touchdowns against just one interception.

T-47. Tennessee Volunteers

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    Average rating: 45.5

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Volunteers (3-3, 0-2 SEC) haven't played since squandering their golden chance at a signature win against Georgia, but they'll get another chance Saturday when they host South Carolina (5-1, 3-1).

    Notable: Though still a loss, the performance at Georgia can be looked at as a potential turning point in Butch Jones' first season. Rajion Neal's 148-yard performance was especially promising, and if its a sign of continued things to come then the Vols could be on the verge of a big win.

    There will be plenty of chances for that, as the remaining schedule includes games against ranked opponents the next four weekends.

T-47. Iowa Hawkeyes

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    Average rating: 45.5

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) return to action with a Saturday visit to Ohio State (6-0, 2-0), a place they haven't won at since 2006.

    Notable: Iowa has had two weeks to figure out what went wrong in its last game, a 26-14 home loss to Michigan State that ended a four-game win streak. The Hawkeyes had been averaging more than 240 rushing yards per game but managed just 23 yards against the Spartans. Without a consistent run game it's hard to win in the Big Ten.

46. Georgia Tech Yellowjackets

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    Average rating: 45.0

    Week 7 result: The Yellowjackets (3-3) lost their third straight game, falling 38-20 at BYU (4-2).

    The once-unstoppable option run game was ineffective for the third time in as many games, despite gaining more than 240 yards. And without that consistency, Vad Lee was once again forced to throw and struggled.

    Lee completed just 7-of-20 passes and was intercepted once, with that pick getting returned for a touchdown. For the year now the junior has five interceptions and a completion percentage under 43 in just 96 attempts.

    What's next: Georgia Tech hopes to right the ship with a home game Saturday against Syracuse (3-3, 1-1), the first meeting with the ACC newcomers since Tech earned a 51-14 win in the 2004 Champs Sports Bowl.

    Notable: Though traditionally a very run-heavy team under coach Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech isn't being opportunistic with its throws like in years past. And while the run game is still averaging 296 yards, the 5.15 yards-per-carry average is far below most of the nation's top rushing teams.

45. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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    Average rating: 43.333

    Week 7 result: The Scarlet Knights (4-2, 1-1) lost 24-10 at Louisville (6-0, 2-0), failing to capitalize on a golden opportunity for a season-defining road upset.

    Rutgers made Heisman candidate Teddy Bridgewater look human for much of the game, forcing him into turnovers and keeping him from putting up the kind of results that have gained him national attention. But all that good work was negated by its own offensive output, which was stifled by Louisville's pressure attack that led to eight sacks of and four interceptions thrown by Gary Nova.

    What's next: Rutgers has a week off before getting another chance to knock off an unbeaten foe, hosting Houston (5-0, 2-0). The teams have never met.

    Notable: Though Nova struggled against Louisville, the junior has had three massive games this season and is doing his best to make up for the loss of leading rusher Paul James. James, with 573 yards and six TDs in the Knights' first four games, missed the last two games with a leg injury but could be back for Houston.

44. Houston Cougars

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    Average rating: 41.75

    Week 7 result: The Cougars (5-0, 2-0 American) continued maybe the quietest unbeaten start of any FBS program with a 25-15 win over Memphis (1-4, 0-2), a game that was much more about defensive than Houston's normally explosive offense.

    Houston was outgained by more than 100 yards and trailed 15-10 late in the third quarter before tailback Kenneth Farrow scored a pair of touchdowns to claim victory.

    What's next: Houston slips out of conference play to host BYU (4-2) on Saturday. Expect a return to the scoreboard pyrotechnics, as both teams are known more for skill players than defensive stoppers.

    Notable: This isn't like the Houston teams of recent memory that have been all about outscoring teams without much concern for defense. The Cougars are ranked 22nd overall in scoring defense at 19 points per game, albeit against five teams that are a combined 10-20.

T-41. USC Trojans

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    Average rating: 40.0

    Week 7 result: The Trojans (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) made the debut of interim coach Ed Orgeron a successful won, notching a 38-31 win over Arizona (3-2, 0-2).

    USC, which fired Lane Kiffin following a harrowing 62-41 loss at Arizona State, looked like a completely different team in terms of its energy level and offensive production. Cody Kessler was able to find his receivers almost at will for big plays, while five different running backs combined for more than 250 rushing yards.

    It wasn't all good news for the Trojans, though, as they gave up 363 yards and four passing touchdowns to Arizona QB B.J. Denker, who had only thrown for 445 yards and two TDs in the previous four games.

    What's next: USC hits the road for its bi-annual trip to Notre Dame (4-2) on Saturday. The Trojans have actually won each of their last five games played in South Bend.

    Notable: One of the most promising takeaways from the win over Arizona was the successful return of tailback Silas Redd, who hadn't played after having knee surgery in the offseason. He came back strong, rushing for 80 yards and becoming the go-to ball-carrier in the fourth quarter.

T-41. Penn State Nittany Lions

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    Average rating: 40.0

    Week 7 result: The Nittany Lions (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) came out on top of the wildest game of the 2013 college football season, pulling out a 43-40 win in four overtimes over Michigan (5-1, 1-1).

    Penn State tied the game with less than 30 seconds left after connecting on a desperation throw that Allen Robinson caught at the 1-yard-line to set the stage for the multiple overtimes. And in the extra frames the Lions held Michigan to just two field goals in four possession, blocking a potential game-winning kick in the process.

    Freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg was sensational in the win, throwing for more than 300 yards and generating the five-play, 80-yard drive to set up overtime.

    What's next: Penn State now must try to carry that momentum into a game Saturday at Ohio State (6-0, 2-0), where it has won only twice in the last 20 years.

    Notable: While the Michigan win was thrilling, Penn State is still searching for consistency. It has traded wins and losses the last four games.

T-41. Arizona Wildcats

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    Average rating: 40.0

    Week 7 result: The Wildcats (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12) played for just the second time in four weeks, losing 38-31 at USC (4-2, 1-2).

    The game saw Arizona put on a Jekyll-and-Hyde performance compared to previous games, as its anemic passing offense took off but its improved defense took a major step back. Senior quarterback B.J. Denker threw for a career-best 363 yards and four TDs after logging just 445 yards in the first four games.

    But the Wildcats' defense couldn't make a stop against a USC offense that had struggled. The breakdowns wiped out a lot of good memories from the efforts during a 3-0 start that now looks much more a product of the weak competition than anything else.

    What's next: Arizona plays at home for the first time in five weeks when it hosts Utah (4-2, 1-2) on Saturday. The Utes won the teams' last meeting in Tucson, a 34-21 decision in 2011.

    Notable: While Denker looks like he's starting to come around, junior tailback Ka'Deem Carey has remained as consistent as ever. Against USC he rushed for more than 100 yards for the eighth straight game.

40. Maryland Terrapins

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    Average rating: 39.0

    Week 7 result: The Terrapins (5-1, 1-1 ACC) rebounded from their embarrassing loss to Florida State with a narrow 27-26 victory over Virginia (2-4, 0-2).

    Maryland played without dynamic quarterback C.J. Brown but got a stellar performance from backup Caleb Rowe, who threw for 332 yards that included the game-winning touchdown with just over five minutes left. The late comeback helped negate another poor defensive performance from the Terrapins, who let a struggling Virginia team gain more than 500 yards.

    The defensive letdowns were also evident in the 63-0 loss to FSU, and right now look much harder for coach Randy Edsall to fix than replacing the production from Brown.

    What's next: Maryland travels to Wake Forest (3-3, 1-2) on Saturday. The Terps have lost in Winston-Salem each of the last three trips there.

    Notable: Edsall has said Brown could return for the Wake game, and his presence will be greatly felt. The senior has thrown just one interception in 113 pass attempts, while he's accounted for 13 total touchdowns that includes six on the ground.

39. Boise State Broncos

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    Average rating: 37.667

    Week 7 result: The Broncos (4-2, 2-1 Mountain West) rolled to a 34-23 win at Utah State (3-4, 2-1), leading by 24 points after the third quarter for their fourth win in five games.

    Don't look now, but Boise is starting to roll. It looked horrible in a season-opening blowout loss at Washington, then came up short in a shootout setback at Fresno State in September. But the Broncos have looked stellar in the last two games, which includes a 60-7 destruction of winless Southern Mississippi.

    This might be the "worst" Boise team in Chris Peterson's eight years at the helm, but that's a loose using of the word bad. The Broncos are still a tough out, no matter what, and still control their own destiny to get into the Mountain West's first-ever title game and a rematch with Fresno.

    What's next: Boise hosts Nevada (3-3, 2-1) on Friday. The Broncos are 12-1 against the Wolfpack since 1999, but that one defeat was a heartbreaking 34-31 setback in 2010 that kept Boise out of the BCS.

    Notable: Senior quarterback Joe Southwick is starting to play like some of his Boise predecessors, completing more than 72 percent of his passes on the year. That includes a school record 27-of-29 performance last month against Air Force.

38. Ole Miss Rebels

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    Average rating: 36.667

    Week 7 result: The Rebels (3-3, 1-3 SEC) dropped their third in a row, coming up on the losing end of a wild 41-38 shootout at home against Texas A&M (5-1, 2-1).

    Ole Miss rallied early in the fourth quarter to take the lead on the Aggies, then traded scores and had a seven-point advantage with six minutes left but had no ability to thwart Johnny Manziel.

    Ole Miss has lost all of the momentum and good vibes from its 3-0 start, which included impressive wins at Vanderbily and Texas. Since then the Rebels were shut out by Alabama, then have been unable to slow down or keep pace with the offenses of Auburn and A&M.

    Granted, four of the first five were on the road, but now that the Rebels are in the midst of a six-game homestand it has numerous chances to right the ship.

    What's next: Ole Miss hosts its second straight top-tier opponent, facing LSU (6-1, 3-1) on Saturday. The Rebels have lost nine of the last 11 against the Tigers, but their last win did come at home in 2009.

    Notable: The Rebels' defensive issues were worsened with news that star freshman defensive end Robert Nkemdiche isn't likely to play against LSU because of a leg injury. The news is a little better for linebacker Serderius Bryant, who suffered a concussion against against A&M but should be ready for Saturday, coach Hugh Freeze has said.

37. TCU Horned Frogs

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    Average rating: 36.5

    Week 7 result: The Horned Frogs (3-3, 1-2 Big 12) won what could only be described as a sloppy game, overcoming five turnovers in a 27-17 win over visiting Kansas (2-3, 0-2). Trevone Boykin threw for a touchdown and ran for a score, but he was also intercepted twice, with both picks leading to Kansas scores.

    TCU also muffed a punt that led to Kansas points, and also lost three fumbles.

    It was a 10-10 game at halftime, but then TCU opened things up when Boykin hit David Porter for a 75-yard TD pass only 13 seconds into the third quarter. From there the defense took over, holding Kansas to just 198 yards.

    What's next: TCU, which hasn't won back-to-back games since opening last season 4-0, next play Saturday at Oklahoma State (4-1, 1-1). The Frogs last beat the Cowboys in 1992, when TCU was in the Southwest Conference and OSU was a member of the Big 8.

    Notable: The Frogs have been one of the more inconsistent offensive teams among those expected to contend in the major conferences. Rated 109th in total offense, they're averaging just 5.3 yards per snap.

36. Northwestern Wildcats

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    Average rating: 33.6

    Week 7 result: The Wildcats (4-2, 0-2 Big Ten) played their worst game of the season by far, getting beat in all facets of their 35-6 loss at Wisconsin (4-2, 2-1).

    After taking Ohio State to the wire the week before, narrowly missing out on one of the biggest wins in school history, Northwestern was noticeably sluggish. It rushed for just 44 yards, roughly 20 percent of its season average, while quarterback tandem Kain Colter and Trever Siemian were both held in check.

    The energy level was also noticeably lower in the wake of the OSU loss, something the Wildcats will need to address if they want to avoid turning a season full of high expectations into a disappointing one.

    What's next: Northwestern hosts Minnesota (4-2, 0-2) on Saturday, with both teams trying to snap losing streaks and avoid an 0-3 start to league play. The Wildcats have won five of the last six meetings.

    Notable: The six points scored were the Wildcats' lowest output in nearly seven years.

35. Oregon State Beavers

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    Average rating: 33.0

    Week 7 result: The Beavers (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) won their fifth straight game, scoring 35 points in just over nine minutes in the second half to turn a tight one into a 52-24 runaway victory at Washington State (4-3, 2-2).

    The nation's top passer, Sean Mannion, threw four touchdown passes during that late stretch, including three in the fourth quarter to the nation's top receiver, Brandin Cooks. The Beavers also forced Wazzu into six turnovers, including several during the 35-0 game-ending run.

    OSU is doing its darnedest to make people forget about its season-opening home loss to FCS power Eastern Washington, or at least make it look like an anomaly. The Beavers have done so by blowing out bad teams at home and pulling off comebacks in all three of their road games.

    What's next: OSU plays its fourth road game in five weeks, traveling to California (1-5, 0-3) on Saturday. OSU has won five of the last six meetings but lost in Berkeley two years ago.

    Notable: No team is more one-dimensional offensively than OSU, which features the No. 1 passing offense in the country and the second-worst rushing attack. Leading rusher Storm Woods is averaging just 3.0 yards per carry and missed two games with a head injury, but also has 22 receptions.

34. Central Florida Knights

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    Average rating: 31.5

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Golden Knights (4-1, 1-0 American) return to action having had two weeks to prepare for a Friday trip to Louisville (6-0, 2-0).

    Notable: UCF nearly came back and beat South Carolina at home three weeks ago, then needed two touchdowns in the final 2:05 of play to edge a bad Memphis team on the road the following week. The Knights are in jeopardy of having a great start to the year, which included an upset win at Penn State, go down the tubes depending on how the Louisville game goes.

33. Texas Longhorns

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    Average rating: 31.4

    Week 7 result: The Longhorns (4-2, 3-0 Big 12) did their best "Win One For The Gipper" impression, substituting Ronald Reagan with coach Mack Brown, by dominating rival Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1) 36-20 in the Red River Shootout in Dallas.

    Having lost badly to the Sooners the previous two seasons and with rumors swirling that Brown's job was on the line based on the game's result, Texas played its best all-around game in winning for the third consecutive week following a 1-2 start. And they did it with a stout defense that held Oklahoma to its lowest yardage output of the year and also forced Blake Bell into two interceptions.

    One of those picks resulted in the classic fat-guy touchdown, as 295-yard defensive tackle Chris Whaley lumbered 31 yards for a score that gave Texas a 10-3 lead it would never relinquish.

    What's next: Texas gets to bask in its big win for two weeks before visiting Texas Christian (3-3, 1-2) on Oct. 26.

    Notable: Despite all the turmoil surrounding Texas and its coach, the Longhorns are leading the Big 12 with a 3-0 mark are now headed into the softest part of its remaining schedule. Following the trip to TCU they host Kansas before visiting West Virginia.

32. Utah Utes

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    Average rating: 31.2

    Week 7 result: The Utes (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) notched the biggest upset of the 2013 season to date with their stunning 27-21 win over visiting Stanford (5-1, 3-1).

    Utah finally broke through with the signature win the program had lacked since joining the Pac-12 three seasons ago. The Utes had won just seven of their first 20 games in league competition, but not of the victims had been from the upper tier, though there had been some close calls of late.

    Utah lost an overtime thriller to Oregon State last month, and gave unbeaten UCLA everything it had two weeks ago but couldn't overcome six interceptions from its quarterback, Travis Wilson. Wilson had just one pick, to go with two touchdowns, in the win over Stanford.

    What's next: The Utes play their first road game of the Pac-12 schedule, visiting Arizona (3-2, 0-2) on Saturday. Utah won in Tucson two years ago but lost at home to the Wildcats in 2012.

    Notable: Utah is set to play four of its next five on the road after opening with five of six at home. Ironically, the Utes won their lone away game this season, beating in-state rival BYU 20-13.

31. BYU Cougars

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    Average rating: 31.0

    Week 7 result: The Cougars (4-2) won their third straight game, romping over Georgia Tech (3-3) in a 38-20 home victory.

    Since starting 1-2 with losses at Virginia and at home against in-state rival Utah, BYU has looked phenomenal on both offense and defense. Quarterback Taysom Hill had 309 total yards and two touchdowns, one passing and one rushing, while the BYU defense slowed down Tech's option run game and turned an interception of Vad Lee into a 51-yard TD.

    The Cougars don't get the same kind of regard as fellow independent Notre Dame, but with a schedule that so far has included games against—and wins over—teams from the ACC and the Big 12 they're showing a willingness to play anyone.

    What's next: BYU ventures away from home to visit another BCS opponent, playing Saturday at unbeaten Houston (5-0). Its the first-ever meeting between the schools.

    Notable: Hill's emergence as a dual threat quarterback has been the key to BYU's success. The sophomore has all but eliminated the accuracy issues that plagued him earlier this season, completing 65 percent (50-of-77) of his throws the last three games compared to just 35 percent (40-of-114) during the 1-2 start.

    The improved passing now compliments his already solid running ability, which includes a 259-yard effort in a win over Texas.

30. Michigan State Spartans

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    Average rating: 30.6

    Week 7 result: The Spartans (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) stepped out of their standard low-scoring defensive gameplan to win a 42-28 shootout over visiting Indiana (3-3, 1-1).

    MSU hadn't allowed more than 17 in a game prior to Saturday, when Indiana reached that total early in the second half. But the Spartans still controlled the game for the most part thanks to an improved offense that has been gaining confidence each week since Connor Cook took over as starting quarterback.

    It was still a strong defensive effort considering how Indiana had been putting up points beforehand, and with the offensive output the overall result might be looked at as MSU's best performance of the season.

    What's next: MSU gets one last breather before a rigorous five-game stretch to end the regular season, hosting lowly Purdue (1-5, 0-2) on Saturday. Purdue is among the weakest BCS teams and is allowing more than 42 points per game to FBS opponents.

    Notable: The Spartans remain the nation's No. 1 team in terms of total defense, while the 15.8 points per game allowed ranks eighth overall.

29. Arizona State Sun Devils

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    Average rating: 30.2

    Week 7 result: The Sun Devils (4-2, 2-1) jumped on visiting Colorado (2-3, 0-3) early and often, dismantling the Buffaloes 54-16.

    ASU's offense of late has been incredibly potent, scoring 178 points over the last 14 quarters, including 28 in the second half of its 42-28 loss at Stanford in which it trailed 29-0 at halftime. Though they lost two weeks ago against Notre Dame in a neutral site game in Texas, the Sun Devils showed on a national stage how well they can move the ball and how diverse their offensive attack is.

    Taylor Kelly is ranked seventh nationally in total offense, while tailback Marion Grice has 15 total touchdowns, more than anyone else in the country.

    And the Sun Devils' defense, though allowing 27 points per game, is loaded with individual playmakers.

    What's next: ASU hosts Washington (4-2, 2-1) on Saturday night. A win will likely put the Sun Devils back into the national polls for the third time this season and will provide momentum heading into a road swing to Washington State and Utah.

    Notable: One of the most pleasant surprises for ASU has been the emergence of sophomore wide receiver Jaelen Strong as the team's top target. A junior college transfer, Strong has 678 yards and has gained at least 100 each of the last give games.

28. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Average rating: 29.6

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Fighting Irish (4-2) play host to USC (4-2) on Saturday. USC has won the last five meetings between the teams played in South Bend.

    Notable: Notre Dame hasn't had the magic in a bottle it had in 2012, when seemingly every break went its way en route to a perfect regular season and a berth (albeit an unsuccessful one) in the BCS national championship game. There will be no title opportunity this year due to losses already at Michigan and home to Oklahoma, but because of their profile the Irish remain in consideration for top-tier bowls as long as they continue winning.

    Though USC is a dangerous team, it is not at the caliber it has been in years past, and therefore is an opponent Notre Dame needs to handle without incident in order to remain on the BCS path. In fact, Notre Dame's next four games (USC, at Air Force, Navy, at Pittsburgh) are not just must-wins, they're must-win-bigs.

27. Northern Illinois Huskies

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    Average rating: 28.4

    Week 7 result: The Huskies (6-0, 2-0 Mid-American) won their 17th consecutive league game, a 27-20 home win over Akron (1-6, 0-3).

    Northern Illinois hasn't looked particularly sharp the last two weeks, against the Zips and struggling Kent State, almost as if it just expects to roll through the MAC again. A BCS buster last season, the Huskies could crash that big-money party again this year if it goes unbeaten, but at the same time they also could be ripe for an upset based on the result sluggish play.

    That being said, NIU still sports one of the nation's best offenses, including the ninth-best rushing attack in FBS, which is paced by the dual options of quarterback Jordan Lynch (616 yards, four touchdowns) and bruising 6'1", 244-pound back Cameron Stingily (656 yards, six TDs).

    What's next: NIU hits the road to play Central Michigan (3-4, 2-1) on Saturday. The Huskies have lost their last three trips to CMU, including a 48-41 setback in 2011.

    Notable: Lynch, a senior who is being pushed hard by his school's PR department for Heisman consideration, is averaging about 325 yards per game in total offense, good for 14th nationally. While strong, it's still about 50 yards per game off his 2012 season pace.


26. Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Average rating: 27.0

    Week 7 result: The Cornhuskers (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) found a cure for their defensive issues, cruising to a 44-7 win at woeful Purdue (1-5, 0-2).

    It was the best effort by Nebraska's vaunted Black Shirts since a 13-7 win over Iowa last November, and was a welcome respite from the defensive issues the team has faced all season. Prior to Purdue, The 'Huskers were giving up more than 25 points per game, but over the last three contests that per-game yield is just above 15.

    Most promising was the run defense, which limited Purdue to just 32 yards on 25 carries, a far cry from the 182.6 rushing yards per game allowed entering the contest.

    Offensively, freshman Tommy Armstrong Jr. struggled in place of Taylor Martinez, throwing three interceptions before getting replaced by Ron Kellogg III. The run game was its usual productive self, with Ameer Abdullah gaining 126 of the 'Huskers' 251 yards on the ground.

    What's next: Nebraska gets a bye before returning to the road, this time to face Minnesota (4-2, 0-2) on Oct. 26.

    Notable: If not for a garbage touchdown with 39 seconds left, Nebraska would have recorded its first shutout since beating Arizona 33-0 in the 2009 Holiday Bowl.

25. Auburn Tigers

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    Average rating: 26.6

    Week 7 result: The Tigers (5-1) took their turn on the SEC's carousel of overmatched mid-season nonconference opponents, crushing FCS doormat Western Carolina 62-3.

    How bad was Auburn's opponent? The Catamounts (1-6) have lost 32 consecutive games to FBS and FCS opponents, their win this season coming against a Division II school.

    The game served as both a breather from the rigors of the SEC schedule, coming after Auburn lost at LSU before beating Mississippi, but also an opportunity to fine tune first-year coach Guz Malzahn's offense. The Tigers did just that, gaining a school-record 712 yards including 511 on the ground.

    Auburn sat quarterback Nick Marshall to let his knee injury continue to heal, turning to highly touted freshman Jeremy Johnson. He impressed against the weak competition, going 17-for-21 for 201 and four touchdowns in a little over two quarters of competition.

    What's next: It's back to the SEC grind for Auburn, which visits Texas A&M (5-1) on Saturday. The game will serve as sort of a West Division elimination game for both teams, as each is 2-1 in league play and has already lost once to one of that side's big boys (Alabama and LSU) with another remaining on the schedule.

    Notable: Auburn leads the SEC and is now ranked seventh in FBS in rushing at 287 yards per game, a statistic that could bode well for its chances to down Texas A&M and its quick-score offense. Being able to keep Johnny Manziell off the field with clock-eating run-heavy drives might be the Tigers' best defense.

24. Michigan Wolverines

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    Average rating: 26.2

    Week 7 result: The Wolverines (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten) played one of the more thrilling, dramatic games of the season, losing 43-40 in four overtimes at Penn State (4-2, 1-1) to fall from the ranks of the unbeaten.

    Having narrowly beat lesser foes Akron and Connecticut earlier in the season, Michigan had picked up a sort of "paper champion" label that was validated with the loss, which included numerous chances for it to win either in regulation or overtime. Kicker Brendan Gibbons came up just short on a game-winning 52-yard field goal at the end of the fourth quarter, then missed twice (including a block) on kicks in the extra period.

    The Wolverines appeared to have the game in hand when leading by 10 midway through the fourth, only to see Penn State get a game-tying score in the final minute following a deep Hail Mary pass caught at the 1-yard-line.

    While a devastating way to lose its first game, Michigan must move on and regroup if it wants to remain in contention for the Big Ten title.

    What's next: Michigan returns home to face Indiana (3-3, 1-1) on Saturday. The Wolverines have won 17 consecutive games against the Hoosiers, though the last two meeting (in 2009 and 2010) were both decided by a touchdown or less.

    Notable: Lost in the chaos of the wild finish and chaotic overtimes was the return to form (in terms of being a dual threat) of junior quarterback Devin Gardner. He threw 240 yards, about his average, but after only gaining 17 yards rushing in the previous game he went off for 121 yards.

    Gardner committed three turnovers in the first half, but then was nearly flawless from that point on.

23. Fresno State Bulldogs

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    Average rating: 26.0

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Bulldogs (5-0, 2-0) hosts a resurgent UNLV (4-2, 2-0) on Saturday. Fresno has won the last nine meetings, dating back to 1985.

    Notable: Fresno has met every challenge it's been faced with this season, whether it be outlasting a BCS foe (52-51 in OT over Rutgers), downing a long-time nemesis (41-40 over Boise State) or holding off a feverish comeback (winning 42-37 at Hawaii, a game it led 42-3 midway through the third quarter). The Bulldogs are cruising toward the Mountain West's first-ever title game, and just have to avoid a letdown.

    UNLV could provide that, but more likely it would come Oct. 26 at San Diego State or Nov. 9 a Wyoming. But as long as quarterback Derek Carr (372 passing yards per game, 19 touchdowns) and his band of reliable receivers keep on trucking, expect Fresno to make it through the regular season unbeaten.

22. Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Average rating: 22.0

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Cowboys (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) return to action with a home game against TCU (3-3, 1-2), a team that crushed 36-14 on the road last season.

    Notable: It might seem like Oklahoma State is having a down year because it's not scoring 50 points a game and threatening various national offensive records. But while 38 points per game is still respectable, allowing just 20 per game has been the big story.

    That improved defense has come in handy with the Cowboys struggling to develop the same kind of long-range passing game they'd had in the past. J.T. Walsh is completing 61 percent of his passes, but in Big 12 play that percentage drops to 52 (44-of-85), and his per-attempt average is a very non-OSU 6.67 yards.

21. Wisconsin Badgers

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    Average rating: 21.8

    Week 7 result: The Badgers (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) crushed visiting Northwestern (4-2, 0-2), holding the Wildcats to 30 points below their season average and to just 241 yards of total offense.

    After having its previous two games against competitive opponents (Arizona State, Ohio State) come down to the wire—and both result in defeats—Wisconsin finally got a laugher against a quality foe. It did so with a superb blend of rushing (Melvin Gordon and James White both ran for more than 100 yards and a touchdown), timely passing from Joel Stave and a suffoacting defense.

    Northwestern's two quarterbacks were sacked seven times by Badger defenders, matching their sack total from the first five games.

    What's next: Wisconsin begins a two-game road trip with a visit Saturday to Illinois (3-2, 0-1).

    Notable: While the Badgers are coming off their most complete performance of the season, they prepare this week without knowing the future of star receiver Jared Abbrederis. He was knocked out with a head injury early against Northwestern, but not before hauling in a 63-yard TD catch in the first quarter.

20. Virginia Tech Hokies

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    Average rating: 20.8

    Week 7 result: The Hokies (6-1, 3-0 ACC) continued its pattern of ironclad defense and just enough offense to earn its sixth straight win, a 19-9 decision over visiting Pittsburgh (3-2, 2-2).

    A touchdown in the game's first five minutes was followed by four field goals, more than enough to compliment a defense that sacked Pitt QB Tom Savage eight times.

    The Hokies amazingly now have three wins in which they failed to score 20 points, but at the same time lowered its scoring defense to 15 points per game, ranked seventh in FBS.

    What's next: Virginia Tech will get plenty of practice time to try and figure out a way to generate consistent offense, as it has a bye before hosting Duke (4-2, 0-2) on Oct. 26. The Hokies have won the last 12 meetings in the series, with Duke's last victory coming in 1981.

    Notable: The eight sacks recorded against Pitt are more than 23 other FBS teams have for the entire season. The Hokies now have 27 sacks, most in the nation and second-most per game.

19. Washington Huskies

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    Average rating: 20.6

    Week 7 result: The Huskies (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) fell short for the second week in a row in their bid to take down on of the conference's elite, falling 45-24 at home to Oregon (6-0, 3-0).

    Washington took Stanford to the wire on the road the week before, and against the Ducks it looked like the Huskies could hang for a while. But too much Marcus Mariota and too smothering a passing defense ultimately turned the game into a runaway, and now Washington finds itself on a two-game losing streak and starting to question itself after a 4-0 start.

    Star quarterback Keith Price couldn't get anything going against the Ducks defense, getting sacked four times and throwing an interception that led to a score. Bishop Sankey was able to run for 169 yards to move back into the top spot in the country with 149.8 yards per game, but all in all the Huskies' offense couldn't keep up with a Duck attack that was relentless and unwavering.

    What's next: A third straight tough game looms for Washington, as it travels to Arizona State (4-2, 2-1) on Saturday. Washington has lost seven straight to the Sun Devils, who have scored 118 points in their last two Pac-12 games.

    Notable: Huskies tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins caught a touchdown pass against Oregon but had only two receptions, and in six games has only three TDs. The basketball/football star is considered a top NFL tight end prospect, but he's been utilized very infrequently this season.

18. Florida Gators

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    Average rating: 20.4

    Week 7 result: The Gators (4-2, 3-1 SEC) dropped a 17-6 decision at LSU (6-1, 3-1), putting forth their worst offensive effort in a season already full of bad days on offense.

    Florida managed a mere 240 yards and two field goals against an LSU defense that had given up 91 points in its previous three SEC games. And though they only allowed 17 points, the Gators allowed LSU to rush for 175 yards, 110 more than they'd been giving up.

    And Florida's already long injury list got longer with the news Monday that leading rusher Matt Jones was done for the year because of knee surgery.

    What's next: Florida remains on the road, this time playing at surprising SEC East-leading Missouri (6-0, 2-0) on Saturday. It will be the Gators' first-ever trip to Columbia.

    Notable: The injuries aside, Florida seems to have no ability to make plays, regardless of who is handling the ball. Neither Jones or Mack Brown averages more than 4.3 yards per carry, while Tyler Murphy has begun to look pedestrian after initially looking strong in place of injured quarterback Jeff Driskel.

    While the rest of the SEC has shown its ability to adapt to a faster, higher-scoring game, Florida seems stuck in the muck of its own swamp.

17. Oklahoma Sooners

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    Average rating: 17.4

    Week 7 result: The Sooners (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) saw its hopes of remaining in the national championship discussion take a serious blow with a surprisingly bad performance against rival Texas (4-2, 3-0), falling 36-20 in Dallas in the annual Red River Shootout.

    Oklahoma gained nearly 200 yards below their season average, with quarterback Blake Bell looking exposed when faced with the pressure Texas brought all game. Even more troubling was the Sooners' effort on defense, allowing nearly triple their season average of 13 points per game while getting torched on the ground to the tune of 255 rushing yards. Oklahoma came in giving up just over 113 rushing yards per game.

    What's next: Oklahoma travels to Kansas (2-3, 0-2) on Saturday. The Sooners have won the last eight meetings in the series, the last three by an average score of 45-12. However, they'd had a similar recent advantage over Texas the last few games, too, so there's that to consider.

    Notable: Any time Oklahoma loses, especially for the first time in a season, Sooner Nation starts to get nervous and demands immediate change and correction. But the truth is Oklahoma hasn't lost back-to-back games since 2003, when it dropped the Big 12 championship to Kansas State then lost the Sugar Bowl to LSU.

    In fact, the Sooners usually bounce back with a convincing victory, like when they crushed Kansas State a week after losing to Texas Tech last season.

16. Texas Tech Red Raiders

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    Average rating: 15.6

    Week 7 result: The Red Raiders (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) remained unbeaten with a 42-35 victory over Iowa State (1-4, 0-2) but didn't look nearly as good as in previous games.

    Despite scoring more than 40 points for the fourth time this season and gaining a scary (in many ways) 666 yards, Texas Tech had three turnovers and looked sketchy on special teams. ISU returned a kickoff for a score, and also recovered a muffed punt that bounced off a Tech blocker and led to a touchdown.

    Davis Webb started at quarterback in place of the injured Baker Mayfield, and while he threw for 415 yards and three TDs there wasn't the seamless efficiency seen in most of the Red Raiders' previous games this season.

    All that considered, Tech is still off to its best start since opening the 2009 season 10-0. Not bad for Kliff Kingsbury's first season.

    What's next: Tech begins one of its toughest stretches of the schedule when it visits West Virginia (3-3, 1-2) on Saturday. The game against the Mountaineers is followed by a trip to Oklahoma before hosting Oklahoma State, then a visit from Baylor two weeks later.

    Notable: The 6-0 start is the best in school history for a first-year coach, and its because of the Red Raiders' defense more than anything else. Tech ranks tied for 21st in total defense nationally, not something that could be said about a team from Lubbock in quite some time.

15. Georgia Bulldogs

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    Average rating: 15.2

    Week 7 result: All of the injuries that have befell Georgia (4-2, 3-1 SEC) finally caught up to it in a 41-26 home loss to Missouri (6-0, 2-0), the Bulldogs' first home loss in 16 games. Despite a valiant second half comeback following an 18-point halftime deficit, the lack of experienced skill weapons was too much for senior quarterback Aaron Murray to overcome.

    Murray accounted for three of Georgia's four turnovers, two on interceptions—including one with 4:25 left in the game and the Bulldogs only down 34-26—and another on a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.

    Beyond the injuries, though, Georgia continued to struggle defensively, allowing 30 or more points for the third straight game and fifth time in six contests this season.

    What's next: The Bulldogs must regroup for a visit Saturday to Vanderbilt (3-3, 0-3), where they've won each of the last three times they've visiting Nashville by an average score of 38-6. But while the Commodores are winless in conference play they pose another defensive challenge for Georgia, as Vandy is averaging 29.3 points per game in league play and for the season are averaging 425 yards and 33.7 points per game.

    Notable: Murray's three TDs against Missouri gave him 112 for his career, moving him into a tie with former Texas star Colt McCoy for eighth on the all-time FBS list. He's now only two behind the SEC all-time leader, Florida's Danny Wuerffel. Murray is also only 85 yards from becoming the 22nd passer in FBS history with more than 12,000 career yards.

14. Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes

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    Average rating: 13.8

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Hurricanes (5-0, 1-0 ACC) returns to action with a Thursday night trip to North Carolina (1-4, 0-2). Miami lost at home to the Tar Heels during last season's painful midseason three-game losing streak.

    Notable: Miami falls into the category of teams that lost ground on its contemporaries despite not taking the field. This is because the Hurricanes' two biggest wins this season both continue to get devalued, as Georgia Tech is on a three-game skid and Florida is starting to look like the worst offensive team from a BCS conference.

    Despite being unbeaten, Miami right now is probably considered the fourth-best team in its league in terms of overall stature. The Atlantic division's top two, Clemson and Florida State, are claiming all the headlines this week, while even one-loss Virginia Tech is getting more attention than the under-the-radar 'Canes.

    The lack of hype doesn't seem to be bother the 'Canes, though, according to the Miami Herald. It might just mean they find themselves a quiet 7-0 heading into the big Nov. 2 showdown at FSU.

13. Stanford Cardinal

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    Average rating: 13.2

    Week 7 result: The Cardinal (5-1, 3-1 Pac-12) lost 27-21 at Utah (4-2, 2-1), marking the most significant upset of the 2013 college football season.

    A week after holding off dangerous Washington at home, Stanford played its worst game in two years on a night that coincided with Utah catching all the breaks and making all the right plays.

    Despite another huge game from soon-to-no-longer-be-unknown all-purpose threat Ty Montgomery, Stanford looked disjointed on offense and saw its normally solid defense struggle to deal with a quarterback in Tyler Wilson who threw six interceptions the game before.

    What's next: Stanford has no time to feel sorry for itself, as it hosts red-hot UCLA (5-0, 2-0) on Saturday. The teams are very familiar with each other, as they met to end the regular season last year only to meet again a week later in the Pac-12 championship game.

    The Cardinal won both meetings en route to a victory over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

    Notable: The loss was only the sixth in the last three-plus seasons for Stanford, but this one was probably the most surprising. The Cardinal have always seemed like such a well-coached team, whether it be under Jim Harbaugh or current leader David Shaw.

    But against Utah there was some criticism about how Shaw handled the later stages of the game, especially what turned out to be the Utes' game-clinching goal-line stand, the San Jose Mercury-News' Jon Wilner writes.

12. South Carolina Gamecocks

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    Average rating: 13.0

    Week 7 result: The Gamecocks (5-1, 3-1) built an early lead and, for once, didn't let it nearly slip away. Instead, South Carolina strolled into Fayetteville and rolled to a 52-7 win over Arkansas (3-4, 0-3).

    Quarterback Connor Shaw (219 yards and three TDs, plus a rushing score) and tailback Mike Davis (19 carries, 128 yards, one TD) led a balanced attack that an early 7-0 deficit into a runaway blowout that never had any of the late-game tension that wins over Kentucky, Central Florida and Vanderbilt had in the previous weeks.

    While the Jadeveon Clowney will-he-or-won't-he, should-he-or-shouldn't-he circus continued with the overhyped defensive end returning to action but managing just one tackle, otherwise the Gamecocks had their most complete effort on defense.

    What's next: The strong road effort should serve as a momentum builder for South Carolina, which is in the midst of a three-game road trip that continues Saturday at Tennessee (3-3, 0-2) before going to Missouri the following week.

    Knoxville has traditionally been one of the Gamecocks' most challenging places to play—they won there 14-3 in 2011—and Neyland Stadium was nearly the site of a major upset two weeks ago before Georgia pulled out a 34-31 overtime victory.

    Notable: Davis leads the SEC in rushing and is ranked 10th in the country at almost 124 yards per game, but South Carolina's success this year has been as much about offensive and defensive balance. Steve Spurrier might have his deepest team yet, and therefore his best one.

11. Missouri Tigers

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    Average rating: 12.4

    Week 7 result: The Tigers (6-0, 2-0 SEC) made good on being a trendy upset pick, racing out to a 28-10 lead before holding on for a 41-26 win over Georgia (4-2, 2-1) in Athens. The win was tagged as one of those "costly victories," though, as dual threat quarterback James Franklin suffered a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter.

    It was originally thought that Franklin, a senior, would miss the rest of the season, but Missouri coach Gary Pinkel has since revised that to three to five weeks.

    The injury aside, Missouri looked stellar in outplaying the host Bulldogs, who had won their last 15 home games. Missouri was outgained 454-375 but forced four turnovers, including three by Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray. One of those takeaways resulted in a 21-yard fumble return TD by Michael Sam that gave the Tigers an 18-point halftime lead. 

    What's next: The Tigers now put get three straight SEC East Division foes at home, starting with Florida (4-2, 3-1) on Saturday. The quarterback reins have been handed over to Maty Mauk, a highly touted  freshman who completed all three of his passes in relief of Franklin against Georgia.

    Notable: Missouri's win at Georgia was its first on the road against a top 10 team since 1981, and the Tigers have already surpassed its win total (five) from their SEC debut season in 2012. As the only SEC East team without a conference loss it controls its own destiny, as the next two games (Florida and Oct. 26 vs. South Carolina) come against its main competition for the division's berth in the SEC title game.

10. Baylor Bears

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    Average rating: 8.4

    Week 7 result: The Bears (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) made their first venture away from Waco and, while not putting up the unfathomable offensive numbers they had to that point, still impressed in a 35-25 win at Kansas State (2-4, 0-3).

    It was unfair for the world to think Baylor could keep up the 70-points-per-game pace it had managed through the first month, but only getting 35 was surprising. To Baylor's credit, it didn't look flustered even though its rushing game was held to about one-third its season average and only three of its five touchdowns came on plays of 50 yards or more.

    Baylor probably gained more proponents than from any other game this year due to its ability to handle the adversity of playing well on the road, especially after getting shut out 15-0 in the third quarter to trail by four points entering the final period.

    What's next: Baylor returns home to face a hard-luck Iowa State (1-4, 0-2) team whose four losses have come by a combined 22 points.

    Notable: While Baylor's rushing numbers came back down to human levels, quarterback Bryce Petty once again impressed with his composure and the understanding that he didn't have the luxury of just handing the ball off and expecting big things. Petty threw his first interception of the season, but against 13 TD passes and a 338 yards-per-game average, he could soon find himself as a dark horse Heisman candidate.

9. UCLA Bruins

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    Average rating: 8.2

    Week 7 result: The Bruins (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) sleepwalked through a 37-10 win over California (1-5, 0-3).

    It's hard to think of a 27-point victory as a disappointment, but that's how UCLA's blowout of a struggling Cal team felt. Despite a career-best 410 passing yards from quarterback Brett Hundley, UCLA was only up 17-10 late in the second quarter before pulling away.

    The point total was the least allowed by Cal to an FBS team this season, but it was more a matter of UCLA looking sluggish and uninterested than anything its opponent did.

    The most promising part of the victory was the effort of the Bruins' defense, which continued its underrated year by holding prolific Cal passer Jared Goff in check. Goff had 215 yards, 150 below his average coming in.

    A week after holding on to win on the road against a Utah team that went on to upset Stanford, UCLA just looked happy to get the game over with before moving on to a grueling 2-game stretch.

    What's next: UCLA now starts the most painful of road gauntlets, facing the conference's two most highly regarded foes in back-to-back weeks, starting with Saturday's visit to Stanford (5-1, 3-1). The Bruins have dropped five straight to the Cardinal, including in consecutive games last November when the teams met in the regular season finale and then the Pac-12 title game.

    Notable: After Stanford, UCLA must travel to Oregon, a cruel joke of a scheduling quirk if there every was one. The Bruins have been gaining believers since its dominant win at Nebraska in the second week of the season, if they were to somehow come out of the next two weeks unscathed they could be looking at being seriously considered for a national title.

T-7. Texas A&M Aggies

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    Average rating: 8.0

    Week 7 result: The Aggies (5-1, 2-1 SEC) rallied to score 10 points in the final three minutes to pull out a wild 41-38 victory at Mississippi (3-3, 1-3).

    It was the usual blend of offensive heroics for Texas A&M, with quarterback Johnny Manziel dancing all over the field to either find an open receiver or scramble for a score. Manziel struggled at times, though, committing two turnovers and failing to throw a touchdown pass, but he ran for more than 100 yards and scored twice.

    The defense remains a concern, though, as the same team that was blanked 25-0 by Alabama two weeks before rung up 38 points and gained more than 460 yards.

    Still, A&M managed to win on the road again, something it's done every time since joining the SEC last season, so these kind of wild results have become the status quo.

    What's next: A four-game homestand begins with a matchup with Auburn (5-1, 2-1), which is coming off a 62-3 win over FCS foe Western Carolina. A&M crushed the Tigers 63-21 at home last season, but the 2013 version of Auburn has already shown its leaps and bounds above last year's squad.

    Notable: At 32 points per game, Texas A&M is ranked 96th in scoring defense. While it will be difficult to lower that total against Auburn, the remaining games on this homestand (Vanderbilt, UTEP and Mississippi State) provide opportunities for the Aggies to try and slip away from their reputation as a "just outscore you" team.

    One of these days Manziel is going to lay an egg, and the rest of the offense will follow suit. And without a defense to fall back on, A&M could be in trouble.

T-7. Louisville Cardinals

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    Average rating: 8.0

    Week 7 result: The Cardinals (6-0, 2-0 American) got their first appearance to impress on a national stage with a nationally televised Thursday night game, but instead came up short in the style points category in its 24-10 win over Rutgers (4-2, 1-1).

    Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater saw his Heisman resume fail its first factcheck, struggling at times against a Rutgers defense that was torched for 51 points by Fresno State earlier in the season. He threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns, but he was intercepted once and overthrow open receivers on several occasions.

    Thankfully, Louisville's defense was as strong as ever, holding Rutgers to one-fourth its season scoring average while sacking QB Gary Nova eight times and forcing him into four interceptions.

    What's next: It's another chance to impress a national audience, as Louisville hosts Central Florida (4-1, 1-0) on Friday. UCF nearly upset South Carolina last month and has a win at Penn State on its resume.

    Notable: The Cardinals remain tops in the nation in scoring defense at 7.3 points allowed per game, with no opponent tallying more than 13 points. The number might not stay that low all year, but none of the remaining regular season foes are putting up big scoring figures.

    Because of its weak conference, Louisville is in the position where it needs to be absolutely dominant in all facets of the game in order to keep its chances of being considered for the BCS championship game alive. Winning by 14 points isn't going to cut it.

6. LSU Tigers

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    Average rating: 6.6

    Week 7 result: After several weeks of simply outscoring opponents, LSU (6-1, 3-1 SEC) returned to its traditional formula of dominant defense, throttling Florida (4-2, 3-1) en route to a 17-6 home win that was only close because the Tigers struggled offensively.

    It was the kind of game LSU coach Les Miles was proud of, so proud he lit into a reporter during the postgame press conference and went on a rant about hammers and nails.

    The Tigers had allowed 88 points in their previous three league games, but the combination of a return to smashmouth defense and Florida's woeful offensive production made this one feel like the old SEC where the first team to 14 points won.

    What's next: LSU travels to Oxford to face a Mississippi (3-3, 1-3) team that's lost three straight after a 3-0 start. LSU has won nine of the last 11 meetings, but did fall 25-23 to the Rebels on the road in 2009.

    Notable: Give credit to the Tigers for having the ability to play both the high-scoring way that's slowly taking over the conference or still grind out defensive battles like it did against Florida. It bodes well for later in the season, when LSU faces Alabama and Texas A&M back-to-back (with a bye in between).

5. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Average rating: 5.2

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) return to action by hosting Iowa (4-2, 1-1) on Saturday. OSU has lost to the Hawkeyes only once in the last 21 years.

    Notable: Just as was the case before Big Ten play began, Ohio State's main concern over the next month or so will be dealing with complaceny and, frankly, boredom. The Buckeyes' first two league games (vs. Wisconsin and at Northwestern) were the most challenging on the schedule until the season finale at Michigan, but between now and then they'll likely be significant favorites even on the road.

    OSU still hasn't lost under Urban Meyer, but winning isn't going to be the problem. What the Buckeyes need is to overwhelm their opponents to improve their reputation with poll voters and whatever variables make up the computer rankings used by the BCS.

T-3. Florida State Seminoles

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    Average rating: 4.8

    Week 7 result: Bye.

    What's next: The Seminoles (5-0, 3-0 ACC) had the luxury of a week off to rest up and spend extra time gameplanning by far their toughest opponent to date, a Saturday trip to Clemson (6-0, 4-0). FSU hasn't won in Death Valley since 2001.

    Notable: FSU is coming off a dominant 63-0 win over Maryland and appears to be running on all cylinders. Freshman quarterback Jameis Winston continues to emerge as this year's Johnny Manziel with his playmaking ability and elusiveness, while on the other side of the ball the Seminoles are ranked second in passing defense.

    Jimbo Fisher's team, so far, hasn't stumbled much other than early on at Boston College last month. This could be the year FSU returns to the pinnacle it seemed camped out on during the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s.

T-3. Clemson Tigers

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    Average rating: 4.8

    Week 7 result: The Tigers (6-0, 4-0 ACC) might have caught a case of the "looking aheads" based on the way they started out against Boston College (3-3, 1-2), trailing after three quarters before eventually pulling out a 24-14 victory.

    In fact, the game was still in doubt until Vic Beasley—one of the 25 best college players you've probably never heard of—returned a fumble 13 yards for a score just over a minute after Clemson re-took the lead for good.

    While quarterback Tahj Boyd put up good numbers (334 passing yards and a touchdown, along with the game-winning TD rush), his offensive coordinator felt the senior was sluggish and slowed down Clemson's normally quick tempo.

    The 24 points were the least Clemson has scored against an ACC opponent in nearly two years.

    What's next: Clemson gets its chance to avenge one of two losses from last season when it hosts Florida State (5-0, 3-0) on Saturday, a game that will for all intents and purposes determine the ACC's Atlantic Division champion. The Tigers lost 49-37 to the Seminoles last year in Tallahassee, but have won the last five meetings at home.

    Notable: This is the second of three marquee games on Clemson's schedule. It beat Georgia 38-35 in a thriller to open the season, while the final regular season contest will take the Tigers to Columbia to face in-state rival South Carolina. Clemson is building toward at least a 10-win season for the third straight year, something that hasn't happened since a four-year stretch from 1987-90.

2. Oregon Ducks

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    Average rating: 1.6

    Week 7 result: The Ducks (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) were very impressive in their 45-24 win at Washington (4-2, 2-1), their 10th consecutive victory over the Huskies in Week 7's signature showdown.

    Even without its most electric athlete, De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon still racked up 631 yards against one of the league's better defenses, not to mention in front of a hostile Seattle crowded that was extra amped up by the presence of ESPN's College GameDay crew that did their pregame show from the Washington campus.

    Oregon hadn't been tested yet this season, and despite some early struggles and injuries to some skill players, the Ducks turned what was a close game early into a runaway down the stretch. Much of that had to do with quarterback Marcus Mariota, who took a big step forward in enhancing his Heisman profile by tallying 454 yards of total offense and four total touchdowns.

    Just as impressive was Oregon's defense, which other than a few big runs given up to FBS rushing leader Bishop Sankey held Washington's offense in check. The Ducks were especially harsh of Washington QB Keith Price, who was sacked four times and never able to get any balls deep due to a blanketing secondary.

    What's next: It'll be a much easier game for Oregon next time out when it hosts Washington State (4-3, 2-2) on Saturday. The Ducks have won the last six meetings by an average score of 51-17.

    Notable: The only concern that came out of the Washington game was 167 rushing yards Sankey gained, an output highlighted by a 60-yard run on 4th-and-1 in which he blew through a giant hole in the line. Oregon appeared to be blitzing on the play, and that gamble backfired.

    While Oregon's offense is explosive enough to allow the defense to gamble, shoring up the run game will be a priority heading into game's later this season against UCLA, Stanford and Arizona.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Average rating: 1.4

    Week 7 result: It was just another run-of-the-mill dominant performance for Alabama (6-0, 3-0) in its 48-7 dismantling of Kentucky (1-5, 0-3) in Lexington, a game that was probably most noteworthy for the fact that the prediction made by Kentucky running back JoJo Kemp that his team would score on the Crimson Tide actually came true.

    The Tide hadn't allowed a touchdown since the fourth quarter of the Texas A&M game, in mid-September, a span of 14 period. Granted, Alabama hasn't faced much competition that was expected to score TDs during that span, save for a Mississippi team it shut out two weeks ago.

    While the opponents haven't been anything to write home about of late, Alabama didn't sleepwalk thru the Kentucky game, gaining more than 660 yards as it continued to hone its offense through a balance of pounding run plays and deep ball passes by A.J. McCarron.

    But a team as lofty as the Tide can always find something to nitpick about, and in this game is was a sloppy first quarter that included some dropped passes and running back fumbles. But 'Bama has another few weeks of weak competition to iron out those kinks before its next challenge, the Nov. 9 showdown with LSU.

    What's next: 'Bama hosts Arkansas (3-4, 0-3) on Saturday. It should be another blowout win, especially with Arkansas on a tailspan the last month that came to a head with a 52-7 drubbing at home this past weekend by South Carolina.

    Notable: As lopsided as the scores have been for Alabama this year and over the past few seasons, another blowout win over Arkansas could lead to something that hasn't happened in Tuscaloosa since 2008: three consecutive games scoring 40 or more points.