College Football Rankings 2017: Final NCAA Overview of Week 10 Standings

Brian PedersenFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2017

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State renew their Bedlam rivalry on Saturday, several weeks earlier than normal.
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State renew their Bedlam rivalry on Saturday, several weeks earlier than normal.Brett Deering/Getty Images

Welcome to November, when college football's stretch run begins with a whopper of a Week 10 slate.

How good? All 25 teams ranked in the latest Associated Press Top 25 are in action, with seven matchups of ranked foes and another five playing on the road against league opponents. With so much potential for carnage, the poll that comes out on Sunday isn't likely to look anything like the current one.

Week 10's results will go a long way toward crafting the playoff picture and even more toward who wins various FBS conferences and divisions. Spots in the ACC, Pac-12 and SEC title games could all be sewn up on Saturday depending on who wins a few key clashes.

The action involving Top 25 teams got started on Friday, with the No. 22 Memphis cruising to a 41-14 win at Tulsa.  

Here are the AP rankings heading into Saturday of Week 10, along with matchups for each team.

         

Associated Press Top 25

1. Alabama (59 first-place votes), 8-0, 1,523 points, vs. No. 19 LSU
2. Georgia (2), 8-0, 1,465 points, vs. South Carolina
3. Ohio State, 7-1, 1,332 points, at Iowa
4. Wisconsin, 8-0, 1,256 points, at Indiana
5. Notre Dame, 7-1, 1,254 points, vs. Wake Forest
6. Clemson, 7-1, 1,196 points, at No. 20 North Carolina State
7. Penn State, 7-1, 1,189 points, at No. 24 Michigan State
8. Oklahoma, 7-1, 1,147 points, at No. 11 Oklahoma State
9. Miami (Florida), 7-0, 1,075 points, vs. No. 13 Virginia Tech
10. TCU, 7-1, 942 points, vs. Texas
11. Oklahoma State, 7-1, 936 points, vs. No. 8 Oklahoma
12. Washington, 7-1, 874 points, vs. Oregon
13. Virginia Tech, 7-1, 837 points, at No. 9 Miami (Florida)
14. Iowa State, 6-2, 670 points, at West Virginia
15. UCF, 7-0, 654 points, at SMU
16. Auburn, 6-2, 576 points, at Texas A&M
17. USC, 7-2, 562 points, vs. No. 23 Arizona
18. Stanford, 6-2, 434 points, at No. 25 Washington State
19. LSU, 6-2, 338 points, at No. 1 Alabama
20. North Carolina State, 6-2, 333 points, vs. No. 6 Clemson
21. Mississippi State, 6-2, 279 points, vs. Massachusetts
22. Memphis, 7-1, 270 points, won Friday at Tulsa
23. Arizona, 6-2, 204 points, at No. 17 USC
24. Michigan State, 6-2, 136 points, vs. No. 7 Penn State
25. Washington State, 7-2, 122 points, vs. No. 18 Stanford

Kelly Bryant's return from a concussion is a huge boost to Clemson's offense.
Kelly Bryant's return from a concussion is a huge boost to Clemson's offense.John Bazemore/Associated Press

          

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 05:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide shakes hands with head coach Ed Orgeron of the LSU Tigers after their 10-0 win at Tiger Stadium on November 5, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The ACC title game could be unofficially set by the end of Saturday, as the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions' top two teams face each other. A win by the No. 20 North Carolina State (6-2, 5-0) over the No. 6 Clemson (7-1, 5-1) would give it a two-game lead in the loss column, the same edge the No. 9 Miami (7-0, 5-0) could build over the No. 13 Virginia Tech (7-1, 3-1).

Clemson, the defending national champion, saw junior quarterback Kelly Bryant throw for 207 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-10 win over Georgia Tech last time out. Bryant was knocked out of the Tigers' Oct. 13 loss at Syracuse with a concussion, and his return to health is a big boost for their hopes of returning to the playoffs.

"A healthy Kelly Bryant makes a big difference for Clemson's offense," AthlonSports.com's Steve Lassan wrote.

NC State is coming off a 35-14 loss at Notre Dame but has been quite impressive in ACC play, winning by an average of 10.5 points per game. Senior quarterback Ryan Finley had his first interception of the season in Week 9 but for the year is completing 66.3 percent of his passes.

Junior running back Nyheim Hines had a string of three straight 100-yard games was snapped due to an ankle injury but he should be a full go for Clemson's visit to Raleigh.

The Virginia Tech-Miami game will effectively decide the Coastal Division, which VT claimed last season. The Hokies' only league loss this season was at home to Clemson, but since then they have allowed 20 total points during a three-game win streak. Tech is No. 2 nationally in scoring defense, allowing 11.5 points per game.

Miami yields just 18.7 points per game and 17.6 in ACC games, with the past four coming by a combined 18 points. The Hurricanes have been masters of narrow victory, though their lack of dominance no doubt contributed to the College Football Playoff selection committee ranking them No. 10 in the first playoff standings, worst of the fourth power-conference unbeatens.

"There are half-a-dozen one-loss teams ranked higher than that," Dave George of the Palm Beach Post wrote. "Where is the respect? The answer is that it's being withheld until Miami proves this [is] no mirage."

Miami clinches its first ACC championship bid with a win and a Georgia Tech victory at Virginia.

The Big 12 resurrected its title game for 2017, though without having divisions, it will pair the teams that finish first and second during the regular season. In anticipation that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State could be those teams, the league moved up their annual clash—normally played during the final week of the regular season—to the first Saturday of November.

Thus, Bedlam is on top for Saturday, and it should be a doozy. The No. 8 Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1) and the No. 11 Oklahoma State (7-1, 4-1) are in a four-way tie for first with TCU and Iowa State, whom the Sooners and Cowboys respectively face on Nov. 11.

Oklahoma has historically dominated Bedlam, with an 86-18-7 edge in the series and 12 wins in the past 14 meetings. Senior quarterback Baker Mayfield is 2-0 against OSU, going 30-of-44 for 468 yards with five TD passes and a rushing score, while Cowboys senior Mason Rudolph had one of the worst games of his career in the 2016 meeting when he was 11-of-25 for 186 yards in a 38-20 loss.

Max Olson of The Athletic wrote that this year's Bedlam could be Rudolph's legacy game.

Being able to knock off the No. 1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC) could also do a lot for Ed Orgeron's fledgling legacy at LSU.

"The Alabama game is very important to Louisiana, our fans, our alumni, our football team," Orgeron said, per Alex Hickey of SEC Country. "Everywhere I go, this is the game they talk about. I'm not going to make it so huge to our players that they won't be able to play. They'll be ready to play."

The series has been recently dominated by the Crimson Tide, winners of six straight, including the 2012 BCS title game, but the No. 19 LSU (6-2, 3-1) has been playing its best ball of the season since getting shocked at home by Troy on Sept. 30. The Tigers have won three straight, two on the road in SEC play, with a win over the No. 16 Auburn between those games.

A key Pac-12 battle wraps up the Week 10 schedule, with the No. 23 Arizona (6-2, 4-1) and the No. 17 USC (7-2, 5-1) kicking off at 10:45 p.m. ET. Staying up late for this one will be worth it since it will be the first chance for many to see fast-rising Arizona star Khalil Tate.

Tate, a sophomore quarterback, had one of the best months in college football history in October. He ran for 840 yards and eight TDs, including an FBS record (for a QB) 327 yards against Colorado, along with 743 passing yards and six scores. In that span the Wildcats have won four straight games, averaging 48.8 points.

USC is 14-0 at the Los Angeles Coliseum since Clay Helton took over as coach midway through the 2015 season, but this fall that's included comebacks to beat Texas and Utah. Turnovers have been a major issue for the Trojans, particularly for sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold, who has thrown 10 interceptions and lost six fumbles.

          

Statistics are provided by CFBStats unless otherwise noted. Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP.