We’re still over a month away from the first College Football Playoff Rankings, but things should really pick up in October. The rankings remain mostly the same from last week, but one team jumps a spot after another dominant performance.
1. Clemson Tigers (5-0) | Last week: 1
There’s undoubtedly a case for Clemson dropping a spot or two in the rankings. The Tigers have not looked as sharp in 2019, and they narrowly survived a 21-20 victory at North Carolina. A loss might have made it very difficult for Clemson to make the Playoffs considering the strength of other teams around college football and the struggles of the ACC, but a win is a win, and the defending champions are 5-0. The close win might have been a blessing for Dabo Swinney’s squad, as they might now have more of an edge moving forward.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0) | Last week: 2
Devonta Smith exploded for five receiving touchdowns (a school record) on 11 receptions for 274 receiving yards (another school record) in Alabama’s 59-31 win over Ole Miss. (Tua Tagovailoa had 418 passing yards and seven total touchdowns.) Nick Saban would probably like his defense to shut down opponents more than they have this season, but the Crimson Tide offense is scary.
3. Georgia Bulldogs (4-0) | Last week: 3
After a tough win against Notre Dame, Georgia had time to regroup during the bye week. They’ll now start a long SEC slate of games starting this week at Tennessee.
4. LSU Tigers (4-0) | Last week: 4
LSU also had their bye, but they’ll now host Utah State in a game they shouldn’t have much issue winning. The Tigers will then play seven consecutive SEC games to end the regular season.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0) | Last week: 6 (+1)
Ohio State has arguably been the most dominant team in the country through September. After a 45-21 win over FAU in which they took the foot of the gas a bit, these have been the results:
42-0 win over Cincinnati
51-10 win over Indiana
76-5 win over Miami (Ohio)
48-7 win over Nebraska
The Buckeyes play their first ranked game this Saturday when they host Michigan State.
6. Oklahoma Sooners (4-0) | Last week: 5 (-1)
Jalen Hurts totaled 485 yards of offense and four touchdowns in the Sooners’ 55-16 win versus Texas Tech. The Big 12 doesn’t present a ton of issues defensively, especially for a team as talented as Oklahoma, but this offense should keep them in the game against any team. Oklahoma’s defense is playing pretty well this season, too—they’re allowing just 14.7 points per game after giving up 31 points to Houston in the opener.
7. Auburn Tigers (5-0) | Last week: 7
Auburn was up 42-9 on Mississippi State at halftime over the weekend (an eventual 56-23 victory), and the passing attack got going with freshman quarterback Bo Nix throwing for 335 yards and two touchdowns on 16/21 passing. Seth Williams, who had the game-winning touchdown in the season opener against Oregon, had eight receptions for 161 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers improved to 5-0.
8. Wisconsin Badgers (4-0) | Last week: 8
Wisconsin’s defense might be the best in the nation, and that paired with star runner Jonathan Taylor likely makes them a tough opponent for anyone. The Badgers gave up a couple of touchdowns on defense, but the unit scored a couple of times themselves in a 24-15 win against Northwestern. Offensively, the passing game will look to get something going this Saturday versus Kent State.
9. Texas Longhorns (3-1) | Last week: 9
The Longhorns had a bye last week, and they’ll now face a 3-1 West Virginia team on the road. The Red River Showdown looms, but Texas cannot look past this weekend. The status of senior receiver Collin Johnson as he battles a hamstring injury will be big for Texas.
10. Florida Gators (5-0) | Last week: 10
In his second career start, quarterback Kyle Trask completed 18 consecutive passes to break a school record for the Gators. Trask looks comfortable, and he’ll have to play well these next two weeks when Florida takes on Auburn (at home) and LSU (on the road). Florida boasts the No. 5 scoring defense in the nation (8.8 points allowed per game).