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SQ College Football Top-25 Power Rankings: Week 7

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

After six weeks of college football, there’s no sign of the upsets stopping. Oklahoma is the latest victim; find out who took their spot in the top 4

Another week, another string of upsets and unexpected losses that have shocked the college football landscape. As the season has now reached the halfway point, new teams have joined the playoff conversation, while others are trying to hold on to the hope they had when the season started. Teams like Georgia and TCU are knocking on the door of playoff contention, whereas teams like Oklahoma and USC are now having to climb back up the ladder. Here’s how the top-25 shakes out going into Week 7.

25. Texas Tech

Previous Rank: Unranked

“Texas Tech thrashed an inferior Kansas team 65-19 behind Desmond Nisby’s four touchdown runs. The offense thrived overall, accumulating 603 yards of total offense. The Red Raiders will have another big conference test as they travel to Morgantown to take on West Virginia.” - Quinn Douglas

24. Navy

Previous Rank: Unranked

“In the first battle of service schools this season, Navy used a last-minute touchdown to stay undefeated, beating Air Force 48-45. The triple-option has yet to be slowed down, with the Midshipmen rushing for over 400 yards in four of their five games this season. Facing Memphis should allow for another big day on the ground, as the Tigers recently gave up 350 rushing yards to UCF.” - Sean Berger

23. Michigan State

Previous Rank: Unranked


“Is Michigan State a viable Big Ten championship contender now? Maybe. They limited Michigan to just 10 points and took advantage of backup quarterback John O’Korn by picking off three of his passes. Capitalizing on mistakes like that and using the field position to your advantage certainly makes for a winning formula. Even if it’s short lived, it’s nice to see Michigan State back in the top-25.” - Sean Berger

22. UCF

Previous Rank: Unranked

“If you haven’t paid attention to UCF this season, here’s your chance to jump on the bandwagon before everyone else does. In Scott Frost’s second season at the helm, the offense has really started to shine. In fact, the Oregon-inspired offense currently leads the nation in scoring, averaging 47.5 points per game. McKenzie Milton has turned into the perfect quarterback for this offense and is currently second in the nation in yards per attempt (11.5). Look for the Knights to continue to rise.” - Sean Berger

21. Stanford

Previous Rank: 25


“Bryce Love for Heisman! While Saquon Barkley gets all the hype and media attention, Love is just chugging along putting up monster game after monster game, somehow hidden away in Palo Alto. Love leads the FBS BY FAR in both rushing yards (1,240) and yards per carry (10.5). The next closest totals in those two categories are 993 yards and 9.0 yards per carry. Let me repeat, we are six games into the season, and Bryce Love is AVERAGING 10.5 YARDS PER CARRY. He has 118 carries! What Love is doing is even more impressive, considering he receives absolutely no help from a completely anemic passing offense. Barkley is amazing, but Bryce Love receives my vote for the midseason Heisman.” - Ryan Neu

20. NC State

Previous Rank: Unranked

“Loathe as I was to buy into the preseason hype and despite a disappointing loss opening day to South Carolina, N.C. State might actually be the second-best team in the ACC Atlantic this season. Defensive end Bradley Chubb is a monster, already accumulating 6.5 sacks and 14.0 tackles for a loss. Quarterback Ryan Finley has been impressive, completing 70.9 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and a shocking zero interceptions. Running back Nyheim Hines is averaging 5.1 yards per carry, and three different backs have four touchdowns or more so far this year. This is a balanced team with a stud on defense that will give opponents fits going forward. Yes, even Clemson.” - Ryan Neu

19. San Diego State

Previoius Rank: 20

“Rashaad Penny continues to carry the Aztecs, as he rushed for 170 yards and a couple scores last week. His effort helped San Diego State dismantle UNLV, 41-10 for the Aztecs’ sixth victory of the season. Penny is currently second in the nation in rushing yards, trailing only Stanford star Bryce Love. The Aztecs host 3-2 Boise State this Saturday night as they look to remain undefeated.” - Colton Spaur

18. USF

Previous Rank: 19

“Head coach Charlie Strong and the South Florida Bulls are off to their best start since 2009 at 5-0. The Bulls are averaging the fifth-most points in the nation at 44.8 points per contest. Thanks to a potent rushing attack, the Bulls are tenth in the nation in total offense (510) as well. After a bye week last week, the Bulls host 2-4 Cincinnati this Saturday night.” - Colton Spaur

17. Notre Dame

Previous Rank: 23


“After being quietly written off following its Week 2 loss to Georgia, Notre Dame has stormed back into the national spotlight. As it turns out, Georgia is incredible, and the Fighting Irish fell by just a single, lonely point to the Bulldogs. Since then, Notre Dame has won four games by an average of 26.8 points. However, the Irish have an absolutely brutal back-half of the schedule. Five games are against teams currently ranked in the top 25 (USC, N.C. State, Miami, Navy, and Stanford), two of which are on the road. The lone game against a non-ranked opponent is against a solid Wake Forest team that kept last week’s game against Clemson respectable. If Notre Dame can claim even four of those games, a nice bowl game is on the horizon. More wins could put them in New Year’s Six conversations.” - Ryan Neu

16. Michigan

Previous Rank: 7

 ”I don’t want to say that we can eliminate Michigan from Playoff contention, but we can eliminate Michigan from Playoff contention. Even taking the poor weather conditions into account, the Michigan offense looked putrid Saturday against Michigan State. Quarterback John O’Korn threw three picks, the team barely managed 100 yards on the ground, and there wasn’t really any drive that showed the Wolverines could consistently move the ball. With an end of season date with Ohio State and road games against Penn State and Wisconsin still on the docket, there’s no way this team walks away with a strong enough resume to reach the Playoff.” - Ryan Neu

15. Virginia Tech

Previous Rank: 17

“Freshman quarterback Josh Jackson threw for 322 yards on Saturday, leading the Hokies to a 23-10 victory over Boston College. Jackson already has 1,700 passing yards and 13 touchdowns through just six games. Those numbers are the most for any first-year player in the nation this year. Virginia Tech has a bye this week before hosting North Carolina the following week.” - Colton Spaur

14. Oklahoma State

Previous Rank: 15

“Oklahoma State is coming off a bye, and is looking to win out the remainder of the season in hopes of climbing back into the playoff hunt. As it stands, the Cowboys are projected to win six of their seven remaining games according to ESPN’s FPI. The lone game projected as a loss is to rival Oklahoma. Even so, that game is projected as a toss-up. With that being said, Oklahoma State can’t do that without coming out strong against Baylor this week. The Cowboys offense needs to come out firing on all cylinders in order to make their way back up the ladder.” - Sean Berger

13. USC

Previous Rank: 12

“After losing a tough game to the soaring Cougars of Washington State, USC bounced back against Oregon State. The 38-10 victory ultimately cost Oregon State head coach Gary Anderson his job, so the Trojans have that to hang their hats on. After his worst performance to date, quarterback Sam Darnold rebounded nicely to throw for 328 yards and three touchdowns, while completing two-thirds of his passes. USC looks to continue its trek back to the top with an interesting matchup against a stingey Utah program.” - Sean Berger

12. Miami

Previous Rank: 14


“We’re inching closer to finding out if the U is truly back in full force. Miami may never again have the vaunted NFL-ready rosters, unadulterated swagger, and complete disregard for the rules of its storied past, but it can return to prominence at the national level. FSU isn’t what we thought it would be coming into the year, but the defense still possesses a tremendous amount of talent, and the Hurricanes were able to march down the field and score a last-second touchdown on the road against their most bitter rival. Miami isn’t dominant just yet, but it’s getting closer each week and that should worry the rest of the ACC.” - Ryan Neu

11. Oklahoma

Previous Rank: 3

“Oklahoma’s title hopes took a major hit Saturday, as the underdog Iowa State Cyclones stormed into Norman and knocked off the Sooners 38-31. What made the upset even more surprising is that Iowa State was without starting quarterback Jacob Park, as backup Kyle Kempt torched Oklahoma for over 300 yards and three scores. Baker Mayfield and the offense sputtered in the second half, as they mustered up only seven points after holding a 24-13 halftime lead. The loss snapped Oklahoma’s 14 game win streak and their 18 game win streak against the Cyclones. Oklahoma travels to Austin to take on the Longhorns in the always competitive Red River Showdown.” - Colton Spaur

10. Auburn

Previous Rank: 13

“Auburn’s offense was slow to start the season, but boy, has it come on strong lately. Jarrett Stidham has looked much more comfortable with the offense, completing 74% of his passes for 717 yards, while averaging 13.2 yards per attempt over the last three games. However, it’s the run game that has really picked up steam since the return of Kerryon Johnson. In just three games since coming back from an injury, Johnson has rushed for 368 yards and 11 touchdowns. This offense has caught fire since the start of SEC play and looks to stay hot over the next few weeks.” - Sean Berger

9. Washington State

Previous Rank: 11

“Washington State’s offense is phenomenal, but what makes this Washington State team a contender is its defense. The unit was on full display against Oregon, holding the Ducks’ offense to just 10 points, 277 total yards, and a combined 2-for-20 on third and fourth down (Oregon came in to the game averaging 49.6 points and 537.4 yards per game). The defense also forced three turnovers and racked up four sacks, embarrassing QB Braxton Burmeister. If the defense continues to play at this level, Wazzu can reach the Playoff.” - Ryan Neu

8. Ohio State

Previous Rank: 8


“Since the loss to Oklahoma, Ohio State has destroyed everything in its path. The Buckeyes have beat their four opponents since the loss by an average of 42 points. Urban Meyer’s defense held Maryland to a measley 66 yards and forced three fumbles, routing the Terps 62-14. The Buckeyes travel to Lincoln this Saturday night to square off against the Cornhuskers.” - Colton Spaur

7. Wisconsin

Previous Rank: 10

“Jonathan Taylor rushed for a whopping 249 yards and a couple scores, leading the Badgers to a 38-17 win over Nebraska. Taylor leads the Big 10 in rushing yards and touchdowns, ahead of star running backs Saquon Barkley and J.K. Dobbins. The Badgers continue their pursuit of a conference title as they host Purdue this Saturday.” - Colton Spaur

6. TCU

Previous Rank: 9

TCU picked up another huge win in conference play with a 31-24 win over West Virginia, thanks to Kenny Hill’s game-winning touchdown with 2:53 to go in the game. The final score was part of a 24-point second half swing the TCU offense used to overcome a sluggish start. The Horned Frogs are now in the driver’s seat for the Big 12 as they travel to Kansas State to face a Wildcat team coming off a heartbreaking loss to Texas.” - Quinn Douglas

5. Washington

Previous Rank: 5

“Washington has yet to be truly tested so far this season, but the Huskies are doing what a great team is supposed to do when faced with lesser opponents: demolishing them. Washington has won its six games by an average of 32.8 points per game. Quarterback Jake Browning is performing well, completing 70.5 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns against just three interceptions. The Huskies travel to play mediocre Arizona State in Tempe this weekend, so it’s likely we won’t see their mettle at all tested until the end of October when they face UCLA.” - Ryan Neu

4. Georgia

Previous Rank: 6


“It’s safe to say that only die-hard Georgia fan-boys knew the team would have a meteoric rise this season. Georgia went from a contender in the SEC East to a threat to dethroning Alabama in seemingly no time at all. Jacob Eason is working his way back to being game-ready, but one has to wonder if Kirby Smart will leave game manager Jake Fromm in as the starting QB given the recent success. Fromm has done what has been asked of him, and has only thrown two interceptions since becoming the starter. It’s an interesting dilemma for sure, but it’s one that Georgia would take any day.” - Sean Berger

3. Penn State

Previous Rank: 4

“The dynamic duo of Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley continues to wreak havoc on Big 10 defenses. McSorley tossed for 245 yards and Barkley rushed for two touchdowns, as the Nittany Lions handled Northwestern 31-7. It wasn’t his best game, but in true Barkley fashion, he broke off a 53-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter. James Franklin’s squad has a bye week before a tough three game stretch that includes top-25 foes in Michigan, Ohio State, and Michigan State.” - Colton Spaur

2. Clemson

Previous Rank: 2

“Clemson picked up a hard-earned 28-14 victory over a much-improved Wake Forest team, in spite of starting quarterback Kelly Bryant going down with an ankle injury. However, Bryant is still expected to play this week despite the injury. Clemson’s defense picked up the slack, forcing six three-and-outs against the Demon Deacons. The Tigers take a trip up to Syracuse next Saturday to face a competitive Orangemen squad.” - Quinn Douglas

1. Alabama

Previous Rank: 1


“Nick Saban blamed the media’s ‘rat poison’ for his team’s sub-par performance against Texas A&M, but that wasn’t the case. Sure, the team wasn’t as sharp as it has been in recent weeks, but the Tide still took care of business. The rushing attack still put up over 200 yards of rushing with Damien Harris accounting for 124 of those. Quarterback Jalen Hurts threw and ran for a touchdown as well, putting together a solid performance by the offense. The reality is that the Tide aren’t going to crush everyone by 40 points like everyone expects them to. However, this team will still beat you and dominate the line of scrimmage.” - Sean Berger

Edited by Coleman Gray.

SQuiz
Who is the only Heisman running back to eclipse 2,500 rushing yards in his winning season?
Created 10/11/17
  1. Barry Sanders
  2. Ricky Williams
  3. Derrick Henry
  4. Bo Jackson

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