And then there were 20: Outlook on the 20 undefeated FBS teams
- by Zach Barnett 11 months ago
At this time last week there were 29 undefeated teams in FBS. Week 5 claimed nearly a third of them, and now only 20 remain. For the perfect 20: congratulations, you are now a third of the way to an undefeated regular season. But keep in mind there's still two thirds of this journey yet to be played. Best of luck.
Houston (4-0) - Tony Levine's team turned a 21-21 game at halftime on its head, outscoring UTSA 38-7 in the second half. There's no real reason this team shouldn't start 6-0 and, if Houston can win at Rutgers, suddenly you're talking about an 8-0 start and a top 25 ranking.
The road ahead: vs. Memphis, vs. BYU, at Rutgers, vs. South Florida, at Central Florida, at Louisville, vs. Cincinnati, vs. SMU
Louisville (4-0) - A week off and a trip to Temple leads this team into the closest thing this team will to a challenge this team will experience until November with back-to-back home games with Rutgers and Central Florida.
The road ahead: at Temple, vs. Rutgers, vs. Central Florida, at South Florida, at Connecticut, vs. Houston, vs. Memphis, at Cincinnati
Clemson (3-0) - A 56-7 mauling of Wake Forest puts this team now two games away from ACC Armageddon with Florida State on October 19. Both teams need each other to be undefeated entering that game.
The road ahead: at Syracuse, vs. Boston College, vs. Florida State, at Maryland, at Virginia, vs. Georgia Tech, vs. The Citadel, at South Carolina
Florida State (4-0) - The first half was a little wobbly against Boston College, but past Florida State teams would have found a way to lose that game. Instead, Jimbo Fisher's team won 48-34 and, like Clemson, is two wins away from ACC Armageddon.
The road ahead: vs. Maryland, at Clemson, vs. N.C. State, vs. Miami, at Wake Forest, vs. Syracuse, vs. Idaho, at Florida
Maryland (4-0) - That 37-0 white washing of West Virginia looks much better today than it did last Saturday. After a week off, Randy Edsall's bunch is back inside the AP Top 25 for the first time in the regular season since November 16, 2008. With a trip to Tallahassee waiting on Saturday, the Terps would be wise to enjoy it while it lasts.
The road ahead: at Florida State, vs. Virginia, at Wake Forest, vs. Clemson, vs. Syracuse, at Virginia Tech, vs. Boston College, at N.C. State
Miami (4-0) - The Canes blasted a South Florida team they should have blasted and now have two tricky games with Georgia Tech and North Carolina waiting.
The road ahead: vs. Georgia Tech, at North Carolina, vs. Wake Forest, at Florida State, vs. Virginia Tech, at Duke, vs. Virginia, at Pittsburgh
Michigan (4-0) - The Wolverines were off this week and don't have a ranked team on the slate until November 16 at Northwestern. Play like they did against Notre Dame, and they'll be undefeated and firmly in the national championship race. Play like they did against Akron and Connecticut, and they'll be lucky to be ranked.
The road ahead: vs. Minnesota, at Penn State, vs. Indiana, at Michigan State, vs. Nebraska, at Northwestern, at Iowa, vs. Ohio State
Northwestern (4-0) - Even the bye week was a win for Pat Fitzgerald's team, as Ohio State arrives in Evanston Saturday night undefeated and bringing College GameDay, ABC's Saturday Night Football and the eye of the college football world along with them.
The road ahead: vs. Ohio State, at Wisconsin, vs. Minnesota, at Iowa, at Nebraska, vs. Michigan, vs. Michigan State, at Illinois
Ohio State (5-0) - It's pretty simple: win at Northwestern Saturday night and Urban Meyer should have a 23-0 record at Ohio State to his credit when the Buckeyes head to the Big House to play Michigan.
The road ahead: vs. Wisconsin, at Northwestern, vs. Iowa, vs. Penn State, at Purdue, at Illinois, vs. Indiana, at Michigan
Baylor (3-0) - Hopefully the Baylor athletics department made good use of the bye week and replinished the lights in the Floyd Casey Stadium scoreboards. West Virginia vists on Saturday night.
The road ahead: vs. West Virginia, at Kansas State, vs. Iowa State, at Kansas, vs. Oklahoma, vs. Texas Tech (at Arlington, Texas), at Oklahoma State, at TCU, vs. Texas
Oklahoma (4-0) - The win at Notre Dame is the closest thing the entire Big 12 has to an impressive non-conference win, and OU is once again the conference's banner carrier on the national scene.
The road ahead: vs. TCU, vs. Texas (at Dallas), at Kansas, vs. Texas Tech, at Baylor, vs. Iowa State, at Kansas State, at Oklahoma State
Texas Tech (4-0) - Uncertain at quarterback, the Red Raiders will have to rely on their stout defense to remain undefeated and inside the top 25. Yep, exactly how everyone drew up Kliff Kingsbury's first season as a head coach.
The road ahead: at Kansas, vs. Iowa State, at West Virginia, at Oklahoma, vs. Oklahoma State, vs. Kansas State, vs. Baylor (at Arlington, Texas), at Texas
Northern Illinois (4-0) - Congratulations to Rod Carey's team in becoming the first MAC squad to claim two wins over Big Ten opponents. Further congratulations to whoever happened to have the foresight to schedule the Big Ten's 11th and 12th best teams.
The road ahead: at Kent State, vs. Akron, at Central Michigan, vs. Eastern Michigan, at Massachusetts, vs. Ball State, at Toledo, vs. Western Michigan
Fresno State (4-0) - Defense is still a major issue here after the Bulldogs turned a 42-3 lead into a 42-37 near-disaster against points-challenged Hawaii. God only knows how this trip ends, but it'll certainly be an entertaining ride.
The road ahead: at Idaho, vs. UNLV, at San Diego State, vs. Nevada, at Wyoming, vs. New Mexico, at San Jose State
Oregon (4-0) - The Ducks didn't really need any help in beating California 55-16 on Saturday, but Mother Nature came through anyway, as wet conditions contributed to four fumbles on the Bears' first four possessions.
The road ahead: at Colorado, at Washington, vs. Washington State, vs. UCLA, at Stanford, vs. Utah, at Arizona, vs. Oregon State
Stanford (4-0) - Stanford's last trip to Century Link Field in Seattle ended in a 17-13 Thursday night loss to Washington. Jumping out to a 48-3 lead through 50 minutes insured history wouldn't repeat itself.
The road ahead: vs. Washington, at Utah, vs. UCLA, at Oregon State, vs. Oregon, at USC, vs. California, vs. Notre Dame
UCLA (3-0) - Seventeen games into his tenure at UCLA, and Jim Mora is now the king of football in Los Angeles. If he's got a smile on his face today, know that it can't have anything to do with how the Bruins played yesterday. They were off.
The road ahead: at Utah, vs. California, at Stanford, at Oregon, vs. Colorado, at Arizona, vs. Washington, vs. Arizona State, at USC
Washington (4-0) - Another huge win in a great start to an absolutely crucial season for Sark and company. The Huskies visit Stanford on Saturday for an even bigger game than last night's, and possibly the biggest of the weekend. One question: are we sure there's nothing we can do about the 10:30 p.m. ET start time?
The road ahead: at Stanford, vs. Oregon, at Arizona State, vs. California, vs. Colorado, at UCLA, at Oregon State, vs. Washington State
Alabama (4-0) - The Crimson Tide have now put 49 points on Texas A&M and held Ole Miss to nothing. It would be great to see this team challenged some time between now and November 9, but I doubt Georgia State, Kentucky, Arkansas or Tennessee are capable of providing that.
The road ahead: vs. Georgia State, at Kentucky, vs. Arkansas, vs. Tennessee, vs. LSU, at Mississippi State, vs. Chattanooga, at Auburn
Missouri (4-0) - The Tigers haven't exactly faced a murder's row of a non-conference slate, but it doesn't matter. There are two undefeated teams left standing in the SEC, and Gary Pinkel's squad is one of them. That's all that really matters. The Tigers can match last season's win total with a victory at Vanderbilt on Saturday night.
The road ahead: at Vanderbilt, at Georgia, vs. Florida, vs. South Carolina, vs. Tennessee, at Kentucky, at Ole Miss, vs. Texas A&M