Three down and 14 remain. Opinion on the undefeated teams in college football
After last week in which three undefeated teams fell only to three other undefeated teams, Utah, Texas and Penn State rose up to take down previously undefeated Stanford, Oklahoma and Michigan with varying levels of drama.
Houston (5-0) - Houston's status in this exclusive club seemed in doubt for much of the day yesterday as the Cougars trailed Memphis 15-10 late in the third quarter. Tony Levine's team won't go undefeated, but they owe themselves a better first loss than Memphis. Fortunately for them, Houston scored two touchdowns in the next seven minutes and coasted to a 25-15 win. Next week versus BYU will be a real challenge.
The road ahead: vs. BYU, at Rutgers, vs. South Florida, at Central Florida, at Louisville, vs. Cincinnati, vs. SMU
Louisville (6-0) - It isn't fair, but it's true. As Louisville flat refused to put Rutgers away on Thursday night, many voters mentally eliminated the Cardinals as a national championship contender despite a 24-10 victory. There are six more opportunities to sway minds, and seven more weeks to invite the necessary chaos above them, but it's hard to think of this as anything other than a blown opportunity.
The road ahead: vs. Central Florida, at South Florida, at Connecticut, vs. Houston, vs. Memphis, at Cincinnati
Clemson (6-0) - Dabo Swinney warned everyone who would listen about Boston College. Despite that repeated reminder, Clemson found itself trailing BC 14-10 late in the third quarter. The Tigers put just enough effort to cruise to a 24-14 win to invite the eye of the sports world back to Death Valley for the second time this season.
The road ahead: vs. Boston College, vs. Florida State, at Maryland, at Virginia, vs. Georgia Tech, vs. The Citadel, at South Carolina
Florida State (5-0) - Florida State took Saturday off, presumably to take notes from Boston College on how to slow the Clemson offense. We'll see how much the 'Noles learned six nights from now.
The road ahead: at Clemson, vs. N.C. State, vs. Miami, at Wake Forest, vs. Syracuse, vs. Idaho, at Florida
Miami (5-0) - Miami was off Saturday in preparation for its Thursday night trip to North Carolina. Hard as it may be, Miami needs to root for Florida State on Saturday night. A Florida State win at Clemson means Miami's November 2 visit to Tallahassee could be the biggest game of this once epic series in a decade or so.
The road ahead: at North Carolina, vs. Wake Forest, at Florida State, vs. Virginia Tech, at Duke, vs. Virginia, at Pittsburgh
Ohio State (6-0) - Ohio State took Saturday off and watched in horror as the only two fellow Big Ten clubs in the top 20 lost in equally horrifying fashion. Northwestern and Michigan did the Buckeyes no favors on Saturday.
The road ahead: vs. Iowa, vs. Penn State, at Purdue, at Illinois, vs. Indiana, at Michigan
Baylor (5-0) - Sure, Baylor showed it wasn't a perfect football team, but that was bound to happen. Look at it this way: this was only the second time Baylor has won a Big 12 road game by double digits in the 18-year history of the conference.
The road ahead: vs. Iowa State, at Kansas, vs. Oklahoma, vs. Texas Tech (at Arlington, Texas), at Oklahoma State, at TCU, vs. Texas
Texas Tech (6-0) - Kliff Kingsbury became the first coach in Texas Tech history to win his first six games, and the Red Raiders became bowl eligible for the 20th time in 21 seasons. Last year, previously undefeated West Virginia visited Texas Tech and was thoroughly pantsed, 49-14. I'm sure that will be a topic of conversation at both schools this week.
The road ahead: at West Virginia, at Oklahoma, vs. Oklahoma State, vs. Kansas State, vs. Baylor (at Arlington, Texas), at Texas
Northern Illinois (6-0) - Seven top 25 teams lost this week, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the 23rd-ranked Huskies stay roughly where they are. A 27-20 win over Akron isn't going to impress voters very much.
The road ahead: at Central Michigan, vs. Eastern Michigan, at Massachusetts, vs. Ball State, at Toledo, vs. Western Michigan
Fresno State (5-0) - While BCS-buster competiton puttered its way to a touchdown win over Akron, Fresno State saw its chances improve simply by sitting on the couch.
The road ahead: vs. UNLV, at San Diego State, vs. Nevada, at Wyoming, vs. New Mexico, at San Jose State
Oregon (6-0) - Oregon won its 10th straight game over Washington by a double-digit margin, and its not like Washington played badly. Oregon is just that good. Marcus Mariota completed 24-of-31 passes for 366 yards with three scores while contributing 88 of the Ducks' 265 rushing yards in a 45-24 win.
The road ahead: vs. Washington State, vs. UCLA, at Stanford, vs. Utah, at Arizona, vs. Oregon State
UCLA (6-0) - The Bruins made easy work of Cal, winning 37-10 late Saturday night. The challenge gets much greater this week as they visit that other Bay Area Pac-12 team, even if they're no longer undefeated.
The road ahead: at Stanford, at Oregon, vs. Colorado, at Arizona, vs. Washington, vs. Arizona State, at USC
Alabama (6-0) - Alabama does what it does: come two yards shy of outgaining Kentucky by a full 500 yards in a 48-7 romp. Since returning from the track meet in College Station, Alabama has allowed only 16 points in its last four games.
The road ahead: vs. Arkansas, vs. Tennessee, vs. LSU, at Mississippi State, vs. Chattanooga, at Auburn
Missouri (6-0) - No one on this list should have a bigger smile on its collective faces today than Missouri. The Tigers have surpassed last season's win total and are now in complete control of a possible trip to Atlanta with SEC East competiton Florida and South Carolina both coming to Columbia. That James Franklin injury is a killer, though.
The road ahead: at Georgia, vs. Florida, vs. South Carolina, vs. Tennessee, at Kentucky, at Ole Miss, vs. Texas A&M