From 14 to 10 - Opinion and outlook on college football's undefeated teams
- by Zach Barnett 10 months ago
Clemson, UCLA, Louisville and Houston were wiped off the map of undefeated teams, and Miami, Texas Tech and Ohio State nearly were as well. It's that time of year where you look around the room and say, "You know, this room used to feel a lot more crowded." At this point of the season, it doesn't matter how you win - just that you do
Florida State (6-0) - My. Goodness. Florida State didn't just walk into the Valley of the shadow of Death, they stared it into the face and sent it running with its tail between its legs. The Seminoles dominated Clemson from the first play to the last in their 51-14 win. After turning ACC Armaggedon into Clemson's dooms day, Jimbo Fisher has another undefeated showdown looming in two weeks. In the type of symbolism that would choke Charles Dickens, Florida State must get by the same N.C. State team that spoiled their unbeaten season last time around.
The road ahead: vs. N.C. State, vs. Miami, at Wake Forest, vs. Syracuse, vs. Idaho, at Florida
Miami (5-0) - While Florida State thrived, Miami survived. The Hurricanes could - and probably should - have lost to North Carolina in about six different ways on Thursday night, but they didn't. That's all that matters at this time of year.
The road ahead: vs. Wake Forest, at Florida State, vs. Virginia Tech, at Duke, vs. Virginia, at Pittsburgh
Ohio State (7-0) - Not even the black and gold magic of Kirk Ferentz - 3-0 against top five teams in his last three tries - could give Urban Meyer his first black mark in Columbus. A primetime date with Penn State waits on Saturday.
The road ahead: vs. Penn State, at Purdue, at Illinois, vs. Indiana, at Michigan
Baylor (6-0) - If Baylor could find a way to play every single game in Waco, they'd never lose again. The Bears have won their five home games by an astounding 353-72. And in a sign that this just may really be their year, Baylor has only three remaining games inside an opponent's stadium, and one of them is Kansas.
The road ahead: at Kansas, vs. Oklahoma, vs. Texas Tech (at Arlington, Texas), at Oklahoma State, at TCU, vs. Texas
Texas Tech (7-0) - After beating TCU to move to 3-0, a 7-0 start began looking like a real possibility with Texas State, Kansas, Iowa State and West Virginia waiting between then and now. And now that they're here, the real work begins. The Red Raiders' first four Big 12 opponents are a combined 2-12 in conference play, and their last five are a combined 11-5.
The road ahead: at Oklahoma, vs. Oklahoma State, vs. Kansas State, vs. Baylor (at Arlington, Texas), at Texas
Northern Illinois (7-0) - Jordan Lynch set an FBS quarterback record with 316 rushing yards, seemingly half the top 25 lost, and the Huskies will still stay in the 20's in both polls. It's that kind of season for Northern Illinois. This team won't be challenged until Wednesday, November 13, when Ball State comes to town.
The road ahead: vs. Eastern Michigan, at Massachusetts, vs. Ball State, at Toledo, vs. Western Michigan
Fresno State (6-0) - Unlike Northern Illinois, Fresno State has managed to ride the wave up the polls. After snapping UNLV's four-game winning streak, Tim DeRuyter's team will be well within striking distance of the requisite No. 12 spot to reach a BCS game - provided they win out, of course.
The road ahead: at San Diego State, vs. Nevada, at Wyoming, vs. New Mexico, at San Jose State
Oregon (7-0) - After topping 55 points in six of their first seven games, Mark Helfrich and company get their two stiffest test in the next two weeks with UCLA and Stanford. Oregon leads the Pac-12 in total offense, total defense, scoring offense, scoring defense, pass efficiency, pass efficiency defense and, like always, rushing offense.
The road ahead: vs. UCLA, at Stanford, vs. Utah, at Arizona, vs. Oregon State
Alabama (7-0) - Let's just pretend the Texas A&M game didn't happen, okay? Okay. Nick Saban's team has outscored its six foes 236-26 and looks very much like a vintage Nick Saban team. Through the chaos that Saturday was in the SEC, the LSU game lost a whole lot of luster, but the Auburn game gained it in a big way.
The road ahead: vs. Tennessee, vs. LSU, at Mississippi State, vs. Chattanooga, at Auburn
Missouri (7-0) - It's come to this: Missouri is undefeated and everyone else in the SEC East has at least two losses. Beat what figures to be a very cranky South Carolina team at home on Saturday, and Gary Pinkel's club will have a three-mile wide open lane to its first SEC championship game in just its second year in the league.
The road ahead: vs. South Carolina, vs. Tennessee, at Kentucky, at Ole Miss, vs. Texas A&M