Five SEC West Teams Belong in Top 6 of Week 10 Top 25


The College Football Playoff contenders were trimmed down a little bit more this week. We still have plenty of teams that belong in the race, but it’s a little bit tricky to separate them.

Let’s keep it honest for a minute, though. The SEC West elites take precedence over everybody else. Them and Florida State get all the recognition right now, and it’s well-deserved.

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But now it’s time to start thinking about a few 2-loss teams who could be fighting their way into the discussion for the College Football Playoff race. Expect the number of 2-loss teams to increase over the next few weeks, and many of them will have strong cases to make to be in the Top 4, particularly SEC teams.

We already have a few 2-loss teams in there that have a strong case. But there is still a huge collection of 1-loss teams. So as we get set to bring you our Top 25, remember again that these are not power rankings. As always, we don’t factor in how you look in wins.

We are factoring in wins, losses, schedule strength, and head-to-head. So here is our Week 10 College Football Top 25 Poll.

1. Mississippi State Bulldogs

The Bulldogs held on for another victory with Dak Prescott hobbling all night. We don’t care that they struggled with Kentucky and Arkansas at times over the past two weeks. This is an undefeated team playing in the SEC getting everybody’s best shot. And these are good teams giving them their best shot. Yet with their Heisman candidate injured, the Bulldogs keep on winning. They have enough quality wins and still an unblemished record, so they are the ones who have to be knocked off.

2. Florida State Seminoles

It was honestly a little hard to sell Florida State even being this high, despite their undefeated record, because they have not really beaten anybody outside of Notre Dame. We are not going to concede Louisville yet. Nevertheless, Florida State is an undefeated Power Five team who has played a decent enough schedule to belong in our Top 5, even if it could be better. We are keeping them here for now, but don’t be surprised if they drop in a few weeks.

3. Auburn Tigers

Auburn is very lucky to be here after they stole a win from Ole Miss on Saturday, but because these rankings aren’t based on how you look in wins, we had no choice. The Tigers still have the best resume of any 1-loss team, with their only loss to the No. 1 team in the country and wins against Ole Miss, LSU, and Kansas State. Those could be considered three Top 10 wins. Simply put, these Tigers play everybody, so we feel very justified in keeping them at No. 3.

4. Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama is back in control of its own destiny for a spot in the SEC Championship game after Ole Miss’s second loss this past weekend. But the Tide have yet to prove themselves against the SEC West elites. They still haven’t played LSU, Mississippi State, or Auburn. We’re keeping them at No. 4, though, because wins against Arkansas, Texas A&M, West Virginia, and Florida is a good enough resume to put them ahead of other 1-loss teams.

5. LSU Tigers

This may sound crazy, but it shouldn’t be. Name a 1-loss team not from the SEC that has a better resume than the LSU Tigers. Even with 2 losses, which are to Auburn and Mississippi State, the Tigers have a huge win against Ole Miss and have beaten Wisconsin. This team has played one of the toughest schedules in college football, and it’s enough to keep them in our Top 5 with 2 losses on their resume. They have a far better resume than other teams and have the right to be in our Top 5.

6. Ole Miss Rebels

With LSU and Auburn as their only losses, we can say the same about Ole Miss that we said about the Tigers. We have the Rebels a spot below the Tigers because they lost to them, but as a 2-loss team that should be a 1-loss team, Ole Miss’s resume is better than that of any non-SEC 2-loss team. Alabama is still a quality win that nobody can ignore, and Texas A&M is also a pretty good win. Meanwhile, losses to the two Tigers are losses to two Top 5 teams. So we are keeping Ole Miss here.

7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame had to squeak out a win against Navy, but they still only have one loss, and that loss is to Florida State. That’s a pretty darn good only loss. We have to put them here, behind the other SEC West elites, because they still have some pretty nice wins. But we will have to drop them if they don’t begin to score some wins against good teams. The chances are coming up soon, and if they keep winning, with their only loss against Florida State, they might be able to move up these rankings.

8. Kansas State Wildcats

If any 1-loss team deserves to be ahead of the two 2-loss SEC West teams, it’s the Kansas State Wildcats. After a huge dominant victory over Oklahoma State over the weekend, the Wildcats have pretty decent wins against the Cowboys and the Oklahoma Sooners, and their only loss is a close one to Auburn. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Kansas State could make a strong case to be ranked in the Top 5, but we’re not going to keep them there yet. They still have some work to do against Baylor and TCU.

9. Baylor Bears

Baylor has still played a very weak schedule that we don’t love, but despite their loss to West Virginia, TCU is still a quality enough win for us to keep them in our Top 10 for right now. As we have said, we take head-to-head into account, and with TCU belonging in our Top 10, as you’ll see in a minute, we had to put Baylor ahead of them since both teams have the same record. The Bears right now are one of the top Big 12 teams, but now it’s time for them to start proving it with November finally here.

10. TCU Horned Frogs

Wins over West Virginia and Oklahoma are enough for us to put the TCU Horned Frogs in the Top 10. But we can’t put them ahead of Baylor since they lost to Baylor. And we can’t put Baylor ahead of Kansas State due to Kansas State’s strength of schedule. So this is where they stand right now as we rank Top 25 teams from the Big 12. The Horned Frogs are clearly a good team who belong in the College Football Playoff talk. But they have more work to do as well.

11. Oregon Ducks

We’re finally able to put Oregon back at the top among ranked Pac-12 teams after Arizona’s loss, and the Ducks should not have a problem moving up this list if they keep winning. But for right now, we can’t put them in the Top 10 because the 1-loss Big 12 teams, 2-loss SEC West teams, and Notre Dame all have a better resume than them. The win over Michigan State is still nice. The loss to Arizona isn’t. It’s going to take a bit more before we can hype them up the way everybody else has been doing.

12. Arizona State Sun Devils

A close overtime win against Utah is enough for us to vault the Arizona State Sun Devils to No. 12 for right now because they are now sitting alone atop the Pac-12 South. And they have control of their own destiny just as well as Oregon. Quality wins against USC, Utah, Stanford, and Washington are on the list, and with Notre Dame up next, more is to come. But for right now, a blowout loss to UCLA is long in the past, and they’ve done enough to make up for it to this point.

13. Michigan State Spartans

Slowly but surely the Michigan State Spartans are climbing up the Top 25 latter as teams keep losing and they keep winning. Right now they are obviously in control of their own destiny for a Big Ten title, and more could be to come if teams start falling. Michigan State didn’t play this past week in a very dull Big Ten weekend for the most part, but they have some exciting games coming up. The upcoming showdown with Ohio State will really help us on where to place them.

14. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Bo Pelini’s Nebraska Cornhuskers keep on winning, in dominating fashion, throughout their Big Ten schedule. Nebraska plays tough defense and has a good running game. The injury to Ameer Abdullah is of concern, but with only one loss to Michigan State on the road, this team is in control of its own destiny for a Big Ten championship as well. And it has a great chance to move up along with Michigan State going forward if the wins keep coming in.

15. Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State has looked better and better each week with J.T. Barrett at quarterback. But we can’t put them ahead of the other two Big Ten teams yet because that loss to Virginia Tech is looking worse and worse each week. They will have the chance to move up these rankings with other teams falling and the upcoming showdown against Michigan State, but for now, there’s not much to be impressed about with Urban Meyer’s squad.

16. Oklahoma Sooners

The Oklahoma Sooners may have had their Big 12 fate sealed after TCU’s win over West Virginia on Saturday. But they are still a very good 2-loss team with the best resume among all other 2-loss teams except those from the SEC West. That’s enough for us to move them up to No. 16 for this week.

17. Utah Utes

The Utah Utes have to be sick to their stomachs because they could be much higher on this list. But a heartbreaking loss to Arizona State forced us to drop them down below the other Power Five 1-loss teams. Remember, we don’t factor in margin of victory. And despite this game being an overtime loss, it’s still 2 losses for the Utes. And it has forced us to knock them below Oklahoma

18. UCLA Bruins

We’re moving UCLA up slowly after a great win on Saturday, but we still can’t put them above Utah yet. Both teams have 2 losses, and the Utes beat the Bruins. That’s enough for us to keep the Utes ahead of the Bruins at this point. But UCLA is at least firmly back in the Top 25 and might be rising over the next few weeks.

19. Arizona Wildcats

The Arizona Wildcats were clearly playing in over their heads. Rich Rodriguez’s team now is out of the top of the Pac-12 South race after a loss to UCLA over the weekend. With two losses now, the win at Oregon is still impressive but not enough to put them higher on the list than No. 19. We’re keeping them here for right now.

20. Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia was embarrassing on Saturday and should honestly be ranked lower, but we can’t keep a 2-loss SEC team out of the Top 25 in November, even if they are in the SEC West. This team still has a quality win against Clemson and decent wins against Missouri and Arkansas, so it still deserves to be ranked.

21. Missouri Tigers

Sticking to our belief system, Missouri can’t be a 2-loss SEC team and not in the Top 25. The Indiana loss looks very much like a fluke right now, and although they were blown out by Georgia, they still have decent wins against Florida and Kentucky, and South Carolina and UCF aren’t bad wins. That’s enough for us to put them back in the Top 25 for right now.

22. Clemson Tigers

Clemson is on a roll and belongs in the Top 25 as an ACC team with only 2 losses. That’s mainly because their 2 losses are against a Top 25 team in Georgia and the No. 2 team in the country against Florida State. They have beaten a bunch of decent ACC teams otherwise, but it’s enough for them to be No. 22.

23. West Virginia Mountaineers

They may have three losses, but the West Virginia Mountaineers have honestly played the toughest schedule of all 3-loss teams, and that includes SEC West team Texas A&M. The Mountaineers have lost to Alabama, TCU, and Oklahoma. Those are not bad losses, and Baylor is still a win on the resume along with Oklahoma State.

24. Marshall Thundering Herd

Marshall remains undefeated despite their pathetic schedule. We can’t ignore that. Getting to November undefeated is enough to put you into the Top 25, but it’s not much given the schedule. Still, this is a very solid mid-major team that we can respect as long as they acknowledge that in no way do they deserve a spot in the College Football Playoff.

25. Duke Blue Devils

With only one loss as a Power Five team, we are obliged to put the Duke Blue Devils in our Top 25 now with November here. And we can’t ignore that they are a well-coached team who keeps sneaking away with victories. But they still haven’t beaten anybody that good. Georgia Tech is their best win, and Pitt is their second best. That’s not a lot to go off of, but we can keep them at No. 25 with that.