Some things never change. This is especially true in College Football where the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers remain the two best teams in the nation. Alabama had a tough time of it versus underrated Texas A&M. Clemson’s win over Wake Forest was no cakewalk. A sign of things to come? Or, just an anomaly for both squads?
I study that question as well as lay out the rest of my 2017 College Football Top 20 Rankings Week 7.
2017 College Football Top 20 Rankings Week 7
1. Alabama Crimson Tide 6-0
The Tide’s 27 to 19 win over the Texas A&M Aggies wasn’t bad at all. Although A&M blew it in Week 1, the Aggies have played well since then. Texas A&M had run off 4 straight wins before losing to the Tide. Their most impressive had been a 24 to 17 win over South Carolina.
Alabama was due for a letdown game after throttling Vanderbilt 59 to 0 and Ole Miss 66 to 3. Even Alabama’s letdown games lead to wins. That’s how much better the Crimson Tide are than practically any other team in college football. The only 2 away games left on the schedule are at Mississippi State and at Auburn. Auburn should be tough. Mississippi State most definitely won’t be.
2. Clemson Tigers 6-0
Clemson is dominating teams again this season. Dabo Sweeney has the entire Clemson Tigers’ football program going in the right direction. That’s why Clemson appears so ridiculously good. The Tigers’ defense has bailed out the defending champions more than once this season already, though. I’m not as high on Clemson’s chances of a repeat as I am on Alabama’s chances of winning it all.
The Tigers did beat a decent Wake Forest team 28 to 14 in College Football Week 6. It was a nice win. I’m just not all that impressed with it.
3. Penn State Nittany Lions 6-0
Penn State has put together two fantastic victories. The Nittany Lions dominated Indiana 45 to 14 a couple of games ago. In their last, Penn State beat Northwestern 31 to 7. Penn State has become one of the best teams in the nation because of its defense. Everyone knew QB Trace McSorley and RB Saquon Barkley would lead a great offense. Nobody expected Penn State to produce the best defense in the Big Ten this season.
4. Washington Huskies 6-0
Washington gets the nod over Georgia for 4th on my Top 20 rankings. The Huskies bombarded California 38 to 7. Cal has a decent offense. Washington, like Penn State, gets better week to week. The Huskies have now won 3 in a row both straight up and against the spread. When teams win games against the spread, it’s a sign they’re moving in the right direction. That’s Washington, who’s toughest game is their last on Nov. 25 versus interstate rival Washington State.
5. Georgia Bulldogs 6-0
I’m sold on the Bulldogs now that they hung 45 points onto Vanderbilt in a 45 to 14 win. Georgia has covered in 5 of 6 matchups this season. A date with Missouri this week means that the Bulldogs once again should play like the second best team in the SEC.
6. TCU Horned Frogs 5-0
TCU played a somewhat down game versus the West Virginia Mountaineers in Week 6. The Horned Frogs only beat the Mountaineers 31 to 24. It wasn’t a fantastic win by any means because TCU was favored by 12.5 points. Texas Christian is in charge of the Big 12 with Oklahoma’s loss to Iowa State.
7. Washington State Cougars 6-0
I’ve got Washington State higher than Wisconsin because I believe the Cougars have beaten tougher teams so far this season. Dominating Oregon 33 to 10 on the road as a -1.5 favorite tells you how good the Cougars’ D has become.
8. Wisconsin Badgers 5-0
The Badgers beat Nebraska 38 to 17. It was a nice win. Although to be honest, it’s tough to evaluate the Badgers. They as of yet haven’t played a team ranked in the Top 20, much less the Top 10. Wisconsin won’t play a ranked team this week, either. The Badgers host the Purdue Boilermakers.
9. Auburn Tigers 5-1
Auburn has something over both Alabama and Georgia. The Tigers play Georgia and Alabama while Alabama and Georgia only play Auburn. The Tigers could play their way right into the College Football Playoff by beating both of the SEC’s two strongest teams. Auburn just looked okay when beating Ole Miss 44 to 23. The Tigers only pushed. The reason I write okay is because Alabama thumped Ole Miss 66 to 3 when they battled the Rebels.
10. Miami Hurricanes 4-0
On the AP Poll, Ohio State is ranked ahead of Auburn and Miami. I’m not sure why. The Canes beat Florida State 24 to 20 in Tallahassee. Florida State is without QB Deondre Francois. The Seminoles defense shouldn’t have any issues, though. Maybe, Miami is now the better team in the long rivalry.
11. Oklahoma Sooners 4-1
Oh, wow. The 31 to 38 loss to Iowa State was nothing short of embarrassing. But, I can’t drop Oklahoma behind Ohio State. The Sooners beat Ohio State. Oklahoma could bounce back. Getting into the Top 4, into the College Football Playoff, might be a longshot. Iowa State is considered one of the worst teams in the Big 12.
12. Ohio State Buckeyes 5-1
Another reason I can’t place the Buckeyes in front of Ohio State is because since the loss, OSU has beaten nothing but cupcakes. Army, UNLV, Rutgers, and Maryland…really? None of those squads are close to Ohio State. I’m not sure how close any of those 4 teams are to Iowa State.
13. USC Trojans 5-1
The Trojans played a somewhat blah game when beating Oregon State 38 to 10. I know beating any team by 4 touchdowns shouldn’t be described as blah. The same Oregon State squad lost 23 to 52 to Washington State, though. I expected the Trojans to hang at least 48 points onto the terrible Beavers.
14. Notre Dame Irish 5-1
The Irish dominated North Carolina. Notre Dame beat the Tar Heels 33 to 10. The Irish get the week off. Their next game is at home versus ranked USC. If Notre Dame beats USC, it might be tough to keep them out of the Top 10. ND’s only loss was in overtime to undefeated Georgia.
15. South Florida Bulls 5-0
It might be impossible for South Florida to climb any higher than 15th on my Top 20 rankings. If anything, they could fall much lower. The reason is because although undefeated, the Bulls haven’t played a single team of note save for Illinois. Illinois isn’t very good. The Bulls next game is at home versus Cincinnati.
16. San Diego State Aztecs 6-0
San Diego State’s next contest is against the strong Boise State Broncos. Boise State has a chance to add a loss to the Aztecs 6 and 0 record. SDSU beat UNLV 41 to 10 in their last.
17. Michigan Wolverines 5-1
The Wolverines allowed Michigan State to once again put a hamper on their season. Michigan State is ranked both in the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll. The 10 to 14 loss might not turn out to be all that bad. The Wolverines battle Indiana this Saturday. Michigan mustn’t lose focus. That might be hard to do because a week later the Wolverines take on Penn State in a huge road matchup.
18. Oklahoma State Cowboys 5-1
Both the AP and Coaches polls has Oklahoma State ranked 14th. I don’t like them any higher than 18th. The Cowboys beat Texas Tech 41 to 34. They should have scored 50 points against the Red Raiders.
19. NC State Wolfpack 5-1
Unlike most other college football fans, I’m not that impressed with NC State’s 39 to 25 win over Louisville. I haven’t been fan of Louisville this season. From Week 1, I thought the Cardinals were overrated.
NC State still gets onto my Top 20, though. The Wolfpack battles Pitt this Saturday. There’s no reason for NC State not to cover the -10.5 spread. If the Wolfpack doesn’t, I might drop them out of the Top 20 even if they win. Pittsburgh is just a bad football team this season.
20. UCF Knights 4-0
UCF might be the real deal. The Knights dominated Memphis 40 to 13 two weeks ago. They trounced Cincinnati 51 to 23 this past Saturday. Central Florida plays Navy and South Florida this season. Both Navy and South Florida are ranked in the AP Poll. The Knights won’t get into the College Football Playoff. But, should they beat both Navy and South Florida and not a lose a game, they could end up in a New Year’s Day Bowl.