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Mississippi has two undefeated teams and the rest of the country combined has only one. Welcome to a crazy season in college football, where it truly seems that anything can happen from one moment to the next.
So what does Outkick’s top ten look like halfway through the season? Here we go:
1. Mississippi State
Even though the Bulldogs had a bye week, I didn’t see enough from Ole Miss or FSU to knock them out of the catbird’s seat. On the road at Kentucky shouldn’t be too tough of a challenge now that we can see that Kentucky is still Kentucky. But how about that game at Alabama? Based on what we’ve seen out of the Tide in Tuscaloosa it’s sure hard to believe Bama is losing at home.
2. Ole Miss
The Ole Miss defense took five years off of Justin Worley’s life, sacking him at will and picking him off three times. Bo Wallace didn’t play very well, but the defense was so good it didn’t matter. Next up for the Rebels? A night game at LSU. That, my friends, is going to be a hell of a ball game since it would appear that LSU may have found its mojo again.
Remember, Les Miles has only lost three times at night in Death Valley. And all three of those teams reached number one in the country.
By the way, what the hell was CBS thinking picking Mississippi State at Kentucky over Ole Miss at LSU? Talk about a bad decision.
3. Florida State
The Seminoles were outplayed on the offensive and defensive lines by Notre Dame and needed a late pass interference call to stave off a home loss that would have left #fsutwitter awash in indignation. Now the question becomes, can FSU keep Jameis from signing autographs on the bye week? And the secondary question is this — is anyone in the ACC good enough to put a real scare into the Seminoles?
The Tigers were on a bye week, but their resume got a major boost when Kansas State went into Norman and came away with a road victory. Auburn’s road win at Kansas State is the best road win by any team in the country so far this season. Unfortunately for the Tigers they still have road games at Ole Miss, at Georgia, and at Alabama left to play. I don’t believe there’s any team in the country that could win all three of those games. So that probably means that Auburn’s not long for our top four.
How did I decide that Auburn deserved to be the highest ranked of the one loss teams? Simple. Auburn has the best road win of any team in the country and their loss came on the road against the number one team in the country. Oregon lost at home to Arizona, a borderline top twenty team.
The Tide destroyed Texas A&M. After I wrote the Nick Saban dynasty was over two weeks ago, this might have been the single most dominating performance for the Crimson Tide in the Saban era. As if that wasn’t enough, the Tide got a nice resume boost from West Virginia courtesy of the two touchdown Mountaineer win over Baylor. With Mississippi State and Auburn both coming to Tuscaloosa, the only road game that holds any danger for the Tide at all is at LSU.
The Ducks handled Washington, setting the stage for a stretch run that includes difficult games against Stanford, at Utah, and at Oregon State. If the Ducks win all three of these games they’ll have another tough contest left in the Pac 12 title game. Anything less than running the table and it’s unlikely the Pac 12 has a team in the playoff.
Maybe the Todd Gurley suspension was the best thing that could have happened for Georgia. Since the Gurley suspension Georgia has played invigorating road football. Given how awful Florida looks, it’s hard to believe Georgia can lose to anyone left on the schedule except for Auburn. This makes Auburn at Georgia a playoff game in November.
Now about that loss to South Carolina…
8. Kansas State
It’s hard to believe that Kansas State could win the Big 12 with road games at Oklahoma, at West Virginia, at TCU, and at Baylor — seriously, who sets this schedule? — but Kansas State is the only undefeated team left in the Big 12 and the Wildcats should be 7-1 going to TCU on November 8th.
9. Michigan State
The Spartans keep steamrolling the Big Ten. If Michigan State hadn’t played Oregon then they’d be projected for the playoff. Instead the Big Ten is so weak it’s hard to believe any teams will advance to the playoff from the conference.
The Horned Frogs are an 11 minute collapse against Baylor from being in Outkick’s playoff. The Big 12 is suddenly a mess, can TCU run the table? A few weeks ago it looked like Oklahoma and Baylor were much better than everyone else. Now? It looks like there are a lot of pretty good teams, but no great ones. We’ll see.