Ohio State (8-0) jumped from third to number one in our system rankings, trading places with Alabama (8-0), which had been the top team since preseason. Clemson (8-0) remained second.
LSU (8-0) managed to get by 18th-ranked Auburn (6-2) but that narrow win didn’t move the Bayou cats out of fourth in our ranking Index.
Despite a loss, Oklahoma (7-1) only dropped one spot to sixth as the Sooners switched places with Penn State (8-0). Oklahoma didn’t drop more because the Sooners have posted outstanding metrics all season.
Memphis (7-1), SMU (8-0), and Louisiana Tech (7-1) all moved into the rankings at 22nd, 23rd, and 24th while Iowa State, Missouri, and idle Washington all dropped out with 5-3 records.
In the PAC-12 . . .
Oregon (7-1) moved up one notch to seventh after a near-loss to Washington State (4-4) while Utah (7-1) moved up two spots after dominating the Cal Bears (4-4).
No other PAC-12 teams are in our top-25.
Oregon’s place atop the conference faces a critical challenge this week as the Ducks travel to Los Angeles to play South division leader USC (5-3).
Besides being on the road, the game presents problems for Oregon because the Ducks defense did not handle the Washington State Air Raid offense well.
USC runs a similar offense, and the Trojans have better athletes and greater depth than WSU.