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XN Sports College Football Rankings

XN Sports College Football Rankings: Florida State remains No. 1 after a nearly flawless performance by Jameis Winston against Syracuse.

Jameis Winston

It wasn’t quite upset Saturday but Auburn, TCU, and Arizona all were top-10 teams entering the weekend and all three lost.

The Horned Frogs took the toughest beat, blowing a 21-point lead in the final 11 minutes to lose at Baylor and leave the Bears as the lone unbeaten team in the Big 12. Auburn was able to force a few Dak Prescott turnovers but they couldn’t keep him out of the end zone and Mississippi State now owns big wins over Tigers (LSU, Auburn) the last two weeks. Arizona vaulted into the rankings with an upset win over Oregon but the Wildcats couldn’t back it up, missing a late chip-shot field goal in a loss to USC this a week.

Florida State remains number one after it did what it had to and won at Syracuse to set up a huge showdown with Notre Dame on Saturday night in Tallahassee. Prescott has the Bulldogs up to No. 2 with Ole Miss, Baylor, and Notre dame rounding out the top five.

25. Clemson (4-2) – The Tigers won the game against the Cardinals with a 4th-and-goal stop at the 2-yard line with 21 seconds to play but lost freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson to injury in the second quarter. Last Game: Beat Louisville, 23-17. Next Game: Saturday at Boston College.

24. Stanford (4-2) – Kevin Hogan threw for 284 yards and three touchdowns and the Stanford defense got after Washington State QB Connor Halliday as the Cardinal bounced back from a tough loss at Notre Dame. Last Game: Beat Washington State, 34-17. Next Game: Saturday at Arizona State.

23. USC (4-2) – The Trojans are 8-0 all-time against the Buffaloes and need a win this week to remain at the top of the Pac-12 South standings. Tailback Javorius Allen leads the Pac-12 in rushing, all-purpose yards, and rushing TDs after a 205-yard, three TD performance at Arizona. Last Game: Beat Arizona, 28-26. Next Game: Saturday vs. Colorado.

22. Marshall (6-0) – Rakeem Cato threw three TD passes to extend his streak of games with a touchdown pass to 38, tying former N.C. State and Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson for the FBS record. Last Game: Beat Middle Tennessee, 49-24. Next Game: Saturday at Florida Atlantic.

21. Utah (4-1) – The Utes are off to their best start since going 8-0 to start the 2010 season and defense is a big reason why. Even coming off a bye, Utah leads the nation in total sacks (28) and sacks per game (5.6) for the second-straight week. Utah also leads the country in tackles for loss per game (10.2) and is third in total TFL (51). Nate Orchard ranks No. 1 nationally in sacks per game (1.7) and is second in total sacks (8.5). Last Game: Beat UCLA, 30-28. Next Game: Thursday at Oregon State.

20. Texas A&M (5-2) – Once riding high at 5-0, the Aggies went 0-2 against the great state of Mississippi and now are facing the prospect of loss number three in a row with a trip to Tuscaloosa this weekend. Last Game: Lost to Ole Miss, 35-20. Next Game: Saturday at Alabama.

19. Nebraska (5-1) – If anything, Nebraska’s matchup with Northwestern should provide some drama based on recent meetings. In 2011, unranked Northwestern upset the No. 9 Huskers in Lincoln. The following year, Nebraska rallied from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to win 29-28 in Evanston, and a year ago, the Huskers won 27-24 on a Hail Mary. Last Game: Lost to Michigan State, 27-22. Next Game: Saturday at Northwestern.

18. Arizona state (4-1) – The Sun Devils caught a break with their Hail Mary win over the Trojans but they are just going to have to play better football down the stretch if this season is going to ultimately be a success. Stanford’s defense will present a stern test and games with ranked foes Utah, Notre Dame, and Arizona all loom. Last Game: Beat USC, 38-34. Next Game: Saturday vs. Stanford.

17. Oklahoma state (5-1) – Kansas rallied to tie the game 20-20 on Saturday before Oklahoma State got a 99-yard kickoff return from Tyreek Hill to pull out the win. The Cowboys will need to be a lot better Saturday against what is sure to be an angry Horned Frogs squad. Last Game: Beat Kansas, 27-20. Next Game: Saturday at TCU.

16. Ohio state (4-1) – With games against Rutgers, at Penn State, and Illinois, Ohio State should be 7-1 entering its Nov. 8 showdown at Michigan State. Last Game: Beat Maryland, 52-24. Next Game: Saturday vs. Rutgers.

15. Arizona (5-1) – Casey Skowron missed a 36-yard field goal in the final seconds wide right but otherwise the Wildcats would be unbeaten and still a top-10 team. Last Game: Lost to USC, 28-26. Next Game: Oct. 25 at Washington State.

14. Kansas state (4-1) – The Wildcats have won two straight and are coming off a bye week. This week’s game in Norman starts a tough stretch for Kansas State which has games with Oklahoma State, TCU, and Baylor left on the schedule. Last Game: Beat Texas Tech, 45-13. Next Game: Saturday at Oklahoma.

13. East Carolina (5-1) – ECU outscored South Florida, 21-0, in the second half and is off to its best start since 1999. The Pirates have won four straight since a loss to South Carolina. Last Game: Beat South Florida, 28-17. Next Game: Oct. 23 vs. Connecticut.

12. Oregon (5-1) – As flashy and fast-paced as the Oregon offense has been over the years, it has always hung its hat on being able to run the ball and that had not been the case this season before Saturday. Freshman Royce Freeman becomes the first 100-yard rushed of the season for the Ducks with 121 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries against the Bruins. Last Game: Beat UCLA, 42-30. Next Game: Saturday vs. Washington.

11. Michigan state (5-1) – The Spartans are working their way back up the poll since an early-season loss at Oregon but if they want to continue their rise they will have to get better playing with a lead. A week after nearly blowing the game against Nebraska in the fourth quarter, Michigan State let a 21-point fourth-quarter lead slip to seven against Purdue before hanging on. Last Game: Beat Purdue, 45-32. Next Game: Saturday at Indiana.

10. Oklahoma (5-1) – The Sooners got a pair of return touchdowns to avenge last season’s upset loss to the Longhorns. Oklahoma has 11 losses since 2009 and each time it has beaten the team that beat it the next season. Last Game: Beat Texas, 31-26. Next Game: Saturday vs. Kansas State.

9. TCU (4-1) – The Horned Frogs have to be kicking themselves that they are not still unbeaten after letting a 21-point lead slip away over the final 11 minutes in Waco. After Marcus Mallet returned an interception 49 yards for a TD with 11:38 to play to make it 58-41, it looked like TCU was going to follow up its big win over Oklahoma with a huge road win over the Bears but it was not to be. Last Game: Lost to Baylor, 61-58. Next Game: Saturday vs. Oklahoma State.

8. Georgia (5-1) – No Todd Gurley, no problem as the Bulldogs turned in their most complete performance of the season on the road in Columbia. While the school completes an investigation, Gurley – a Heisman front-runner – remains suspended. On Saturday that meant a heavy dose of freshman Nick Chubb, who rushed for 143 yards. The Bulldogs defense was stellar as well, picking off Maty Mauk four times, allowing just 147 yards and posting the first shutout of a ranked team on the road in program history. Last Game: Beat Missouri, 34-0. Next Game: Saturday at Arkansas.

7. Alabama (5-1) – The Crimson Tide are fortunate their playoff hopes aren’t dashed but they survived on the road despite being out gained 335-227 and fumbling four times. This team just doesn’t have the feel that it’s a dominant team like versions past and it’s hard to imagine them getting through a slate that still includes Texas A&M, LSU, Mississippi State, and Auburn unscathed. Last Game: Beat Arkansas, 14-13. Next Game: Saturday vs. Texas A&M.

6. Auburn (5-1) – The Tigers forced four turnovers against Mississippi State but also committed four and couldn’t overcome an early defect. The loss stings, but doesn’t knock Auburn completely out of the playoff picture, not with games against Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Georgia, and Alabama still remaining. Last Game: Lost to Mississippi State, 38-23. Next Game: Oct. 25 vs. South Carolina.

5. Notre Dame (6-0) – The Fighting Irish keep finding ways to win but their luck is going to run out in Tallahassee if they don’t make some changes. Everett Golson has turned the ball over nine times in his last three games and the defense had all kinds of problems with North Carolina’s up-tempo attack. Last Game: Beat North Carolina, 50-43. Next Game: Saturday at Florida State

4. Baylor (6-0) – The Bears are the last unbeaten team left in the Big 12 thanks to Bryce Petty and a thrilling comeback. Petty threw for 510 yards and six touchdowns as Baylor scored the last 24 points of the game to erase a 21-point defect over the last 11 minutes of the game. Baylor leads the nation in scoring averaging 52.7 points per game. Last Game: Beat TCU, 61-58. Next Game: Saturday at West Virginia.

3. Ole Miss (6-0) – The Rebels are off to their first 6-0 start since 1962. Bo Wallace threw a TD pass, ran for a pair of scores, and the defense scored twice as Ole Miss followed up its win over Alabama with an impressive road win over A&M. The Rebels have not won the SEC title since 1963 but have the look of a team ready to end that long drought. Last Game: Beat Texas A&M, 35-20. Next Game: Saturday vs. Tennessee.

2. Mississippi state (6-0) – The Bulldogs are closing in on the Seminoles and could be in the top spot next week depending on the outcome of Notre Dame at Florida State. Mississippi State get a breather this week after a big win over Auburn. Heisman contender Dak Prescott threw a pair of interceptions but still had 246 yards passing, 121 yards rushing and accounted for three touchdowns. Last Game: Beat Auburn, 38-23. Next Game: Oct. 25 at Kentucky.

1. Florida State (6-0) – The Seminoles got a nearly flawless performance from QB Jameis Winston, who went 30-of-36 for 317 yards and three touchdowns against the Orange. Winston and Florida State have a chance to make a statement Saturday night when they host the Irish in what is shaping up to be a huge game as far as playoff implications go and Winston will get a crack at an Irish defense that allowed 43 points to North Carolina last Saturday. Last Game: Beat Syracuse, 38-20. Next Game: Saturday vs. Notre Dame

Dropped out: Georgia Tech, UCLA, Missouri.

Close but not quite: UCLA, Duke, Kentucky

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