XN Sports Top 25 College Football Rankings

Dak Prescott

Not much movement in the XN Sports Top 25 College Football Rankings this week, just a little reshuffling ahead of a week that is highlighted by four matchups between ranked teams on Saturday and with No. 1 Florida State entering an always dangerous Thursday night game against Louisville.

Ole Miss lost at LSU which helped the Tigers more than it hurt the Rebels. Sorry Alabama fans, Ole Miss holds the head-to-head advantage so more needs to happen if you’re going to leap-frog them in this poll. Auburn could take Ole Miss down a few notches as they meet Saturday in the marquee game of the weekend which will also serve as a playoff eliminator.

Welcome Duke, goodbye USC as only the Blue Devils entered the poll this week as the Trojans fell out of it.

25. Duke (6-1) – As attention in Durham turns to basketball, the Blue Devils continue to lead the ACC Coastal Division in football. Duke is coming off a bye week and plays its next two on the road at Pitt and at Syracuse. Last Game: Beat Virginia, 20-13. Next Game: Saturday at Pitt.

24. Clemson (6-2) – The Tigers have not scored more than 23 points in any of their last three games but have won them all. Defense has been the difference as Clemson has allowed just 36 points during that span. Last Game: Beat Syracuse, 16-6. Next Game: Nov. 6 at Wake Forest.

23. UCLA (6-2) – The Bruins squandered a 17-point fourth-quarter lead before edging the Buffs in 2 OTs. UCLA will have to be much better Saturday or their next fall from the rankings will be one that lasts the rest of the season. Last Game: Beat Colorado, 40-37 (2 OT). Next Game: Saturday vs. Arizona.

22. Marshall (8-0) – Former backup tight end and now starting running back Devon Johnson rushed for a school record 272 yards and four TDs to lead the Thundering Herd. The 240-pounder has already surpassed the 1,000-yard mark this season. Last Game: Beat Florida Atlantic, 35-16. Next Game: Nov. 8 at Southern Miss.

21. East Carolina (6-1) – The Pirates have won five straight but their latest wasn’t as easy as is was supposed to be. Shane Carden threw for a season-high 445 yards and ECU outscored UConn 10-0 in the fourth to win the game. Last Game: Beat Connecticut, 31-21. Next Game: Saturday at Temple.

20. Ohio State (6-1) – Ohio State led 17-0 but ended up needing two TD runs in overtime by freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett to outlast Penn State. Last Game: Beat Penn State, 31-24 (2OT). Next Game: Saturday vs. Illinois.

19. West Virginia (6-2) – The Mountaineers will enter their showdown with the Horned Frogs coming off an impressive performance in Stillwater. West Virginia limited Oklahoma State to just 10 points, the Cowboys’ fewest at home since a 34-0 loss to Colorado in 2005. Last Game: Beat Oklahoma State, 34-10. Next Game: Saturday vs. TCU.

18. Oklahoma (5-2) – The Sooners have lost two of their last three games and are resigned to a spoiler role for the rest of the season. Last Game: Lost to Kansas State, 31-30. Next Game: Saturday at Iowa State.

17. Utah (6-1) – Travis Wilson threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Kaelin Clay with eight seconds to go to lift Utah past USC. The Utes are now bowl eligible for the first time in three seasons. Last Game: Beat USC, 24-21. Next Game: Saturday at Arizona State.

16. Nebraska (7-1) – Ameer Abdullah ran for 225 yards and three touchdowns and also set a school record with 341 all-purpose yards against the Scarlet Knights. The Cornhuskers have four games left, all against unranked teams. Last Game: Beat Rutgers, 42-24. Next Game: Saturday vs. Purdue.

15. LSU (7-2) – The Tigers turned the ball over four times and misses a short field goal but were able to hand the Rebels their first loss of the season because of defense and a pounding run game. LSU can enjoy the win for a little bit with a bye week before hosting Alabama. Last Game: Beat Ole Miss, 10-7. Next Game: Nov. 8 vs. Alabama.

14. Arizona State (6-1) – The Sun Devils have won three straight since their home clunker against UCLA. The next two weeks will tell us a lot about where Arizona State stacks up in the Pac-12 and in the playoff picture as it hosts Utah and then Notre Dame. Last Game: Beat Washington, 24-10. Next Game: Saturday vs. Utah.

13. Arizona (6-1) –Anu Solomon threw five TD passes and the Wildcats jumped out to a 24-0 first-quarter lead against the Cougars and never looked back. Arizona has its Pac-12 South Division title hopes in its own hands and starts its quest for the crown at UCLA. Last Game: Beat Washington State, 59-37. Next Game: Saturday at UCLA.

12. Baylor (6-1) – The Bears had a bye week to stew over their loss at West Virginia and should take it out on the Jayhawks at home this weekend. Last Game: Lost to West Virginia. 41-27. Next Game: Saturday vs. Kansas.

11. Michigan State (6-1) – The Spartans have won six straight and now have a bye week before they get a shot at Ohio State with the winner likely to claim the Big Ten East Division title. Last Game: Beat Michigan, 35-11. Next Game: Nov. 8 vs. Ohio State.

10. Kansas State (6-1) – Kansas State, the lone team in the Big 12 without a conference loss, blanked Texas marking the first time the Longhorns were shut out since Oklahoma did it in October of 2004. The Wildcats have games at TCU, at West Virginia and at Baylor remaining that will determine their playoff fate. Last Game: Beat Texas, 23-0. Next Game: Saturday vs. Oklahoma State.

9. TCU (6-1) – Trevone Boykin threw seven TD passes as the Horned Frogs set a program record for points scored in a game in their rout of the Red Raiders. The next two weeks will decide if TCU is a playoff contender or not with a trip to Morgantown followed by a home date with Kansas State. Last Game: Beat Texas Tech, 82-27. Next Game: Saturday at West Virginia.

8. Oregon (7-1)Heisman candidate QB Marcus Mariota threw for five TDs to lead the Ducks to victory in the first college game played in Levi’s Stadium. Mariota also broke the Oregon record for career passing yards in Friday’s game and now has 8,625 in his career in Eugene. Last Game: Beat California, 59-41. Next Game: Saturday vs. Stanford.

7. Georgia (6-1) – The Bulldogs are still awaiting word from the NCAA regarding the status of standout running back Todd Gurley. Georgia shouldn’t need Gurley this week against Florida, especially with the way freshman Nick Chubb has filled in. The Bulldogs have dominated Missouri and Arkansas with Gurley out with Chubb running for 345 yards and three TDs in those two games. Last Game: Beat Arkansas, 45-32. Next Game: Saturday vs. Florida .

6. Notre Dame (6-1) – Notre Dame leads the series with Navy, 74-12-1 and has won the last three meetings. The Irish can’t afford to look ahead to next week’s game at Arizona State because they have no margin for error left if they want a playoff berth. Last Game: Lost to Florida State, 31-27. Next Game: Saturday at Navy (Landover, MD).

5. Alabama (7-1) – The Crimson Tide have won three straight since their loss to Ole Miss. Alabama has a bye week and then a closing schedule that will put it firmly in the playoffs if they win out or be the cause of their demise. After the week off Alabama has games at LSU, home vs. Mississippi State and home against Auburn. Last Game: Beat Tennessee, 34-20. Next Game: Nov. 8 at LSU.

4. Auburn (6-1) – Auburn survived and kept its playoff hopes alive thanks to Nick Marshall and Jonathan Jones. Marshall ran for three TDs and threw for another and Jones had a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions to help hold off the Gamecocks. Last Game: Beat South Carolina, 42-35. Next Game: Saturday at Ole Miss.

3. Ole Miss (7-1) – It’s make or break time for the Rebels and Saturday’s showdown with Auburn will likely serve as a playoff elimination game. Either way, Ole Miss still has a tough road with games against Arkansas and Mississippi State looming after a tune-up against Presbyterian. Last Game: Lost to LSU, 10-7. Next Game: Saturday vs. Auburn.

2. Mississippi State (7-0)Dak Prescott accounted for three touchdowns, and Josh Robinson ran for two TDs as the Bulldogs survived a scare at Kentucky. Mississipi State has games with Arkansas and Tennessee-Martin before a trip to Alabama. Last Game: Beat Kentucky, 45-31. Next Game: Saturday vs. Arkansas.

1. Florida State (7-0) – Florida State has a 19-game win streak against ACC opponents, the longest by the program since winning 24 straight from 1998-2001. If the Seminoles beat the Cardinals and make it 20 straight, they aren’t likely to lose again in the regular season. Last Game: Beat Notre Dame, 31-27. Next Game: Thursday at Louisville.

Dropped out: USC
Close but not quite: Colorado State, Wisconsin

author avatar
John Nestor
John Nestor is a Philadelphia sports fan and veteran sportswriter trapped in Connecticut. Tweet him @nestorjdn