How much will Saturday of close calls shake things up?

Auburn and Hugh Freeze nearly turned the college football world upside down against Georgia. Colorado rallied against USC. Penn State was on the ropes at Northwestern. And Notre Dame seemed done at Duke.

Alas, all four top-10 favorites pulled out victories. Oh how close we were to an epic Upset Saturday in college football!

On a week with four of our top-10 teams on a bye, we welcome into our rankings just one new member: the Trojans.

Plenty more happened outside of the top 10. Did you see what Kentucky RB Ray Davis did to Florida? He had 200 yards rushing early in the second quarter and finished with 280 in a rout of the Gators. Baylor mounted a 28-point comeback against newbie Big 12 member UCF, Missouri and Maryland both moved to 5-0, and the Sooners assured an undefeated showdown in the Red River Rivalry next week.

Oh, and don’t forget the madness of LSU-Ole Miss. The Tigers blew a double-digit second-half lead to Lane Kiffin and the Rebels.

Anyway, on to our latest Top 10!

Keep in mind that we rank teams differently than most. We do not consider any preseason polls or any past season results. What happened in the past is in the past.

This week: Bye

Next week: vs. Virginia Tech

Best win: at Clemson

No team has a better two-win combination than the Seminoles, with a neutral-site win over LSU to begin the year and the overtime victory at Clemson. Led by ninth-year starter Jordan Travis (it just feels that way!), FSU has the clear best resume in college football to this point. And Travis has one of the best QB lines, too: 10 touchdowns and 1 interception. Up next for the Noles are three consecutive home games. They should be favored in their next five games before the Nov. 11 showdown in Miami.

This week: Bye

Next week: vs. Maryland

Best win: at Notre Dame

QB Kyle McCord continues to settle in for the Buckeyes. While he’s settling, running back TreVeyon Henderson is rolling: five touchdowns and more than 250 yards rushing the last three games. Everyone has circled the tilt in Columbus with Penn State and, of course, The Game at Michigan on Nov. 25. But don’t sleep on the pesky Terrapins.

Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers celebrates as he runs for a touchdown against Kansas on Saturday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers celebrates as he runs for a touchdown against Kansas on Saturday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

This week: won 40-14 vs. Kansas

Next week: vs. Oklahoma (Dallas)

Best win: at Alabama

Texas rolled up 661 yards. RB Jonathan Brooks and QB Quinn Ewers combined for 582 of it. The Longhorns might have started slow in this one but they finished fast. And now comes the banger against undefeated Oklahoma in the Big D. Buckle up.

This week: won 31-24 at Arizona

Next week: Bye

Best win: at Michigan State

The Huskies turned in their worst effort of the season in Tempe but managed to eke out a win. After the video game numbers Michael Penix Jr. churned out the first four weeks, he was held without a passing touchdown Saturday (despite completing 75 percent of his passes for 363 yards). Washington gets a well-timed bye week before a showdown at home again Oregon on Oct. 14.

5. Penn State Nittany Lions

This week: won 41-13 at Northwestern

Next week: Bye

Best win: vs. Iowa

A 10-10 game at halftime, the Nittany Lions proceeded to dispense of the Wildcats in a dominant second-half effort. Penn State’s defense continued to shine when its offense didn’t have a good day. Northwestern finished with just 175 yards of offense, converted 5 of 18 third- and fourth-down attempts and allowed 1.4 yards a rush.

This week: Bye

Next week: vs. Syracuse

Best win: vs. South Carolina

Are the Tar Heels set up to go on a run? After a bye, they host a Syracuse team that got battered by Clemson and then play the Miami Hurricanes in a big ACC clash in Chapel Hill. QB Drake Maye has had some hiccups early in the season, but UNC’s defense appears to have improved greatly from last season’s porous version.

This week: won 42-6 at Stanford

Next week: Bye

Best win: vs. Colorado

What if I told you that halfway through the second quarter, the score was Stanford 6, Oregon 0? It’s true! But the Ducks caught fire. They scored six unanswered touchdowns and now all eyes are on the Pac-12 (and soon Big Ten) collision at Washington on Oct. 14.

Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders meets with USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) after  their game on Saturday. (John Leyba-USA TODAY Sports
Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders meets with USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) after their game on Saturday. (John Leyba-USA TODAY Sports (USA TODAY USPW / reuters)

8. USC Trojans

This week: won 48-41 at Colorado

Next week: vs. Arizona

Best win: at Colorado

The Trojans crack into our rankings with a (at one point) thrashing of the Buffaloes. Reigning Heisman winner Caleb Williams did his thing (403 yards and six TDs), but USC’s defense is still a … question. The Trojans allowed three consecutive touchdowns in the final 16 minutes of the game.

This week: won 21-14 at Duke

Next week: at Louisville

Best win: at Duke

Oh what a magnificent defensive throwback of a game! A slobberknocker, they might say. The Dukies and Irish battled it out, with the latter winning on a final-minute drive just one week after a heartbreaking loss of their own. Notre Dame remains alive in the playoff race. And, hey, so does Duke!

10. Miami Hurricanes

This week: Bye

Next week: vs. Georgia Tech

Best win: vs. Texas A&M

Are the Hurricanes back? Well, after a bye week, they host a surging Georgia Tech team. But we’ll know more about Mario Cristobal’s group at the Nov. 14 meeting with the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. The winner should have the edge on the race to the ACC championship game. Remember, the conference is division-less this year. The top two teams earn a trip to Charlotte for the title bout.

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