Tomorrow's Top 25 Today: Week 10

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

Jameis Winston is aiming to keep Florida State in the top 3. (USATSI)
Jameis Winston is aiming to keep Florida State in the top 3. (USATSI)
Each Saturday night, the Eye on College Football takes its best guess at what we'll see on Sunday morning from the AP Top 25. Here's where the poll stood entering this week, and here's our Week 10 projection, which will be updated as results are finalized late Saturday (last week's ranking in parentheses):

1. Alabama (1): Tide had a bye week. Just to warn you: fully half of the top 12 listed below had the weekend off, thanks to the three blockbuster matchups between those six teams -- two of them on Thursday night -- slated for next week.

2. Oregon (2): Ducks' margin over Florida State in last week's poll was large enough that even the Seminoles' battering of Miami shouldn't be enough to force a switch between the two teams.

3. Florida State (3): Slow start, half-paced middle, dominating finish. If the Ducks had shown any real vulnerability over the past several weeks, this would be the nation's No. 2 team. As is, it looks like the status quo -- no amount of domination will help if the Tide and Ducks run their respective tables.

4. Ohio State (4): Can't ask for anything more from the Buckeyes than back-to-back Big Ten wins by a combined score of 119-14. But it's still not going to matter a lick after the Hurricanes went down in Tallahassee.

5. Baylor (5): Off in preparation for their showdown with the Sooners in Waco this Thursday.

6. Stanford (6): And hey, speaking of Thursday showdowns, the Cardinal were off as they wait for the Ducks' arrival.

7. Auburn (8): It's become clear that if you want to beat Auburn, you're going to have to at least slow down their rushing attack. Letting Tre Mason go for 168 yards and the Tigers go for 233 in total on 5.1 yards an attempt does not qualify.

8. Clemson (9): Oh hey, dominant Clemson that destroys weaker ACC competition, welcome back. We missed you.

9. Missouri (10): The Tigers were in trouble in the SEC East after last week's meltdown, right? It never looked that way against Tennessee, with the Missouri defense keeping the Vols out of the end zone for all four quarters and Maty Mauk enjoying his best game as a starter.

10. LSU (11): Off as they get ready for their trip to Tuscaloosa.

11. Texas A&M (12): Lackluster first quarter for the Aggies against UTEP, but 48-0 runs tend to obscure that sort of thing.

12. Oklahoma (13): Had a bye. Win over Notre Dame continues to appreciate in value. Jury still out on value of loss to Texas.

13. South Carolina (14): Gamecocks kept pace with Missouri, pulling away from Mississippi State at home. But after Tennessee's last two weeks, still have to kick themselves that they need any help at all after losing in Knoxville.

14. Oklahoma State (18): Cowboys got a huge win in Lubbock and rejoin Oklahoma and Baylor on the shortlist of Big 12 contenders. Oh, and Texas, I guess, when Texas plays an actual team again.

15. Miami (7): Hurricanes played just well enough against the Seminoles not to suffer a massive drop ... but not quite well enough to expect to rank much higher than this. After this final score, voters may remember the close calls against UNC and wake Forest, too.

16. Fresno State (16): Same ol', same ol': Derek Carr throws for a giant pile of yards (487 in this case), the defense gives up enough plays to keep the opponent hanging around, the Bulldogs pull it out in the end. It might not be pretty, but it still has Fresno on target for a BCS berth.

17. Michigan State (24): All of a sudden, the Spartans look like the clearcut biggest remaining hurdle for Ohio State if they can win the Legends division. After blistering Michigan Saturday to move to an impressive 8-1, will anyone bet against them?

18. UCLA (17): Bruins took a little longer than expected to get going against Colorado, but ended up cruising to a 22-point win.

19. UCF (19): Knights had a bye to happily soak in their favorite status in the AAC.

20. Louisville (20): Cards had a bye to unhappily soak in their former-favorite status in the AAC.

21. Northern Illinois (21): The Huskies have largely looked the part of a BCS-busting candidate on the road and did again Saturday, crushing UMass. But any real polling traction will have to start with a win over fellow league heavyweight Ball State in midweek #MACtion a week from Wednesday.

22. Wisconsin (22): The Badgers won by three scores at Iowa, reconfirming that they might be the most underrated team in the poll.

23. Arizona State (25): And speaking of underrated, as the loss to Notre Dame continues to look more explicable, the Sun Devils' pounding of Washington State in Pullman suggests they're also members of the "most underrated" club.

24. Texas Tech (15): Road loss in Norman is one thing. Home loss to a team that lost in Morgantown is another, particularly when the Red Raiders' list of victims is so thin.

25. Notre Dame (NR): The Irish got all they wanted and then some from Navy, but given their lead on the rest of the "Also Receiving Votes" crowd last week, they should take the No. 25 spot all the same.

Dropped out of projected rankings: Michigan

Also under consideration: Texas

Teams marked with an asterisk have games ongoing as of this update. Projection assumes Vegas favorites -- including Oklahoma State -- win.

 
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