Home / College Football Live / Power 5 conference power rankings after Week 7

Power 5 conference power rankings after Week 7

Oct 15, 2018

  • ESPN staff

These rankings are all about rating teams against their conference brethren, but we are also ranking the conferences against each other.

Check out the chart below, and click on a conference to get full details on why we ranked teams how we did.

1. SEC | 2. Big Ten | 3. Big 12 | 4. Pac-12 | 5. ACC

1. SEC

Down go the Dawgs. Week 7 provided plenty of intrigue in the SEC. LSU’s win over Georgia has solidified the Tigers as a force to be reckoned with in the conference. The Bulldogs are still in full control of the SEC East and, ultimately, their playoff destiny, even with the defeat. Auburn’s stumbling continued while Texas A&M seems to be rising. Plenty of movement in this week’s power rankings:

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0)

Despite playing one of its sloppiest games of the season and despite being without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for much of the second half, the Crimson Tide beat the Missouri Tigers by four touchdowns. That, in a nutshell, is how dominant Alabama is in the SEC these days.

2. LSU Tigers (6-1)

It’s time to start taking these LSU Tigers seriously. They have a defense, they have a quarterback, and in a couple of weeks, they have Alabama at home.

3. Georgia Bulldogs (6-1)

A loss at LSU is nothing to cry over. The Bulldogs still have the pieces to rebound and make a run at an SEC title.

4. Florida Gators (6-1)

It was a rocky start, but the Gators beat Vanderbilt on the road and didn’t succumb to the hangover effect of coming off a big win over LSU last week. For a program rebuilding under Dan Mullen, that’s an important sign of maturity.

5. Texas A&M Aggies (5-2)

Jimbo Fisher’s squad has pulled out tough, nip-and-tuck games in consecutive weeks and appears to be getting better. And guess what? The Aggies finally have a good defense.

6. Kentucky Wildcats (5-1)

The Wildcats were off this week and host Vanderbilt in Week 8. They’re still very much in the SEC East hunt, as one of three teams with just one conference loss.

7. Mississippi State Bulldogs (4-2)

The bye week came at a good time as the Bulldogs host a surging LSU this coming Saturday.

8. Ole Miss Rebels (5-2)

The Rebels climbed out of a 17-point deficit to beat Arkansas and earn their first SEC win of the season. With a reeling Auburn coming to town, could they string together two in a row?

9. Tennessee Volunteers (3-3)

Beating a ranked Auburn team on the road has to be a signature win for first-year coach Jeremy Pruitt. But beyond that, it could become a building block for a program that wants to get back to contending for SEC titles sooner rather than later.

10. Auburn Tigers (4-3)

Gus Malzahn’s team is in a tailspin after a bad loss at home to Tennessee. And yet the tough part of the schedule is still to come with Georgia and Alabama on the road.

11. South Carolina Gamecocks (3-3)

The Gamecocks dug themselves into a 16-0 hole, and though they climbed out of it, they weren’t able to finish the deal vs. Texas A&M. They’ll have an off week to assess things before a crucial three-game SEC stretch (vs. Tennessee, at Ole Miss, at Florida).

12. Missouri Tigers (3-3)

It was going to be a tough game even before the Tigers lost two of their top receivers, so it comes as no surprise that Drew Lock managed to complete just 13 of 26 passes for 142 yards, one touchdown and a pair of interceptions. The challenge is not letting one loss become two.

13. Vanderbilt Commodores (3-4)

Vandy had Florida down by 18 in the first half but couldn’t hold on, getting outscored 34-6 the rest of the way. It’s the Commodores’ sixth straight 0-3 start in SEC play.

14. Arkansas Razorbacks (1-6)

Chad Morris’ crew took its sixth straight defeat, and this one is tough to swallow, because the Hogs had it in their hands. There aren’t many realistic opportunities left on the schedule to get an SEC win.

2. Big Ten

Life is right in Big Ten land as Ohio State and Michigan sit atop the rankings for the first time this year. ESPN’s FPI metric says there’s a 21 percent chance that the league’s heaviest of heavyweights will meet on Nov. 24 in Columbus with one combined loss. And FPI gives the Big Ten an 11 percent shot to land two teams in the College Football Playoff.

While the Buckeyes held serve on Saturday against Minnesota with a 30-14 win, the Wolverines routed Wisconsin 38-13.

Meanwhile, Michigan State stunned Penn State 21-17 on Brian Lewerke’s 25-yard strike to Felton Davis III with 19 seconds to play at Beaver Stadium. Iowa continued to ascend on the strength of a resurgent offense. And the bottom three — Illinois, Nebraska and Rutgers — lost in ways that sent them to new emotional lows this season.

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0)

As long as K.J. Hill keeps snagging balls out of the air with one hand, few will notice the Buckeyes’ midseason lull as a second straight overmatched foe, Minnesota, played Ohio State close into the fourth quarter.

2. Michigan Wolverines (6-1)

Jim Harbaugh’s defense and ground game looked formidable in throttling Wisconsin. FPI now gives the Wolverines a 22 percent chance to reach the College Football Playoff.

3. Penn State Nittany Lions(4-2)

The Nittany Lions saw their title hopes dashed and streak of scoring 20 points or more snapped at 28 games. It ranked as the third-longest such streak nationally and second longest in Big Ten history.

4. Iowa Hawkeyes (5-1)

If only Iowa could play Wisconsin now. Right, Hawkeyes? Since that lone loss, QB Nate Stanley has thrown for 634 yards and 10 touchdowns in road wins over middling Minnesota and Indiana.

5. Michigan State Spartans (4-2)

How did the Spartans lose at home to Northwestern, then win a week later at Penn State? This kind of mysterious scenario is nothing new for MSU, which has topped the Nittany Lions four times in five years.

6. Wisconsin Badgers (4-2)

The ceiling fell in on the Badgers Saturday night in the second half at The Big House — not entirely a surprise if you’ve watched Wisconsin closely over the past month.

7. Maryland Terrapins (4-2)

Beware the rout of Rutgers, which helps only with confidence and in the bid for bowl eligibility.

8 Northwestern Wildcats (3-3)

A 10-point comeback in the furious, final three minutes forced overtime against winless Nebraska, earning the Wildcats their first home victory in four tries this season.

9. Purdue Boilermakers (3-3)

Make it three straight wins for the Boilers, who are inching back toward bowl-contender status as they arrive at the toughest three-week stretch of the season.

10. Indiana Hoosiers (4-3)

The Hoosiers have allowed 1,088 yards in the past two games and get Penn State in Bloomington this week after the Nittany Lions lost at the wire to Ohio State and Michigan State.

11. Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-3)

It’s not as bad as it has looked recently for Minnesota, winless in Big Ten play. The Gophers rushed for 172 yards Saturday to more than double Ohio State’s production on the ground in Columbus.

12. Illinois Fighting Illini (3-3)

It is, in fact, probably worse than the record looks for the Illini, which surrendered 46 unanswered points and more than 600 yards in a home loss to Purdue.

13. Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-6)

All that’s keeping the Huskers out of the cellar after the worst start to a season in school history and 10 straight losses overall is … Rutgers.

14. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-6)

There’s clearly no worse team in the Power 5 — and few in the Group of 5, for that matter — than Chris Ash’s group, which is on a near-certain track to a 1-11 finish after two QBs combined against Maryland on 2-of-17 passing for 8 yards with five interceptions.

3. Big 12

Texas is back…to No. 1 in the Big 12, for at least the immediate future. Nothing may better underscore how interesting a season it has been in the Big 12 than the fact that seven weeks into it, it’s the Longhorns who are at the top of the conference. That’s just how unpredictable things have been at times. West Virginia took it on the chin at Iowa State, and suddenly things shift for the Mountaineers.

Kliff Kingsbury’s crew in Lubbock is getting it done. TCU is reeling. And Matt Campbell has found another new quarterback to help deliver his Iowa State team an eye-opening victory.

1. Texas Longhorns (6-1)

After surviving a scare from Baylor, only one team in the Big 12 remains undefeated in conference play and it’s the Longhorns. Who would’ve thought that at the start of the season?

2. Oklahoma Sooners (5-1):

An off week was needed after the Sooners’ Week 6 loss to Texas and subsequent change at defensive coordinator. Next up is a key road game at TCU.

3. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-1)

The Mountaineers’ loss at Iowa State doesn’t knock them out of the chase for the Big 12 title game but severely hinders their playoff hopes — and Will Grier‘s Heisman chances.

4. Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-2)

Don’t look now, but Texas Tech is good … and the Red Raiders are actually playing tough defense. Winning ugly (and shorthanded) at TCU is uncharacteristic, but a sign of this team’s continued growth.

5. Iowa State Cyclones (3-3)

What a win for the Cylcones, taking down the team’s lone remaining undefeated foe. Back-to-back wins over ranked teams have things looking up in Ames after freshman Brock Purdy‘s second straight strong showing and David Montgomery‘s big day.

6. TCU Horned Frogs (3-3)

The Horned Frogs’ home loss to Texas Tech magnified some of their issues: Turnovers continue to haunt this team, and the quarterback play has been less than stellar. Until those two things change, it’ll be tough sledding, especially with Oklahoma up next.

7. Kansas State Wildcats (4-3)

The Wildcats halted a three-game slide with a strong second-half performance against Oklahoma State. They might have found their identity, rushing for more than 290 yards each of the past two weeks.

8. Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-3)

The Cowboys were outclassed in the second half by K-State, and after starting 3-0, they’re now in a tailspin, having lost three of their last four. Next week’s open date is sorely needed.

9. Baylor Bears (4-3)

The Bears put up a fight and were in it until the final seconds in a loss at Texas, but they have to protect quarterback Charlie Brewer better.

10. Kansas Jayhawks (2-4)

The Jayhawks are in the midst of change, even in an off week, after David Beaty dismissed offensive coordinator Doug Meacham. Will it make a difference? Kansas visits Texas Tech to perhaps find out.

4. Pac-12

And like that, there were none.

USC’s convincing 31-20 win against Colorado removed the Buffaloes from the ranks of the unbeaten, leaving the Pac-12 without an unblemished team. Just a few hours earlier, Washington’s College Football Playoff hopes went up in smoke at Autzen Stadium, while Chip Kelly found his first win at UCLA. Embroiled in a public relations disaster after it was revealed that a high-level Pac-12 staff member was influencing a replay decision, it was a weird week for the conference.

1. Oregon Ducks (5-1)

If Mario Cristobal didn’t believe in icing the kicker, the Huskies might still be the conference’s top-ranked team. But he does and they aren’t. Instead, the Ducks have crept up to No. 1 in the wake of one of the program’s biggest wins in years.

2. Washington Huskies (5-2)

The Huskies never quite looked the part of a serious playoff contender, so their loss to Oregon feels more like a blow to their Pac-12 North hopes than anything else. It’s easy to second guess what minor things Washington could have or should have done to change the outcome against Oregon, but let’s just accept that it was a good, entertaining football game.

3. Washington State Cougars (5-1)

Ol’ Crimson is coming home and there is undoubtedly something extra special for Wazzu fans that a Washington loss played a direct role in bringing ESPN’s College GameDay to Pullman for the first time. Saturday will feature the most anticipated WSU game since the Rose Bowl following the 2002 season for two reasons: (1) GameDay in Pullman is a dream the entire fan base has bonded over for 15 years; (2) The Cougars have a real opportunity to assert themselves as the best team in the conference.

4. Utah Utes (4-2)

The Utes have been the most impressive team in the conference over the previous two weeks. Considering where they were offensively after four games, to score 40 in back-to-back games is staggering.

5. USC Trojans (4-2)

If the Trojans finished the season 10-2, which is within the realm of possibility, there would still probably be fans who think Clay Helton is on the hot seat. They can be frustrating to watch, but the Trojans are trending in the right direction with a true freshman quarterback and can take firm control of the Pac-12 South with a win at Utah this week.

6. Colorado Buffaloes (5-1)

The Buffaloes were the conference’s only remaining undefeated team at 5-0, but because those wins came against such light opposition and they weren’t always dominant, it was tough to compare them with the Pac-12’s better teams. The loss to USC wasn’t surprising and it also doesn’t mean the Buffs don’t remain serious Pac-12 South contenders.

7. Stanford Cardinal (4-2)

After back-to-back deflating performances, the bye week was needed. David Shaw’s track record shows the Cardinal shouldn’t be written off, so Stanford will be an interesting team to watch at Arizona State this week.

8. Arizona State Sun Devils (3-3)

If the Sun Devils reach a bowl game, this season will be a success.

9. UCLA Bruins (1-5)

The past two weeks have been really encouraging for the Bruins, who held their own against Washington before pounding Cal on the road.

10. Arizona Wildcats (3-4)

Arizona has been, without question, the most disappointing offense in the country.

11. California Golden Bears (3-3)

It’s not unreasonable to think this week’s trip to Oregon State might be a must-win game to avoid a winless conference season.

12. Oregon State Beavers (1-5)

A public tampering accusation involving two Power 5 programs that have combined for zero wins against FBS teams this year (Oregon State and Nebraska) was a weird midweek storyline.

5. ACC

Here’s how the ACC stands after Week 7:

1. Clemson Tigers (6-0)

Clemson had the week off, which given what happened around the rest of the top 10, was probably exceptional timing on its part.

2. NC State Wolfpack (5-0)

Arguably the biggest game of the year in the ACC happens next week, as Ryan Finley & Co. travel to Death Valley to take on Clemson. They’ve lost the past two games against Clemson by seven points or less. Is this the year NC State finally gets it done?

3. Duke Blue Devils (5-1)

Duke has three fairly impressive road wins now: at Northwestern, Baylor and Georgia Tech. David Cutcliffe has his team playing really well, led by a stifling defense that should keep the Blue Devils in every game.

4. Virginia Tech Hokies (4-2)

So, is Virginia Tech good? The Hokies did beat Duke and Florida State and pulled out a win Saturday over UNC. But they didn’t look good against the woeful Tar Heels and, of course, there’s that loss to ODU.

5. Virginia Cavaliers (4-2)

The best-kept secret in college football might be the Hoos’ defense — particularly the secondary, which held Miami to 15-of-29 passing with three interceptions in a stunning win Saturday.

6. Miami Hurricanes (5-2)

Just when you thought Mark Richt had his QB, N’Kosi Perry looked every bit like a freshman. And the dance continues.

7. Boston College Eagles (5-2)

Another game without AJ Dillon, but this time the Eagles managed their share of offense, with David Bailey and Ben Glines topping 100 yards. Dillon should be back after the open date, which is good because the schedule gets really tough from here.

8. Syracuse Orange (4-2)

Pitt missed two easy field goals against Notre Dame on Saturday. That’s gotta be frustrating for the Orange, who lost to the Panthers a week earlier when Alex Kessman drilled three field goals, including a 55-yarder.

9. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-3)

Perhaps the open date is the chance for Dave Clawson to get his defense in order. Finding some answers for the stretch run is critical if Wake wants to go bowling for the third straight year.

10. Florida State Seminoles (3-3)

The Seminoles might still be horrible, but they’ve done a nice job of allowing the rest of the league to collapse around them.

11. Pittsburgh Panthers (3-4)

Pitt played really well against Notre Dame, but it wasn’t enough to win. Indeed, it’s the 34th one-score loss they’ve endured in the last decade — most in FBS.

12. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-4)

After putting up 63 and 66 points in consecutive weeks, the offense went back into hibernation against Duke. Credit to the Jackets. They’ve lost games this year due to bad offense, defense and special teams. It’s just never the same problem twice.

13. North Carolina Tar Heels (1-4)

The Heels made a change at QB and welcomed Kelly Bryant to campus for the game, one which they easily could’ve won. But alas, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

14. Louisville Cardinals (2-5)

At this point, Louisville fans would rather read about Rick Pitino than endure this mess.

About proncaa

Check Also

No. 11 Washington captures the Pac-12 Championship over No. 17 Utah

No. 11 Washington captures the Pac-12 Championship over No. 17 Utah. The Huskies will now play in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2000.

No. 10 Washington holds on against No. 17 Utah to earn trip to Rose Bowl, PAC-12 crown

UW will head to Pasadena for the first time since 2000

Texas Tech hires Wells after success at alma mater Utah St

Texas Tech hires Wells after success at alma mater Utah St

No. 10 Washington beats No. 17 Utah 10-3 for Pac-12 title

No. 10 Washington beats No. 17 Utah 10-3 for Pac-12 title

Byron Murphy’s second interception of the game seals Pac-12 Championship for Washington

Byron Murphy's second interception of the game seals a 10-3 win for Washington over Utah in the Pac 12 Championship.