Wild Weekend Shuffles College Football Rankings

The BCS may be gone, but the importance of October upsets remains. With 11 ranked teams falling in Week 6, including powerhouses #2 Oregon, #3 Alabama, #4 Oklahoma, #6 Texas A&M, and #8 UCLA, the ranking saw a major shakeup.

Ole Miss has become a bit of an afterthought in the SEC. That is, until Senior QB Bo Wallace and the Rebels’ squad exploded to a (5-0) start including a dramatic win over #3 Alabama that came down to the wire. Wallace is on pace to have his best season yet and shows no sign of slowing down. Ole Miss now sits tied for 3rd in the AP Poll.

The team they are tied for 3rd with is their bitter in state rival Mississippi State. Also considered a younger brother of the SEC for much of their conference existence, Mississippi State is a team that relies heavily on team defense and their incredibly physical offensive approach. Off to the best start since taking over the team in 2009, Dan Mullen is a major candidate for coach of the year.

Though these teams are near the top of the rankings, their brutal schedule may see them fall off in the latter half of the season. If they do manage to survive unbeaten, they would meet in the final week of the regular season to determine the SEC West.

The drama does not solely belong to the SEC. Oregon’s loss to Arizona catapulted the (5-0) Wildcats from unranked to 10th in the AP Poll. With one of the most dominant running and passing attacks this season, Arizona finds themselves with few threats remaining to their flawless record.

TCU is relatively new to the Big 12, but made monumental waves in an upset over Oklahoma. Gary Patterson’s opportunistic defense picked off Sooner QB Trevor Knight twice and made him look silly throughout much of the game. TCU’s strong secondary, combined with their underrated offense puts this team in a position to potentially bust open the doors to the final four.
Though new faces emerge, an old favorite reappears as a possible candidate for college football’s inaugural playoff. Michigan State has rebounded quite well from the thumping they took at the hands of Oregon. They dominated Nebraska for much of Saturday night’s game and look poised to take home the Big 10 and run the table while doing so.

Notre Dame is another hopeful for the playoff but faces current #1 Florida State next week. A win would put the Irish in a great position to waltz into the final four unbeaten. Heisman hopeful Everett Golson’s smart play leads the Irish after he spent the 2013 season on the bench due to suspension.

With all the power conferences still well up in the air and the ambiguity as to how college football’s final four will be selected, it’s anyone’s guess who will be playing for it all at AT&T Stadium come January 12th.