Halloween weekend is a good time to take a break from college football, or at least it seems that way given the fact that nine of the 25 teams in the AP Poll are not playing a game this week. In fact, don’t expect much movement for the poll next week given that four of the top five ranked teams in the country won’t take the field.
However, the story of the poll this week is that LSU is now the top team in the country following its 23-20 win over then-No.-9 Auburn. It marked LSU’s third win over a top 10 team this season, and the reward is the top ranking in the AP Poll for the first time since 2011.
Alabama drops to No. 2 even with its massive win over Arkansas, mostly due to the uncertainty around star QB Tua Tagovailoa’s status for the rest of the season.
LSU plays at Alabama next week. This week it’s all about Georgia vs. Florida and SMU vs. Memphis for games that feature ranked teams facing off.
CFB Top 25 Week 10 odds
Thursday, Oct. 31
West Virginia at No. 12 Baylor
Opening spread: Baylor -17.5
Anyone interested in a Halloween night game in Waco for the Bears to continue their march up the polls? Baylor is undefeated and while the computers don’t give the Bears much of a chance to run the table, undefeated is undefeated. If Baylor keeps winning it will have a case to make for the playoffs.
West Virginia is only 1-3 in Big 12 play and has lost three straight games, including a 52-14 drubbing on the road at Oklahoma two weeks ago.
Georgia Southern at No. 20 Appalachian State
Opening spread: App State -18.5
Appalachian State now owns the only two victories for a ranked Sun Belt Conference team in history after beating ULM and Southern Alabama over the last two weeks. The Mountaineers are led by one of the best rushing attacks in college football and will look for revenge after losing to Georgia Southern last year. That loss happened after ASU was ranked for the first time as an FBS member. Following the 30-3 whipping of South Alabama, App State is still alive for the top bowl selection for a Group of 5 team.
Saturday, Nov. 2
Wofford at No. 4 Clemson
Opening spread: No line
Clemson has been blowing the doors off anyone that has been unfortunate enough to face the Tigers over the past three weeks after the near-upset loss at UNC. Clemson beat Boston College 59-7 last week after winning 45-10 and 45-14 in the previous two games. Wofford might be 5-2 but Clemson is 33-0 against teams from the FCS. This game is basically a scrimmage for the Tigers.
No. 8 Georgia vs. No. 6 Florida
Opening spread: Georgia -3.5
This is the game of the weekend and a chance for both of these teams to grab headlines with so many of the top teams off. Georgia has dominated this series over the last five years with an average margin of victory of more than 20 points per contest. The Bulldogs and Gators both have their sights on the SEC Championship and a win in this one will go a long way to making that a reality. This is the second straight year that both teams are ranked in the top 10 for this neutral field game in Jacksonville.
No. 7 Oregon at USC
Opening spread: Oregon -4.5
Since losing the opener to Auburn, the Ducks are one of the hottest teams in the country, running off seven straight victories. Last week, Oregon survived a hard game against a high scoring Washington State club and now must go on the road to face a Trojan team that just recorded a huge road win at Colorado. This could very easily be a preview of the Pac-12 title game as both teams lead their respective divisions with four games to go.
No. 9 Utah at Washington
Opening spread: Utah -2
Don’t look now, but there are two Pac-12 teams with one loss that are right in the thick of things for a playoff berth. Utah’s only defeat came on the road at USC when they were not at 100%. There is a good chance that if Utah wins out it will face Oregon for the Pac-12 title. The winner of that game could very easily find itself in the playoffs. However, Washington is not going to be a layup for the Utes; the Huskies are 5-3 and just gave Oregon all they could handle in their last game.
Ole Miss at No. 11 Auburn
Opening spread: Auburn -18.5
The voters showed respect again to Auburn following another close loss on the road to a top 10 team. Auburn didn’t fall far in the polls after it lost to Florida. And now after the loss to LSU, the voters only moved the Tigers down two spots to No. 11. This is a get right game for Auburn as Ole Miss has really struggled this year. The Rebels are 2-3 in the SEC and have lost four of five.
No. 14 Michigan at Maryland
Opening spread: Michigan -17.5
Michigan fans were happy for at least one Saturday after the Wolverines thoroughly beat Notre Dame at home in the rain last week. Michigan still has a lot to play for as they still have a chance to play in a big bowl game. For Maryland, the doors have come completely off have now lost five of six following a 52-10 destruction at Minnesota. With Ohio State up next on the road, things aren’t going to get better for the Terps any time soon.
No. 15 SMU at No. 24 Memphis
Opening spread: Memphis -3.5
SMU is one of the last remaining undefeated teams left in the country and the Mustangs are still very much alive for a New Year’s Six Bowl Game. This is the best season for the Mustangs since 1985, the year before they got the death penalty from the NCAA. At 4-0 in conference, this matchup with 3-1 Memphis is one of the biggest games of the year in the AAC. The Tigers were lucky to escape Tulsa last week with a 42-41 victory after the Golden Hurricane missed a game-winning field goal as time expired.
Virginia Tech at No. 16 Notre Dame
Opening spread: Notre Dame -17
After getting blown out at Michigan, you have to wonder how the Irish will respond to being knocked out of the playoff conversation as they return home to face Virginia Tech. The Hokies are hot and have won three straight games including a crazy six-overtime, 43-41 win over North Carolina last week. Va Tech is 2-2 in the ACC and still hopes to make the ACC title game. This is a non-conference contest but the Hokies would love to keep the winning streak going at Notre Dame.
No. 17 Cincinnati at East Carolina
Opening spread: Cincinnati -23
One of the best teams in the AAC continues to be the Bearcats who are now 6-1 on the season. Cincy was off last week and now travels to East Carolina to face a team that has yet to win a game in conference play. ECU has lost three straight games (Temple, Central Florida and USF) and now has to find a way to score against a Bearcat defense that is giving up just over 20 points per game. UC has gotten better and better since losing to Ohio State in Week 2.
No. 21 Boise State at San Jose State
Opening spread: Boise State -17
Last week, Boise State went on the road at BYU and got handed its first loss of the season. Playing at Provo is no picnic but the voters did drop the Broncos outside the top 20 after the 28-25 loss. Now, Boise gets back to playing Mountain West opponents and San Jose State has not been great this season. The Spartans are only 1-3 in conference play but they are coming off a 34-29 victory over Army last week.
No. 22 Kansas State at Kansas
Opening spread: Kansas State -6.5
The Wildcats scored one of the biggest victories of season last week by beating No. 5 Oklahoma, 48-41. This is a potential letdown spot for Kansas State after the monster win but the Wildcats are heading on the road to take on in-state rival Kansas, which snapped its four-game losing streak last week by beating Texas Tech. It’s hard to overlook your in-state rival and that might be bad news for the Jayhawks.
NC State at No. 23 Wake Forest
Opening spread: No line
One of the most surprising records in the ACC this year is Wake Forest’s 6-1 start. The only team to beat the Demon Deacons this season is Louisville and that was a 62-59 final. Wake Forest can score. WF is currently ranked fourth in the country in yards per game with over 523 per and the Deacons are averaging 37.1 points per game, good for 18th in the country. North Carolina State was off last week but needed it after giving up 45 points in a loss to Boston College the week prior.