College Football Rankings 2017: Overview of Week 7 Standings for NCAA’s Top 25
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Friday the 13th didn’t just bring a scare to top-10 programs in Week 7. Two unbeaten schools fell hard to unranked opponents in a pair of stunning victories.
Clemson lost the game, and they lost quarterback Kelly Bryant for a half due to a concussion. Idle Penn State will likely move into the No. 2 slot, but we’ll wait to see how far the Tigers fall in the polls.
California crushed No. 8 Washington State 37-3 and forced seven turnovers in the process to complete a Friday doubleheader upset special.
As for Saturday’s matchups, there’s a common thread in a few contests that point to redemption in a variety of ways.
This isn’t the first time TCU quarterback Kenny Hill started a season 5-0, but he hopes to finish the 2017 campaign better than his last quick start.
LSU’s victory over Florida redeemed its loss to Troy, but Auburn will go to Tigers Stadium with a 17-year streak to snap on Saturday.
Oklahoma tumbled in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, and they face a formidable opponent in Texas. How will quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Sooners respond to an unexpected loss with a rivalry game ahead?
Associated Press Top 25
1. Alabama (6-0)
2. Clemson (6-1)
3. Penn State (6-0)
4. Georgia (6-0)
5. Washington (6-0)
6. TCU (5-0)
7. Wisconsin (5-0)
8. Washington State (6-1)
9. Ohio State (5-1)
10. Auburn (5-1)
11. Miami (4-0)
12. Oklahoma (4-1)
13. USC (5-1)
14. Oklahoma State (4-1)
15. Virginia Tech (5-1)
16. Notre Dame (5-1)
17. Michigan (4-1)
18. South Florida (5-0)
19. San Diego State (6-0)
20. North Carolina State (5-1)
21. Michigan State (4-1)
22. UCF (4-0)
23. Stanford (4-2)
24. Texas Tech (4-1)
25. Navy (5-0)
Syracuse Upsets No. 2 Clemson
Clemson fell from the ranks of unbeaten teams with a poor performance against Syracuse, logging season-lows across the board, per ESPN Stats & Info:
Clemson posted a season worst on Friday in:
– Points allowed
– Yards allowed
– 3rd down conversion pct
– Time of possession
Bryant came into the game hobbled with an ankle injury, which neutralized his mobility as the game progressed through the first half. Syracuse defensive end Chris Slayton whipped the Tigers signal-caller into the ground with a legal tackle late in the second quarter.
Redshirt freshman Zerrick Cooper finished the game but couldn’t propel his team to victory. Syracuse snapped Clemson’s 11-game win streak and deservedly took the spotlight on Friday night.
The Tigers will have approximately two weeks to replay this huge loss in their minds before moving on to play Georgia Tech on October 28. Keep in mind, Clemson lost 43-42 to Pittsburgh last November and still made it to the College Football Playoff.
California Upsets No. 8 Washington State
As college football fans digested Clemson’s loss to Syracuse, California’s defense came prepared to challenge Washington State’s offense that averaged nearly 40 points per game through six contests.
The Cougars committed two penalties that took early points off the board. A few unlucky bounces contributed to quarterback Luke Falk’s five interceptions. Nonetheless, the Bears took advantage of their opportunities en route to an impressive victory.
California registered nine sacks and established its dominance at the line of scrimmage. Washington State’s early deficit took running backs Jamal Morrow and James Williams out of the game; the duo combined for 70 yards on 13 carries.
When compared to Clemson, the Cougars will take a bigger fall in the polls due to the margin of loss. Secondly, injuries didn’t affect the outcome. Head coach Mike Leach’s group will host Colorado in the next outing.
No. 6 TCU Garners Respect in Big 12
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The quarterbacks for Oklahoma and Oklahoma State brought national attention to both Big 12 programs, but it’s Hill leading his school to the top spot in the conference. The Horned Frogs beat the Cowboys 44-31—a victory that put the rest of the country on notice.
Hill running back Darius Anderson, who registered 160 rushing yards and three touchdowns against Oklahoma State, give this program an offense that’s hard to handle on the ground and through the air. Though, the signal-caller also brings experience, with success dating back to his days with Texas Tech.
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The Horned Frogs senior quarterback won five consecutive games to start the 2014 season with the Red Raiders. Then, the bottom fell out with three consecutive losses to SEC programs and a second suspension. Three years later, he hopes to apply past lessons for a better outcome to the present season, per ESPN.com’s Chris Low.
“I didn’t handle success the right way the last time,” Hill said of his first stab as a starting quarterback at Texas A&M. “We’re 5-0 right now. We also started that year off 5-0 at A&M. I’ve been at this point and seen where it could go, and really, where we’re trying to keep it from going.”
After two impressive wins, TCU plays a conference game against Kansas State. Despite the early success and growing interest in the program, Hill’s history could help his teammates keep a tight focus on proving themselves each and every week.
No. 10 Auburn vs. Rejuvenated LSU Program
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LSU suffered a 37-7 blowout loss to Mississippi State. Troy embarrassed the program at Death Valley on September 30 and gloated on Twitter:
The program hit an early low point under head coach Ed Orgeron who’s 14 games into his tenure with the school. Nonetheless, the coaches held a meeting separate from a players-only gathering to air out some issues.
Consequently, the Tigers knocked off then-ranked No. 16 Florida. The come-together moment could turn the season around before it capsizes.
Auburn comes into Death Valley having lost eight consecutive games at Tigers Stadium between 2001 and the present. As a top-10 program going against another SEC opponent on the ropes a few weeks ago, head coach Gus Malzahn can’t allow his group to overlook a school that may have found a spark through in-house communication.
No. 12 Oklahoma Looks to Rebound Off Shocking Loss to Iowa State
Oklahoma defeated Ohio State on September 9, which validated its spot within the top-ranked schools across the nation. However, the program started October with a shocking loss to unranked Iowa State.
The Hawkeyes gave the Sooners a taste of their own medicine and planted the school’s flag at midfield after their victory.
As if the Red River Rivalry didn’t add enough spice, Oklahoma will attempt to shake off a terrible defeat. The Longhorns took an ugly loss to Maryland in the regular-season opener but battled USC into double overtime, then won their two previous contests.
Whether it’s Shane Buechele or Sam Ehlinger under center, expect the Longhorns to establish the ground attack in order to keep pace with the Sooners’ productive passing offense. We could see a high-scoring affair in the Red River Showdown on Saturday.