1. Alabama (4-0). The Tide shutout previously unbeaten Ole Miss on Saturday, 25-0. This was by far their best defensive game all year. This week they play winless Georgia State at home, part of an October that should be pretty easy (the toughest game is against Arkansas).
2. Oregon (4-0). The Ducks, coming off a 55-16 win over Cal, are 1st in rushing yards per game, 2nd in points scored per game, and have allowed the 4th least points per game. They play unheralded Colorado on Saturday before a trip to #15 Washington next week.
3. Ohio State (5-0). The Buckeyes had their first big test on Saturday, and they aced it with a 31-24 victory over Wisconsin. Their next test will come quickly, this Saturday at #16 Northwestern.
4. Clemson (4-0). Clemson proved they belong in the top 5 on Saturday, winning an ACC conference game against Wake Forest, 56-7. This week, the Tigers face a potential trap game as they go on the road to the Carrier Dome to play Syracuse, in what will be the first ACC game for the Orange. It will surely be a tough environment, and will give the Tigers another chance to prove their worth among the elite.
5. Georgia (3-1). The Bulldogs won a classic contest Saturday against LSU in a back-and-forth 44-41 game, and therefore move from 8th to 5th in my rankings. The Bulldogs should get back into national title consideration as Clemson, the team who gave them their one loss, improves, and as they sweep through what should be an easy October leading up to the Florida game on November 2.
6. Texas A&M (4-1). The Aggies only drop a spot because of Georgia’s big win; A&M didn’t do anything wrong. The Aggies beat Arkansas, 45-33, to improve to 4-1 before a bye week this week leading into a big road test at Ole Miss, in what will be the biggest game in Oxford in years.
7. Stanford (4-0). Following a 55-17 beatdown of Washington State, Stanford drops one spot due to Georgia’s jump. The Cardinal will host #15 Washington on Saturday in their biggest test yet, although they will likely still be heavily favored at home.
8. Louisville (4-0). The Cardinals had a bye this week, leading into their game against winless Temple on Saturday. Games the following two weeks against Rutgers and Central Florida will decide the American Athletic Conference title and its BCS berth.
9. Florida State (4-0). The Seminoles come off a 48-34 win against Boston College to play a surprising Maryland team on Saturday who has their first regular season ranking since 2008. One undefeated will fall in this game. After the Maryland game and a bye, the ‘Noles will travel to Clemson for a huge game against the Tigers.
10. LSU (4-1). The Tigers drop a spot after their first loss, a 44-41 nail-biter at Georgia. QB Zach Mettenberger, even after the loss, continues to get good reviews from the first five games, even being called an elite NFL prospect. The Tigers go to Starkville to play Mississippi State before big games at home against Florida and at Ole Miss the next two weeks.
Also considered: Oklahoma (4-0).