OK it’s time to take an early look at all the undefeated teams left in college football. There are still a lot of them but I think by the time the games are done on Halloween we will be in the single digits. Let’s begin:
#1 Ohio State (5-0) – Yes they are #1. Yes they have the best talent in the land. But no, they are not playing like a #1 team. Florida State didn’t play like a #1 team last year and they eventually dropped in the rankings despite not losing a game in the regular season. If this continues, the Buckeyes may meet the same fate. Predicted record: 12-0.
#2 TCU (5-0) – I remember a time when Gary Patterson made his name on the absolutely insane defenses TCU had. I guess once they joined the Big XII they looked around, figured they need to fit in, and traded a lot of their defensive prowess for offensive acumen. Still pretty good defensively but, again, it’s the Big XII. I think their loss will be a bit of a shocking one to Oklahoma late in the season. Predicted record: 11-1.
#3 Baylor (4-0) – I like playing Madden. Well I used to like playing Madden (and NCAA) in the past. Not so much now. I guess I am old school and the game has got too real for me. The action part of the game. All the other options are fantastic. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, I am sure Art Briles actually plays Madden on the sideline to figure out the next set of plays. I have a feeling their only loss will come with their date with the Horned Frogs on Black Friday. Predicted record: 11-1.
#4 Michigan State (5-0) – Unfortunately they are in the same division as Ohio State. If not, it would be an absolutely epic showdown for the Big Ten Championship. For now, we have the Nov. 21 showdown which I have Ohio State winning and bumping Sparty to the New Year’s Six again. Predicted record: 11-1.
#5 Utah (4-0) – I will be honest. I had this team going 6-6 this year. They are so much better than I (or most others) thought. Saying that, they have to go through the Pac-12 South minefield and there is no way they survive that and I think once they lose once they will fall pretty far. Predicted record: 8-4.
#6 Clemson (4-0) – Here is a team I thought were the real deal. They didn’t make things easy in the fourth quarter against the Irish but they pulled through. I have a feeling they will do this at least once more but come out unscathed heading to the ACC Championship. Predicted record: 12-0.
#7 LSU (4-0) – Why do the Tigers almost always seem like the second-best team (at best) in the SEC? Even when they were winning the conference they never felt like the best team. Leonard Fournette has changed that entire perception. As long as he doesn’t get injured, the Tigers will be a very tough out. Saying all that, they have games at Bama and at Ole Miss. I think they lose one of them. Predicted record: 11-1.
#9 Texas A&M (5-0) – The Aggies have done very well so far. They also play in the SEC West. No way they run the table. To be honest, I have them losing three games in conference play. Sorry Kevin. Predicted record: 9-3.
#10 Oklahoma (4-0) – It has been a shaky run to this point for the Sooners. Maybe they have their shit together as was seen in their pretty dominating victory over West Virginia. Saying that, they have TCU and Baylor coming up later in the season. Also, Oklahoma State who is sneaky good. So yeah, two losses for them. Predicted record: 10-2.
#11 Florida (5-0) – Now here’s a bit of a surprise. Don’t get me wrong, I knew Jim Bob McElwain would steer the ship in the right direction but this team looks damn good even with flu-ridden sicky Will Grier at QB. At some point the dream will end but this has to be good news for Gators fans for the future. Predicted record: 9-3.
#12 Florida State (4-0) – They’re doing it again. Looking OK but not dominant. Against a schedule where they probably should look better. This year they don’t have the #1 ranking hanging over their heads. Unfortunately for them, it won’t matter since they may not make it into the top 10. Games against Georgia Tech and Clemson will kill any NYS chances. Predicted record: 10-2.
#13 Northwestern (5-0) – Ok this is an even bigger shocker than Utah. The Cats are a whole lot better than advertised and this start has saved Pat Fitzgerald’s job for the near future. Do they win the Big Ten West? Originally I had them going 4-4 in the conference which would have put them two games back. I think they will come up a bit short but still have a great year. Predicted record: 9-3.
#21 Oklahoma State (5-0) – A bit of a surprise but they also haven’t got into the meat of their schedule yet. They will have a rough time with the bigger boys in the conference but Mike Gundy always has the Pokes geared up for an upset or two. Predicted record: 9-3.
#22 Iowa (5-0) – Not a total surprise and they have definitely kept things close in a couple of games. They may have been surpassed by Northwestern as the new Big Ten West King of the Mountain for now but I see a possibility for them to win the division, with only two conference losses. Predicted record: 10-2.
#23 California (5-0) – Yes we all knew Cal would be better than last year but I don’t know many who would have predicted this. Their schedule hasn’t been too difficult but you have to get them credit for going almost half-a-season unscathed. Their first true test comes this Saturday in Salt Lake City against the Utes. I see them starting their slide during this game. Predicted record: 7-5.
#24 Toledo (4-0) – We finally see a MAC team (and a Group of Five) team on this list. It is very difficult for any Group of Five team to finish undefeated considering their non-conference schedule is usually a step up from what they see inside their conference. Toledo has navigated their non-con very well and I honestly only seeing them tripping up once the rest of the way. Whether this is good enough for the Group of Five NYS spot I don’t know. Predicted record: 11-1.
Houston (4-0) – Now we start getting the deluge of Group of Five teams. The American conference has quickly become one of the most fun conferences to watch (you know, other than the Big XII Arena Football Conference). There are at least four teams that could be considered contenders to win the conference crown. The issue may be the conference cannibalizing itself and having a champion with 2 or 3 losses. This Cougs team may be their best bet for the NYS spot since I only see them losing once the rest of the way. Predicted record: 11-1.
Temple (4-0) – I knew they would be good! I knew they would beat Penn State. OK there were a few others that said that as well but I have to give myself a pat on the back since very few expected Temple to be good because they’re, well, Temple. I see them losing a couple of times the rest of the day but should still win the AAC East. Predicted record: 10-2.
Memphis (5-0) – Yet another AAC contender. They have an NFL-ready quarterback and one of the best Group of Five coaches out there. Until they move out of the Liberty Bowl though, they will still feel a little small-time for me. I don’t see them keeping up with Houston all season. Predicted record: 9-3.
Navy (4-0) – Man we can’t get rid of this conference. Yes. Another American contender. I still believe it would be great if they won the AAC title as an undefeated them then lost to Army. Just to cause chaos. That won’t happen since I am sure they will lose at least one game down the stretch. Predicted record: 9-3.
That’s it, that’s all. There are still 20 undefeated teams amazingly enough. But now with conference play started that number should start dwindling in a hurry. I believe we will be down to 9 perfect teams at the most by the end of the games on Halloween. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was as low as 5 by that point.
Tomorrow I will post the college football TV schedule and I pray everything is set by then. NFL sked comes out here on Friday. Have a great Hump Day.