Tomorrow’s Top 25 Today: Georgia, Washington State set to make big gains

 In Sports

It’s time to start talking about the debate for No. 1 again. 


Alabama Crimson Tide
ceded a few No. 1 votes to
Clemson Tigers
when the Tigers jumped
Oklahoma Sooners
for No. 2 following the win at
Louisville Cardinals
. Then, the Tide pounded
Vanderbilt Commodores
by 59 while Clemson was caught in a tough battle with
Boston College Eagles
, and the rowdy masses were back in Alabama’s corner. 

By beating
Virginia Tech Hokies
on the road on Saturday night, Clemson notched its third top-15 win of the season. Those three top-15 wins — with two of them coming on the road — anchor the most impressive profile in college football through five weeks of play. Alabama will probably retain the No. 1 spot in Sunday’s new AP Top 25 poll, but expect Clemson to have more No. 1 votes than it has this season as it closes the gap following its dominant win on Saturday night. 

Here’s how we expect the rest of the AP Top 25 to look on Sunday:  

1. Alabama (Previous — 1): The Crimson Tide are currently rolling Ole Miss at home, up big in the third quarter. 

2. Clemson (2): I don’t know if we’re on a collision course to see Clemson and Alabama in the title game quite yet, but it sure does look like the Tigers are primed for another playoff appearance. No one in the ACC has looked as consistently strong as the defending champs, and Saturday night’s win in Blacksburg will only look better as Virginia Tech moves forward in conference play. 

3. Oklahoma (3): The Sooners were off in Week 5. They return to action next Saturday at home against
Iowa State Cyclones

4.
Penn State Nittany Lions
(4)
: Four
Indiana Hoosiers
turnovers kept the Hoosiers from ever sniffing a shot at the upset in Happy Valley. Saturday’s 45-14 win had everything you want to see from Penn State as we approach the teeth of its schedule — at
Northwestern Wildcats
, vs.
Michigan Wolverines
, at
Ohio State Buckeyes
in the next three weeks — including a Saquon Barkley touchdown pass.

5.
Georgia Bulldogs
(7)
: When the team is moving the ball at a clip of more than five yards per carry on the ground, the pressure is lightened on the quarterback.
Jake Fromm
didn’t have a great showing in Georgia’s 41-0 shutout win at Tennessee, but it wasn’t bad.
Jacob Eason
got his first work in garbage time since being injured early in the season opener, and now the quarterback will become a popular topic of debate for Georgia fans. It’s a good problem to have, since both quarterbacks seem capable and the defense and running game are strong enough for Georgia to win the SEC East with either player under center. 

6.
Washington Huskies
(6):
In the last two weeks,
Myles Gaskin
has returned to being a focal point of the Huskies’ offensive attack. The junior running back had 24 carries for 153 yards in the first three games. He’s now had 42 carries for 315 yards in the last two. It’s an encouraging sight to see the 1,300-yard rusher from the last two years regain form as Washington hits conference play. 

7. Michigan (8): The Wolverines were off in Week 5 and will be back in action on Saturday at home against
Michigan State Spartans

8.
TCU Horned Frogs
(9)
: No game this week for the Frogs, who host
West Virginia Mountaineers
next Saturday in a top-25 battle.

9.
Wisconsin Badgers
(10)
: With no Penn State or Ohio State on the regular season schedule, Wisconsin is in a favorable spot to win the Big Ten West again, only this time entering the conference title game with a shot at the College Football Playoff. There were some bad turnovers that allowed Northwestern to hang around, but Wisconsin’s defense showed why its one of the best in the conference in the 33-24 win. 

10.
Washington State Cougars
(16)
: I don’t know if Washington State is set to make a run at Washington, but picking up the win against
Southern California Trojans
increases the chances that the Apple Cup will be a game with the Pac-12 North on the line. The key to Friday night’s statement win against USC was the Cougars’ defense and its improvement over the last three seasons. 

11. Ohio State (11):
Dwayne Haskins
and
Joe Burrow
were able to get some work in at quarterback thanks to a dominant win at
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
. Three straight blowout wins have Ohio State feeling better about its offense, and looking ahead (
Maryland Terrapins
,
Nebraska Cornhuskers
), there doesn’t seem to much in the way of resistance prior to the date with Penn State at the end of October.  

12.
Auburn Tigers
(13)
: Pounding
Mississippi State Bulldogs
is a great way to show that last week’s offensive spark against
Missouri Tigers
was no fluke. With a fully healthy backfield, Auburn did a good job keeping the defense off-balance and appears to have the kinks worked out with
Kerryon Johnson
back in the lineup. 

13. Miami (14): There was never much of an opportunity for
Duke Blue Devils
to feed off of the home crowd on Friday night. Miami jumped out to an early lead and didn’t allow a touchdown all night in a 31-6 runaway win to start its pursuit of an ACC Coastal Division title.
Malik Rosier
was sharp early and
Ahmmon Richards
looked great in his return from injury as the Hurricanes suddenly enter FSU week looking like the better team in the rivalry. 

14.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
(15
): The competing styles in the rivalry with
Texas Tech Red Raiders
are going to make every contest a battle, so no major adjustments after a close win. It’s always a wild game and the better team ended up winning behind the superior quarterback.

15. USC (5): If there was a spot where USC might slip up during this 12-week grind from the season opener to its off week on Nov. 25, a Friday night in Pullman seems about right. The key is not letting the team’s current struggles — part execution, part depth and injury issues — cost the Trojans another conference win. USC can still win the Pac-12 and reach the College Football Playoff by running the table, but how much of what we’ve seen from USC this year suggests they are set to navigate the rest of the schedule with no losses? 

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