1. Alabama (9-0, previously #1)
LSU gave the Tide all they could handle — at least for the first three quarters. Alabama’s defense was steady and dominant despite the close score. And the Jaylen Hurts does not look like a true freshman.
2. Clemson (9-0, previously #2)
Clemson probably won’t be tested much until the ACC Championship Game — and who knows how much of a test they will encounter there. Opponents can only hope that quarterback DeShaun Watson’s bruised shoulder bothers him to the point that he makes mistakes and doesn’t play like his normal “Heisman-candidate” self.
3. Louisville (8-1, previously #3)
Can we save everyone the time, the effort, and the trip to NYC? Let’s get that Heisman in Lamar Jackson’s hands please.
4. Michigan (9-0, previously #4)
Maybe the Wolverines would look sluggish, worn out, fatigued against Maryland after the emotional game versus rival Michigan State the week earlier — not so much.
5. Washington (9-0, previously #5)
When are we all whole-heartedly going to buy into Washington being a top team? They routinely destroy their weaker opponents and find ways to win the tough ones. They’re a lot like every other team in the top 5 — aside from Alabama; but they don’t seem to get the respect they deserve. I said it last week, Jake Browning is a legitimate Heisman contender.
6. Ohio State (8-1, previously #6)
One week the Buckeyes look like they have some worrisome flaws, the next they are dismantling a top-10 team. Get to the Saturday after Thanksgiving and we will all know what kind of team Urban Meyer has.
7. Wisconsin (7-2, previously #7)
The Badgers are taking huge advantage of how highly the Big Ten is ranked this year. Yes, 2 losses, but no one is going to blame Wisconsin very much for losing to two of the nation’s best.
8. Auburn (7-2, previously not ranked)
Going back to week one of the season, the Tigers were a game opponent for Clemson. Since that loss, they’ve been in every game and played very well against some very good competition. Now Auburn controls it’s own destiny — with the Iron Bowl looming large in a few weeks.
9. Texas A&M (7-2, previously #8)
Sadly, for Aggie fans, A&M did what we have all come to expect A&M to do over the years — play very well early in the season, lose a tough one to Alabama, then fail to show up in a game or two later in the season that they should clearly win.
10. LSU (5-3, previously not ranked)
A disappointing year has gained steam since the dismissal of longtime head coach Les Miles early in the season. LSU played very tough against top-ranked Alabama on Saturday night; and the Bayou Bengals have an edge about them that would make them a dangerous foe for any team in the country. But the offense has to be able to help out the defense.
Feedback is always welcome through the website in the comments box or on my Twitter feed — @brian22goodwin.