These Vegas-Style Rankings are based on who Brian would make favored over whom on a neutral field.
1-Georgia: UGA has outscored its opponents — which include Clemson, Auburn and Arkansas — by a combined score of 239-33. The Bulldogs are also 5-1 against the spread.
2-Alabama: Stunning loss to a Texas A&M team that was struggling mightily. The defense had better tighten up for this week’s trip to Starkville, where Mike Leach and Will Rogers have had two weeks to prepare for the Crimson Tide (after winning outright in College Station).
3-Ohio St.: Things didn’t look good several weeks ago, but Ryan Day’s team has covered the spread in three consecutive games. The Buckeyes have scored 66, 52 and 59 points in those contests, but the schedule is about to get much tougher when they come out of the open date.
4-Oklahoma: OU has found a way to win five one-possession games. Will Lincoln Riley hand over the keys to the offense to true freshman Caleb Williams after he replaced Spencer Rattler and sparked an insane comeback win vs. Texas?
5-Iowa: I was extremely concerned about Iowa’s ability to cope with a double-digit deficit. Well, the Hawkeyes passed that test last week at home vs. Penn St. And hey, that punter Tory Taylor is a weapon.
6-Cincinnati: Week 6 went well for the Bearcats, who smashed Temple 52-3 on national television Friday night. Perhaps equally as important, they saw Notre Dame rally to win a nail-biter at Va. Tech. UC fans are enormous supporters of the Fighting Irish and Indiana the rest of the way, and the Hoosiers host unbeaten Sparty and Ohio St. in the next two weeks.
7-Florida: Don’t agree with this spot for the two-loss Gators? Then answer me this: Who are you taking against UF with the line as a pick ’em this Saturday in Topeka, Kansas?
8-Michigan: Jim Harbaugh’s squad goes into the open date undefeated with a 5-1 spread record. The Wolverines host Northwestern on Oct. 23 before going to East Lansing to face Kenneth Walker and the Spartans.
9-Penn St.: James Franklin hasn’t updated Sean Clifford’s injury yet, but that might happen during his media availability on Tuesday. After what we saw from Ta’Quan Roberson this past Saturday, I’m not sure this is a Top-20 team without Clifford. But if he doesn’t get hurt, PSU is probably still undefeated and up at No. 5.
10-Kentucky: If we get the Will Levis we saw against ULM, Missouri and LSU, the ‘Cats are going to be tough for anybody to beat. However, they’ll be without both starting defensive tackles against UGA’s ground attack in Athens on Saturday. Also, UK’s second-best WR Josh Ali is listed as ‘doubtful.’
11-Oregon: With the way this season is going, the Ducks will certainly be in the CFP convo if they can win out. A trip to UCLA looms after this Friday’s home game vs. California.
12-Ole Miss: Everybody in the SEC West now has a loss. Saturday’s trip to Neyland Stadium is a much more interesting matchup after the Vols blasted Missouri and South Carolina in consecutive weeks.
13-Michigan St.: Walker leads the nation in rushing yards (913) and has nine rushing TDs and a 7.1 yards-per-carry average. After Saturday’s game at IU, Mel Tucker’s team gets two weeks to prepare for the maize and blue.
14-Notre Dame: This isn’t Brian Kelly’s best team by any means, but the Fighting Irish keep finding ways to win. They get USC, UNC and Navy at home after the open date.
15-Arkansas: The Razorbacks are favored at home vs. Auburn on Saturday. It’s their first ‘chalk’ role against an SEC foe since being favored at South Carolina in October of 2017.
16-Arizona St.: The Sun Devils have won three in a row both SU and ATS since the loss at BYU. They have five wins by double-digit margins this year.
17-Texas A&M: The Aggies scored 10 points against both Colorado and Arkansas. They scored 22 points at home vs. Mississippi St. So naturally, they put 41 up on ‘Bama. Letdown spot at Missouri? Sure, but give it to Isaiah Spiller 25 times against that run defense and it’ll be all good.
18-Oklahoma St.: We’re about to find out what Mike Gundy’s team is all about in back-to-back road assignments at Texas and at Iowa St.
19-Pittsburgh: The win at Tennessee is aging well, but the loss to Western Michigan isn’t after the Broncos lost at home to Ball St. by a 45-20 count. QB Kenny Pickett has completed 72.0 percent of his passes for 1,731 yards with a 19/1 TD-INT ratio. He also has 142 rushing yards and two TDs.
20-Clemson: Did Dabo get the offense fixed on the open date? The Tigers are at the Carrier Dome on Friday and at Pitt in Week 8.
32-San Diego St.
Best of the Rest: Air Force, Minnesota, UNC, Houston, Louisville, Oregon St., Army, Texas Tech, Rutgers and Syracuse.