Wisconsin v Michigan
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Big Ten rivals rise in our college football poll this week, which also features a pair of AAC undefeated teams in the Top 15.

(All Times ET.)

1. Alabama (7-0)

  • Last Week: W 39-10 vs. Missouri
  • Top Performer: DB Saivion Smith (4 tackles, 2 INT)
  • This Week: Saturday @ Tennessee (3:30 p.m., CBS)

The Crimson Tide are thanking their lucky stars that Jalen Hurts and his multi-positional talents didn’t transfer, as Tua Tagovailoa missed part of the latest victory with an injury that has his status for Saturday in question.

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

2. Ohio State (7-0)

  • Last Week: W 30-14 vs. Minnesota
  • Top Performer: WR KJ Hill (9 receptions, 187 tards, 2 TD)
  • This Week: Saturday @ Purdue (7:30 p.m, ABC)

The Nick Bosa departure is a lot to handle, but with the offense clicking on all cylinders, some see the Buckeyes as Alabama’s biggest threat after the fall of Georgia.

3. Clemson (6-0)

  • Last Week: Idle
  • Top Performer: N/A
  • This Week: Saturday vs. #13 North Carolina State (3:30 p.m., ESPN)

Beneficiaries of the Georgia loss while watching from home, the Tigers have a prime opportunity to show they’re worthy of their top three positioning when fellow undefeateds from Raleigh come to visit.

4. Notre Dame (7-0)

  • Last Week: W 19-14 vs. Pittsburgh
  • Top Performer: WR Miles Boykin (4 receptions, 84 yards, 1 TD)
  • This Week: Idle (next game 10/27 vs. Navy @ San Diego, CA)

The first misstep, or at least the first sign of one, for the Irish came against the weak Panthers, and now they have a week to stew on it before taking on Navy in a neutral site prime time game.

5. LSU (6-1)

  • Last Week: W 36-16 vs. #6 Georgia
  • Top Performer: LB Devin White (13 tackles, 1 fumble recovery)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. #23 Mississippi State (7:00 p.m., ESPN)

Hard to argue that the Tigers, even with their one loss, don’t have a College Football Playoff case, now that they have an impressive three wins against ranked opponents, all of whom were ranked in at least the top eight of the Associated Press poll at the time of kickoff.

6. Georgia (6-1)

  • Last Week: L 36-16 @ #5 LSU
  • Top Performer: WR Riley Ridley (3 receptions, 75 yards, 1 TD)
  • This Week: Idle (next game 10/27 @ Florida)

The Bulldogs have an extra week to stew over this tough loss, as well as ponder the Jake Fromm-Justin Fields quarterback quandary, which must be resolved headed into a matchup with Florida.

7. Texas (6-1)

  • Last Week: W 23-17 vs. Baylor
  • Top Performer: WR Collin Johnson (7 receptions, 132 yards, 1 TD)
  • This Week: Idle (next game 10/27 @ Oklahoma State)

The Longhorns’ return to the national spotlight got a little shaky, but maybe, just maybe, things are ready to change in the Tom Herman era.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

8. Michigan (6-1)

  • Last Week: W 38-13 vs. #18 Wisconsin
  • Top Performer: RB Karan Higdon (19 carries, 105 yards, 1 TD)
  • This Week: Saturday @ Michigan State (12:00 p.m., Fox)

Suddenly, the Big Ten has two College Football Playoff contenders, as the surging Wolverines have shown that Week 1 against Notre Dame was a fluke, but there’s no time to rest with rival Michigan State up next.

9. Oklahoma (5-1)

  • Last Week: Idle
  • Top Performer: N/A
  • This Week: Saturday @ TCU (12:00 p.m., ABC)

Granted new life with several undefeated squads going down during their bye, the Sooners can instantly reinset themselves into the College Football Playoff picture with a strong road effort against a team that has historically given them fits.

10. Oregon (5-1)

  • Last Week: W 30-27 vs. #23 Washington (OT)
  • Top Performer: WR Dillon Mitchell (8 receptions, 119 yards, 1 TD)
  • This Week: Saturday @ #24 Washington State (7:30 p.m., Fox)

Perhaps the scariest part of the Ducks’ strong effort over the Huskies, other than the painful reminder they can be undefeated, was that Justin Herbert was mostly held in check (202 yards), offensive responsibilities taken over by Mitchell and leading rusher CJ Verdell (111 yards, 2 touchdowns).

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

11. UCF (6-0)

  • Last Week: W 31-30 @ Memphis
  • Top Performer: WR Gabriel Davis (6 receptions, 128 yards, 1 TD)
  • This Week: Saturday @ East Carolina (7:00 p.m., ESPN2)

Fresh off the scariest challenge their nation-long 18-game winning streak as faced, the Golden Knights have a chance to tune things up against the lowly Buccaneers before a brutal AAC stretch threatens to spoil their perfection.

12. Florida (6-1)

  • Last Week: W 37-27 @ Vanderbilt
  • Top Performer: RB Lamical Perine (23 carries, 121 yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions, 93 yards)
  • This Week: Idle (next game 10/27 vs. Georgia)

Lost in the brouhaha that was a visit to Nashville was the rise of a Gators offense getting together, their former Achilles heel putting up a whopping 576 yards on the Commodores.

13. North Carolina State (5-0)

  • Last Week: W Idle
  • Top Performer: N/A
  • This Week: Saturday @ #3 Clemson (3:30 p.m, ESPN)

If the Wolfpack are going to keep up this fun ride, they’ll have to end some bad karma against Clemson, down in the all-time series 28-57-1 and posting a 1-13 mark since 2004 (the lone outlier being an upset win over the then-#7 Tigers in 2011).

(Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images)

14. South Florida (6-0)

  • Last Week: W 25-24 @ Tulsa
  • Top Performer: RB Jordan Cronkrite (25 carries, 151 yards, 1 TD)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Connecticut (7:00 p.m, CBSSN)

The Bulls’ five wins against FBS competition have come by a combined 41 points, a number that lowers to eight when you account for only their couple of games against conference foes.

15. Penn State (4-2)

  • Last Week: L 21-17 vs. Michigan State
  • Top Performer: RB Miles Sanders (17 carries, 162 yards, 1 TD)
  • This Week: Saturday @ Indiana (3:30 p.m., ABC)

When it rains, it pours for the reeling Nitanny Lions, who follow up a visit to Bloomington with tilts against Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and their two losses likely relegate them to CFP spoilers at best.

16. West Virginia (5-1)

  • Last Week: L 30-14 @ Iowa State
  • Top Performer: S Dravon Askew-Henry (7 tackles, 1 INT)
  • This Week: Idle (next game 10/25 vs. Baylor)

The Mountaineers’ showstopping offense looked dreadfully human in Ames, held to just 152 yards and nine first downs.

17. Wisconsin (4-2)

  • Last Week: L 38-13 @ #8 Michigan
  • Top Performer: LB T.J. Edwards (10 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Illinois (12:00 p.m., FS1)

The resurgence of Michigan, and, by extension, the Big Ten, came at the expense of the Badgers, who were limited to a mere 11 first downs in a disappointing showing.

18. Kentucky (5-1)

  • Last Week: Idle
  • Top Performer: N/A
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Vanderbilt (7:30 p.m., SEC Network)

For the first time in seemingly forever, Kentucky football suffered a truly heartbreaking loss compounded by the fact they were making noise in SEC play, and have a golden opportunity to respond against Vandy.

ESNY Player Profiles

19. Iowa (5-1)

  • Last Week: W 42-16 @ Indiana
  • Top Performer: QB Nate Stanley (21-33, 320 yards, 6 TD, 1 INT)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Maryland (12:00 p.m., ESPN2)

Lost in the dominance of Ohio State and the resurgence of Michigan has been the subtle strength of the Hawkeyes, where Stanley ranks second in the Big Ten in touchdown passes (15) and third in passer rating (155.9).

20. Cincinnati (6-0)

  • Last Week: Idle
  • Top Performer: N/A
  • This Week: Saturday @ Temple (12:00 p.m., ESPNU)

With the attention diverted to the directional Florida schools, the AAC’s has quietly developed an undefeated threat in the Bearcats, winners of eight games over the past two seasons.

21. Texas A&M (5-2)

  • Last Week: W 26-23 @ South Carolina
  • Top Performer: QB Kellen Mond (25-37, 353 yards, 1 TD, 13 carries, 25 yards)
  • This Week: Idle (next game 10/27 @ Mississippi State)

Back in our Top 25 after stealing one in Columbia, the Aggies, unlike most teams under a first-year head coach, appear to be ahead of schedule under the Jimbo Fisher rebuild plan.

22. Washington (5-2)

  • Last Week: L 30-27 @ #10 Oregon
  • Top Performer: RB Salvon Ahmed (11 carries, 61 yards, 2 TD)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Colorado (3:30 p.m., Fox)

Perhaps the biggest losers of the weekend were the Huskies, who not only saw their PAC-12 chances weaken with a no-show against the Ducks, but also saw their signature win against Auburn sour further when the Tigers lost to both Mississippi State and Tennessee.

23. Mississippi State (4-2)

  • Last Week: Idle
  • Top Performer: N/A
  • This Week: Saturday @ #5 LSU (7:00 p.m., ESPN)

Back in the Top 25, it might be hard for the Bulldogs to stay with LSU and Texas A&M next on the docket.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

24. Washington State (5-1)

  • Last Week: W 56-37 @ Oregon State
  • Top Performer: QB Gardner Minshew (30-40, 430 yards, 5 TD)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. #10 Oregon (7:30 p.m., Fox)

College GameDay finally made its way to Pullman, and, no matter the result, they might be getting a heck of an offensive shootout headlined by Mike Leach’s trademark Air Raid offense.

25. Miami (FL) (5-2)

  • Last Week: L 16-13 @ Virginia
  • Top Performer: CB Trajan Bandy (3 tackles, 2 INT)
  • This Week: Idle (next game 10/26 @ Boston College)

Unlike Clemson and Notre Dame, a quarterback change has not worked for the Hurricanes, as the inconsistent battle between Malik Rosier and N’Kosi Perry has sunk the offense.

Also Received Votes: Michigan State, San Diego State

Follow Geoff Magliocchetti on TWITTER

ESNY Tickets
ESNY City Stream

NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

NYK

BKN

NYR

NYI

NJD

SJU