The college football season moves closer and closer to the first official College Football Playoff rankings for this season’s four-team field. Following last week’s games, the shakeup in the AP’s updated Top 25 included a few moves at the top of the list.
The SEC’s Alabama Crimson Tide remain the No. 1 team in the nation, but the Big Ten’s Ohio State Buckeyes have moved into the No. 2 spot following Georgia’s stunning loss to LSU. The former No. 2 Bulldogs dropped all the way to No. 8 as a result of that upset. The ACC’s Clemson Tigers also benefitted by that loss with a move to No. 3 while remaining idle.
Despite Saturday’s close call against Pittsburgh, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can control their own playoff destiny as the No. 4 team in the nation. With signature wins against Miami (FL), Auburn and Georgia, LSU is also in the playoff hunt at No. 5
Clemson has already survived a few close calls against Texas A&M and Syracuse. This Saturday, the Tigers could be on upset alert (at least against the spread) when they play host to No. 16 North Carolina State as 16.5-point favorites. The total line for the 3:30 p.m. start on ESPN has been set at 55.5 points. The Wolfpack are also coming off a bye following their perfect 5-0 SU start and they are 3-2 ATS. Head-to-head in this ACC matchup, NC State is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings and it has covered ATS in five of its last six road games against Clemson.
LSU will have little time to bask in last week’s upset as a 6.5-point home favorite against No. 22 Mississippi State in a 7 p.m. kickoff on ESPN. BetAnySports’ total line for this SEC tilt has been set at 44 points and it has gone OVER in five of the last seven meetings in Baton Rouge.
The Big Ten’s Michigan Wolverines have worked their way to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 on the strength of a SU six-game winning streak. This Saturday in an early 12 p.m. start on FOX, they will go on the road as seven-point favorites to take on the rival No. 24 Michigan State Spartans, who are coming off a big upset over Penn State. The total line for this game has been opened at 42 points. Michigan has lost four of its last five road games against Michigan State SU.