Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson
Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson (1) rolls out of the pocket before throwing a pass during an NCAA college football game against Texas A&M in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


Mike Shara

I think voters in this week’s AP poll kept Clemson in there at #25 just to be mean. There is probably a non-Power Five conference school somewhere that is still unranked with a good record – San Diego State comes to mind – that would have really relished nabbing a ranking for this week. Instead, “Dabo” (his real name William Christopher, btw) Swinney and his underachieving Tigers get at least one more week as a ranked team despite their only convincing win this season being against the powerhouse that is South Carolina State. This weekend, after suffering a litany of injuries during their Week 4 loss to N.C. State, they face another unranked conference foe on the road vs. Boston College. Can’t wait to hear how their lackluster results will be defended by the voters yet again!

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A few other games from Week 4 got interesting for bettors: the final score of Notre Dame’s win over Wisconsin looked like a blowout (41-13) but it was a nail-biter for three quarters before the Irish got a pair of pick sixes, crushing the over and the spread. #4 Oklahoma stayed undefeated but fell in the poll after barely eking out a win at home vs. West Virginia. The Sooners haven’t exactly impressed yet and may now have a quarterback controversy on their hands. Arkansas has officially put that ugly 20 game SEC losing streak well behind them, remaining unbeaten with a convincing win over a Texas A&M team that had hopes of a CFP appearance. Four schools (Iowa State, Kansas State, North Carolina and Wisconsin) fell out of the Top 25 while Wake Forest, NC State, Baylor and Oklahoma State joined the rankings. They’re all ahead of Clemson already though, which is fun.

This week has three matchups that feature unbeaten Top 15 squads facing off against each other. Arkansas gets zero time to enjoy their new #8 ranking and stare down their biggest challenge yet as they go to Athens to face #2 Georgia. #9 Notre Dame gets no relief this week either as they welcome #7 Cincinnati to South Bend. If the Bearcats hope to break into the CFP Power Five Conference monopoly, a road win vs. the Irish, led by their former Head Coach Brian Kelly, would be a big feather in their cap. #12 Ole Miss will have their annual meeting vs. #1 Alabama, the Rebels have only beaten the Tide nine times in 64 meetings but their last win in Tuscaloosa was in 2015, when they were also both ranked in the Top 15. Even if this game doesn’t end up being close, we can still look forward to the Nick Saban/Lane Kiffin on-field pregame pleasantries…

Here are all the games this weekend that feature Top 25 schools…and Clemson. All games are EST.


#5 IowaMaryland8 pmFS1
#13 BYUUtah State9 pmCBSSN


#8 Arkansas#2 Georgia12 noonESPN
#14 MichiganWisconsin12 noonFOX
Louisville#24 Wake Forest12:30 pmESPN3
#7 Cincinnati#9 Notre Dame2:30 pmNBC
UL Monroe#16 Coastal Carolina2:30 pmESPN+
#12 Ole Miss#1 Alabama3:30 pmCBS
#3 OregonStanford3:30 pmABC
#6 OklahomaKansas State3:30 pmFOX
#11 Ohio StateRutgers3:30 pmBig 10
#10 FloridaKentucky6 pmESPN
Louisiana Tech#23 NC State6 pmESPN+/ACC
Mississippi State#15 Texas A&M7 pmSEC
#21 Baylor#19 Oklahoma State7 pmESPN2
Indiana#4 Penn State7:30 pmABC
Western Kentucky#17 Michigan State7:30 pmFS1
Boston College#25 Clemson7:30 pmACC
#22 AuburnLSU9 pmESPN
Arizona State#20 UCLA10:30 pmFS1
#18 Fresno StateHawaii11:00 pmCBSSN

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