Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Less craziness than last week, but after Auburn, Arizona, Georgia Tech and TCU lost for the first time this season, we’re left with just six undefeated teams: Two in the SEC (Ole Miss & Mississippi State), one in the ACC (Florida State), one in the Big 12 (Baylor), one in Conference USA (Marshall) and Notre Dame, an Independent.

Auburn went head to head with another undefeated team, Mississippi State, in what turned out to be a victorious day for the Bulldogs, who were the number 3 ranked team in the nation before the victory. Now, after three consecutive weeks of wins over top 10 teams, it’s hard to argue about their claim for the top spot in the nation, while also having Dak Prescott, who should be the leading candidate to win the Heisman trophy.

Florida State, the current number one team, haven’t been facing something that’s even remotely close to Mississippi State’s schedule. Their win over Syracuse (38-20) was only somewhat more than ordinary because of how bad things seem to be for Jameis Winston off the field. The university is no longer turning a blind eye to the suspicions against him, but it hasn’t slowed down the 2013 Heisman winner, having a nearly perfect game against the Orange.

Ole Miss who shared the number three spot in the rankings with their in-state rivals going into this week came through with another big win over an SEC opponent. A week after beating Alabama for the first time in over a decade, they went into Kyle Field, ignored the 110,000 fans and beat Texas A&M 35-0 behind some excellent defense and an efficient performance from Bo Wallace. They don’t have one less impressive win compared to the Bulldogs, but they have dome more than Florida State up to this point.

Baylor are the number five team, but it’s not quite clear if a 3-point win over TCU (number nine before this week) to end the Horned Frogs bid for an undefeated season is going to really help them get a boost up the rankings. Are they going to lose some votes after a 61-58 win? Probably yes, but it won’t be enough to slip behind Alabama, who barely won at Arkansas, or Notre Dame, who got involved in a shootout against North Carolina and came away with a 50-43 win.

Marshall aren’t ranked and probably won’t be until maybe later in the season if they keep winning their games. Their latest win came over Middle Tennessee and with the most impressive team remaining on their schedule being a 4-2 UAB team, it’s hard to really take the Thundering Herd seriously. Their only chance of actually getting some recognition is for no one to have less than three losses at the end of the season from the power five schools.

Georgia Tech have fallen for the first time, losing to Duke at home 31-25. The Blue Devils are now 5-1 as well, and this seems like another excellent season for a program no one is used to seeing them succeed in football. Arizona had a home game against USC and managed to let a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter slip away from them, putting the Trojans back in pole positions for the Pac-12 South title, with the Pac-12 looking wide open in both divisions once again.

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