1.Georgia Bulldogs (6-0)
Previous ranking: 2
Week 6 result:34-10 win vs. No. 18 Auburn
What's next:vs. Kentucky (Oct. 16, 3:30 p.m. ET)
X factor:Nakobe Dean is coming into his own. The talented linebacker entered Saturday's game against Auburn with 3.5 sacks and left Jordan-Hare Stadium with his first interception of the season.
What you need to know:The bye week can't get here soon enough for a Georgia team still waiting for the return of JT Daniels at quarterback. But before that happens and before the Bulldogs face Florida, they have to take care of business against a dangerous Kentucky team.-- Alex Scarborough
2.Iowa Hawkeyes (6-0)
Previous ranking: 3
Week 6 result:23-20 win vs. No. 4 Penn State
What's next:vs. Purdue (Oct. 16, 3:30 p.m. ET)
X factor:Punter Tory Taylor. The Aussie-born punter added to his legend status against Penn State with six punts inside the 20-yard line and a 44.2-yard average. He consistently kept field position in Iowa's favor, helping buy enough time for the offense to get going.
What you need to know:Iowa is squarely in the playoff conversation at 6-0, and has no ranked opponents left on its schedule. The Hawkeyes likely will need more of an offensive punch to reach their top goals, but few teams control games better with their defense and special teams. Coach Kirk Ferentz loves his team's mentality but knows Iowa must avoid a letdown this week against a Purdue team that has had the Hawkeyes' number before entering an open week. -- Adam Rittenberg
3.Cincinnati Bearcats (5-0)
Previous ranking: 5
Week 6 result:52-3 win vs. Temple
What's next:vs. UCF (Oct. 16, noon ET)
X factor:Linebacker Darrian Beavers. While cornerback Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner is Cincinnati's most talented defender, Beavers' productivity and versatility continues. He leads the team in both sacks (3.5) and forced fumbles (2).
What you need to know:Cincinnati can't help that the AAC is a bit down this year and must continue to win impressively to bolster its playoff profile. Although UCF lost quarterback Dillon Gabriel and isn't the force it has been in years past, Cincinnati must respect the Knights' talent level and deliver another convincing performance at home. -- Adam Rittenberg
4.Oklahoma Sooners (6-0)
Previous ranking: 6
Week 6 result:55-48 win vs. No. 21 Texas
What's next:vs. TCU (Oct. 16)
X factor:QB Caleb Williams. After replacing Spencer Rattler and becoming a Red River Showdown legend by rallying OU to the Sooners' biggest come-from-behind win in the rivalry's history, Lincoln Riley wouldn't commit to a starting quarterback this week. The freshman got the struggling offense humming and made a strong case for taking over.
What you need to know:The Sooners face TCU, a team they have beaten seven straight times, in Norman this week, followed by Kansas and Texas Tech.-- Dave Wilson
5.Alabama Crimson Tide (5-1)
Previous ranking: 1
Week 6 result:41-38 loss vs. Texas A&M
What's next: vs. Mississippi State (Oct. 16, 7 p.m. ET)
X factor:The Crimson Tide lost defensive back Malachi Moore to a targeting call in the first quarter, which was a huge loss for Alabama in the secondary and factored into Texas A&M's Zach Calzada passing for 285 yards and three touchdowns.
What you need to know:All of a sudden, Alabama looks mortal after having its 19-game winning streak snapped and losing on the road against Texas A&M. The Tide have to clean up in some areas but still have a clear pathway to the playoff if they can win out and then win in the SEC championship game.-- Alex Scarborough
6.Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1)
Previous ranking: 7
Week 6 result:66-17 win vs. Maryland
What's next:at Indiana (Oct. 23)
X factor:Quarterback C.J. Stroud took the week off against Akron in Ohio State's fourth game of the season to nurse a shoulder injury. Since that week off, Stroud has looked more comfortable, throwing for 770 yards and 10 touchdowns in two games.
What you need to know:Not only are the Buckeyes looking more controlled and consistent than they did at the beginning of the year, but they are also showing progress in some key areas. Stroud has the offense rolling, and the Ohio State defense has gone four straight games with a pick-six. The caliber of opponents should be factored in, but gaining confidence as the team gets into its games against Penn State, Nebraska, Michigan State and Michigan will go a long way.-- Tom VanHaaren
7.Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1)
Previous ranking: 4
Week 6 result:23-20 loss vs. No. 3 Iowa
What's next:vs. Illinois (Oct. 23, noon ET)
X factor:Defensive end Arnold Ebiketie. The Temple transfer continues to look like one of the nation's best portal additions. "AK" recorded a team-high 3.5 tackles for loss against Iowa, including a sack, and leads the team in both categories (nine TFLs, four sacks). He has consistently been Penn State's most disruptive defensive linemen.
What you need to know:Quarterback Sean Clifford's health is the big storyline heading into Penn State's open week. If Clifford returns relatively soon -- Penn State hosts Illinois on Oct. 23 before visiting Ohio State on Oct. 30 -- the offense and team's overall outlook should remain promising, as the team's only loss came in a cross-division game. But PSU showed its limitations without Clifford against Iowa, and even with a great defense would likely struggle during a challenging second-half schedule. -- Adam Rittenberg
8.Michigan Wolverines (6-0)
Previous ranking: 9
Week 6 result:32-29 win vs. Nebraska
What's next:vs. Northwestern (Oct. 23)
X factor:WR Daylen Baldwin. With Michigan down several of its top receivers, Baldwin stepped up against Nebraska with a career-high six receptions for 64 yards. His previous career high was three catches.
What you need to know:Michigan has an open date and hopes to get several of its banged-up players healthy before playing Northwestern on Oct. 23. That could potentially set up an undefeated showdown with rival Michigan State on Oct. 30.-- Andrea Adelson
Previous ranking: 8
Week 6 result: Bye
What's next: vs. Cal (Oct. 15, 10:30 p.m. ET)
X factor:RB Travis Dye. With CJ Verdell out for the year, Dye becomes even more important to the offense. No other running back on the roster has more than 22 yards rushing.
What you need to know:The Ducks return from their bye week Friday against Cal at home, which figures to be a good way to get back on track considering the Bears (1-4) have yet to beat a FBS team this year.-- Kyle Bonagura
10.Michigan State Spartans (6-0)
Previous ranking: 11
Week 6 result:31-13 win vs. Rutgers
What's next:at Indiana (Oct. 16, noon ET)
X factor:Running back Kenneth Walker III had been the main offensive weapon for the Spartans, but receiver Jalen Nailor, who had 221 receiving yards and three touchdowns against Rutgers, is giving him a run for his money.
What you need to know:The Spartans are 6-0 and have shown their balance more and more each week. With a strong running game and a threat through the air, Michigan State is going to make it difficult on every one of its remaining opponents, including the game against Michigan at the end of October.-- Tom VanHaaren
11. Kentucky Wildcats (6-0)
Previous week: 16
Week 6 result:42-21 win vs. LSU
What's next:at Georgia (Oct. 16, 3:30 p.m. ET)
X factor:The entire nasty Kentucky offensive line has a strong case, but we'll go with the guy who does most of the running behind them: Chris Rodriguez Jr., who has rushed for 768 yards this year, 147 on Saturday against LSU.
What you need to know:The Wildcats are nasty and physical and unbeaten ... and now they get the nastiest, most physical team in the country next week. They'll face new No. 1 Georgia in their biggest game since they were ranked 11th and lost to No. 6 Georgia by 17 in 2018.-- Bill Connelly
12. Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-0)
Previous week: 12
Week 6 result: Bye
What's next: at Texas (Oct. 16)
X factor:QB Spencer Sanders. Before the bye week, Sanders struggled against Baylor, throwing for 182 yards with three interceptions, but the Cowboys got the win. Against Texas, they'll need the Sanders who showed up against Kansas State, when he was 22 of 34 for 344 yards with two touchdowns.
What you need to know:FPI gives the Cowboys just a 22% chance to win on the road against Texas this week and 18% chance at Iowa State on Oct. 23. But OSU won three games against unranked teams by a total of 13 points then beat two ranked teams.-- Dave Wilson
13.Ole Miss Rebels(4-1)
Previous ranking: 17
Week 6 result:52-51 win vs. No. 13 Arkansas
What's next:at Tennessee (Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m. ET)
X factor:Quarterback Matt Corral is playing at a Heisman Trophy level and showed what he was made of Saturday, accounting for four touchdowns in the 52-51 win over Arkansas. Last season, he threw six interceptions against the Hogs.
What you need to know:It's clear the Rebels still have serious issues on defense. While they're capable of scoring 40 or 50 points every week, there's not a lot of margin for error when they have to win a shootout each time they step onto the field. Next week could be especially interesting with Ole Miss traveling to face a Tennessee team that's hitting its stride offensively.-- Chris Low
14.Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-1)
Previous ranking: 14
Week 6 result:32-29 win vs. Virginia Tech
What's next:vs. USC (Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m. ET)
X factor:Finding a quarterback. Notre Dame hasn't really landed on a quarterback with Jack Coan and Tyler Buchner both getting time. Buchner replaced Coan against Virginia Tech, then Coan came back after Buchner was injured. Someone has to take over and win the job.
What you need to know:The Irish are 5-1, with the only loss coming to Cincinnati, but the team has won three games by three points each. It took overtime to beat Florida State, an 18-point fourth quarter to beat Toledo and a field goal in the last two minutes to beat Virginia Tech. Notre Dame hasn't really found a rhythm yet and are still searching for some consistency on both offense and defense. -- Tom VanHaaren
15.Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (6-0)
Previous ranking: 15
Week 6 result:52-20 win vs. Arkansas State
What's next:at Appalachian State (Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m. ET)
X factor:Isaiah Likely continues to make the case that he's the best tight end in the country after a four-touchdown performance against Arkansas State on Saturday.
What you need to know:Coastal's rush defense took a big step forward against Arkansas State, giving up a paltry 18 yards on 17 carries. That bodes well for its next game against App State, which has run for more than 200 yards twice this season.-- Alex Scarborough
16. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-0)
Previous week: 19
Week 6 result:40-37 win vs. Syracuse
What's next:at Army (Oct. 23, noon ET)
X factor:It doesn't get much more talismanic than receiver A.T. Perry, who has scored touchdowns on seven of his 23 receptions this season, including all three of his catches in the Demon Deacons' overtime win over Syracuse on Saturday.
What you need to know:The Deacs have won back-to-back down-to-the-wire games, and there are plenty more to come. But next up is a bye week, followed by a tricky trip to West Point to face Army.-- Bill Connelly
17.Arkansas Razorbacks (4-2)
Previous ranking: 13
Week 6 result:52-51 loss vs. No. 17 Ole Miss
What's next:vs. Auburn (Oct. 16, noon ET)
X factor:This was more like it for Treylon Burks. He was held to three catches for 10 yards in the loss to Georgia a week ago, but sparked Arkansas' offense Saturday with seven catches for 136 yards and a touchdown. He has had 127 yards or more receiving yards in three of his past four games.
What you need to know:The Hogs are agonizingly close to being 5-1 heading into three straight home games. How they regroup from the 52-51 loss to Ole Miss will be interesting because they still have a chance for nine wins.-- Chris Low
18. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-1)
Previous week: 22
Week 6 result:28-10 win vs. Stanford
What's next:at Utah (Oct. 16, 10 p.m. ET)
X factor:QB Jayden Daniels. Few quarterbacks have spread the ball around like Daniels. The Sun Devils have six receivers with between 135 and 256 receiving yards this year.
What you need to know:Their trip to Utah (2-0) this week is a meeting between the only remaining unbeaten teams in Pac-12 play.-- Kyle Bonagura
19.BYU Cougars (5-1)
Previous ranking: 10
Week 6 result:26-17 loss vs. Boise State
What's next:at Baylor (Oct. 16, 3:30 p.m. ET)
X factor:QB Jaren Hall. Hall's return from injury will be overshadowed by the loss to Boise State, but the Cougars are better in his hands.
What you need to know:Will Cougars be able to get up for Saturday's game at Baylor, which will soon be a conference opponent in the Big 12?-- Kyle Bonagura
20.Florida Gators (4-2)
Previous ranking: 20
Week 6 result:42-0 win vs. Vanderbilt
What's next:at LSU (Oct. 16, noon ET)
X factor:The backup quarterback is oftentimes the most popular player on the team, but Emory Jones remains the quarterback of record for the Gators. How much more we'll see Anthony Richardson the rest of the way is unclear.
What you need to know:The Gators have one more game (at LSU this Saturday) before getting a week off leading into the Georgia game. Florida has still yet to put it all together for an entire game, but that's what it will take to upset the Dawgs.-- Chris Low
21. Texas A&M Aggies (4-2)
Previous week: unranked
Week 6 result: 41-38 win vs. No. 1 Alabama
What's next:at Missouri (Oct. 16, noon ET)
X factor:QB Zach Calzada. Thrust into the starting role after Haynes King suffered a leg injury, Calzada had his best game of his career, throwing for 285 yards and three touchdowns and orchestrating two late scoring drives in the Aggies' upset of the formerly top-ranked Crimson Tide.
What you need to know:The Aggies' schedule gets easier with games at Missouri and vs. South Carolina the next two weeks, but then they face Auburn and Ole Miss to kick off November.-- Matt Eisenberg
22. NC State Wolfpack (4-1)
Previous ranking: 23
Week 6 result:Bye week
What's next: atBoston College (Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m. ET)
X factor:RBs Zonovan Knight and Ricky Person Jr. For NC State to be at its best, the Wolfpack need balance and productivity from their two top backs. Knight leads the way with 71 carries for 462 yards and three scores, while Person has 68 carries for 346 yards and four scores.
What you need to know:NC State is in the driver's seat in the Atlantic Division after beating Clemson a few weeks ago. But every game left on the schedule will present a challenge, starting with Boston College. The last time the Wolfpack played in Chestnut Hill in 2019, they lost 45-24.-- Andrea Adelson
23. SMU Mustangs (6-0)
Previous week: 24
Week 6 result:31-24 win vs. Navy
What's next:vs. Tulane (Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m. ET)
X factor:In six games, Tanner Mordecai has already thrown for 1,893 yards and 26 touchdowns -- projected over 14 games (which the Mustangs would play if they reach the AAC championship), that's a pace for 4,400 yards and 60 TDs.
What you need to know:Sonny Dykes' Mustangs remain unbeaten after a surprisingly tough win over Navy. A Nov. 20 trip to Cincinnati looms in the distance, but in the short-term, they get a much-deserved bye week and a visit from Tulane.-- Bill Connelly
24. San Diego State Aztecs (5-0)
Previous week: 25
Week 6 result:31-7 win vs. New Mexico
What's next:at San José State (Oct. 15, 10:30 p.m. ET)
X factor:RB Greg Bell. With 520 rushing yards, Bell has more than twice as many yards from scrimmage than anyone else on the team.
What you need to know:The Aztecs enter what should be a difficult three-game stretch with games at San Jose State and Air Force before returning home to play Fresno State.-- Kyle Bonagura
25. Texas Longhorns (4-2)
Previous week: 21
Week 6 result:55-48 loss vs. No. 6 Oklahoma
What's next:vs. Oklahoma State (Oct. 16)
X factor:WR Xavier Worthy. The freshman speedster had a monster performance in his first rivalry game against Oklahoma with nine catches for 261 yards and two touchdowns. The Longhorns' offense put up big numbers against the Sooners, but stalled late. Against a tough Oklahoma State defense, they'll need Worthy to help open space for Bijan Robinson.
What you need to know:The Longhorns have a sneaky tough three-game stretch beginning with the Cowboys, followed by a trip to Waco to face the surprising Baylor Bears, then a trip to Ames for Iowa State.-- Dave Wilson
Dropped out: Auburn (18)
Finebaum: Alabama's defense vs. Texas A&M was disgraceful
Paul Finebaum pulls no punches, calling Alabama's defensive performance in their loss to Texas A&M disgraceful.