College football Power Rankings for Week 7



After seven weeks of the 2019 season, the College Football Playoff hunt and conference races are starting to come into focus.

Oklahoma beat Texas. LSU defeated Florida. Clemson crushed Florida State. Alabama rolled Texas A&M. Wisconsin pitched another shutout against Michigan State.

And, in the most surprising outcome of the 2019 season, unranked South Carolina stunned Georgia 20-17 in two overtimes.

While there is still half of the regular season to play, Saturday's big winners, along with idle Ohio State, seem to be in the driver's seat for the four spots in the CFP.

Here are ESPN's Power Rankings after Week 7:

1. LSU (6-0)




The Tigers made a strong case for No. 1 by knocking off Florida 42-28 at home on Saturday night. Coupled with a win at Texas in the opener, LSU might have the most impressive pair of wins by any FBS team in the first half of the season. It was another big victory for LSU coach Ed Orgeron. His teams have seven wins over AP top-10 opponents since 2016; only Nick Saban and Urban Meyer had more, with nine each. LSU's offense continued to roll against Florida's well-respected defense. Quarterback Joe Burrow completed 21 of 24 passes for 293 yards with three touchdowns, and tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran 13 times for 134 yards with two scores. The Tigers had two 100-yard receivers:Ja'Marr Chasecaught seven passes for 127 yards with two scores, and Justin Jefferson had 10 receptions for 123 yards with one score.

Up next: at Mississippi State (Saturday, TBD)

2. Ohio State (6-0)




The Buckeyes, who were largely untested in their first six games, had the weekend off before Friday night's game at Northwestern. The Wildcats have beaten OSU only once since 1971 -- a 33-27 upset in overtime on Oct. 2, 2004, which ended a 33-game losing streak in the series. OSU defeated Northwestern 45-24 in the Big Ten championship game last season. The Buckeyes seem to be on a collision course with Wisconsin, which goes to the Horseshoe on Oct. 26.

Up next: at Northwestern (Friday, 8:30 p.m. ET, FS1)

3. Alabama (6-0)




The Crimson Tide continued to roll with a 47-28 victory at Texas A&M. It was the fifth consecutive game in which Alabama has scored 45 points or more, which is the third-longest streak in SEC history, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information. Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa completed 21 of 34 passes for 293 yards with touchdowns to four different players. Tagovailoa has been responsible for at least four touchdowns in each of his team's six games. That's tied for the second-longest such streak to start a season over the past 15 years and the longest by an SEC player during that span; Texas Tech's Graham Harrell went seven straight games in 2007, and Baylor's Seth Russell had six consecutive to start 2015.

Up next: vs. Tennessee (Saturday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

4. Oklahoma (6-0)




Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts threw three more touchdowns to CeeDee Lamb, but it was, ahem, the OU defense that was the difference in a 34-27 victory over Texas in the Red River Showdown at the Cotton Bowl. After finishing dead last in the FBS in pass defense in 2018, the Sooners sacked Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger nine times and had 15 tackles for loss. The Longhorns had only 83 yards of offense in the first half, and the score might have been much more lopsided if Hurts hadn't committed two turnovers. The Sooners have beaten the Longhorns four times in their past five meetings. It looks as though OU might have a more-than-capable defense under first-year coordinator Alex Grinch to go with its record-setting offense.

Up next: vs. West Virginia (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, Fox)

5. Clemson (6-0)




That's the Clemson team we expected to see during the first five weeks of the season. After fuming over their one-point victory at North Carolina two weeks ago, which cost them the No. 1 ranking in the AP and coaches' polls, the Tigers took out their frustration on Florida State in a 45-14 win. It was Clemson's 21st straight victory, the longest winning streak in the country. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for three touchdowns, including two to Justyn Ross. Travis Etienne ran for 127 yards. Clemson's defense dominated the Seminoles, holding them to 10 first downs and 253 yards of offense and forcing four turnovers. Cornerback Derion Kendrick returned an interception 38 yards for a score. Indeed, all is well in Death Valley again.

Up next: at Louisville (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ABC)

6. Wisconsin (6-0)




Say what you want about the offenses Wisconsin has faced so far this season. Regardless, what the Badgers are doing on defense is truly remarkable. Through six games, the Badgers have allowed four touchdowns -- they've also scored four defensive touchdowns. The Badgers posted their fourth shutout in six games with a 38-0 rout of Michigan State. Wisconsin is the first FBS team to post that many shutouts in the first six games to start a season since Oklahoma in 1967. It is the first Big Ten team to do it since Minnesota in 1962, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The Badgers held the Spartans to seven first downs and 149 yards of offense, including 30 on the ground. The Badgers won't be tested at Illinois next week, but they'll certainly be challenged at Ohio State on Oct. 26.

Up next: at Illinois (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, BTN)

7. Penn State (6-0)




Penn State's offensive performance against Iowa's stingy defense wasn't pretty, but its 17-12 victory on the road was a thing of beauty. The Nittany Lions passed for only 117 yards, had three touchdowns wiped off the board (two by holding calls and a third by a controversial replay decision) and averaged only 3.3 yards rushing. On the other hand, Penn State's defense was stellar against Iowa's struggling offense. Freshman tailback Noah Cain's 5-yard touchdown run with 5:17 left was the difference. Cain ran for 102 yards, his second straight game with more than 100 yards. It was Penn State's sixth straight win over Iowa.

Up next: vs. Michigan (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

8. Florida (6-1)




The Gators more than looked the part in their 42-28 loss at LSU on Saturday night, but they couldn't close in the end. After Florida grabbed a seven-point lead late in the third quarter, the Tigers scored the game's final 21 points to pull away. Florida scored only seven points after halftime. Quarterback Kyle Trask played well on the road, completing 23 of 39 passes for 310 yards with three touchdowns, and Gators coach Dan Mullen did a nice job of incorporating backup Emory Jones into the game plan. The Gators allowed 511 yards of offense and missed top pass rushers Jonathan Greenard and Jabari Zuniga, who were sidelined with ankle injuries. Still, the Gators have emerged as perhaps the favorites in the SEC East, given Georgia's loss on Saturday.

Up next: at South Carolina, (Saturday, TBD)

9. Oregon (5-1)




The Ducks surrendered three touchdowns in the final 20 minutes of a 27-21 loss to Auburn in their opener. They've allowed one touchdown in the five games since, including Friday night's 45-3 rout of Colorado. Oregon has allowed seven points or fewer in each of its past five games, which matches the longest such streak in school history. The Ducks also did it in five straight games in 1958. The Buffaloes had only 299 yards of offense, including 131 passing, and the Ducks intercepted Steven Montez's passes on four consecutive possessions.

Up next: at Washington (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

10. Georgia (5-1)




Georgia's stunning 20-17 loss to South Carolina in two overtimes exposed plenty of concerns about the Bulldogs. South Carolina's defensive front pushed around UGA's massive offensive line. Georgia's receivers, who were a concern coming into the season, struggled to get much separation. Quarterback Jake Fromm, who hadn't thrown an interception in the first five games, threw three and muffed a snap for a lost fumble. Georgia's offensive playcalling, especially in the final minute of regulation, was also perplexing. Kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, who was perfect before Saturday, missed two field goals, including a 42-yarder in the second OT. Obviously, there's plenty to correct and address if the Bulldogs are going to remain in the SEC East hunt.

Up next: vs. Kentucky (Saturday, TBD)

11. Notre Dame (5-1)




The Fighting Irish survived a closer-than-expected 30-27 victory over rival USC on Saturday night. It was their 15th consecutive win at home, which is the most since they won 19 in a row from 1987 to 1990. Tony Jones Jr. ran for 176 yards on 25 attempts -- his third straight game with 100 yards or more -- and the Irish ran for 308 and averaged 6.6 yards per attempt. If the Irish can survive an Oct. 26 trip to Michigan, they'll be heavy favorites in their last five games. But is there enough meat left on Notre Dame's schedule to impress the CFP selection committee? Georgia's stunning home loss to unranked South Carolina certainly didn't help the Irish.

Up next: at Michigan (Oct. 26, TBD)

12. Auburn (5-1)




The Tigers had to spend a few extra days dissecting their 24-13 loss at Florida on Oct. 12, in which they had four turnovers, nine penalties and only 145 passing yards. Even worse, starting tailback JaTarvious Whitlow had knee surgery on Tuesday and will miss four to six weeks. Whitlow led the SEC with seven rushing touchdowns after five games and was second with 544 rushing yards. Kam Martin, Shaun Shivers and DJ Williams will be asked to carry the load in his absence.

Up next: at Arkansas (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, SECN)

13. Boise State (6-0)




The Broncos didn't have much trouble in a 59-37 win over Hawai'i on Saturday night. But they did lose starting quarterback Hank Bachmeier, who was hurt while scrambling for a first down with about 11 minutes left in the first half. Hawai'i linebacker Kana'i Picanco drilled Bachmeier in the back on a tackle, causing him to fumble. Bachmeier dropped to a knee before leaving the field. He spent a while in the medical tent and later left the sideline without pads. Bachmeier was replaced by sophomore Chase Cord, who missed much of last season because of a torn ACL. Cord completed 12 of 18 passes for 175 yards with three touchdowns.

Up next: at BYU (Saturday, 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

14. Utah (5-1)




Star tailback Zack Moss returned from a shoulder injury, and it didn't take him long to make his mark in a 52-7 rout of Oregon State on Saturday night. Moss had a 91-yard scoring run on the Utes' second possession -- the longest ever surrendered by the Beavers. Moss finished with 121 yards with two scores on five carries; he sat out the second half after missing the previous game. Moss tied a Utah career record with his 14th 100-yard game, and he is 55 yards shy of breaking Eddie Johnson's career rushing record of 3,219 yards set in 1984-88. Moss is two rushing touchdowns shy of breaking the Utes' career record of 31 set by Del Rodgers from 1978 to 1981.

Up next: vs. Arizona State (Saturday, TBD)

15. Texas (4-2)




Texas has already dropped two games and will have a difficult time climbing back into the CFP hunt. But the Longhorns' Big 12 title hopes are still intact -- if they can do what OU did to them in 2018. After falling to Texas 48-45 in the Red River Showdown during the 2018 regular season, the Sooners avenged that defeat with a 39-27 victory in the Big 12 championship game to reach the CFP again. Clearly, the Longhorns will have to do a better job protecting Ehlinger, and that might require a bigger commitment to the running game. Texas' running backs carried the ball only 10 times -- and averaged better than 10 yards per attempt.

Up next: vs. Kansas (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, LHN)

16. Michigan (5-1)




For the first 19 minutes at Illinois on Saturday, Michigan's offense looked great. The Wolverines had a 28-0 lead and more than 340 yards of offense after their first six possessions. But then Illinois scored 25 consecutive points, and the Wolverines needed two late touchdowns to walk away with a 42-25 road victory. Hassan Haskins ran for 125 yards with one touchdown, andZach Charbonnethad 116 with one score. The Wolverines ran for a season-high 295 yards, but lost two more fumbles (they've lost nine this season). Coming up empty on five straight possessions after building a four-touchdown lead is concerning, especially with consecutive games against Penn State and Notre Dame looming on the schedule.

Up next: at Penn State (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

17. Arizona State (5-1)





Jayden Daniels was the first true freshman to start an opener for ASU, and he has gotten better nearly every week since to give the Sun Devils a legitimate chance in the Pac-12 South. Daniels threw three touchdowns and ran for the winning score on a 17-yard scramble with 34 seconds left in a 38-34 win over Washington State. He helicoptered off a Wazzu defender to score on his final run. Daniels had 363 passing yards, which was the third-highest total by an ASU freshman. It was his third 300-yard passing game; all of ASU's other true freshman QBs had three combined. Each of Daniels' three touchdown passes went to Brandon Aiyuk, who had seven catches for 196 yards despite battling an illness throughout the game. The Sun Devils have a huge test at Utah next week.

Up next: at Utah (Saturday, TBD)

18. Baylor (6-0)




The Bears needed double overtime -- and got there only after a controversial illegal snap penalty -- to hold off Texas Tech 33-30 and become bowl eligible. After the Bears drove 89 yards for the tying field goal in the final 1:37 of regulation, Baylor center Jake Fruhmorgen appeared to snap the ball off his leg (or buttocks?) on the second play of the first OT. The Red Raiders recovered the apparent fumble, but officials ruled the play was an illegal snap. The Bears were penalized 5 yards and kept the ball. Quarterback Charlie Brewer scored on a 1-yard run two plays later, and the Bears won onJaMycal Hasty's 5-yard scoring run in the second OT. Brewer threw three interceptions, the Bears were penalized 10 times, and Baylor's defense gave up 510 yards of offense.

Up next: at Oklahoma State (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, Fox)

19. Minnesota (6-0)




After winning their first four games by a touchdown or less, the Gophers have overwhelmed their past two opponents to move to 6-0 for the first time since 2003. Minnesota blasted Nebraska 34-7 on Saturday night by running for 322 yards in wintry conditions. The Gophers have won eight straight games dating to the last two contests of 2018, which is the school's longest winning streak since 1948-49. Will it be enough to earn them some respect? According to Elias Sports Bureau research, Minnesota was the first Big Ten team to start 5-0 and not be ranked in the AP poll since Northwestern in 2010. If Minnesota fans really want to be dream big, consider this data from ESPN Stats & Information: It's the fifth time the Gophers have started 6-0 in the AP poll era (since 1936). In three of the previous four instances, the Gophers won national titles in 1940, '41 and '60.

Up next: at Rutgers (Saturday, TBD)

20. SMU (6-0)




The Mustangs had an extra week to bask in their incredible 43-37 victory over Tulsa on Oct. 12, in which they came from 21 points behind in the fourth quarter and won in the third overtime. The Mustangs are 6-0 for the first time since Eric Dickerson and Craig James were leading the Pony Express in 1982. ESPN's FPI gives SMU a 3.7% chance to win out and a 16.1% chance to win the AAC.

Up next: vs. Temple (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

21. Cincinnati (5-1)




The Bearcats have won four straight games since falling 42-0 at Ohio State and have put themselves in good position in the AAC East heading into the second half of the season. Cincinnati needed a late touchdown on an interception of a deflected pass to pull away in a 38-23 win at Houston on Saturday. Desmond Ridder threw for three touchdowns and ran for another. The Bearcats should be favored in their next four games -- vs. Tulsa, at East Carolina, vs. UConn and at South Florida -- before closing the regular season with key games against Temple at home and Memphis on the road.

Up next: vs. Tulsa (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

22. Iowa (4-2)




The Hawkeyes' inconsistent offense finally caught up with them the past two weeks. Iowa went more than seven quarters without scoring a touchdown in a 10-3 loss to Michigan and a 17-12 loss to Penn State. The scoring drought finally ended on Nate Stanley's 33-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Smith with 2:31 to go against the Nittany Lions. Iowa had 356 yards of offense -- 286 passing and 70 rushing (on 30 attempts). The Hawkeyes went 8-for-18 on third down and turned the ball over twice. They play at Wisconsin on Nov. 9 and against undefeated Minnesota at home the next week.

Up next: vs. Purdue (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

23. Missouri (5-1)




The Tigers have bounced back nicely from a season-opening loss at Wyoming, which doesn't look nearly as bad as it once did. Missouri has won five straight games, including a 38-27 victory over Ole Miss on Saturday night. Missouri's offense is balanced -- quarterback Kelly Bryant threw for 329 yards with one touchdown, and tailback Larry Rountree III ran for 126 yards with two scores against the Rebels. The Tigers will be heavy favorites in their next two games, at Vanderbilt and Kentucky, and might be 7-1 heading into a Nov. 9 trip to Georgia. Remember: They'll have to win a pending appeal of their one-year NCAA ban to play in the postseason this year.

Up next: at Vanderbilt (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, SECN)

24. Wake Forest (5-1)




The Demon Deacons made far too many mistakes in a 62-59 loss to Louisville, which was the second-highest-scoring game in ACC history. Wake Forest trailed by 21 points with less than seven minutes to go before scoring 28 points to pull within a field goal. The teams combined for nearly 1,200 yards of offense in the game and 45 points in the fourth quarter. Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman, the starter for much of 2018, was responsible for the last three touchdowns. Jamie Newman threw for 251 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. The Demon Deacons had 668 yards of offense but had three turnovers and surrendered a 100-yard kickoff return for a score.

Up next: vs. Florida State (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ACCN)

25. Appalachian State (5-0)




After surrendering 109 points in victories over North Carolina, Charlotte and Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State turned in its best defensive performance of the season in a 17-7 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday night. The Mountaineers limited the Ragin' Cajuns to only 254 yards of offense -- 131 passing and 123 rushing. Louisiana averaged 44.4 points, 314 rushing yards and 540 yards of offense in its first five games but was stonewalled by coordinator Ted Roof's unit. ASU first-year coach Eliah Drinkwitz remained undefeated, and the Mountaineers have emerged as Sun Belt Conference favorites once again.

Up next: vs. UL-Monroe (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET)

Related Video
Herbstreit: Burrow prepares like an NFL QB
Herbstreit: Burrow prepares like an NFL QB
Kirk Herbstreit gives high praise to Joe Burrow and the LSU offense after putting up 42 points on Florida.
Copyright © 2019 ESPN Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.