It's been seven weeks of a college football season, putting us far enough into the conference schedules of the "power five" conferences that we have a pretty good idea of which teams are superb, which ones are awful, and who has a fighters' chance of playing important games in November.
If you'd like to compare/contracts with the AP Poll or Coaches Poll, click here.
Here are my power rankings heading into the third weekend in October:
1. Alabama (7-0)
Why? Because they're the best team in the country. And it's hard to make the case anyone is even close at this point.
2. Georgia (7-0)
Why? Because they're still undefeated. They get a bump ahead of Penn State here because their win at Notre Dame looks better every week, and they demolished then-#17 Mississippi State by four touchdowns.
3. Penn State (6-0)
Why? They've dominated most of their games - but they should have. Best win to date is a night escape job at Iowa. But they'll get tested the next three weeks when they host Michigan before road games at Ohio State and at Michigan State. If they escape with three wins, they're in the playoff. If they win two of the three, there's still a great chance at them sneaking in.
4. TCU (6-0)
Why? While they have two better resume wins (at Oklahoma State, vs West Virginia) than Penn State, they only have one decent game left on their schedule (Nov. 11 at Oklahoma). They're a nice team but could get bounced out of the playoff by a strong one-loss team.
5. Notre Dame (5-1)
Why? Because their one loss was by one to the second-best team in the country in our opinion. They're running the ball down people's throats and doing it successfully even though the rest of the world knows they're going to run. Their win against Michigan State is helping their strength of schedule as well.
6. Clemson (5-1)
Why? They slide to six for me because they lost at Syracuse. I still believe this is one of the four best teams in the country and the schedules the rest of the way could open the door for them to get back into the playoff, but that was an awful, terrible loss this past weekend.
7. Oklahoma (5-1)
Why? They get a bump for an early season win on the road at Ohio State, but also have a terrible loss on their resume against Iowa State. If they can get by TCU they have an outside shot at a playoff berth.
8. Ohio State (6-1)
Why? They've been tested once and lost. There simply isn't even a decent win on their resume. Good team, but need to see them play someone before I can get them anywhere close to the top five.
9. Wisconsin (6-0)
Why? Because they haven't played anybody yet either. In fact, as it stands today there's only one game on their schedule against a ranked opponent (Nov. 18 vs Michigan). They'll need to win out and win the Big Ten championship game to have enough on the resume to get into the playoff.
10. Miami (5-0)
Why? The hurricane didn't help them any, and neither did Florida State being awful this season. The first two weeks in November the Canes host Virginia Tech and Notre Dame in back-to-back weekends, their toughest tests of the year.
11. USC (6-1)
Why? They hammered Stanford and only loss was to a Washington State team that was closing in on being a top-ten player until this weekend's implosion. They get Notre Dame this weekend with a potential playoff spot on the line already.
12. Michigan State (5-1)
Why? Their only loss to date came to Notre Dame and they went into the Big House and beat Michigan. They aren't getting much love nationally but could spoil a lot of dreams in the Big Ten East this season.
13. Washington State (6-1)
Why? They edge out a few one-loss teams here because they beat USC. Losing to Cal by 34 is mind-bogglingly bad, which keeps them from being ranked higher.
14. North Carolina State (6-1)
Why? Simply put, their win against Louisville a couple weeks ago is enough for me to give them some love. Nice team with their only loss coming against a good Clemson squad. They're at Notre Dame in two weeks.
15. Oklahoma State (6-1)
Why? There's a lot to like in Mason Rudolph but a lot to dislike in their schedule so far. A home loss to TCU isn't bad, but they only have games against two more ranked opponents. Nice team, but not in my top ten.
16. Washington (6-1)
17. Michigan (5-1)
18. Virginia Tech (5-1)
19. South Florida (6-0)
20. UCF (5-0)
21. Memphis (5-1)
22. San Diego State (6-1)
23. Stanford (5-2)
24. Iowa (4-2)
25. West Virginia (4-2)