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For the first time all season, we have a new No. 1 team in college football. After a stunning loss to South Carolina, Alabama saw Ohio State round out the top spot, with Oregon leaping up to No. 2.
That wasn’t the only drama witnessed this weekend. Overall, there are 13 undefeated college football teams ranked in the AP top 25. If I were to tell you by this time in the season that both Alabama and Florida would not be atop their division, you may have not believed me. If I were to tell you that USC and Texas would be unranked, that may have garnered the same response.
Nonetheless, this college football season has been spectacular.
Here’s a list of three teams that playing at the top of their game.
1. Michigan State Spartans: No. 13, 6-0 (2-0)
Coming off a 6-7 season in 2009, many didn’t expect the Spartans to already match their win total by the first week of October. Due in large part to a high-powered offense led by the two-headed monster that is Edwin Baker and Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State is looming at the top of the Big Ten standings.
After a crazy win over Notre Dame where head coach Mark Dantonio called for a game-winning fake field goal, State has taken care of then ranked No. 11 Wisconsin and No. 18 Michigan, the latter being at the Big House in Ann Harbor. It goes without say that the Spartans are playing for their coach, Dantonio, who is still trying to come back after suffering a heart attack.
Moving forward, Michigan State faces just one ranked opponent — Iowa.
When players are playing for their coach, anything can happen. Michigan State seems hungrier than most out there and we’ll see where they end up at the end of the season.
2. Auburn Tigers: No. 7, 6-0 (3-0)
Some say Auburn is overrated, others underrated. Whatever the case may be, Auburn is playing very solid football. The Tigers extended their winning streak thanks to a game-winning field goal as time expired against Kentucky. Heisman candidate Cameron Newton continues to dazzle everyone, as he rushed for four touchdowns and nearly 200 yards along with 210 passing yards in the 37-34 victory.
The Tigers could very well be 2-4, as they escaped against both Mississippi State and Clemson. This is not to mention a game against South Carolina where Stephen Garcia and co. did everything they could to lose the contest.
This week Newton and the Auburn Tigers get their biggest test to date as Arkansas comes into town. Auburn, who has struggled defensively, will have their hands full with Ryan Mallett and a passing game that has averaged 354 yards-per-game.
If Auburn can pull of another victory, they will then look ahead to a showdown against LSU, who should take care of McNeese State this weekend, as the winner will control their destiny in the SEC West.
3. South Carolina Gamecocks: No. 10, 4-1 (2-1)
Was anyone expecting South Carolina to beat Alabama? Whatever the media expectations were, South Carolina and the old ball coach, Steve Spurrier, defied all odds and defeated the No. 1 rated Crimson Tide. All week Alabama was thought to be the most dominant team in college football after destroying Florida the week prior, and all week South Carolina wasn’t given a chance.
But, that’s why you play the game.
A nearly perfect game from Garcia (17-20) and a pressuring defense led to the 35-21 big-time win for the Gamecocks. South Carolina now controls their own destiny in the SEC East and could potentially see Alabama again in the SEC Championship on Dec. 4.
The big game for the Gamecocks comes on Nov. 13, when Spurrier returns to his old stomping ground. Although Florida has struggled this season, look for Urban Meyer to have his team firing on all cylinders come that November showdown.