No. 1 Alabama had the week off and No. 2 Michigan avoided drama in East Lansing early Saturday afternoon. Thereafter, we were treated to plenty of close football games (and a handful of upsets).
Here’s our best guess at what The Associated Press voters will go with on Sunday (and we’ll make sure to update at the conclusion of Saturday’s late games):
Dropped out: Tennessee (previously No. 18), Navy (previously No. 22)
25. Washington State (6-2)
(Entering week: Unranked) Wazzu is 5-0 in conference play for the first time since 2002 after overcoming a 21-point deficit to beat Oregon State on the road.
24. West Virginia (6-1)
(Entering week: No. 10) One of two unbeaten Big 12 teams coming into the weekend, WVU finally tripped up in a 17-point loss at Oklahoma State.
23. Utah (7-2)
(Entering week: No. 17) Former Washington quarterback Troy Williams and his Utes hung tough with No. 4 Washington, but lost a 31-24 nailbiter in Salt Lake City.
22. Oklahoma State (6-2)
(Entering week: Unranked) Mike Gundy’s Cowboys scored a huge victory over 6-0 West Virginia in Stillwater. If not for a controversial early-season loss to Eastern Washington, we’d be talking about OSU as a potential playoff team.
21. Boise State (7-1)
(Entering week: No. 13) The Broncos finally tasted defeat, giving up a safety with 1:25 remaining to break a tie game against Wyoming.
20. Virginia Tech (6-2)
(Entering week: No. 25) The Hokies snuck by Pitt on the road Thursday night. They’re still very much part of a wacky ACC race.
19. Colorado (6-2)
(Entering week: No. 23) One of the year’s most surprising teams got the weekend off. The Buffaloes head to UCLA this week for a Thursday night matchup with the Bruins.
18. Florida State (5-3)
(Entering week: No. 12) The ‘Noles suffered a heartbreaker at home against No. 3 Clemson, losing a 5-point lead in the game’s final minutes.
17. Penn State (6-2)
(Entering week: No. 24) Guess who’s still in the Big Ten East race? You might actually see Penn State represent the division in Indianapolis instead of Michigan or Ohio State if a few more results fall the Nittany Lions’ way.
16. North Carolina (6-2)
(Entering week: No. 21) Larry Fedora’s squad got the week off. The Heels head to Virginia next Saturday.
15. Western Michigan (8-0)
(Entering week: No. 20) The Mid-American leaders got Saturday off, but head to Ball State on Tuesday for some classic mid-week #MACtion.
14. LSU (5-2)
(Entering week: No. 19) Coach Oeaux and the Tigers got the weekend off and are now gearing up to host No. 1 Alabama.
13. Oklahoma (6-2)
(Entering week: No. 16) Bob Stoops’ Sooners didn’t have much trouble with Kansas, and are finally fulfilling some of the expectations set for them in the preseason.
12. Baylor (6-1)
(Entering week: No. 8) Quarterback Seth Russell wasn’t himself on the Bears’ final drive, and Baylor let what looked to be a big win slip out of its hands at Texas.
11. Nebraska (7-1)
(Entering week: No. 7) A 10-point comeback at No. 11 Wisconsin was for naught, as the previously unbeaten Huskers failed to find the end zone in overtime.
10. Auburn (6-2)
(Entering week: No. 15) A tight game at Ole Miss swung when Rebels tight end Evan Engram dropped a potential fourth-quarter touchdown and the Tigers picked off Chad Kelly on the next play.
9. Florida (6-1)
(Entering week: No. 14) Luke Del Rio and the Gators offense still need some work, but the Gators defense was dominant as usual in a 24-10 win over Georgia. Florida is in the SEC East driver’s seat.
8. Wisconsin (6-2)
(Entering week: No. 11) Nebraska was unable to leave Madison with its eighth straight “W” after the Badgers snuck out a 23-17 overtime win. Two-loss Wisconsin is not out of the playoff picture yet.
7. Texas A&M (7-1)
(Entering week: No. 9) The Aggies tore up hapless New Mexico State in College Station. Kevin Sumlin’s team is headed to Mississippi State next weekend.
6. Ohio State (7-1)
(Entering week: No. 6) There might be some serious issues to sort out here. Ohio State found a way to beat Northwestern late in the fourth quarter, but — considering what went down in Happy Valley last weekend — the wheels might have come off for Urban Meyer’s juggernaut.
5. Louisville (7-1)
(Entering week: No. 5) It wasn’t easy, but Louisville escaped Virginia with a 32-25 win after Heisman front-runner Lamar Jackson tossed a game-winning touchdown with 13 seconds remaining.
4. Washington (8-0)
(Entering week: No. 4) The Huskies pulled out a last-minute victory in Salt Lake City after blowing a 14-point lead to No. 17 Utah.
3. Clemson (8-0)
(Entering week: No. 3) Another close game, another stressful victory for the undefeated Tigers. Deshaun Watson led a clutch drive to jump ahead of Florida State and eke out a 37-34 win in Tallahassee.
2. Michigan (8-0)
(Entering week: No. 2) Jim Harbaugh’s defense was uncharacteristically spotty early on against rival Michigan State, but clamped down as Michigan outscored MSU, 27-3, after the Spartans’ first touchdown.
1. Alabama (8-0)
(Entering week: No. 1) The Crimson Tide got a week off before their trip to Baton Rouge.