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College football Power Rankings after Week 7


With a number of groups within the High 25 on a bye and only a few ranked matchups on the slate, Week 7 of faculty soccer appeared prefer it is perhaps a return to normalcy after a wild Week 6. The Purdue Boilermakers determined towards that.

In one of many main upsets of the 2021 season, the Boilermakers marched into Iowa Metropolis as a double-digit underdog and left with a 24-7 assertion victory over the No. 2 Iowa Hawkeyes. The Purdue offense would not let the Iowa protection off the sector, and when the lead stretched to 17 factors within the fourth quarter, it felt as if the Hawkeyes did not have a path again into the sport.

Apart from the shock within the Huge Ten, Week 7 went principally as predicted. The highest-ranked Georgia Bulldogs put collectively one other full efficiency, this time muscling previous beforehand unbeaten Kentucky Wildcats within the second half to prevail 30-13.

Alabama bounced again because it usually does following a convention loss. The Crimson Tide rolled to a 49-9 win at Mississippi State to firmly enter their identify again into the Faculty Soccer Playoff image.

The Cincinnati Bearcats climbed all the way in which to No. 2 this week — their highest Energy Rankings spot this season — whereas the Oklahoma Sooners saved their excellent file unblemished with a brand new beginning quarterback.

Regardless of the quantity of parity this season, it does seem a high 4 is beginning to solidify. But when this season has taught us something, it is that we do not really know what’s subsequent. Ask the Hawkeyes.

With that being stated, let’s get into this week’s Energy Rankings.


After being ranked No. 1 within the AP high 25 ballot in season for the primary time since 1982, the Bulldogs had their hardest check for the reason that opener towards Kentucky — at the least for a half. After main solely 14-7 after two quarters, Georgia’s protection and particular groups took over for a 30-13 victory to maneuver to 7-0. Quarterback Stetson Bennett III began for the third straight recreation and performed very nicely, finishing 14-of-20 passes for 250 yards with three touchdowns. At this level, it will be tough for UGA coach Kirby Sensible to take him off the sector as soon as former starter JT Daniels returns from a muscle harm. Tight finish Brock Bowers, a real freshman from Napa Valley, Calif., had 5 catches for 101 yards with two scores. He has emerged as a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Georgia has every week off subsequent earlier than taking up rival Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., on Oct. 30.– Mark Schlabach


The Bearcats’ path to sustaining playoff relevancy requires dominance of inferior AAC opponents the remainder of the way in which. A staff that had some sluggish begins earlier this season clearly is not messing round now. Cincinnati stormed out to a 35-0 lead towards UCF, as Jerome Ford and the run recreation actually received going. Ford’s 189-yard, four-touchdown efficiency is a really promising signal for an offense that, at instances, has been too reliant on chunk performs within the go recreation. The Bearcats’ protection held UCF to solely 14 first downs, 296 yards and 4.6 yards per play. Quarterback Desmond Ridder did not have a notable efficiency (13-of-23 passing, 140 yards, one landing), however Cincinnati did not want a lot assist due to the efficiency by its run recreation and protection. — Adam Rittenberg

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Cincinnati RB Jerome Ford rushes for 176 yards and 4 touchdowns within the first half vs. UCF.


After giving up 41 factors and 6.5 yards per play of their upset loss to Texas A&M final week, a refocused Crimson Tide protection took out some frustration on Mississippi State in a 49-9 win in Starkville. The D allowed simply 4.0 yards per play and sacked MSU quarterback Will Rodgers seven instances, and Jordan Battle took an interception again for a landing within the first quarter. The protection set the tone early, and the Bama offense eased into fifth gear. Bryce Younger threw for 348 yards in simply 28 passes, and the Tide scored 28 factors within the second half to cruise. — Connelly


The beginning of the Caleb Williams period could not have gone a lot smoother for Lincoln Riley. Williams accomplished 13 of 15 passes for 261 yards towards TCU, averaging 20.1 yards per completion within the first half alone towards a reasonably good defensive coach in Gary Patterson. Because the Sooners went to work with Kennedy Brooks, who completed with 153 yards on 7.7 yards a carry, Williams ended the sport accounting for 361 yards and 5 touchdowns in entrance of a house crowd that enthusiastically cheered his each transfer. The Sooners’ protection struggled once more because it did with Texas, giving up 519 yards to the Horned Frogs, however that is not what OU followers will keep in mind from this one. — Dave Wilson


The Wolverines had a bye this week and coach Jim Harbaugh stated it is coming at time for his staff to get some relaxation and put together for the second half of the schedule. Michigan had an emotional comeback win towards Nebraska and now will get a while to heal earlier than taking up Northwestern. The staff is finally gearing up for its recreation towards in-state rival Michigan State in East Lansing. If Michigan will get previous Northwestern unscathed, it has an opportunity to go 8-0 with a win towards the Spartans. — Tom VanHaaren


The Buckeyes had a bye week, however in all probability would’ve most well-liked to play given the momentum they’ve began previously two video games. The staff appeared extra like what we anticipated to see this season in its 66-17 win over Maryland on Oct. 9. Quarterback C.J. Stroud appeared extra comfy and extra in management than he did to start with of the season and threw for 406 yards and 5 touchdowns towards the Terps. The protection has progressed over the previous few weeks as nicely, and it’s coming at a good time with Penn State solely two weeks out. — VanHaaren


Good protection and luck saved MSU excellent on the season after a really sloppy efficiency at Indiana. Quarterback Payton Thorne averaged simply 4.8 yards per try with two interceptions, together with an finish zone choose late within the fourth quarter when MSU wanted to run clock. Fortuitously, Thorne and the offense acquired sufficient assist from the protection, which recorded three takeaways, returning one for a landing, and allowed just one landing on seven drives that reached Spartan territory. MSU did not generate a lot strain and had some points on third down (8 of 20 conversions allowed), however made performs when it wanted them. The Spartans gained regardless of almost as many penalties (12) as first downs (14), and solely 241 complete yards. They will should be sharper down the stretch, starting Oct. 30 towards Michigan. — Rittenberg


With eight minutes left within the second quarter, Texas was driving with designs on taking a 24-3 lead. That is when Jason Taylor II intercepted Longhorns QB Casey Thompson and ran it again 85 yards for a landing, going into halftime down 17-13 as an alternative of being in an enormous gap. It is the kind of play the Cowboys have made all season, with a protection able to retaining them in any recreation. They’ve outscored opponents by simply 42 factors all season — or seven factors per recreation — the Third-lowest differential by a staff that gained every of its first six video games for the reason that AP ballot started in 1936. The protection closed out the sport by stuffing Thompson on a fourth-and-three run with 3:12 left, then intercepting Thompson once more with 1:57 remaining. Utah State switch Jaylen Warren wore the Longhorns out, ending with 193 yards on 33 carries, 154 of these within the second-half rally. — Wilson


The Nittany Lions received every week of relaxation with a bye after an emotional loss to Iowa on the street. Quarterback Sean Clifford missed a lot of the second half towards Iowa with an harm and his standing going ahead continues to be up within the air. Clifford was not at apply on Wednesday, however coach James Franklin did not give an replace on a timeline of when Clifford would possibly return. Having every week off would possibly do the staff nicely in the event that they need to play one other recreation, or extra, with out the beginning quarterback. — VanHaaren


Regardless of a 6-0 begin and a No. 2 rating, the Hawkeyes knew they could not overcome a flat efficiency, particularly towards a staff (Purdue) and a participant (vast receiver David Bell) who had their quantity. Iowa not solely began poorly on offense (not stunning) however had no solutions for the Boilermakers on protection (far more stunning). Bell added 240 receiving yards to his staggering profession complete towards Iowa (545 yards on 36 receptions). The Boilers ended the Hawkeyes’ excellent season and even drank their beer. Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras had an implosion recreation (4 interceptions), and high working again Tyler Goodson solely acquired 12 carries within the loss. Maybe most jarring, Iowa’s stout protection could not get off the sector, permitting Purdue to transform 9 of 16 third-down probabilities. — Rittenberg


The late Friday evening time slot appears to all the time match Pac-12 After Darkish insanity like a glove, and Cal touring to No. 9 Oregon was no exception. It did not matter that the Bears had been 1-4 with their sole win coming towards an FCS opponent, or that Oregon was on the lookout for a rebound after a bye week following a foul loss to Stanford. Chaos was so as. Oregon escaped with a 24-17 victory, however continued trying like a ghost of the staff that upset Ohio State in Week 2. The offense with Anthony Brown underneath middle (ninetieth nationally in passing) appears to have hit its ceiling if not its flooring too. Surviving and advancing isn’t a foul end result, however in the case of the playoff chase, Oregon is missing in not simply type factors, however convincing victories. — Paolo Uggetti

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Oregon will get the fourth down cease from inside their very own 5 as they maintain on to keep away from the upset.


It took 4½ hours, a profession evening from Matt Corral, 977 mixed yards from scrimmage, a few enormous late defensive stops and an extended stoppage attributable to Tennessee followers throwing objects onto the sector — together with a golf ball that just about hit Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin. Then it took one extra cease and a close to recreation winner thrown by Tennessee backup quarterback Joe Milton III. However … in spite of everything that … Ole Miss is 5-1 after a 31-26 win in Knoxville. Corral almost turned the primary SEC quarterback since Johnny Manziel to each throw and rush for 200 yards in the identical recreation. Certainly, Corral outdueled Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, and regardless of scoring solely as soon as within the second half, the Rebels made an early lead maintain up. — Connelly


The Irish had been one of many many high 25 groups with a bye, giving the staff an additional week to arrange for USC. The Irish are coming off of a three-point win towards Virginia Tech and a loss to Cincinnati the week prior. The staff has fairly a bit to work on, together with determining the quarterback scenario. Jack Coan and Tyler Buchner break up snaps towards Virginia Tech and the uncertainty round which quarterback offers the staff the most effective likelihood to win stays. The offensive line has been a priority, however the unit is coming off certainly one of its greatest performances towards the Hokies, so driving that momentum ahead shall be a giant key for Notre Dame’s offense. — VanHaaren


The Wildcats put up a valiant battle towards the Bulldogs for 2 quarters, however could not muster a lot offense within the ultimate two quarters and misplaced for the primary time this season. Kentucky had recreation plan on offense and managed time of possession within the first half. However a lot of its manufacturing got here on trick performs and throwbacks, and the Bulldogs’ stingy protection adjusted on the half. The Wildcats had just a few too many dropped passes to provide Georgia an actual scare. Kentucky can take comfort in that it’s the first staff this season to attain two touchdowns towards the Bulldogs. Quarterback Will Levis threw for 192 yards with two touchdowns, however did not get a lot assist in any respect from the working recreation. Georgia restricted the Wildcats to 51 yards on 27 carries. Kentucky will get every week off earlier than enjoying at Mississippi State on Oct. 30 .– Schlabach


The Demon Deacons had an open date to arrange for the second half of the season, the place they may see their energy of schedule develop a lot stronger. However given the 6-0 begin, Wake Forest is aware of what it takes to play in tight video games that go all the way down to the wire if that’s what it takes. Wake Forest has used nice stability on offense and a veteran staff to get so far. One massive key as nicely — Wake Forest has been capable of keep comparatively wholesome for the primary half of the season, too. – Andrea Adelson


The Chanticleers had an open date and additional time to arrange for Appalachian State subsequent Wednesday in a giant Solar Belt recreation. Coastal Carolina has gained 11 straight convention video games going again to 2019. The final outing, the Chants posted 685 yards — their second-most in a single recreation at school historical past, and Grayson McCall had a career-high 365 yards. — Adelson


There could be no Bama hangover for Jimbo Fisher’s staff, which adopted its upset win over the top-ranked Crimson Tide with a principally stress-free victory at Missouri. The Aggies led 21-0 after the primary quarter, outgaining the Tigers 184-49. Though Texas A&M is not the primary staff to capitalize on Missouri’s nation-worst run protection, Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane did their half with 292 mixed dashing yards and three touchdowns. Zach Calzada did not actually resemble the quarterback who shined towards Alabama — he accomplished 13 of 25 passes for 148 yards with a landing and an interception — however Texas A&M had greater than sufficient to win simply. Coordinator Mike Elko’s protection responded from its most tough check towards Alabama to restrict Missouri’s downfield passing recreation and file two interceptions towards Connor Bazelak. — Rittenberg

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Texas A&M RBs Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane mix for 292 dashing yards and three touchdowns to hold the Aggies in a 35-14 win over the Tigers.


The Wolfpack broke the sport open within the second half towards Boston Faculty, capitalizing on a number of errors, together with a muffed snap on a punt and an interception. Additionally they did a pleasant job slowing down the BC working recreation, making it a nonfactor once they jumped out to such a giant lead. NC State quarterback Devin Leary threw three landing passes, and wideout Emeka Emezie turned the all-time main receiver at school historical past. It was a giant street win for a staff that struggled the final time it performed away from house in a loss to Mississippi State. — Adelson


The 6-0 Mustangs will keep undefeated for at the least another week after a bye. For the third straight season, SMU began 5-0 or higher, and entered the High 25 for the primary time final week since climbing as excessive as No. 16 final season. Sonny Dykes’ quarterback, Tanner Mordecai, an Oklahoma switch, leads the nation with 26 landing passes. The Mustangs escaped towards Louisiana Tech with a win on a Hail Mary and beat Navy in Annapolis final weekend for SMU’s first win there in 23 years. The Mustangs hold it vigorous, and will not have performed a whole recreation but in Dykes’ eyes. — Wilson


Two weeks in the past, Dave Aranda’s Bears misplaced their first recreation of the season, a irritating 24-14 defeat at Oklahoma State. They’ve responded with fury. Per week after pummeling West Virginia by 25 factors, they beat a ranked BYU, 38-24, in Waco. BYU’s offense had its explosive moments, however the Bears did no matter they needed offensively: Abram Smith and Trestan Ebner rushed 38 instances for 283 yards and three scores, whereas Gerry Bohanon threw 231 yards and a landing. The Bears led by three early within the second half however went on a 21-3 run to place away their future Huge 12 rivals. — Connelly


It wasn’t fairly, however the Aztecs stayed undefeated in an absolute slog of a recreation towards San Jose State Friday evening. This was alleged to be the beginning of SDSU’s hardest stretch this season, and it definitely match the invoice. Each groups struggled to do something however punt the ball to one another and hit a few discipline objectives by means of 4 quarters. The Aztec protection lived as much as its top-10 repute, whereas the Aztec offense additionally lived as much as its repute — on this case, 93rd within the nation — by recording 240 complete yards, together with time beyond regulation. The 6-6 impasse wanted not one, however two further durations to find out a winner. There, each groups lastly determined to discover the confines of the top zone, and it was an Aztec interception adopted by their second landing that ended up barely retaining their 6-0 undefeated season alive. — Uggetti


The Tigers return to the rankings following a 38-23 grind of a victory over Arkansas. Bo Nix was 21-for-26 for 292 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, and his 23-yard landing run with 2:30 left put away a key win. Arkansas outgained the Tigers, 460-427, and created extra scoring probabilities, however the Tiger protection pressured two turnovers on downs and two discipline objective makes an attempt, recovered a fumble in the long run zone and held the Razorbacks to 35 fourth-quarter yards. Huge performs made the distinction, and Auburn made extra of them. — Connelly


There isn’t a query that the Panthers are actually the overwhelming favourite to win the ACC Coastal Division after dealing with Virginia Tech, 28-7, on the street. Pitt is the one undefeated staff remaining within the Coastal and now has the tiebreaker over the Hokies, the following closest staff within the division standings. Kenny Pickett went 22-of-37 for 203 yards with two touchdowns, however the greater improvement was the way in which Pitt ran the ball — giving the Panthers the kind of stability that makes them tougher to defend. Israel Abanikanda had 140 yards dashing within the win. — Adelson


It occurred. It lastly occurred. The UTSA Roadrunners climbed into the Energy Rankings high 25 after a 45-0 rout of Rice — holding the Owls to simply 102 yards on offense — to enhance to 7-0 on the season. In simply their tenth season of soccer, the Roadrunners have been among the finest tales of the 2021 season. The seven-game win streak to start out the season is the longest in program historical past, and the Roadrunners have a good schedule the remainder of the way in which. The one query left is how lengthy can they stretch the streak? — Shea Carlson


The excellent news is Clemson beat Syracuse. The unhealthy information is final week’s open date didn’t precisely get the Tigers’ offense again on observe. Clemson has but to attain 20 or extra factors towards a Energy 5 opponent this season, managing 17 within the victory. D.J. Uiagalelei threw for 181 yards and was off on a lot of his throws, however his receivers didn’t precisely assist, with a myriad of drops of their very own. At this level within the season, it appears clear Clemson goes to win video games on the again of its protection, which was stellar as soon as once more. — Adelson





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