1. Clemson. Since the Top Whatever moves based on who you've played in 2015, Clemson rises to No. 1 based on a historically embarrassing 58-0 blowout of Miami.
You could argue that Miami might no longer be a valid test of a team's overall talent, since they have three losses now and appear to be in full-blown program death spiral mode. This is a valid argument, but credit Clemson for throwing a theatrical amount of gasoline on the trash fire that is the Hurricane program. For example: Clemson had 33 first downs, while Miami had six. For the whole game!
There are blowouts, and then there's handing someone the worst loss in program history with conviction and a smile.
2. LSU. 48-20 over Western Kentucky doesn't offer much of a data point, even if WKU might be a better program right now than, say, I dunno, the Miami Hurricanes, just to select a team at random. The Brandon Harris rollout seems to be going according to plan, as the coaching staff allowed him to throw a whopping 20 passes for a productive 286 yards, and Leonard Fournette did not get hurt.
LSU plays at Alabama in two weeks in what might be the ugliest, headbuttingest game between two major college football powers this year, barring an LSU-Stanford bowl game. We must never let a Stanford-LSU postseason game occur, unless you want to be the one who fills in the six-foot-deep ruts left on the field afterward.
3. Baylor. "Pesky but doomed" should go on Iowa State's tombstone for this year, or really for any year under Paul Rhoads. The Bears won 45-27 in soggy conditions despite Iowa State going for onsides, mobbing clock and somehow preventing Baylor for scoring for 35 whole minutes.
They also may have lost their starting quarterback Seth Russell to a broken bone in his neck, but that's pending a visit to a specialist this week. That doesn't seem like something you should even think about playing through, but Art Briles saw "Baylor football" as an opportunity and not a death sentence for his career, so no one can really tell him what is a good idea and what isn't at this point.
Oh, and Corey Coleman caught two more TDs to give him a total of 18. Did you know that's more than any team has by itself? That's totally true.*
*No, it's not. There are 13 teams out of 127 who have more TDs than Coleman has by himself. Guhhhh, it's like he's not even trying anymore.
4. Ohio State. Dominated on both sides in a 49-7 erasure of Rutgers. Is it cheap math to say, "Cool, Urban Meyer's got a QB who can get 200 yards passing and 100 yards rushing and a running back and shut up, they'll be fine now?"
It is cheap math, but now that the quarterback tussle is over and the defense is holding up nicely, Ohio State seems to be fine for the stretch run into the Big Ten Championship as long as it doesn't do something insanely stupid like losing to Illinois. THE UNSETTLING QUIET OF MEMORIAL STADIUM: SO DESOLATE YOUR OWN THOUGHTS BECOME A 12TH MAN FOR THE OPPONENT.
5. Michigan State. The most deceptive final score of maybe the year comes from Sparty's 52-26 defeat of Team Chaos, aka the Indiana Hoosiers. On third-and-7 with 12:57 left in the fourth quarter, the score was Michigan State 28, Indiana 26. In the remaining 12 minutes and change, after a Michigan State field goal, this happened.
There is an old gag in which a plane lands and comically disintegrates the second the pilot pats it affectionately. This is that gag when you pat the plane six feet above the runway. Not that margin of victory matters with Michigan State, ever.
6. TCU. Didn't play football, and Josh Doctson had six catches for 83 yards and a TD somehow.
7. Oklahoma State. Still undefeated after beating a hapless Kansas team, 58-10, albeit under terrible circumstances in Stillwater.
8. Iowa. Didn't play football this week, which is the best way to stay undefeated IMHO.
More college football for you
THE NEXT TIER OF TEAMS JUST WAITING TO FINISH THE SEASON AND MAYBE WIN A CONFERENCE TITLE DESPITE HAVING A LOSS AND THEN SHINING UP RESUMES FOR THE COMMITTEE
- Alabama, winners of a mean, 19-14 rivalry game against Tennessee.
- Stanford, maybe the most punishing team to face in college football right now, flatteners of Washington in a 31-14 wrestling match.
- Florida State, which still has plenty to play for in spite of a last-second, 22-16 road loss to a two-win Georgia Tech on a blocked field goal.
- Oklahoma, casual dispatchers of Texas Tech in a 63-27 practice session.
- Utah, which despite a 42-24 loss to USC could still easily end up in the Pac-12 Championship.
- Notre Dame, whose one loss was to a consensus top-three team on the road and which somehow gets to play Temple and Pitt and have it mean something real? 2015 is WEIRD.
THE GLORIOUS MID-MAJORS WHO WILL PROBABLY BE SCREWED OUT OF A PLAYOFF SPOT DESPITE BEING REALLY FUN AND GREAT AND EVERYTHING
- Undefeated Memphis, winners of a 66-42 free-for-all against defense-free Tulsa.
- Temple, scrappy scrapeteers who scrapped through a scrappy 24-14 scrappening against East Carolina to remain scrappily undefeated.
- Toledo, standing at 7-0 after a brief scare with UMass in a 51-35 win.
- Houston, which with a 59-10 win over UCF, guaranteed another week of free beer in Orlando.