Here are the teams that are ranked in the AP Top 25 but don’t have a top 25 resume:
#14 Utah – Resume score: 13
The Utes’ win over USC has reinforced the belief that many had back in the preseason that Utah is one of the nation’s better teams. This belief will be reinforced by their resume if they continue to win ball games. 10-2 is not out of the question, but with a road game at Oregon, 9-3 might be more realistic. Their game this Thursday at Wazzu might be their next toughest challenge left after the Ducks.
#19 Kentucky – Resume score: 11
The Wildcats had last weekend off, but their resume got a small bump because some of their opponents moved in or out of the Top 25. South Carolina moving into the Top 25 (you read that right, see below) lessened the impact of their home loss to the Gamecocks, and Mississippi State’s exit from the poll lessened the benefit of Kentucky’s home win against the Bulldogs last weekend. It all balanced out to a one-point increase in their resume score. Home losses hurt, and the SC loss turning from just a P5 loss to a Top 25 loss gave them some relief.
#24 NC State – Resume score: 11
The Wolfpacks also had last weekend off, and since no opponents moved in or out of the polls, they sit exactly where they did last week. As we mentioned in the previous resume update, State faces some challenges without starting quarterback Devin Leary, but they also have some winnable games left.
#25 South Carolina – Resume score: 12
That’s right everyone, the AP voters have decided that the Gamecocks’ win over Texas A&M has earned them a spot in their Top 25. Has it earned them a Top 25 resume? Not yet, but SC has won the games they should have won, and has now beaten an Aggie team that very few thought they would beat in the preseason. An 8-4 finish is conceivable if they can win at The Swamp and avoid wetting the bed against Missouri or at Vanderbilt.
As mentioned, the big game of this weekend is Ohio State at Penn State, which is either a chance for the Buckeyes to quiet all the naysayers who poke fun at their schedule, or for Penn State to prove all of us who have poked fun at their schedule to be right.
There are two other Top 25 matchups. It seems like we are getting weekly matchups between contenders in the Big 12 and we get another Saturday when Oklahoma State visits Kansas State. The injury situation surrounding the Wildcats’ quarterbacks will probably impact the outcome of this contest.
The other matchup is Kentucky visiting Tennessee, which will be the second ranked matchup for the Vols at Neyland in the past three weeks. While this game isn’t on the heels of their win over Alabama, it does come right before a huge game against the Bulldogs in Athens. It’s a classic look-ahead game. The #19 ranking of their opponent might prevent them from taking them lightly. The name Kentucky on their jerseys might do the opposite. I do wonder if things might get spicy in Knoxville this weekend.
The biggest game in the ACC Atlantic is a non-conference game, with Syracuse hosting Notre Dame. The Irish have not lived up to preseason expectations, but their name still carries weight. A win for Syracuse helps to strengthen the argument that they are a team to be taken seriously. North Carolina hosts Pitt, who is one of the stronger teams among the relatively weak Coastal division.
One more weekend before the CFP rankings roll out, and perhaps even better: MACtion baby!