Clemson Tigers (7-0, 4-0 in ACC)With quality wins over Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and Louisville, along with a line of blowout wins over the likes of Miami (FL) and Boston College, it is clear that the Tigers mean business this season and it will take something special to stop them. The fact that the Tigers’ defense has continually improved, and QB Deshaun Watson (1553 yards, 15 TDs, 79.9 QBR) is looking clutch by the day, orients further confidence that Clemson can see through an unbeaten run in their fairly easy remaining schedule. A trip to North Carolina State this weekend and home game against the 17th-ranked Seminoles are the only remaining tough games in their slate, and going by the way NCST have been wobbly and the Seminoles had no answers to the middling Georgia Tech last week, you can expect the Tigers to be favored to win all the way.
Iowa Hawkeyes (7-0, 3-0 in Big Ten)Belonging in the Big Ten West is a big blessing for the Hawkeyes, as they don’t have to contest with the kind of headaches that Michigan State and Ohio State have to deal with when they play each other in the Big Ten East towards the end of the season. Having beaten the then 20th-ranked Northwestern 40-10 in Week 8, the Hawkeyes (who’ve climbed to a 10th ranking in the current AP Poll) won’t be facing any other ranked opponent until the end of the regular season. Not to mention, three of their final five games are at home, with their toughest—but manageable—games coming at Indiana and at Nebraska. With such a slate, it wouldn’t be a surprise Iowa finished the regular season unbeaten.
Memphis Tigers (7-0, 3-0 in AAC)Despite not getting much love in the college football rankings, the Tigers have been taking care of business against all kinds of opponents, letting their record speak for them. Obviously, playing in the “soft” AAC has helped their course, but with wins over the likes of Cincinnati and then 13th-ranked Ole Miss (who belong in the mighty SEC) is a testament to their pedigree. It’s still far from over for the Tigers, as they still have to face 18th-ranked Houston (7-0) and 21st-ranked Temple (7-0) in back-to-back road games before a season-finale against SMU at home. Even so, after Paxton Lynch led the Tigers by throwing for 384 yards and 3 touchdowns against the stingy Ole Miss defense to give the Tigers a 37-24 statement win, handling Houston, Temple and SMU should be possible for Lynch, who has incredibly passed for 2366 passing yards and 17 TDs for a QBR of 86.5 this season.
Just Missed the Cut:Ohio State (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten): Has two landmine games against Michigan and Michigan State before the season, which are highly likely to deliver at least an one upset.
Baylor (7-0, 4-0 Big 12): Starting QB Seth Russell is injured for the season, and there’s no telling how the backup will fare against the likes of Kansas State and the ranked trio of Oklahoma (6-1), Oklahoma State (7-0) and TCU (7-0).
TCU (7-0, 4-0 Big 12): The Frogs have been leaking too many points, which is likely to see them get caught wanting at least once by the likes of WVU, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Baylor.
Michigan State (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten): The Spartans’ shakiness and oh-so close results could easily injure them in the remaining tough road schedules against Nebraska and Ohio State.