25. Arizona (PAC-12): Mike Vick 2.0? Lamar Jackson 2.0? These are the easiest players to compare Khalil Tate to. The Arizona Sophomore QB who spent all of last season and the early part of this season as QB2 has quietly become one of the most explosive players in all of college football. If no-one has had a chance to watch him play because of #Pac12AfterDark we’ll recap his past few performances for you. In his past 3 performances combined he’s tallied 11 touchdowns and only 1 turnover including a 4 rushing TD performance against UCLA that even left UCLA coach Jim Mora in awe. At 5-2 and set to play Wazzu and USC in the next two weeks, we’ll get to see just how much of a boost his play truly gives his teammates.
24. Memphis (AAC): Two weeks removed from a 70 point offensive outburst against Connecticut, the Memphis Tigers figured to be rolling behind the arm of senior Riley Ferguson who threw 7 touchdowns in the aforementioned contest. In the first half of Saturday’s game versus Houston, that same offense looked more confused than confident. But when you’re one of the nation’s top offenses you usually find a way to get your offense going again which is exactly what happened in a shocking 42-38 comeback win for the Tigers after leaving a goose egg on the scoreboard going into halftime. With the Tigers favored in their remaining games look for them to be 10-1 when the AAC championship game rolls around.
23. USC (PAC-12): Oh USC. When will USC ever return to the old days when they could actually carry their hype throughout an entire season unscathed? The last time the Trojans entered the season ranked in the top 5, they were ranked number 1 to begin the 2012 season then went on to finish 7-6. This season they opened as the number 4 team in the nation and while they are 6-2 the Trojans have looked shaky in quite a few of their wins this season which could be a problem down the stretch.
22. West Virginia (BIG 12): I would bet all of my money that Dana Holgorsen wished he’d had Will Grier under center last season and I’d double my bet and say that he wishes he would have kept David Still V as a wide receiver last season as well. The two have formed a duo unlike no other in college football as they’ve connected on 15 touchdowns through 7 games, which included a pair of close loses to 6-1 Virginia Tech and 7-0 TCU respectively. With games against Oklahoma & Oklahoma State still on the schedule, the Mountaineers still have a chance to take a hold of the BIG 12, although they would need some help in order to do so.
21. LSU (SEC): LSU is such a confusing team to figure out. In their first loss to Mississippi State they looked as bad as any LSU team has looked in years past and they followed up by losing to Troy on homecoming. However, in their wins the Bayou Bengals have proved to be a resilient bunch with close wins against Syracuse, Florida & Auburn. LSU running backs also seem to have the Ole Miss game circled on their calendars as Darrius Guice did just as much damage on Saturday (276 Yards, 1 TD) as Leonard Fournette did just a season ago in Death Valley (284 Yards, 3 TDs). If the running game can stay consistent there’s no reason to think this bunch can’t beat Alabama… Even I laughed at that one.