Another week of dominant play by Associated Press (AP) Top-10 ranked teams separated the best from the rest, as seven squads won easily, while three others enjoyed a bye week.
And that will likely be this Saturday as well, with only one Top-10 team taking on a fellow AP Top-25 contender.
That game pits eighth-ranked TCU (4-0) against 23rd-ranked West Virginia (4-0), with both teams fresh after a bye week.
West Virginia dropped its season opener to archrival Virginia Tech (4-1), currently ranked 16th by the AP, in a 31-24 shootout. But the Mountaineers rebounded by winning three straight while scoring 57 points per game in the process.
Even so, lightweights like Delaware State (0-4) and East Carolina (1-4) can’t compare to TCU’s offensive firepower. The Horned Frogs have put up 47.8 points per thus far through a spotless season, while playing surprisingly effective defense as well in allowing just 18.5 points on average.
This Big 12 battle takes place in Texas, where TCU has gone 17-0 when ranked in the AP Top-10 under head coach Gary Patterson – which is why online sportsbook Bovada has the Horned Frogs as 13.5-point favorites.
As for last year’s National Championship participants, top-ranked Alabama (5-0) and second-ranked Clemson (5-0) appear to be on a collision course once again.
The Crimson Tide rolled over Ole Miss in a 66-3 romp last week, while the Tigers defeated then 12th-ranked Virginia Tech in a 31-17 game that was never that close.
This week, Alabama visits Texas A&M (4-1) to take on an SEC upstart, as the Aggies are lurking just behind the Tide in the SEC West standings. If not for a 28-point comeback by UCLA (3-2) in a season-opening 45-44 loss, Texas A&M would enter this pivotal game undefeated as well.
Nonetheless, even with home field on their side, the Aggies will be huge 27-point underdogs in this one.
Clemson faces a strangely similar spot this Saturday, hosting a Wake Forest (4-1) team that would be undefeated if not for last week’s last-minute touchdown toss by Florida State (1-2). And just like the Tide, the Tigers face a conference rival that is currently breathing down their neck in the standings.
Continuing the theme, Clemson has been installed as big time 22.5-point home favorites.
Third-ranked Oklahoma (4-0) and fourth-ranked Penn State (5-0) are also mirror images this week.
The Sooners host Big 12 doormat Iowa State (2-2) as huge 28-point favorites, and the Nittany Lions visit Big Ten walkover Northwestern (2-2) with a 15-point advantage.
Fifth-ranked Georgia (5-0) heads to Vanderbilt (3-2), and while Bovada has the Bulldogs as 18-point road favorites, this one may be closer than it appears.
The Commodores are finishing a brutal run of four straight games against ranked teams, and leaving aside a 59-0 shellacking by Alabama, they’ve acquitted themselves admirably.
Vanderbilt handed then 18th-ranked Kansas State (3-1) its only loss on the year in a 14-7 slugfest, and played 21st-ranked Florida (3-1) to a halftime tie before losing 38-24.
Georgia has a pair of wins against ranked teams already, and they’ve looked dominant on both sides of the ball for stretches this season – but they can’t look past the now seasoned Commodores in this one.
Sixth-ranked Washington (5-0) hosts Cal (3-2) as 27.5-point favorites in a Pac-12 clash, and the Huskies enter this one on a roll, averaging 44.0 points per game while surrendering only 10.8 points on average.
Seventh-ranked Michigan (4-0) will look to keep the Paul Bunyan Trophy in Ann Arbor, hosting Michigan State (3-1) in the bitter rivals’ annual grudge match.
The Wolverines had lost three straight to the Spartans, before reclaiming the Bunyan statue last season.
Both teams have looked a bit lethargic this year, winning close games while struggling to put poor teams away.
Accordingly, the books have it relatively close, with the Wolverines listed as 10.5-point home favorites.