College football conference power rankings

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Milton leads Michigan with two TDs in win vs. Minnesota (1:45)

Joe Milton completes 15 of 22 passes, while throwing for a touchdown and running for another in Michigan's 49-24 win vs. Minnesota. (1:45)

Although there were minimal major upsets this past weekend in college football, the return of the Big Ten added intrigue.

Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan cruised, but the biggest takeaway was Indiana's OT win against Penn State.

How do we rank the teams in the Big Ten and other conferences? Our writers weighed in.

Jump to a conference:
SEC | Big Ten | Big 12 | ACC | G5

SEC

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How does Alabama replace Waddle?

The SEC Football Final crew discusses how Jaylen Waddle, arguably Bama's most prolific player, will be replaced for the season going forward.

We're nearing the halfway point of the SEC regular season, and good luck figuring out where we're headed.

Besides Alabama, is there a sure thing to be found?

Georgia, Florida and Texas A&M are in the second tier, but they all have significant issues.

Georgia's offense is inconsistent, and Stetson Bennett might not be the answer at quarterback. Florida plays almost no defense. And who really knows with Texas A&M? The Aggies -- and quarterback Kellen Mond -- are hard to trust.

Arkansas, which was supposed to be the worst team in the SEC, checks in at No. 5 and would be 3-1 if not for a bad call in the Auburn game.

It's as if everyone besides Alabama can beat everyone. Just ask LSU, which is back to .500 after losing inexplicably to Mississippi State. Better yet, ask Mississippi State, which has fallen off a cliff since beating LSU.

Last week, Kentucky beat Tennessee in Knoxville for the first time since 1984, winning by 27 points. Then Kentucky went on the road to a sub-.500 Mizzou and lost by 10.

Who knows what will happen next? -- Alex Scarborough

1. Alabama
2. Georgia
3. Texas A&M
4. Florida
5. Arkansas
6. Auburn
7. Missouri
8. LSU
9. South Carolina
10. Kentucky
11. Tennessee
12. Ole Miss
13. Mississippi State
14. Vanderbilt

Big Ten

The Big Ten kicked off its season over the weekend, and the conference came out swinging. Indiana pulled off an overtime win against Penn State with a controversial 2-point conversion, Rutgers put an end to its 21-game conference losing streak with a win against Michigan State, and Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz put himself on the national radar with an outstanding performance against Illinois.

It was tough to predict what would happen or what to expect after this offseason, but we now have a week's worth of games to grade out each team. Here are the Week 1 power rankings for the Big Ten. -- Tom VanHaaren

1. Ohio State
2. Wisconsin
3. Michigan
4. Indiana
5. Penn State
6. Minnesota
7. Northwestern
8. Purdue
9. Nebraska
10. Iowa
11. Rutgers
12. Maryland
13. Illinois
14. Michigan State

Big 12

As we near the halfway point of the Big 12 season, two teams with unblemished conference records remain: Kansas State and Oklahoma State.

It isn't what most expected at the season's outset, but both teams have played some quality ball to this point. Oklahoma State's defense has been stellar (a measly 48 points allowed in four games) and did a fine job against Iowa State. Kansas State made quick work of rival Kansas on Saturday to win its fourth straight. Freshman Will Howard turned in an encouraging performance in his second start.

Oklahoma has won two in a row after a rough start to the season, dominating TCU on Saturday, while Texas, which was in dire need of a win, got one by shutting down Baylor for a large chunk of Saturday afternoon. Texas Tech, behind new starting QB Henry Colombi, beat West Virginia by a touchdown for a key victory in the Matt Wells era after the Red Raiders lost their previous five games against FBS opponents that were decided by eight points or fewer. -- Sam Khan Jr.

1. Oklahoma State
2. Kansas State
3. Iowa State
4. Oklahoma
5. Texas
6. Texas Tech
7. West Virginia
8. TCU
9. Baylor
10. Kansas

ACC

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Wake Forest walk-on freshman gets 3 INTs in upset win over VT

Wake Forest true freshman walk-on safety Nick Andersen gets three interceptions to help the Demon Deacons upset Virginia Tech 23-16.

Breaking news: Clemson and Notre Dame remain the clear favorites in the ACC. The Tigers slumbered through three quarters against Syracuse but still put the Orange away comfortably, and Notre Dame utterly demolished a reeling Pitt team in what was clearly the best offensive performance of the year for the Irish. The two will face off in what figures to be the league's game of the year on Nov. 7.

If all that is obvious, what has been far more intriguing is the middle of the pack in the league. Wake Forest looked lost after an 0-2 start but has rebounded with three straight wins, including a stunner over No. 19 Virginia Tech on Saturday. Boston College has embraced a completely new identity behind Phil Jurkovec and the passing game with first-year coach Jeff Hafley, turning the Eagles into one of the more explosive teams in the ACC. North Carolina, Miami, Virginia Tech and NC State have all had stellar moments and a few ugly ones this season, too.

In other words, the top of the league has two clear playoff contenders, but the depth in the league is shaping up as the best it has been for years. -- David M. Hale

1. Clemson
2. Notre Dame
3. North Carolina
4. Miami
5. Boston College
6. Wake Forest
7. Virginia Tech
8. NC State
9. Virginia
10. Pitt
11. Louisville
12. Georgia Tech
13. Florida State
14. Duke
15. Syracuse

Group of 5/independents

Cincinnati answered its latest challenge, smothering SMU in the second half of a 42-13 win to reinforce its status as the front-runner for the Group of 5 New Year's Six spot. Although we would love to add a possible College Football Playoff contender to the mix, we have all seen this story play out.

Every unbeaten non-Power 5 team has been on the outside looking in on the national championship race. Still, Cincinnati has looked good, and its 29-point win over SMU was its largest margin of victory over a ranked team in program history. We also welcome the addition of Boise State, which beat Utah State 42-13 in its season opener.

The hardest decision this week was figuring out where to rank Boise State, considering that everybody else has played roughly half their seasons. We have the Broncos behind Coastal Carolina for now. But if the Broncos are able to get past Air Force next Saturday, we will have our popcorn ready for their matchup against BYU on Nov. 6. -- Andrea Adelson

1. Cincinnati
2. BYU
3. Coastal Carolina
4. Boise State
5. Memphis
6. Liberty
7. Marshall
8. Army
9. Louisiana
10. SMU