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College Football Power Rankings: Week 7 (2021)

by October 11, 2021
Nick Saban

Down goes Alabama! The top-ranked Crimson Tide came out of the gate slow against Texas A&M, and the Aggies made them pay by finishing off a 41-38 walk-off victory, knocking Alabama down to No. 5 in the AP Poll. But, did they drop that far in my power rankings?

This was one of the craziest weekends in the last few years of college football, and nearly every spot on the power ranking table looks differently than it did last week. There are only two newcomers, and just four of the 25 teams sit in the same position heading into Week 7 as they did heading into Week 6.

Which team has taken over the top spot from Alabama? Let’s find out.

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College Football Power Rankings Week 7

* (NR) - not ranked in last week's power rankings

Big Movers

Penn State Nittany Lions
This is an unfortunate one because Penn State shouldn't have lost that game at Iowa. Nothing against their backup, but had Sean Clifford not exited with an injury, we would have been talking about Penn State sliding into one of the top two spots on my rankings. Their defense is so good, but it's hard to consider them at the top of the pack with the injury questions under center.

Arizona State Sun Devils
The Sun Devils stumbled early, but this team looks focused and sharp on both sides of the football. When you think Arizona State, you think offense. Both past and present. But the Sun Devils defense is really good and has NFL talent all over the field. They just held a Stanford team who knocked off Oregon to 10 points on a Friday night.

SMU Mustangs
I'm sure most would be a bit discouraged that SMU's offense only scored 10 second-half points against a one-win Navy team, but I was really impressed with their defense. Like Arizona State, SMU is synonymous with the offense, but also like Arizona State, if the Mustangs' defense can be even average, they're going to be a problem down the stretch.

BYU Cougars
What a massive stumble by the Cougs. They looked so strong through the first five weeks of the season, and I even called them the toughest team in college football. Not against Boise State, however. This was a typical trap game in between in-state rival Utah State and next week's date with Baylor, but this loss surely spoiled any playoff hopes for BYU, no matter how small they were.

Newcomers

Texas A&M Aggies
Welcome back, Texas A&M! They're just 1-2 in SEC play, but it's impossible to downplay the significance of that win over Alabama with two freshman offensive linemen and a backup quarterback who was average-at-best in his first few starts. Alabama was asleep for the first half of this game, but the Aggies don't have to apologize to anyone. This is a tremendous win for the program and for Jimbo Fisher.

Texas San-Antonio Roadrunners
You may not be able to name a single player on this team, and I'll even venture a guess that some of you didn't even know this program was in the FBS. Well, they are, and they can score with the best of 'em. Their schedule isn't going to turn any heads, but they beat Illinois on the road, and have now scored 50 twice.

Random Musings

Texas Longhorns
Let's start this section off with a team that, once again, I had to drop out of my top 25. I said last week: "Am I falling for the Texas trap again? Probably." Make that definitely. The Longhorns are headed in the right direction, but they're just not there yet. That was made evident when they blew a 21-point lead to their arch-rival and lost a game that was all but in the bag.

Alabama Crimson Tide
I have to touch on the Tide at some point or I wouldn't be doing my job. Alabama is supremely talented, and for my money is the most talented team in the country. This team is not that much less talented than the Alabama teams of the past decade-plus that Nick Saban has won titles with, there's just something off with this bunch. They don't seem to bring it on every down, and Saban alluded to that in his halftime interview on CBS. They seem to think teams are going to roll over for them because they're Alabama, but that's just not the case. They're going to get every team's best shot, and in a watered-down landscape this season, they've still got just as good of a shot as anyone to win it all. They just need to screw their heads on a bit tighter.

Kentucky Wildcats
I thought Kentucky was primed to be upset in a sandwich spot this week. Coming off a massive win against Florida and heading to Georgia next week, it was easy to think the Wildcats could overlook the lowly LSU Tigers. But, they didn't, and in fact, they throttled LSU 42-21 and put the rest of the conference on notice. I don't expect them to roll into Athens and dethrone the Bulldogs, but it's no longer out of the realm of possibility.

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