About halfway through the season, the pecking order in college football has been established, but there's still plenty of time for it to be disrupted several times over. This week has plenty of marquee matchups, and these teams should be looking over their shoulder.
1. Washington Huskies (@ Arizona Wildcats)
Pundits expected the Huskies to make a real run at the Pac-12 title this season, and perhaps even make their return to the CFP. Now that Washington is locked outside of the Top 25, it looks like that isn't going to happen. We'd go one step further and say that the Huskies are now fresh meat for the rest of the conference's underlings to feast on - including the Wildcats, who host tomorrow's Pac -12 After Dark game.
2. No. 16 Michigan Wolverines (@ Illinois Fighting Illini)
You don't need to remind us that the Wolverines have only lost one game. It just feels like they've only gone .500. In fact, that can define Jim Harbaugh's entire tenure at Michigan - a good team that's fallen well short of being a great team. While they deserve credit for their hard-fought win last week over Iowa, their reckoning may come this week on the road, in their conference game against the Fighting Illini - and against fellow former NFL coach, Lovie Smith.
3. No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (vs. USC Trojans)
Despite lingering in the top ten, Notre Dame has only had three real competitive games out of five, and one of them was a loss to Georgia. (The other two were wins over ACC schools, and it might be a stretch to call Louisville "competitive".) Meanwhile, USC have bounced in and out of the Top 25, leaving head coach Clay Helton on the hot seat. A rivalry game, especially on the road, will always provide a boost, so Notre Dame should watch out for an opponent who will play like their coach's job is on the line - because it probably is.
4. No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers (vs. Michigan State Spartans)
Thanks to electric running back Jonathan Taylor and an absolutely lockdown defense, Wisconsin are one of college football's hottest teams. However, Michigan State's own defense is nothing to laugh at; they've only surrendered 18.2 points per game through six games, the bulk of which came from their 34-point slip-up against Ohio State last week. If there's anyone left on the Badgers' schedule who can harass Taylor, it's the Spartans.