Top Ten as of 9-5-2023 and Upset Watch

The College Football season is now in full swing and the preseason rankings have already shifted. In the final year of the four-team playoff system, ranking is everything. Here are our initial top ten teams in college football after the official week one of the season:

Top Ten as of 9-5-2023

#10. Texas 1-0 (+350/+2500) - A lackluster effort against Rice at home will long be forgotten if the Longhorns can upset Alabama on the road this Saturday. Next Up: @ Alabama

#9. Washington 1-0 (+500/+3500) - The Pac 12 gets another entry in the top 10 with veteran quarterback Michael Penix Jr. proving last year was not a fluke by throwing for five scores in the opener. Next Up: vs. Tulsa

#8. Penn State 1-0 (+280/+2200) - The Nittany Lions are the 3rd Big Ten entry into this week’s top ten. If quarterback Drew Allar continues to live up to the hype, they could be playoff-bound. Next Up: vs. Delaware

#7. Notre Dame 2-0 (+500/+2800) - QB Hartman gives the Irish as good an offense as they’ve had in years. The defense has played brilliantly thus far as well. Next Up: @ NC State

#6. USC 2-0 (+250/+1500) - The Trojans have rolled to 122 points total in the first two games as Caleb Williams remains the early front-runner for back-to-back Heisman Trophies. Can the defense hold up? Next Up: vs. Stanford

#5. Florida State 1-0 (+750/+1100) - Florida State manhandled LSU at the line of scrimmage and dominated the game through the air. With Clemson’s loss, they should be the class of the ACC. Next Up: vs. Southern Miss

#4. Ohio State 1-0 (-105/+900) - The Buckeyes were not as dominant as in years past against Indiana in the opener. The quarterback position still seems open for debate. Next Up: vs. Youngstown State

#3. Michigan 1-0 (-115/+700) - Game one without Coach Harbaugh went smoothly enough. Another tuneup this week at home should net similar results. Next up: vs. UNLV

#2. Alabama 1-0 (+250/+550) - New quarterback Jason Milroe looks explosive, particularly running the football. The Tide will be tested this week by a deep and talented Longhorns team. Next Up: vs. Texas

#1. Georgia 1-0 (-270/+240) - The defending two-time champs rolled over UT Martin in their opener on Saturday, 48-7. They have another tune-up this week before the SEC schedule kicks in. Next Up: vs. Ball State

  • In parenthesis, odds to make playoffs and odds to win the National Title.

Upset Watch Week 2:

Things don’t always go according to plan in college football. Each week we will look at a possible upset against one of our top ten teams.

#7 Notre Dame (-7.5) at NC State 12PM on Saturday: While many people might point to Texas at Alabama as an upset special, I think there is more concern with the Fighting Irish visiting the Wolfpack on Saturday. Notre Dame’s defense has not been tested in two easy wins and the offense has made it look easy. NC State QB Armstrong is the kind of veteran QB who won’t be rattled by this big game. The NC State defense is also very familiar with Hartman from his days at Wake Forest. This one could end up being a dogfight for the Irish.

The One That Got Away Week 1:

Each week we will look at a game from the previous week in which defeat was snatched away from the jaws of victory with a fateful play near the end of the game. We’ve all been there, why not painfully rehash it?

West Virginia at Penn State; Line: Penn State -20.5

The Nittany Lions, while ranked in the Top Ten, are transitioning to a new quarterback this season and opened at home against a formidable West Virginia squad out of the Big 12. Most expected Penn State to win but the points were too rich for many and the Mountaineers became a popular pick given 20+ points.

A 14-7 Penn State lead at halftime gave the betting public renewed confidence that the line was too high. By the end of the third quarter, the score was 21-7 and the 20.5 points were still looking good. When the Nittany Lions scored the first ten points of the 4th quarter, you could actually hear audible groans if you opened your window. But, the Mountaineers had some fight left in them. With just 3:46 to go in the game, West Virginia scored a touchdown and added the two-point conversion to make it 31-15. Penn State had already turned to its backup quarterback and those 20.5 points were looking awfully good. What could possibly go wrong?

The euphoria of a betting win soon gave way to trepidation as Penn State began marching down the field. Glued to the television, you checked the clock and field position as sweat beads dripped down your forehead. Surely they aren’t going to…oh my God!! With six seconds left, let me repeat that: SIX SECONDS LEFT, backup quarterback Beau Pribula scampers in the end zone from five yards out. No, not the knee you were hoping for to run out the clock but rather an endzone celebration that ripped your heart out. Final Score: Penn State 38 West Virginia 15; Defeat, snatched from the jaws of victory with SIX SECONDS LEFT!!!!

*All odds courtesy of

By Mark Ruelle

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Mark Ruelle

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.