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Wisconsin Badgers football team No. 8 on AP’s Top 25 list

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MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 15: Alec James #57 of the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates after making the sack during the second quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Camp Randall Stadium on October 15, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

There are five unbeaten teams left in FBS, four from Power Five conferences, and they could all conceivably run the table and reach the postseason that way.

That has made life fairly easy on the AP Top 25 voters and no doubt is doing the same for the College Football Playoff selection committee, which releases its first assessment of the season Tuesday night, November 1st.

Twitter users were debating whether Michigan or Clemson should be No. 2 behind Alabama late Saturday night into Sunday morning. And some might try to make a case for a one-loss team such as Louisville or Texas A&M over No. 4 Washington, but any real debates will come after the big four.

Heat check, as always, has nits to pick.

No. 1 Alabama (8-0)

Every team’s resume can be called into question if that’s what you want. For example, the Tide has beaten four teams that were ranked at the time it played them (USC, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee), but not any longer. Alabama’s only win over a currently ranked team is No. 7 against Texas A&M.

Next: at No. 15 LSU.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 2 Michigan (8-0)

The Wolverines’ defense, especially the pass defense, is tops in the country in yards per play allowed. But they have faced only two offenses ranked in the top 50 in FBS: Hawaii (30th) and Colorado (37th).

Next: Maryland.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 3 Clemson (8-0)

Road wins over Auburn and Florida State, plus that Louisville victory, gives the Tigers the best set of victories of any of undefeated team. But yeah, they did get lucky against North Carolina State

Next: Syracuse.

Heat check: Too cold. Should be No. 2.

No. 4 Washington (8-0)

Among the top-10 offenses in the country in yards per play, none is more balanced than the Huskies. Washington has run for 1,792 yards and passed for 1,999.

Next: at California.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 5 Louisville (7-1)

So you think some other player is more deserving of the Heisman Trophy than Lamar Jackson. OK, but realize if you replaced Jackson with even a very good player, Louisville probably has at least one if not two more losses.

Next: at Boston College.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 6 Ohio State (7-1)

Three straight weeks of spotty offense for the Buckeyes is a reminder that Urban Meyer did return only four offensive starters.

Next: No. 9 Nebraska.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 7 Texas A&M (7-1)

The Aggies have two straight weeks against Mississippi teams. Win them both and the season is an unqualified success no matter happens against LSU on Thanksgiving.

Next: at Mississippi State.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 8 Wisconsin (6-2)

Just when it looked as if the Badgers schedule would let up a bit, they catch Northwestern on an upswing in a pivotal Big Ten West game.

Next: at Northwestern.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 9 Nebraska (7-1)

The Huskers acquitted themselves well in Madison, Wisconsin. That seems like an awfully low standard to be judging Nebraska, but it is progress.

Next: at No. 6 Ohio State.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 10 Florida (6-1)

The Gators’ defense has been about as dominant as Michigan’s, but against equally sketchy offenses. Missouri at No. 31 is the only top-50 offense Florida has faced.

Next: Arkansas.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 11 Auburn (6-2)

Barring a major upset, the Tigers are going to roll into Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for the regular season finale 9-2 with a possible chance to win the SEC West. Who saw that coming? Liars.

Next: Vanderbilt.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 12 Oklahoma (6-2)

The Sooners’ offense has been tearing it up and Baker Mayfield now has the highest passer-efficiency rating in the nation at 195.85.

Next: at Iowa State, Thursday.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 13 Baylor (6-1)

Will be interesting to see how the Bears respond to adversity with what is essentially a lame duck coaching staff.

Next: TCU.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 14 West Virginia (6-1)

The Mountaineers are still in line to have a much better than expected season.

Next: Kansas.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 15 LSU (5-2)

The Tigers have averaged 42 points since Les Miles was fired. Those three games were against Missouri, Southern Miss and Ole Miss. On Saturday, we’ll see how much has really changed.

Next: No. 1 Alabama.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 16 Utah (7-2)

The Utes are still in good shape to win the Pac-12 South by beating Colorado at the end of the season.

Next: at Arizona State, Thursday, Nov. 10.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 17 Western Michigan (8-0)

Weeknight #MACtion begins for the Broncos, providing a good stage for the lone remaining undefeated team in the Group of Five conferences.

Next: at Ball State, Tuesday.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 18 North Carolina (6-2)

The Tar Heels beat Florida State in Tallahassee, so it’s hard to argue against North Carolina ahead of the ‘Noles. But heat check still might.

Next: Georgia Tech.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 19 Florida State (5-3)

The best three-loss team in the country is not exactly a flag you want to fly, but it’s all the Seminoles have left this season.

Next: at N.C. State.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 20 Penn State (6-2)

Far more than the last two games, the next four (Iowa, at Indiana, at Rutgers, and Michigan State) will determine how much progress Penn State has made this season. All very winnable.

Next: Iowa.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 21 Colorado (6-2)

The Buffaloes get a prime-time matchup to show off their newfound success.

Next: vs. UCLA, Thursday.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 22 Oklahoma State (6-2)

Still, very much alive in the Big 12 title race.

Next: at Kansas State.

Heat check: Just right; the Cowboys, Bears and Mountaineers should all be ranked 22nd.

No. 23 Virginia Tech (6-2)

Avoid another confounding loss like they had at Syracuse, and the Hokies will be back in the ACC title game.

Next: at Duke.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 24 Boise State (7-1)

That loss to Wyoming was a crusher because now the Broncos need Wyoming to lose twice more to win their division.

Next: vs. San Jose State, Friday.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 25 Washington State (6-2)

For the second straight season, the Cougars have lost to an FCS team and then were later ranked.

Next: vs. Arizona.

Heat: Just right.