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Predicting When Each Top 10 Team Will Suffer Its 1st Loss Of The Season

The college football season is only two weeks old. The craziness and mayhem that typically make the sport great have not arrived yet. Every team currently ranked in the top 10 of the USA TODAY Coaches' Poll has yet to suffer a loss. 

That will be changing. 

Last season, only one Power 5 team - Florida State - entered bowl season undefeated. 

We expect something similar to happen this season. 

With the season ramping up and conference play beginning, we've decided to predict when each top 10 team will be suffering their first loss of the season. One of these games is occurring this weekend. The others are almost all road contests. 

Here are our predictions. 

No. 10, Notre Dame >>>

10. Notre Dame

First Loss: Georgia Tech

When: Sept. 19, 3:30 p.m. E.T.

Where: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Ind. 

Why: The Fighting Irish entered the season as a potential playoff contender, and technically, their status hasn't changed through two weeks. But their offensive lineup has changed, thanks to running back Tarean Folston, tight end Durham Smythe and quarterback Malik Zaire being lost for the season due to injury. That last loss is the most glaring. Notre Dame will be relying on redshirt freshman DeShone Kizer in his first career start against the Yellow Jackets this week. Kizer led the team to a comeback victory last weekend, but he is still very green.

Perhaps more importantly, Notre Dame has had problems defending Navy's triple option in recent seasons, and Georgia Tech is basically Navy's triple option attack on steroids (not literally, though). It will be a good game, but the Fighting Irish will see their playoff hopes likely dashed when they fall to GT at home on Saturday. 

Next: No. 9 Clemson >>>

9. Clemson 

First Loss: Georgia Tech

When: Oct. 10

Where: Clemson's Memorial Stadium, Clemson, South Carolina

Why: A win tonight in Louisville leads into a bye week before the match-up with Notre Dame. A frenzied crowd spurs a well-rested Tiger team to victory against the Fighting Irish, but just one week later, it can't help them avoid a hangover against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets, led by an opportunistic defense and a triple option offense that is a nightmare to defend, dash Clemson's hopes for the College Football Playoff. 

It will be the second-straight win for Georgia Tech over the Tigers. 

Next: No. 8 Georgia >>>

8. Georgia

First Loss: Tennessee

When: Oct. 10

Where: Tennessee's Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tenn.

Why: A win over Alabama in Athens on Oct. 3 will have the Bulldog faithful in a tizzy, but it will be short-lived. One week later, they'll face a Tennessee program looking for the program's first win over a top-10 team since it beat Georgia on the road in 2006. The Vols best the Bulldogs at home this time around, thanks to a strong defensive effort and some timely plays from quarterback Josh Dobbs.

Next: No. 7 USC >>>

7. USC

First Loss: California

When: Oct. 31

Where: Cal's Kabam Field at Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, Calif. 

Why: The Trojans boast an impressive bevy of skill talent, and one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Cody Kessler. They will face tests against Stanford, Arizona State, Notre Dame, Washington and Utah for sure, but will pass them all. However, they won't be able to get by the upstart Cal Bears and their outstanding quarterback, Jared Goff. 

Hey, the 2003 Trojans lost to Cal on the road and still ended up sharing the national championship with LSU. This year's defeat could be far more damaging to their chances. 

Next: No. 6 Florida State >>>

6. Florida State

First Loss: Clemson

When: Nov. 7

Where: Clemson's Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C. 

Why: Florida State hasn't looked particularly dominant through two weeks, but we feel the 'Noles figure it out enough to be undefeated when the calendar flips to November. However, their first game of the new month is on the road in hostile confines, against a Clemson team smarting from three straight losses to the Seminoles.

This time, the Tigers have enough to get the job done, and they'll end FSU's unbeaten season. 

Next: No. 5 Baylor >>>

5. Baylor

Predicted first loss: TCU

When: Nov. 27, 7:30 p.m. E.T. 

Where: TCU's Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas

Why: Baylor's schedule includes a trio of daunting games and they occur during a three-week stretch in November. From Nov. 14 to Nov. 27, the Bears will face Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU. All of those teams are currently ranked and undefeated. Two of those games, Oklahoma State and TCU, occur on the road. 

We think Baylor will get through its first two games of the stretch unscathed before falling at TCU. Why? The Bears offense should have little difficulty out-scoring the Sooners and the Cowboys. Out-scoring the Horned Frogs will prove to be more difficult. It'll be a night game in Forth Worth and TCU, which we predict will have suffered a loss prior to this contest, will be in must-win mode for the College Football Playoff. They'll be able to pull out a tough victory and upend the then-undefeated Bears. 

Next: No. 4, Michigan State >>>

4. Michigan State

First loss: Ohio State

When: Nov. 21

Where: Ohio State's Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

Why: There are some who believe this contest will be a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup of two undefeated teams. It's certainly a possibility. Neither Ohio State nor Michigan State has a game on its schedule prior to this one that looks like a loss. If everything goes as planned, one team will emerge as a College Football Playoff frontrunner while the other will have to hope to get in as an 11-1, No. 4 team. 

We expect Michigan State to be the latter team. Why? Ohio State will be throwing everything it has at the Spartans and the Buckeyes don't lose big-time games at home under Urban Meyer. We haven't seen a Braxton Miller pass yet this fall, but we think it'll happen in this contest. OSU's defense will be able to get to Connor Cook, too, and come away with a 10-14 point victory. 

Next: No. 3, TCU >>>

3. TCU

First loss: Oklahoma State

When: Nov. 7 

Where: Oklahoma State's Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, Okla.

Why: The Cowboys got hammered by TCU last fall, losing, 42-9, in Forth Worth. Has that much really changed from last season to this? No, not really. But the difference between playing on the road and at home is a big one. 

Mike Gundy's Oklahoma State team will be out for revenge come Nov. 7, whether they admit it or not. The Cowboys' offense hasn't looked great through two games but we expect it to be running smoothly by November. Oklahoma State, prompted by an electric home atmosphere, will get some big plays on offense, force a couple turnovers and emerge with one of the best upsets of the 2015 season. 

Next: No. 2, Alabama >>>

2. Alabama

First loss: Georgia

When: Oct. 3

Where: Georgia's Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga.

Why: These two teams don't play nearly as often as they should - only once since 2009 and just five times this century. The program's match-ups always seem to be one of the best of the season, though. This season's won't be any different. 

On paper, Alabama should emerge with a win. The Crimson Tide's best unit might be its front seven, while Georgia's biggest threat is its running game. If Alabama can just stop Nick Chubb, a victory is probably likely. That's obviously much easier said than done, however. 

With a superb effort from Chubb, a couple nice throws from their quarterback and a strong game from its talented defense, Georgia will emerge with an Ole Miss 2014-like victory over Alabama at home. 

Next: No. 1, Ohio State >>>

1. Ohio State 

First loss: None

When: Never

Where: Nowhere

Why: It's just not going to happen. Ohio State is the best team in the country. It has ridiculous, experienced talent all over the field. It's led by perhaps the best coach in the country. And, most importantly, it plays a schedule that includes very few - one or two, really - games that could end in a loss. 

The biggest chance for a Buckeye loss is likely the Nov. 21 game against Michigan State. Ohio State gets the Spartans at home, though, and should be able to replicate what it did to Mark Dantonio's team in East Lansing, Mich., last season. The other decent chances for losses - Nov. 7 vs. Minnesota, Nov. 28 at Michigan - are just too improbable to predict. Ohio State should easily be able to outscore Minnesota in Columbus and the Wolverines have done very little to give its fans hope for a victory against the Buckeyes, even with Jim Harbaugh at the helm of the program. 

We expect one team to enter the College Football Playoff undefeated, and that team will be Ohio State. 

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