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TCU, Mississippi State have most staying power among risers


Mayhem reigned supreme over the weekend in college football, as upsets shook up every poll and rankings as well as the outlook for the postseason.

Let's start to pick up the pieces and begin by taking a look at which of the four teams that made the biggest jump this week in the CFB 24/7 Power Rankings has the most staying power.

Each of the four teams -- No. 3 Ole Miss, No. 4 Mississippi State, No. 11 TCU and No. 13 Arizona -- will be presented with a daunting task this week to keep the momentum going. Ole Miss visits No. 14 Texas A&M, Mississippi State hosts No. 2 Auburn, TCU visits No. 5 Baylor and Arizona hosts unranked USC.

Arizona has the "easiest" game of the four, and it's nowhere even close to a gimme.

Clearly, the four teams' fortunes can change quickly, and their challenges won't end there -- each has a tough remaining schedule beyond this week.

So, who has the most staying power of those four teams?

I think it comes down to Mississippi State and TCU. No disrespect to Ole Miss -- I actually have the Rebels ranked one spot ahead of Mississippi State in my latest power rankings, but I think Ole Miss' remaining schedule is tougher than Mississippi State's. Arizona could be a team of destiny this season, but the Wildcats had some close calls, including against Texas-San Antonio and Cal, that give me pause.

Mississippi State has knocked off top 10 teams in consecutive weeks, but it has a heck of a gauntlet remaining, too, with Auburn this week and games at Alabama and Ole Miss, among other tough ones remaining. There's plenty to like about the Bulldogs' combination of a Dak Prescott-led offense and an outstanding front seven on defense. The road ahead looks very difficult for Mississippi State, but it appears to be the type of team that is ready to take on the challenge of withstanding it.

However, I'll give a slight edge to TCU over Mississippi State as the team with the most staying power of the four biggest risers.

Make no mistake, TCU has a huge test staring it in the face this week with a trip to Baylor. Narrowly, the Horned Frogs' remaining schedule is not quite as daunting as the others in this conversation, and head coach Gary Patterson has his offense humming again, which makes a huge difference.

Under Patterson, a defense-first coach, TCU has always had stout defenses, but the team's offense stagnated when it entered the Big 12 in 2012. Patterson has been agonizing about what to do on offense over a two-year evolutionary process before finally saying, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," and brought in Sonny Cumbie from Texas Tech and Doug Meachem from Oklahoma State to be his co-offensive coordinators in the offseason.

TCU has mashed their schemes together, and it's working beautifully right now for dual-threat QB Trevone Boykin, who is opening all sorts of possibilities for the team with his athleticism.

Prior to Saturday's win over Oklahoma, TCU had never scored more than 20 points in its 13-game series history against Oklahoma.

On Saturday, though, TCU racked up 37 points.

TCU can score this season in addition to playing good defense. That's the difference, and it's a big reason why we might not see them fall in the rankings any time soon.

Follow Charles Davis on Twitter *@CFD22.*

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