Again with the Top 10 teams losing…
Part of it was self inflicted thanks to some awesome matchups this week, but four Top 10 teams fell in Week 11, including our No. 1 team as Georgia lost at Auburn. Who takes over their spot? Is it Alabama, who held on against Mississippi State? Or is it Miami, who absolutely demolished Notre Dame by a 41-8 score?
Let’s take a look!
1. Alabama — SEC, 10-0
LW: 2 — Result: W, 31-24 at Mississippi State
It wasn’t pretty, but Alabama’s DeVonta Smith scored the game winner with just 25 seconds left, and Mississippi State was unable to successfully response with a couple of Hail Mary attempts with no time left.
Alabama has gotten some flak in recent weeks over a weak schedule so far, but they have now beaten quality opponents in back-to-back weeks and remain undefeated. They get Mercer next week — now that will have with the schedule comments — before they play at Auburn to close the regular season.
2. Oklahoma — Big 12, 9-1
LW: 4 — Result: W, 38-20 vs. TCU
Oklahoma didn’t score in the second half of this game, but uh… they didn’t need to. The Sooners scored 38 points in the first half against a solid TCU defense, and for the first time in several weeks, the Oklahoma defense actually made a statement by constantly harassing TCU quarterback Kenny Hill.
This was the first time since Oklahoma played Tulane (56-14) that they allowed 20 points or less.
3. Miami — ACC, 9-0
LW: 8 — Result: W, 41-8 vs. Notre Dame
Is this the same team that got outplayed by 2-8 North Carolina team a couple of weeks ago?
The Hurricanes looked absolutely incredible on Saturday night, and the atmosphere looked entertaining as possible with what had to be the most hyped up Miami crowd in at least a decade. The way the Miami defense was flying around made the Fighting Irish look like… well… a 2-8 team.
4. Clemson — ACC, 9-1
LW: 3 — Result: W, 31-14 vs. Florida State
Clemson got the win, but it honestly wasn’t that impressive. In fact, this was a 17-14 game early in the fourth quarter and Florida State got the ball back… only for quarterback James Blackman to immediately throw an interception.
Rough game, but the Tigers survived.
5. Wisconsin — Big Ten, 10-0
LW: 6 — Result: W, 38-14 vs. Iowa
A week after scoring 55 points against Ohio State, Iowa only had SIXTY-SIX total yards against Wisconsin on Saturday. And it’s not like the Badgers didn’t try to help them out; Wisconsin turned the ball over four times early in this game, but Iowa couldn’t do anything. Iowa’s only points came via two pick-6s from defensive back Josh Jackson.
This was a big win against a quality opponent, something Wisconsin desperately needed this week.
6. Auburn — SEC, 8-2
LW: 10 — Result: W, 40-17 vs. Georgia
This was one of the best all-around games played by any team this season. The Auburn defense gave Georgia absolutely NOTHING to work with, all while quarterback Jarrett Stidham and running back Kerryon Johnson consistently moved the ball down the field with ease every time.
7. Georgia — SEC, 9-1
LW: 1 — Result: L, 17-40 at Auburn
Some may point to the inexperience of Jake Fromm here as why Georgia was blown out, and there is some truth to that; Fromm did miss a couple of open guys on potential deep balls that could have changed the outlook of this game. That said, this was all the Auburn defense; they limited the Bulldogs to just 46 yards rushing on 32 attempts, and they were consistently able to get pressure on Fromm with just four guys on obvious passing downs.
Maybe this can be a learning experience for Georgia, and with decent Kentucky and Georgia Tech teams coming up next, they still have plenty of time to recover and get back on track before the SEC Championship Game.
8. Oklahoma State — Big 12, 8-2
LW: 11 — Result: W, 49-42 at Iowa State
I thought Oklahoma State got bumped down a bit too far in last week’s Playoff rankings; their only two losses are close games against TCU and Oklahoma at this point, and they have quality wins at West Virginia and at Iowa State over the past week.
The Pokes need some help to get into the Big 12 title game (TCU needs to lose), but if they do get there… we likely get Bedlam for a second time this season. Doesn’t that sound like fun? (sorry, TCU fans)
9. Central Florida — AAC, 9-0
LW: 13 — Result: W, 49-24 vs. UConn
UCF picks up another win in what is known as college football’s dumbest rivalry. No seriously, go look up the “Civil ConFLiCT”, you’ll laugh.
Giggles over lost rivalry trophies aside, UCF is still undefeated and they are an extremely entertaining team to watch. They won’t get into the Playoff, but they are a fun team to watch.
10. Notre Dame — ACC adjacent, 8-2
LW: 5 — Result: L, 8-41 at Miami
I appreciate teams that play to win the game, but can we seriously talk about how hilarious it was that Notre Dame went for two when they scored their first touchdown to break Miami’s 34-0 shutout? I mean, crazier things have happened (see: UCLA-Texas A&M 2017), but that attempt just seemed so hopeless with how things had gone to that point.
11. TCU — Big 12, 8-2
LW: 7 — Result: L, 20-38 at Oklahoma
This is a loss that is going to hurt for a bit.
Considering the Pokes pretty much win 10-games every year, there’s not much to be concerned about as far as the state of the program goes. However, this was a win that would have easily put them in the College Football Playoff conversation, and now those hopes are over after giving up almost 800 yards of offense to the rival Sooners.
12. USC — Pac-12, 9-2
LW: 12 — Result: W, 38-24 at Colorado
The win at Colorado clinches the Pac-12 South in favor of the Trojans. That’s nice.
What’s not nice is that 49-14 blowout at Notre Dame looks BRUTAL today. Sure, these things will happen to good teams from time-to-time (hi, Georgia, Notre Dame), but that transitive property is going to look awful until people stop paying attention to it in a week.
13. Ohio State — Big Ten, 8-2
LW: 15 — Result: W, 48-3 vs. Michigan State
I was thoroughly impressed with the win against Michigan State. The win was like a fancy painting you would see on display at an art exhibit.
And the 31-point loss to Iowa last week is akin to a four year old scribbling in crayon on the wall next to it. As much as you want to admire the win, you just can’t look away from the crayon.
14. Washington — Pac-12, 8-2
LW: 9 — Result: L, 22-30 at Stanford
So Stanford is a good team, so this isn’t a bad loss per se, but… I still don’t get what Jake Browning was doing here.
For as good as Washington’s offense should be, they have had way too many plays like that this season where you are just left scratching your head at what they were trying to accomplish. It happened in their first loss of the season against Arizona State (where the Huskies put up a monstrous seven points), and it happened again here.
15. Penn State — Big Ten, 8-2
LW: 17 — Result: W, 35-6 vs. Rutgers
Nothing like getting to play Rutgers at home to end a two-game losing streak.
Penn State has Nebraska and Maryland left on the schedule, and while their outlook on the season is drastically different than it was just two weeks ago, they should still end up with at least 10 wins on the season. That’s pretty good!
16. Washington State — Pac-12, 9-2
LW: 16 — Result: W, 33-25 at Utah
The good news: with the win, Washington State still controls their own destiny in clinching the Pac-12 North this year. They are also improved to 7-0 at home.
The bad news: they still have to play Washington in order to get in to the Pac-12 title game, and that game is not in Pullman.
17. Memphis — AAC, 8-1
LW: 19 — Result: BYE
Memphis was off this week. They play SMU next week, and considering the often weak slates before rivalry week, this could be one of the best games next Saturday.
18. Michigan — Big Ten, 8-2
LW: 20 — Result: W, 35-10 at Maryland
Hey, it’s Michigan! Remember them?
Michigan has now won three straight games ever since their blowout loss at Penn State, and they have a chance to further redeem themselves this upcoming week with a trip to Wisconsin. College GameDay will be there.
19. LSU — SEC, 7-3
LW: 21 — Result: W, 33-10 vs. Arkansas
Score looks pretty… let’s ignore that it was 7-7 at halftime… (side effect of playing Alabama last week, I assume)
20. Stanford — Pac-12, 7-3
LW: NR — Result: W, 30-22 vs. Washington
Who knew that having one Bryce Love in the backfield was better than having zero Bryce Loves in the backfield?
Stanford still has Cal and Notre Dame to close the season, and beating Cal puts Stanford in an interesting spot; a win there and a Washington State loss to Washington in the Apple Cup means that Stanford goes to the Pac-12 title game to face USC again.
21. South Florida — AAC, 8-1
LW: 22 — Result: BYE
South Florida was off this week. They get Tulsa on Thursday.
22. Mississippi State — SEC, 7-3
LW: 25 — Result: L, 24-31 vs. Alabama
Yes, Mississippi State moves up despite the loss. I mean, Alabama was ranked No. 2 going into the game, and my No. 25 team last week lost to them in a close game. Why should the No. 25 team go down because of that?
Mississippi State has Arkansas and Ole Miss to close the season. No reason why they shouldn’t be able to get to a respectable nine wins.
23. Michigan State — Big Ten, 7-3
LW: 12 — Result: L, 3-48 at Ohio State
That was awful.
Not much else to say here. That was just awful.
24. N.C. State — ACC, 7-3
LW: NR — Result: W, 17-14 at Boston College
Hey, Boston College is a decent team this season, don’t discount a win here.
N.C. State also rebounds after they had to play at Notre Dame and then at home against Clemson in back-to-back weeks. Going to BC after that could have been death by scheduling, but they were able to grind out a win after BC had taken a second half lead.
25. West Virginia — Big 12, 7-3
LW: NR — Result: W, 28-23 at Kansas State
Speaking of teams grinding out victories…
Will Grier threw for 374 yards and four touchdowns (sorry, Florida fans) as the Mountaineers were able to hold off Kansas State in Manhattan. While their Big 12 title hopes are done for at this point, West Virginia can still play spoiler this season, as they still have yet to play Oklahoma. That could make for a wild close to the regular season.
DROPPED FROM THE RANKINGS: Virginia Tech (18), Iowa (23), Iowa State (24)