We are reaching the tail end of a whirlwind college football season. Week 10 brought us even more upsets and some seriously great plays (looking at you Purdue). Even with the season winding down, conference championship races are still extremely tight and teams are jockeying for position weekly. Another week in the books, let’s now see what Week 11 can give us.
1. Georgia (9-0) (7-0 SEC)
Last week: vs Missouri (W 43-6) | This week: at Tennessee (5-4)
It’s Georgia and everybody else at this point. The Dogs started off last week’s game relatively slow but once again blew it wide open scoring 43 unanswered. This team is a cut above the rest and essentially a lock for the college football playoff unless disaster somehow strikes.
2. Alabama (8-1) (5-1 SEC)
Last week: vs LSU (W 20-14) | This week: vs New Mexico State (1-8)
Alabama struggled again against LSU but there’s really no one to put ahead of them here. The big thing when looking at the Crimson Tide is, do they get in with a conference championship loss to Georgia? Unfortunately, they have not played like a team that should, however, the committee will certainly keep the SEC bias strong.
3. Ohio State (8-1) (6-0 Big 10)
Last week: at Nebraska (W 26-17) | This week: vs Purdue (6-3)
Ohio State was another top 10 team that struggled last weekend but this one is a bit more understandable than Alabama. Nebraska has been playing top teams tight all year and a two-score win is honest quality football in this case. Now, the Buckeyes look ahead towards a scorching hot Purdue team with upset on their minds again.
4. Oklahoma (8-0) (5-0 Big 12)
Last week: BYE | This week: at Baylor (7-2)
Nothing too much to talk about for the Sooners who are coming off a bye last week. They do head into Waco in what could be a serious trap game for them. This is a must-win for the Bears who were just upset by TCU and an Oklahoma loss would make both the Big 12 and playoff race more interesting.
5. Oregon (8-1) (5-1 Pac 12)
Last week: at Washington (W 26-16) | This week: vs Washington State (5-4)
The scoreline here may look like Oregon did not play well but they actually did a great job under the circumstances. It was pouring rain in Washington and naturally nearly impossible for the offense to handle the elements. It was a very nice road game, a trap win, for a team that continues to rise since their previous loss to Stanford.
6. Cincinnati (9-0) (5-0 American)
Last week: vs Tulsa (W 28-20) | This week: at USF (2-7)
What is going on in Cincinnati? This team needed another game-winning play to defeat a terrible team, and yet they still remain undefeated. The Bearcats are clearly not the team we once thought they were but that doesn’t mean they are bad. If they pick it up, Cincinnati can still hopefully make a playoff run this season.
7. Texas A&M (7-2) (4-2 SEC)
Last week: vs Auburn (W 20-3) | This week: at Ole Miss (7-2)
Texas A&M probably has the weirdest resume in the country but it is a great one. It’s clear they needed some time to adjust when Haynes King went down but they have hit full stride now and are looking more and more like one of the best teams out there. Are the two losses earlier in the year too much to overcome? Probably. But based on eye test alone this has been a really impressive team the last six weeks.
8. Michigan State (8-1) (5-1 Big 10)
Last week: at Purdue (L 29-40) | This week: vs Maryland (5-4)
Just as things were looking great for the Spartans, they go into Purdue and lose badly. David Bell torched the Michigan State secondary all day long and it was clear that the Spartans were still reeling off their big win against Michigan a week prior. Michigan State still has the chance to win the Big 10 but a loss to Ohio State in a few weeks would seal the deal.
9. Michigan (8-1) (5-1 Big 10)
Last week: vs Indiana (W 29-7) | This week: at Penn State (6-3)
Michigan bounced back from the Michigan State loss nicely this week. Some thought Indiana was due for an upset after all the top teams they’ve played this year but that was clearly not the case and Michigan controlled the game throughout. Now, they head into a partial white-out in Happy Valley as they try to tame the environment and land a must-needed win.
10. Oklahoma State (8-1) (5-1 Big 12)
Last week: at West Virginia (W 24-3) | This week: vs TCU (4-5)
Oklahoma State scored a nice win over upset-minded West Virginia. They really picked it up in the second quarter after going down 3-0 early and finished off the Mountaineers once the second half rolled around. The Cowboys now get to take on another team that has landed some upsets this year in TCU, however, they should be able to win it at home.
11. Notre Dame (8-1)
Last week: vs Navy (W 34-6) | This week: at Virginia (6-3)
It was a solid win for the Irish against Navy. Obviously, the scoreline will never be too flattering against service academies but Notre Dame took care of business once again. It’s still very hard to get a read on this squad with how their season has gone but with everyone losing these days you never know how high they can get.
12. Wake Forest (8-1) (5-0 ACC)
Last week: at North Carolina (L 55-58) | This week: vs North Carolina State (7-2)
The Cinderella perfect season for Wake Forest has finally come to an end. Now, you might be wondering how they lost to UNC but don’t have any losses in their ACC campaign. In fact, this was a non-conference matchup between the two squads, so Wake Forest still controls their fate in the ACC. However, this was a really tough loss but they have a chance to bounce back in a ranked game against North Carolina State this week.
13. Ole Miss (7-2) (3-2 SEC)
Last week: vs Liberty (W 27-14) | This week: vs Texas A&M (7-2)
The Rebels’ win against Liberty last week should not be taken lightly. The Flames are a top 40 team in the country and Ole Miss definitely outplayed them. Still, Ole Miss has yet to win some of their biggest games but they have the chance to do so against Texas A&M this week. If they win, it could create a little chaos in the SEC standings.
14. Houston (8-1) (5-1 American)
Last week: at USF (W 54-42) | This week: at Temple (3-6)
Houston’s offense flexed once again in their win over USF, dropping 54 points on the Bulls. The defense still needs some work if this team wants to beat Cincinnatti in the conference championship but for now, they are doing their job and winning games. Houston will travel to Temple this week in what should be another easy win for the Cougars.
15. UTSA (9-0) (5-0 C USA)
Last week: at UTEP (W 44-23) | This week: vs Southern Miss (1-8)
UTSA is the last Cinderella team out there and they just beat the best team they’ll play all year in dominant fashion. It’s really quite absurd that the playoff committee does not have this team ranked. Yes, they play no one but they have shown true talent and a very good system when you just take a step back and watch them. Maybe they shouldn’t be this high but if they aren’t ranked come Tuesday then there will be serious questions the committee has to answer.
16. Baylor (7-2) (4-2 Big 12)
Last week: at TCU (L 28-30) | This week: vs Oklahoma (9-0)
The loss to TCU last week was a massive setback for the Bears but they still have a huge opportunity this week against Oklahoma. They’ll need to play mistake-free football if they want to land the upset because it was two turnovers that cost them against TCU.
17. North Carolina State (7-2) (4-1 ACC)
Last week: at Florida State (W 28-14) | This week: at Wake Forest (8-1)
North Carolina State does have two losses but their season and postseason hopes are far from over. They handled Florida State nicely on the road but that matchup was really just a precursor for the game in Winston-Salem this week against Wake Forest. The winner will almost certainly go to the ACC Championship and probably be the favorite once they get there.
18. Coastal Carolina (8-1) (4-1 Sun Belt)
Last week: at Georgia Southern (W 28-8) | This week: vs Georgia State (4-5)
This could very well be the last time we see Coastal Carolina ranked. With Grayson McCall out indefinitely, we need to see first how they can perform without him. We are banking on them not being good and probably dropping a game. Coastal Carolina has a really tough road ahead of them from here on out but the postseason is still a serious option for the Chanticleers.
19. Penn State (6-3) (3-3 Big 10)
Last week: at Maryland (W 31-14) | This week: vs Michigan (8-1)
Penn State came back from their losses to Illinois and Ohio State in good form. They seem to just own this Maryland program year after year. The Nittany Lions were led by their defense once again but the offense continues to show signs that they can take down a bigger team, like their opponent this week Michigan. Penn State has also picked up two top 25 wins in regards to these latest rankings.
20. Auburn (6-3) (3-2 SEC)
Last week: at Texas A&M (L 3-20) | This week: vs Mississippi State (5-4)
Auburn’s defense was stout against Texas A&M. The problem? The offense was morbid. They went back to their inconsistencies and it showed on every down. Bo Nix was bad, the line didn’t give Tank Bigsby anything and the unit as a whole had their worst showing since they played Georgia three weeks ago.
21. Purdue (6-3) (4-2 Big 10)
Last week: vs Michigan State (W 40-29) | This week: at Ohio State (8-1)
Purdue seems to not be able to decide if they’re a top 10 team or a top 100 team. This is the second time they’ve upset a top-five team (Iowa being the other) and they have another chance to do so this week against Ohio State. To win this game, however, David Bell will need to play like he did against the Michigan State secondary but even that might not be enough.
22. Wisconsin (6-3) (4-2 Big 10)
Last week: at Rutgers (W 52-3) | This week: vs Northwestern (3-6)
The turnaround that Wisconsin has put on this season has been very impressive. Their offense has performed a complete 180 and they enter the rankings for the first time since Week 4. Obviously, a win against Rutgers isn’t much to gloat about but 52 points do stress how much better this team is playing.
23. BYU (8-2)
Last week: vs Idaho State (W 59-14) | This week: BYE
Another team that has formed a bit of a comeback has been BYU. After losing to Boise State, a lot of people counted this team out but they’ve managed to get back in the race strongly. Last week’s game means pretty much zero, however, as all they did was beat up on an FCS program but all in all the Cougars are stringing together a nice run.
24. Pittsburgh (7-2) (4-1 ACC)
Last week: at Duke (W 54-29) | This week: vs North Carolina (5-4)
Pittsburgh crushed Duke after losing to Miami the week prior. This was a very impressive second-half performance by the Panthers and a much-needed blowout win to gain some confidence back. Pittsburgh still leads the ACC by a game but does have those who trail them by one game, like Virginia, still on the schedule.
25. Arkansas (6-3) (2-3 SEC)
Last week: vs Mississippi State (W 31-28) | This week: at LSU (4-5)
Arkansas comes back into our rankings after dropping out over the course of the gauntlet schedule they faced just a few weeks ago. Mississippi State is by no means a bad team at 5-4 and this win looks a lot more impressive than you would think. The Hogs have a very good shot at ending up 8-4 on the year or maybe they’ll even knock off Alabama and cause a frenzy in the SEC.
Outside looking in: Iowa, Minnesota, Kentucky, San Diego State, Louisiana
New teams: Purdue (21), Wisconsin (22), Arkansas (25)
Dropped out: Kentucky, Louisiana, SMU
Follow Charlie Parent on Twitter @Charlie_Parent
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images