College football Week 11 roundup
Every week since the start of the season, the Top 10 has been shaken up as top teams have lost, new teams have won incredible upsets, and teams have climbed up and fallen down the rankings. Week 11, though, was a boring change to the landscape. Only former #5 Oklahoma dropped in the rankings to #9, and the Top 10 teams not named Texas A&M all stayed in the rankings.
This week’s rankings:
1 Georgia (10-0)
2 Alabama (9-1)
3 Ohio State (9-1)
4 Cincinnati (10-0)
5 Oregon (9-1)
6 Michigan State (9-1)
7 Michigan (9-1)
8 Notre Dame (9-1)
9 Oklahoma (9-1)
10 Baylor (8-2)
It is going to take a major upset to take #1 Georgia, #2 Alabama, or #3 Ohio State out of the playoffs. Georgia traveled to Tennessee and crushed the Volunteers 41-17. #2 Alabama beat New Mexico State at home by 56 in a game that ended 59-3, and #3 Ohio State took down Purdue in a rare Big Ten shootout, with the two teams putting up 90 points between them in a 59-31 blowout. For yet another week, none of these top-three teams were really challenged, and until Ohio State has to play Michigan in two weeks and Georgia plays Alabama in the conference championship, none of them likely will be.
Right now, Alabama and Georgia are cleaning house in their respective divisions in the SEC and are probably going to win out. If they do, Georgia will win the SEC East with an undefeated 12-0 record, and Alabama will carry the West at 11-1. Regardless of who wins the resulting SEC Championship game, it is likely that both will remain in the playoffs.
If Ohio State can win out (and that is a big “if”) in a key Week 13 matchup against Michigan, they should take the Big Ten East, and have a winnable conference championship game against Wisconsin or Iowa. The Big Ten — which started as a five-team gauntlet — is down to only a few contenders, as one-loss #7 Michigan and #3 Ohio State are coming down to the wire.
Further down the table, #4 Cincinnati stays in their spot by picking up their tenth win. #5 Oregon whipped Washington State, and keeps their lead in the Pac-12, while #6 Michigan State cleaned house with Maryland. #7 Michigan edged out Penn State in a 21-17 thriller at Beaver Stadium, and #8 Notre Dame beat Virginia with a defense that only allowed a field goal.
Oklahoma fell to #9 with a loss to Baylor as Texas A&M fell out with a 29-19 loss to Ole Miss. Baylor joins the fray at #10, having taken out the last undefeated Big 12 team.
1 Georgia vs. Tennessee Southern
2 Alabama vs. Arkansas
3 Ohio State vs. #6 Michigan State
4 Cincinnati vs. SMU
5 Oregon at Utah
6 Michigan State at #3 Ohio State
7 Michigan at Maryland
8 Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech
9 Oklahoma vs. Iowa State
10 Baylor at Kansas State
For the teams in the Top 10, the playoff race is shaping up to be one of three tiers. #1 Georgia is in a tier of their own, undefeated against a strong schedule and barreling towards the playoff. Alabama and Ohio State, two strong one-loss teams, who should be able to win out against their remaining opponents, are ranked at #2 and #3, respectively. If they do not commit any major screwups, they should make the playoffs. #4 Cincinnati, #5 Oregon, #6 Michigan State, and #7 Michigan should all have a shot if they win out in the coming weeks, and the teams below them have little to no shot at making the tournament.