Suddenly, there is clarity.
It took three months, but we finally have it. It doesn’t mean it will stick around. In fact, it is very likely to get messy again, perhaps as early as this week. But as losses continue to mount for teams hovering around College Football Playoff consideration, those remaining are starting to separate (for now, at least).
Oregon took a nasty tumble at Utah. Michigan State was absolutely steamrolled by Ohio State. And Cincinnati, after lackluster showings for the past month, finally looked like a playoff contender over SMU.
As we hit the final week of college football regular season, there is plenty of movement in the top 10 and across the top 50. And with Ohio State-Michigan, Oklahoma-Oklahoma State, and other key rivalries poised to shake things up, they might not be there for long.
Please note that all CFB odds and lines are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook as of 1 PM EST on Monday, November 22.
50. Nevada (7-4) ⬇️ 8
After a tough loss to Air Force, Nevada claims the final spot in our power rankings. Outside of an early defeat to Kansas State, their other three losses have all come by two points apiece. Ah, what might have been.
49. South Carolina (6-5) Last Week Unranked
48. Western Kentucky (7-4) Last Week Unranked
47. Army (7-3) Last Week Unranked
46. Northern Illinois (8-3) ⬆️ 2
45. Washington State (6-5) Last Week Unranked
While their record isn’t great, Washington State has won five of their last seven games. Given this team’s difficult year, that’s quite an accomplishment.
Interim head coach Jake Dickert should be named full-time head coach with the job he’s done this season. A win over rival Washington might seal it.
44. Boise State (7-4) Last Week Unranked
43. Utah State (8-3) ⬇️ 11
42. Arizona State (7-4) ⬇️ 14
41. Oregon State (7-4) Last Week Unranked
40. Air Force (8-3) ⬆️ 7
Like the team it just beat, Air Force’s season could be defined by close calls. The team’s three losses (Utah State, San Diego State, and Army) came by a combined 17 points.
The Falcons can hit nine wins against UNLV, who have really improved in recent weeks.
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39. East Carolina (7-4) Last Week Unranked
38. Kansas State (7-4) ⬇️ 5
37. Minnesota (7-4) ⬆️ 7
36. Tennessee (6-5) ⬆️ 7
35. Coastal Carolina (9-2) ⬆️ 3
Coastal Carolina continues to win almost all of its games, but their performance has regressed some since last year as we saw against Texas State on Saturday.
Still, a 10th win is out there, and South Alabama is the only thing standing in the way.
34. Fresno State (8-3) ⬆️ 3
33. UCLA (7-4) ⬆️ 6
32. SMU (8-3) ⬇️ 3
31. Purdue (7-4) ⬆️ 3
30. Penn State (7-4) ⬆️ 5
Penn State got into a punt-fest with Rutgers for a bit on Saturday before the Nittany Lions’ offense eventually found its form, delivering a 28-0 shutout.
While their schedule has been difficult down the stretch, it doesn’t get any easier as Penn State heads to Michigan State for the regular-season finale.
29. Mississippi State (7-4) ⬆️ 2
28. North Carolina State (8-3) ⬆️ 2
27. Appalachian State (9-2) ↔️
26. Kentucky (8-3) ⬆️ 2
25. Arkansas (7-4) ⬇️ 7
With Saturday’s loss to Alabama, the Razorbacks dropped to 7-4. Still, given their strength of schedule and the way they’ve played in close games, I won’t drop them far.
Sam Pittman‘s crew now ends the season with a suddenly interesting game against Missouri.
24. Clemson (8-3) ⬆️ 12
Look, I’ll admit it. I might have under-ranked the Tigers some, but after a dominant win over Wake Forest that changes now.
It’s not the season Dabo Swinney wanted, but it’s coming into shape. Clemson closes out the year against surging South Carolina.
23. Pittsburgh (9-2) ⬆️ 1
Amid the madness, Pitt barely edged out Virginia 48-38 in a fabulous football game. QB Kenny Pickett threw four more touchdowns as the Panthers locked up the ACC Coastal.
22. San Diego State (10-1) ⬆️ 1
The Aztecs weren’t brilliant against UNLV, but 10-1 is 10-1. Matt Araiza, the team’s punter and kicker, continues to play a huge role in his team’s success.
San Diego State wraps up the regular season on Friday against Boise State.
21. Wake Forest (9-2) ⬇️ 9
Wake Forest’s tremendous year has taken a sizable hit in recent weeks, although that shouldn’t discredit their impressive season. Still, allowing 48 points to Clemson — who haven’t scored much against anyone — is a big blow.
The Demon Deacons will try to bounce back against Boston College this week.
20. Louisiana (10-1) ⬆️ 1
I thought Liberty would take down the Ragin’ Cajuns last week, but I was very wrong. Louisiana won its 10th game in a row, making quick work of Hugh Freeze‘s group.
ULM is the only thing standing in the way of 11 straight.
19. Iowa (9-2) ⬆️ 1
Well, it was very Iowa. That’s about the only way I can describe the Hawkeyes’ 33-23 win over Illinois on Saturday. But it was still a win, which is something Iowa has done a lot of this year.
I’m fascinated to see how this team matches up with Nebraska next week.
18. Wisconsin (8-3) ⬆️ 3
The Badgers continue to plow through everything in their path, and I say that quite literally. Freshman running back Braelon Allen, who checks in near 240 pounds, nearly eclipsed his weight in rushing yards against Nebraska on Saturday.
Wisconsin can lock up the Big Ten West with a win over Minnesota next week.
17. Utah (8-3) ⬆️ 5
Now, that was an impression. Utah crushed Oregon at home to end the Pac-12’s playoff hopes (again). Still, it was an impressive performance for a program that has really come on of late.
Next up: Colorado.
16. Texas A&M (8-3) ↔️
The Aggies blasted Prairie View A&M for their eighth win and now take on LSU in what could be Ed Orgeron‘s final game. I wouldn’t sleep on that one, however, as Coach O tends to work some magic in games like these.
15. Houston (10-1) ⬆️ 2
Dana Holgorsen spent much of Friday’s game against Memphis yelling at officials even as Houston pulled out its 10th straight win. The Cougars close out their season against UConn, so we might as well congratulate them on their 11th win now.
14. BYU (9-2) ⬆️ 1
The Cougars have won four in a row since suffering back-to-back losses, both of which have aged quite nicely. BYU will look to extend its winning streak against USC, which hit rock bottom last weekend.
13. UTSA (11-0) ⬆️ 1
Meep, meep. The Roadrunners stayed unbeaten with a thrilling finish over UAB, and the only obstacle standing in the way of an undefeated season is this week’s road game against North Texas.
While Cincinnati will (understandably) get more coverage, this has been a remarkable year for a Group of 5 school.
12. Michigan State (9-2) ⬇️ 4
Sparty, let’s never talk about that loss again.
OK, maybe one more minute. Michigan State was destroyed by Ohio State, and both the offense and defense looked somewhat helpless. It also wasn’t the best timing for head coach Mel Tucker, who is rumored to be negotiating a massive new contract.
The Buckeyes will try to rebound against Penn State this week.
11. Oklahoma (10-1) ⬆️ 2
The Sooners slipped past Iowa State, which was supposed to be the biggest game in the Big 12 this season (it wasn’t). Quarterbacks Caleb Williams and Spencer Rattler combined to throw for 96 yards in the win, which is very un-Oklahoma.
10. Oregon (9-2) ⬇️ 4
- National Championship Odds: +15000 at Caesars
Well, that was ugly. Oregon’s playoff run smashed into a brick wall, and that wall was Utah.
But while the Ducks’ playoff dreams may have ended, they can still win the Pac-12 with a victory over Oregon State this week.
9. Baylor (9-2) ⬆️ 2
- National Championship Odds: +30000 at Caesars
I thought Baylor would be in some trouble against Kansas State, and goodness was that wrong. The Bears suffocated the Wildcats 20-10 to move to 9-2.
Dave Aranda has had a special year, and he’ll likely factor into coaching searches around the country. Baylor will look to finish strong against Texas Tech with a third straight win.
8. Ole Miss (9-2) ⬆️ 2
- National Championship Odds: +30000 at Caesars
With Matt Corral announcing that he’s leaving for the NFL after this season, Ole Miss is looking to cap off a special year with a win over rival Mississippi State. After handling Vanderbilt on Saturday, the Rebels can move to 10 wins with a dub in the Egg Bowl.
7. Oklahoma State (10-1) ⬆️ 1
- National Championship Odds: +6000 at Caesars
Oklahoma State just pitched a 23-0 shutout against Texas Tech, which is not something you normally see in today’s sport. And with Oregon’s loss, the Pokes have a shot at the playoffs.
But first they need to get past rival Oklahoma — something OK State has rarely done — next weekend.
6. Notre Dame (10-1) ⬆️ 3
- National Championship Odds: +6000 at Caesars
The Irish are becoming a problem. If you’re a team on the playoff bubble, you should be concerned about Notre Dame.
A dominant 55-0 win over Georgia Tech was a good step before this week’s game against Stanford. With just a few losses, ND could make a strong case for a spot.
5. Michigan (10-1) ↔️
- National Championship Odds: +5000 at Caesars
If you thought the Wolverines would let down before playing Ohio State, you were wrong. Michigan clobbered Maryland, 59-18, to move to 10-1.
Now, a win over the Buckeyes could lift Jim Harbaugh‘s team to one win from the playoffs.
4. Cincinnati (11-0) ↔️
- National Championship Odds: +3000 at Caesars
THAT is the team we’ve been waiting to see. The Bearcats crushed SMU by 34 points, and perhaps they have been disinterested the past month or so.
Regardless, Oregon’s loss puts Cincinnati squarely in the playoff mix.
3. Alabama (10-1) ⬇️ 1
- National Championship Odds: +400 at Caesars
Bryce Young was ridiculous last week, throwing for a season-high 559 yards and five touchdowns to edge Arkansas. The Crimson Tide get a crack at Auburn this week before playing Georgia. Get ready.
2. Ohio State (10-1) ⬆️ 1
- National Championship Odds: +300 at Caesars
What a performance. Ohio State absolutely destroyed Michigan State, cementing themselves as legit contenders to win the national championship. QB C.J. Stroud threw for 393 yards — in the first half.
It is very clear, at least right now, that the Buckeyes are the biggest threat to Georgia. Bring on Michigan.
1. Georgia (11-0) ↔️
- National Championship Odds: -120 at Caesars
Georgia won, as usual. Against Charleston Southern, even star defensive lineman Jordan Davis scored a touchdown.
While Ohio State looks dangerous, the title is still the Bulldogs’ to lose. After Georgia Tech, it’s ‘Bama time.