No matter the week or the teams involved, chaos seems to come. It’s becoming almost repetitive at this point, although I welcome the routine of rankings carnage with a warm embrace.
Week 10 once again delivered the goods. After debuting at No. 3 in the first College Football Playoff Rankings, Michigan State fell to Purdue. The Boilermakers know how to spoil a good season. Wake Forest, which was also unbeaten, could not outlast North Carolina.
And so, our Top 10 has once again undergone some significant surgery.
Before we dive in, allow me to be honest. Ranking teams outside of Georgia at No. 1 is incredibly difficult at the moment. Alabama looked incredibly un-Alabama-like against LSU, Cincinnati once again underwhelmed, and Ohio State flirted with a loss against Nebraska.
It’s tough out there, but there are no excuses.
Here are the updated CFB Power Rankings.
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50. UAB (Last Week Unranked)
Bill Clark‘s team has flown under the radar, although UAB is now 6-3. Huge home stretch coming up with games against Marshall, UTSA and UTEP.
49. Washington State (Last Week No. 49, Unchanged)
48. UCF (Last Week No. 50, Up 2)
47. Memphis (Last Week Unranked)
46. Kansas State (Last Week No. 47, Up 1)
Three wins, three losses, three wins. Kansas State’s sandwich season has been somewhat odd, although the results are much better of late. The Wildcats welcome West Virginia and its struggling offense next week.
45. North Carolina (Last Week Unranked)
44. UCLA (Last Week No. 43, Unchanged)
43. Miami (Last Week No. 48, Up 5)
42. Tennessee (Last Week Unranked)
41. Fresno State (Last Week No. 30, Down 11)
Saturday wasn’t pretty, and there’s no other way to say it. Fresno State fell 40-14 to Boise State, and it didn’t even feel that close. The Bulldogs should get back on track with New Mexico, although the damage has been done.
40. Nevada (Last Week No. 40, Unchanged)
39. Mississippi State (Last Week No. 35, Down 4)
38. Virginia (Last Week No. 39, Up 1)
37. Clemson (Last Week No. 44, Up 7)
36. Utah State (Last Week No. 42, Up 6)
This is a team more people should be talking about. After back-to-back losses, Utah State has won four in a row. The Aggies are in a position to close out the year with three wins, and it begins next week at San Jose State.
35. Minnesota (Last Week No. 27, Down 8)
34. Arizona State (Last Week No. 37, Up 3)
33. Appalachian State (Last Week No. 34, Up 1)
32. SMU (Last Week No. 19, Down 13)
31. Pittsburgh (Last Week No. 32, Up 1)
I’m still mourning the defeat of my 75/1 Kenny Pickett Heisman ticket. But, while it isn’t dead, it’s pretty close. Pitt got back on track with a win over Duke last week, which wasn’t a surprise.
We now get a doozy of a Thursday night game between the Panthers and the Tar Heels. What a delightful quarterback matchup we have between Pickett and Sam Howell.
30. Penn State (Last Week No. 28, Up 2)
29. Iowa State (Last Week No. 33, Up 4)
28. Kentucky (Last Week No. 16, Down 12)
27. Louisiana (Last Week No. 26, Down 1)
26. San Diego State (Last Week No. 25, Down 1)
25. Purdue (Last Week No. 31, Up 6)
They did it again. Of course, they did.
Quarterback Aidan O’Connell threw for 536 yards against Michigan State as the Boilermakers took down another top-five team. And guess what? Purdue will get another crack next week against Ohio State. We shall see.
24. Wisconsin (Last Week No. 29, Up 5)
I’m not as high on the Badgers as the College Football Playoff Selection Committee appears to be, but it’s hard to ignore the progression. Wisconsin dominated Rutgers for its fifth consecutive win.
Up next? Northwestern. I’m thinking six in a row.
23. Utah (Last Week No. 25, Up 2)
The Utes’ performance against Stanford was so brilliant it might get David Shaw fired. I’m halfway serious.
The 52-7 road win was one of the more dominating performances from any team all season. After Arizona, Utah welcomes Oregon to town. That could be fascinating.
22. North Carolina State (Last Week No. 23, Up 1)
Amid madness both nationally and in the ACC, North Carolina State stayed in the course. A two-touchdown road win against an improving FSU team will certainly do, although the real test is coming now.
The Wolfpack heads to Wake Forest in a fascinating tussle.
21. Arkansas (Last Week No. 24, Up 2)
In one of the more thrilling games of the weekend, Arkansas upended Mississippi State. Even with three losses, I love the potential (and heart) of this team. The Hogs play at LSU and then at Alabama for the next two weeks.
20. Iowa (Last Week No. 21, Up 1)
The Hawkeyes got back on track with a win over Northwestern. The offense still wasn’t superb, although the victory was certainly needed. The question is, will we see more of it? Stay tuned.
19. Coastal Carolina (Last Week No. 22, Up 3)
Since losing to App State, Coastal Carolina has settled down with two consecutive wins. Saturday’s 28-8 win over Georgia Southern is more in line with what we expect.
Two of the final three games are at home, and only one of those teams, South Alabama, currently has a winning record.
18. Houston (Last Week No. 19, Up 1)
Houston beat South Florida. That’s the good news. However, the game was much closer than it should have been, which is something to keep an eye on.
Still, the Cougars are 8-1 and have three very winnable games remaining.
17. BYU (Last Week No. 20, Up 3)
The Cougars made quick work of Idaho State, as expected. QB Jaren Hall, who had a monster game against Virginia in Week 9, delivered a worthy encore.
Only two games remain for BYU, at Georgia Southern, and at USC. It seems very possible the Cougars win out.
16. Baylor (Last Week No. 13, Down 3)
The Bears fell to TCU in its first game post-Gary Patterson. And while this has been a really nice season for Baylor, this is a significant loss. With Oklahoma on deck, there’s a chance to rebound this week. There’s also a chance to, well, you know.
15. Auburn (Last Week No. 12, Down 3)
The Tigers lost to Texas A&M, and Bo Nix and the offense finally hit a wall. However, I actually liked what I saw from the Auburn defense, and the drop in our power rankings is only a short one because of the competition faced.
Next weekend’s game vs. Miss State is a big one.
14. UTSA (Last Week No. 17, Up 3)
As teams above them continue to fall, UTSA continues to take care of business. A 21-point over UTEP was awfully impressive, and the more I see with this team, the more I like it.
A November 20th game against UAB could be fascinating (and telling).
13. Ole Miss (Last Week No. 15, Up 2)
On Saturday, the Rebels handled former head coach Hugh Freeze and Liberty, although it wasn’t completely dominant. Matt Corral threw for more than 300 yards, although the offense can be better. It will need to be against Texas A&M’s defense next weekend.
12. Wake Forest (Last Week No. 7, Down 5)
The perfect season is dead, although it did not fall easily. Wake Forest drops after losing to North Carolina.
Quarterback Sam Hartman, outside of two turnovers, was awesome. I still really like this offense, although tricky games remain.
11. Texas A&M (Last Week No. 14, Up 3)
The team we saw the first month of the season is long gone. This version of Texas A&M, led by its defense, is incredibly impressive.
The Aggies dominated Auburn 20-3, and they’ll ride a four-game win streak into Oxford. A fun game with Ole Miss is upcoming.
10. Notre Dame (Last Week No. 10, Unchanged)
National Championship Odds: (+10000) at Caesars
In my lifetime, Notre Dame has rarely, if ever, been underrated. However, this team might be the exception. Brian Kelly’s squad methodically took care of Navy to move to 8-1. Notre Dame closes with Virginia, Georgia Tech, and Stanford.
9. Oklahoma State (Last Week No. 11, Up 2)
National Championship Odds: (+15000) at Caesars
I bet against Oklahoma State on Saturday, and goodness, was that a mistake. The Pokes suffocated West Virginia 24-3, and the defense took over the game completely.
With three games left, OK State will play two at home, including the finale against Oklahoma.
8. Michigan (Last Week No. 12, Up 4)
National Championship Odds: (+8000) at Caesars
It was a very Michigan-y win over Indiana on Saturday. Great defense, acceptable offense, and an overall clean game.
With a massive stretch of games coming up, however, starting with next weekend’s game at Penn State, the offensive must find a way to create explosive plays.
7. Michigan State (Last Week No. 4, Down 3)
National Championship Odds: (+8000) at Caesars
Well, that was fast. After beating rival Michigan and debuting at No. 3 in the CFP Rankings, Sparty fell to giant-killer Purdue. As such, MSU drops a bit. Still, with meaningful games to play, there is a lot to be determined here. Stay tuned.
6. Oregon (Last Week No. 8, Up 2)
National Championship Odds: (+2500) at Caesars
In brutal conditions and a hostile environment, the Ducks got past Washington 26-16. The defense played extremely well, and the Ducks have a favorable schedule to finish the season.
5. Oklahoma (Last Week No. 6, Up 2)
National Championship Odds: (+1400) at Caesars
Lincoln Riley’s team was off in Week 10, although it was still a very good week for the Sooners. Losses across the Top 25, especially near the top, are a nice boost while idle.
Next up? Baylor. A significant home stretch begins now.
4. Cincinnati (Last Week No. 5, Up 1)
National Championship Odds: (+5000) at Caesars
It’s becoming a broken record. Cincinnati beat an inferior team, although it didn’t do so convincingly. In fact, the Bearcats win against Tulsa was downright grotesque. Still, the team is unbeaten. It’s just a very difficult team to rank at the moment.
3. Ohio State (Last Week No. 3, Unchanged)
National Championship Odds: (+500) at Caesars
I didn’t love what I saw from QB C.J. Stroud, although Ohio State ultimately beat Nebraska. It wasn’t pretty or easy, and it hasn’t been these last two weeks. First, the Buckeyes play Purdue, followed by Michigan State next.
2. Alabama (Last Week No. 2, Unchanged)
National Championship Odds: (+325) at Caesars
This is certainly not one of Nick Saban’s best Alabama teams, as that much is clear after a sluggish performance against LSU. But there is still enormous talent across the roster, and everything is still in front of it.
1. Georgia (Last Week No. 1, Unchanged)
National Championship Odds: (-110) at Caesars
Once again, the Georgia defense did not allow a touchdown. It’s becoming so normal it’s actually quite scary. The Bulldogs clobbered Missouri, as expected, and they now hit the road to take on Tennessee.