Week 11 saw two teams in the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings fall while one proved its place as likely the best team in the country. There is sure to be a different look in the rankings when they come out on Tuesday, so let’s take a look at what could happen.
Of course the LSU Tigers will be sitting at number one this week. Many were surprised when LSU, who had three wins over then-top ten ranked teams, was left out of the top spot, but a win over Alabama, who had not lost at home since 2015, certainly will catapult them over the Ohio State Buckeyes.
The Tigers dominated the Crimson Tide for the first 30 minutes of Saturday’s game and left Bryant-Denny Stadium in utter shock at halftime. While Alabama did make a comeback in the second half and made it a game, the Tigers, led by Heisman favorite Joe Burrow, held off the defending SEC champions to pull out the huge win. They now have a clear path to the SEC title game with their only real challenge left on the schedule being Texas A&M in the final week of the regular season.
2. Ohio State
The Ohio State Buckeyes enjoyed a week atop the country, but they will likely fall below LSU this week after their huge win over Alabama. The Buckeyes have had an incredible season so far as they have scored an average of 51 points a game, including putting over 70 twice.
Justin Fields has had a great season and will likely be in the Heisman race for the rest of the season. But the Buckeyes have yet to face their toughest part of the schedule. After Rutgers next week, they finish the year hosting Penn State and then on the road at Michigan, so they still have a lot to prove.
The Clemson Tigers will likely enjoy a spot in the top four this week thanks to losses by Alabama and Penn State. They have heard a ton of criticism this year with their weak schedule and they likely hear more for the rest of the year.
The Tigers play Wake Forest next week and then finish the year off against the struggling South Carolina Gamecocks to finish the year. They will likely finish undefeated and get the College Football Playoff just on principle, so it will be interesting to see how they matchup with some of the best teams in the country.
Yes, this is a controversial pick, but you have to think the Georgia Bulldogs deserve this on their defensive play alone. The team has recorded three shutouts this year - two in the last three weeks and over SEC teams - so they certainly deserve some love in the top four.
The Bulldogs are playing for their College Football Playoff hopes and with Auburn and Texas A&M over the next two weeks, they have a chance to prove their worth. This is certainly going to rile up the fans of our number 5 team.
Alabama doesn’t really deserve to fall that much after a five-point loss to the LSU Tigers, but had the second half went as bad as the first half did, the Crimson Tide would have been much farther down this week. Their SEC championship hopes are not dead, but they must win out and get a ton of help from the rest of the SEC West.
The Crimson Tide still have to finish the year at Auburn, which could be another barnburner of an Iron Bowl. If the Crimson Tide fall in that game, their chances of making the playoff will be dead and they will be missing out for the first time since it got implemented.
The Oregon Ducks have not lost a game since their season opening loss to Auburn. The team is sitting on the edge of the top four with one loss, so imagine where they would be sitting without the loss to start the year.
If the Ducks can finish the year without another loss, they could easily move into the top four and sneak in their first playoff appearance since 2014, the first College Football Playoff.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are 9-0 for the first time since 1904 and the team could be looking at a spot in the top four very soon. They pulled off a huge win against the Penn State Nittany Lions last week, so they certainly deserve to be in the top ten this week.
With two top 25 matchups in their final three games, the Golden Gophers have a chance to prove they belong in the College Football Playoff. If Rashod Bateman continues his magical season, his team will be playing for a national championship.
8. Penn State
The Penn State Nittany Lions suffered a tough loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, so they will fall out of the top four. The team will now have to win out and get a win over Ohio State to keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive.
The team hosts Indiana, another tough Big Ten team, before traveling to play the Buckeyes next week. These next two weeks are huge for Penn State.
If the Utah Utes can keep winning, they will set up a huge game with the Oregon Ducks in the Pac-12 title game. This could also be a game that determines the last spot in the College Football Playoff.
Zack Moss keeps breaking records for the Utes and their defense has carried them for most of the year. This could be an interesting finish to the year for the Utes.
The Oklahoma Sooners are still hurting from their loss to the Kansas State Wildcats and there is a good chance they will be left out of the College Football Playoff. But they still have some big games to finish the regular season.
They travel to play Baylor, who struggled with TCU last week in what will be a game that could determine one half of the Big 12 championship game. Jalen Hurts has been a great addition for the Sooners and he will have to turn it on to give his team a chance.