Week 11 set up to be the biggest of the college football season so far, and it more than delivered. No. 1 Georgia got rocked at No. 10 Auburn, No. 3 Notre Dame got destroyed at No. 7 Miami, and No. 5 Oklahoma handled No. 6 TCU. Those were just the top-10 games; plenty more happened elsewhere (all the important stuff below).
So with a few days to stew on it until new College Football Playoff committee rankings drop: who’s your top four now?
It seems pretty likely that Alabama will slide up to No. 1, having added a (near-upset) win on the road at Mississippi State. After that? We’ll all spend a good 72 hours debating Oklahoma, Clemson, Miami, Wisconsin, and others, and then we’ll be in the midst of Week 12 anyway. (This space will spend Sunday afternoon looking into things and making a full predictions post for Monday morning. Early hunch: Sooners No. 2, based on number of highly ranked Ws.)
Below, let’s keep track of Week 11’s ranked games from the Playoff committee’s perspective, which means it’s not only about who you beat, but how it relates to the full picture. Win projections are via S&P+.
Games between teams likely to finish in the committee’s final top 25, regardless of Week 11 result, meaning the winner gains a major quality W.
- No. 10 Auburn (8-2) 40, No. 1 Georgia (9-1) 17: The Tigers throw some drama into the entire SEC picture and complete one step of their nearly impossible two-loss CFP bid. A two-point Auburn win would’ve meant mayhem. A 23-point win introduces pants-on-head chaos.
- No. 2 Alabama (10-0) 31, No. 16 Mississippi State (7-3) 24: Closer and more dramatic than expected, but a road win over a top-20-ish team still stands as Bama’s best of the year, and the Tide are very likely your new No. 1.
- No. 7 Miami (9-0) 41, No. 3 Notre Dame (8-2) 8: The Canes just totally silenced all concerns about their many close wins and hurt UGA’s resume (in case it comes down to Mark Richt vs. Kirby Smart for No. 4), potentially killing two birds. Miami also clinched the ACC Coastal, thanks to Louisville beating Virginia. Notre Dame’s Playoff run is over.
- No. 5 Oklahoma (9-1) 38, No. 6 TCU (8-2) 20: Big 12 title game, Round 1? OU’s in excellent shape and will likely rank in the top three this week ... until it maybe has to play TCU again, though that’s a whole other Big 12 race. (Not a CFP thing, but Baker Mayfield probably just wrapped up the Heisman.)
- No. 8 Wisconsin (10-0) 38, No. 20 Iowa (6-4) 14: UW’s quietly improving schedule adds some real substance by overcoming injury issues to beat the team that just obliterated the likely Big Ten East champ.
- Stanford (7-3) 30, No. 9 Washington (8-2) 22: Stanford ruined its season with a slow start, then ruined the Pac-12’s by taking down the Huskies. The entire conference is now in the Playoff’s deplored two-loss zone, with few quality OOC wins.
- No. 13 Ohio State (8-2) 48, No. 12 Michigan State (7-3) 3: Big Ten East title game, almost certainly. Lmao, are the Buckeyes gonna bounce right back into the top 10?
- No. 15 Oklahoma State (8-2) 49, No. 21 Iowa State (6-4) 42: OSU adds a solid W and remains in striking range of the Big 12 Championship, but both OU and TCU already have tiebreakers over the Cowboys.
Should have some impact
Games between teams likely to finish .500-plus, regardless of Week 11 result, meaning the winner gains a solid W.
- No. 4 Clemson (9-1) 31, Florida State (3-6) 14: Bizarre, but true! Now that FSU’s rescheduled its game against ULM, the Noles are back on pace to count as a .500 win.
- Georgia Tech (5-4) 27, No. 17 Virginia Tech (7-3) 22: Upset!
- No. 19 Washington State (9-2) 33, Utah (5-5) 25
- No. 23 NC State (7-3) 17, Boston College (5-5) 14
The non-power New Year’s Six race
The top mid-major champ earns an automatic NY6 bowl bid. A Playoff trip from this group seems impossible.
- No. 18 UCF (9-0) 49, UConn (3-7) 24: The beloved Civil ConFLiCT is likely unimportant, beyond ancient rivalry passion. UCF remains underrated.
- Boise State (8-2) 59, Colorado State (6-5) 52: The Broncos tack a 25-point road comeback onto a resume that includes taking Washington State to overtime and beating a solid list of bowl teams. Don’t count out the Mountain West yet.
- Ohio (8-2) 38, Toledo (8-2) 10: The MAC’s out, and one of Miami’s best wins takes a big hit.
- No. 22 Memphis: Off. Root for everyone on your schedule. Even if you’d rather face USF than UCF in the AAC title game, you want the East champ looking as strong as possible.
- USF: Off. Root for archrival UCF, quietly. USF knocking the Knights and, say, Memphis out of the top 20 would likely mean New Year’s.
- San Diego State: Off. Stanford beating Washington was big. Arizona State losing to UCLA hurt you and helped Memphis, though. You also need Fresno State to lose some games eventually.
These underdogs don’t project to finish .500.
- No. 11 USC (9-2) 38, Colorado (5-6) 24: Trojans did just clinch the Pac-12 South, though.
- No. 14 Penn State (8-2) 35, Rutgers (4-6) 6
- No. 24 LSU (7-3) 33, Arkansas (4-6) 10
- No. 25 Northwestern (7-3) 23, Purdue (4-6) 13: Some minor importance: good for Wisconsin’s supposedly weak resume (though after this weekend, not losing is a fantastic thing to have on any resume).
- Michigan (8-2) 35, at Maryland (4-6) 10: Ranked Wolverines: likely.