Top 50 NCAA Football Rankings: Week 11
*Editor's Note: Graphic by @SSN_Troy, author is @BlitzCfb
Week 11 saw a shake in the top 4 as Oklahoma lost at Baylor. Most teams in the top 10 that were behind Oklahoma have moved up a spot while OU is in a position where they will need help to get in the playoff. Week 12 features big games that includes Michigan State at Ohio State, SMU at Cincinnati and Oregon at Utah. All of those games have playoff implications. Without further adieu, here is the latest edition of the top 50.
1. Georgia (10-0, 8-0) ↔️
Georgia faced the best offense they’ve seen all year & they only gave up 17 points. The Bulldogs are now 5-0 against top 50 opponents. They have an easy remaining schedule before the SEC Championship Game which will likely be against Alabama.
2. Cincinnati (10-0, 6-0) ↔️
Cincinnati won with a bit of style points against USF on Friday night. Sure, they looked average at times, but they dominated for most of that game. Cincy has some tough games coming up. They play SMU this week & then travel to East Carolina before the AAC Championship Game.
3. Alabama (9-1, 5-1) ⬆️1
Alabama had an easy win over New Mexico State on Saturday. They play two top 50 teams to end the regular season: Arkansas & at Auburn. Not to mention, they have to play Georgia in the SEC Championship Game if they make it there. Also, if they make it to Atlanta, Georgia will be more fresh coming off of games against Charleston Southern & Georgia Tech.
4. Oregon (9-1, 6-1) ⬆️1
Oregon is in the top 4 after dominating Washington State for three of the four quarters. The Ducks have a bad loss, but their quality win over Ohio State outweighs that. Oregon has another chance at a great win when they travel to Utah on Saturday. It could be a preview of the Pac 12 Championship Game.
5. Ohio State (9-1, 7-0) ⬆️1
The Buckeyes made a statement on offense against Purdue. The OSU defense still has some question marks. We will know how good they are when they play Michigan State this weekend. That game is a must win for both teams.
6. Michigan State (9-1, 6-1) ⬆️1
Sparty had a nice bounce back win over Maryland. Like I previously mentioned, Michigan State has a huge clash against Ohio State in Columbus. MSU has to win this game if they want to win the Big Ten & make the playoff. The secondary is a major concern against OSU’s elite receivers though.
7. Oklahoma State (9-1, 6-1) ⬆️1
Oklahoma State has been playing the best football out of any Big 12 team. They bullied TCU on Saturday. The Cowboys own wins over Baylor & Kansas State as well. They are still looking for that signature win which could come against Oklahoma in two weeks.
8. Michigan (9-1, 6-1) ⬆️1
Jim Harbaugh historically has had a hard time winning big games on the road. His team did just that on Saturday. Their defensive line took advantage of a poor PSU offensive line. Michigan has Maryland this week before “The Game” against Ohio State in Ann Arbor.
9. Wake Forest (9-1, 6-0) ⬆️1
Wake Forest finally got their first top 25 win of the year when they beat NC State on Saturday night. Wake didn’t even play their best offensive game. Sam Hartman threw 3 picks, but the Deacs still found a way to win. Wake needs one more win to clinch a spot in the ACC Championship Game. They can do that at Clemson this week.
10. Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1) ⬇️7
Oklahoma slides from 3 to 10 after their loss at Baylor. The Sooner offense was shut down by Dave Aranda’s defense. Oklahoma needs to win out now, but that will be a tough task because they still play Oklahoma State to end the regular season. OU can still get in the playoff, but they need chaos.
11. Notre Dame (9-1) ↔️
Notre Dame’s defense was really impressive against the Virginia offense. It also has to be factored in that Brennan Armstrong did not play. With the Irish’s last two games being against Georgia Tech & Stanford, I don’t think they will be able to sneak into the top 4.
12. UTSA (10-0, 6-0) ↔️
Shocker, UTSA won again. This is what’s bad about a 4 team playoff. UTSA deserves a shot at the title, but they won’t even sniff the top 10. In a 12 team playoff they could possibly get in. The Roadrunners have their toughest test against UAB on Saturday. If they win, they will make the CUSA Championship Game.
13. Baylor (8-2, 5-2) ⬆️3
Baylor moves up 3 spots after their big home win over Oklahoma. They completely shut down Caleb Williams & the Oklahoma offense, which is a tough task in itself. The Bears have to focus because they play at Kansas State this week. This could be a trap game for Baylor.
14. Ole Miss (8-2, 4-2) ⬇️1
Ole Miss moved down one spot despite beating Texas A&M handily at home. The reason for that is because Baylor has the better win (vs Oklahoma). The Rebels have two winnable games left to get to 10 wins. They play Vanderbilt & then Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl.
15. Houston (9-1, 7-0) ↔️
The Cougars have clinched a spot in the AAC Championship Game after their win over Temple. Houston has now won 9 straight games. They have one of the longest winning streaks in the nation, yet the committee won’t rank them. Cincinnati could use Houston being ranked because it would add a quality win to their resume.
16. BYU (8-2) ⬆️1
BYU had a bye this past week. The Cougars have a good chance at getting to 10 wins because they have Georgia Southern & USC left on the schedule. All BYU is playing for right now is a good bowl game. They do need teams to lose if they want a New Years Six bowl.
17. Texas A&M (7-3, 4-3) ⬇️3
Texas A&M’s loss to Ole Miss on Saturday pretty much ended their hopes for a SEC title. Not all is lost for the Aggies as they can still get to 10 wins. They play FCS Prairie View A&M & LSU in the next two weeks before their bowl game. Jimbo Fisher is doing a nice job building this program up.
18. San Diego State (9-1, 5-1) ↔️
San Diego State narrowly escaped Nevada late Saturday night. The Aztec defense held Nevada to 8 rushing yards. That win gives San Diego State the drivers seat in the MW west division. SDSU has a chance to do something special this season.
19. Pitt (8-2, 5-1) ↔️
Pitt needed overtime to beat North Carolina on Thursday. The Panthers still have a must win game against Virginia this week. If they win, they clinch the ACC Coastal & a spot in the ACC Championship Game. 10 wins is a very realistic possibility for Pitt.
20. Louisiana (9-1, 7-0) ⬆️1
Just like Houston, it is mind boggling how Louisiana isn’t ranked by the committee. They had a bad loss to Texas, but they also beat Appalachian State handily. The Ragin Cajuns have a chance to prove themselves against Liberty this week though.
21. Arkansas (7-3, 3-3) ⬆️3
Arkansas claimed the boot this weekend after beating LSU in double overtime. The Hogs have been on a three game winning streak that includes a top 50 win over Mississippi State. No matter how this season finishes, Sam Pittman has done a great job at Arkansas.
22. Wisconsin (7-3, 5-2) ⬆️3
Wisconsin is playing their best football at the right time. They dominated Northwestern to win their 6th straight game. Right now the Badgers are tied for first in the Big Ten west with Iowa. They need to beat Nebraska & likely Minnesota to make it to Indy.
23. NC State (7-3, 4-2) ⬇️3
NC State doesn’t move down a whole lot after their loss at Wake Forest by 3. With that loss however, they can’t make the ACC Championship Game. The Wolf Pack can still finish with 10 wins though. Their remaining regular season games are against Syracuse & North Carolina.
24. Iowa (8-2, 5-2) ⬆️3
Iowa picked up a huge win against Minnesota on Saturday. That win puts them in a tie for first in the Big Ten west with Wisconsin. They need to win out & hope Wisconsin loses because the Badgers own the tiebreaker due to a head-to-head win.
25. Appalachian State (8-2, 5-1) ⬆️3
Appalachian State has now won four straight games after their win over South Alabama. The Mountaineers are in sole possession of first place in the Sun Belt east after Coastal Carolina’s loss to Georgia State. App State needs a win at Troy this weekend.
26. Kentucky (7-3, 5-3) ⬆️3
Kentucky finished SEC play with a win at Vanderbilt. That win snaps their three game losing streak. The Wildcats have two winnable games remaining against New Mexico State & in-state rival Louisville. The win over Vandy also confirms that they will finish a respectable 2nd place in the SEC east.
27. Utah (7-3, 6-1) ⬆️4
Utah had a little bit of trouble against Arizona this past week, but they still pulled out the win. The Utes are up one game on Arizona State in the Pac 12 south & they own a head-to-head win over them. Utah has a huge game against Oregon on Saturday.
28. Clemson (7-3, 5-2) ⬆️4
I feel like people are dismissing Clemson. They are a decent team with a great defense. The Tigers have a huge game against Wake Forest this Saturday. It is a must win game if they want a shot at the ACC Championship Game.
29. Coastal Carolina (8-2, 4-2) ⬇️6
Coastal Carolina suffered a close loss against an underrated Georgia State team. They need to win out & hope Georgia State & Appalachian State lose if they want to make the Sun Belt title game. Even if they don’t make the Sun Belt title game, the Chants have a good chance at a 10 win season.
30. Mississippi State (6-4, 4-3) ⬆️13
Mississippi State’s inconsistency was shown throughout the game at Auburn. However, they deserve a ton of credit for beating them. The Bulldogs have an easy game against Tennessee State before they play the Egg Bowl against Ole Miss on Thanksgiving.
31. SMU (8-2, 4-2) ⬆️2
SMU had a big win over UCF this past Saturday. The Mustangs have a big opportunity this Saturday. They have a chance to end Cincinnati’s perfect season. For Cincy, SMU represents a chance to add another top 50 win to their resume.
32. Auburn (6-4, 3-3) ⬇️10
Auburn lost their 2nd straight game on Saturday. They had a 28-3 lead before losing 43-34 against Mississippi State. Auburn still has the Iron Bowl against Alabama looming on their schedule after they play South Carolina this week.
33. Kansas State (7-3, 4-3) ⬆️3
K-State is playing their best football of the year right now. The Cats play a physical Baylor team on Saturday, who is coming off of a high after beating Oklahoma. Don’t be shocked to see Kansas State pull off the upset at home.
34. Purdue (6-4, 4-3) ⬇️8
Purdue lost a tough game against Ohio State on Saturday. The Buckeyes offense exposed Purdue’s defense. Luckily for the Boilermakers, they have two easier games left on the schedule against Northwestern & Indiana. The Boilers need some help though if they want to win the Big Ten.
35. Penn State (6-4, 3-4) ⬇️5
Penn State fought hard against Michigan, but fell just short. Their offensive line let them down against Aidan Hutchinson & that Michigan defensive line. The Nittany Lions cap off the year against Rutgers & at Michigan State.
36. Fresno State (8-3, 5-2) ⬇️1
Fresno State beat New Mexico comfortably on Saturday. They only have one game left & that is against San Jose State on Thanksgiving. The Bulldogs need to win that & hope San Diego State lose to make the Mountain West Championship Game.
37. Utah State (8-2, 5-1) ⬆️2
Utah State routed San Jose State on Saturday night. The Aggies are one game up on Air Force & Boise State in the MW mountain division. USU owns a tiebreaker over Air Force but not Boise State, due to head-to-head results. It will be interesting to see what happens in these final two weeks.
38. Arizona State (7-3, 5-2) ⬆️4
Arizona State was down 24-14 with just under six minutes to play against Washington. They showed great resiliency & came back to win 35-30. The Sun Devils need Utah to lose out & they need to win out to make the Pac 12 Championship Game.
39. Minnesota (6-4, 4-3) ⬇️2
Minnesota suffered a close road loss to Iowa. That loss puts them one game behind Wisconsin & Iowa, who are on top of the Big Ten west. The Golden Gophers need a lot of help. They still have Wisconsin on the schedule though.
40. Texas Tech (6-4, 3-4) ⬆️11
Texas Tech beat Iowa State in spectacular fashion. Jonathan Garibay nailed a 62 yard field goal to win the game for Tech. That put the Red Raiders at six wins & they have reached bowl eligibility. Unfortunately for them, they have Oklahoma State & Baylor still on the schedule.
41. Iowa State (6-4, 4-3) ⬇️7
Iowa State drops seven spots after their heartbreaking loss to Texas Tech. Despite the loss, the Cyclones need to focus because they have a huge game at Oklahoma on Saturday. ISU can knock them out of playoff contention with a win.
42. Virginia (6-4, 4-2) ⬇️4
Virginia only moves down four spots after their embarrassing offensive display against Notre Dame. You do have to keep in mind that Brennan Armstrong didn’t play. It goes to show how much the Cavaliers rely on him. UVA has a huge game against Pitt this week for the ACC Coastal title.
43. Nevada (7-3, 4-2) ⬇️3
Nevada suffered a close two point loss to San Diego State on Saturday. Carson Strong still had a big game despite going up against SDSU’s defense. The Pack have a tough game against Air Force this week before facing Colorado State after.
44. UCLA (6-4, 4-3) ⬆️4
UCLA picked up an easy win against Colorado. The Bruins have a big rivalry game this week at USC. That is a winnable game for them. After that, they play a struggling Cal team. UCLA has good chance at getting to eight wins this year.
45. North Carolina (5-5, 3-4) ↔️
North Carolina played Pitt really tough on Thursday night. The Panthers needed overtime to put away the Tar Heels. UNC’s win over Wake Forest is what keeps them in the rankings over some other teams.
46. Tennessee (5-5, 3-4) ⬇️2
Tennessee only moves down two spots after losing at home to Georgia. The Vols did score 17 points, which is the most that Georgia has given up this season. Tennessee has winnable games against South Alabama & Vanderbilt left on their schedule.
47. Boston College (6-4, 2-4) ⬆️4
Boston College returns to the top 50. They finally found their offense against Georgia Tech on Saturday. The Eagles still have games against Florida State & a tough one against Wake Forest left on their schedule.
48. UCF (6-4, 4-3) ⬆️1
UCF moves up one spot after their loss to SMU. Yes they lost, but their Week 1 win over Boise State is what keeps them ahead of the Broncos in the rankings. The Knights have a chance to finish the season strong against UConn & USF.
49. Boise State (6-4, 4-2) ⬆️1
Boise State has rattled off three straight wins including a clobbering of Fresno State. The Broncos need to win out & they need Air Force & Utah State to lose if they want to make the Mountain West Championship Game. BSU still has to beat one-loss San Diego State though.
50. Liberty (7-3) ↔️
Liberty remains on the chopping block after their bye week. The Flames have a huge game at home against Louisiana this Saturday. It doesn’t get easier after that as they host a very physical Army team to end their regular season.
On the Horizon