New college football power rankings after Week 11 saw Oklahoma fall from the ranks of the unbeaten, Michigan survive an upset attempt from Penn State, Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State flexed on their opponent.
Kirby Smart’s team is not going to be tested until they face Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. The defense is a combination of a brick wall that is impossible to move and a boa constrictor that squeezes the life out of you. A brick-constrictor? Does that work? I’m gonna workshop that. I have time until the SEC Championship Game to get that right. The same can be said for how Smart is approaching a potential quarterback change if necessary. JT Daniels is keeping loose in the bullpen in case Georgia ever trails in a game and needs to go to the relieved in the event Stetson Bennett can’t get the offense rolling. So far, that hasn’t been a concern for a team that could win the national title without a quarterback. That’s just how good this defense is and how flawed the teams behind them are.
Alabama basically had a bye week with New Mexico State on the schedule. You gotta love how Nick Saban works the schedule to his absolute benefit every single year. Alabama has to be loving its position to get right before the SEC Championship Game vs. Georgia. Bryce Young and the offense had a nice walk-through and the defense probably didn’t break a sweat. After their game, they got to see Auburn blow a 25-point lead to Mississippi State. Young may be the Heisman favorite as the Tide looks to repeat after Devonta Smith won last year.
3. Ohio State
How many times do you think Ryan Day reminded his team of what Purdue did to them in 2018 during practice this week? If the over/under was set at 100, I’m pounding the over. The Spoilermakers didn’t stand a chance in Columbus this week, losing 59-31. Their wins over Iowa and Michigan State were nice and all but Ohio State is a cut above both the Hawkeyes and Spartans. Purdue got a first-hand account of that and can verify that statement as fact. The offense led by C.J. Stroud, TreVeyon Henderson, Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave and Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the best in the nation. Wilson had four touchdowns on his own. Good luck to any defense tasked with slowing this unit.
The Ducks improved to 4-0 when Anthony Brown throws and runs for a touchdown as Oregon improved to 9-1 with a 38-24 win over Washington State. Brown rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown and threw for 135 and the score on 17-of-22 passing. Oregon ran for 306 yards and four touchdowns against the Cougars’ defense that had no answer for the Ducks ground game. Kayvon Thibodeaux added two sacks and the Oregon defense forced three turnovers.
It’s not just enough for Cincinnati to win, which they did on Friday night vs. Tulsa. They have to win and rack up style points in the process. They didn’t really do that. They did for about three quarters when they were in a position to have more points than Tulsa had yards, but the fourth quarter saw Tulsa narrow the margin of victory to 45-28. That’s still a pretty convincing win, even if it was against a 2-8 team. That said, Cincinnati should really try to get a nice 69-3 win to make a lasting impression on the playoff committee.
Cade McNamara threw three touchdowns, including the 47-yard game-winner to tight end Eric All with 3:29 left after Penn State took a 17-14 lead on the previous possession. Michigan played without Blake Corum but Hassan Haskins had a game-high 156 yards on 31 carries. Michigan ran for 144 yards but he had 156. That shows you how clutch he was vs. the Nittany Lions who couldn’t get much going offensively without Jahan Dotson at the end of the game. Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson was an absolute game-wrecker with three of Michigan’s seven sacks and should be an All-American. Michigan had 12 tackles for loss
7. Michigan State
Michigan State rebounded from their first loss of the season at the hands of Purdue last week to get back in the win column. The Spartans got 143 yards and two touchdowns from Kenneth Walker III to solidify his candidacy as a Heisman finalist in the 40-21 win over Maryland. Jayden Reed added 114 yards and a pair of scores on eight receptions. Michigan State travels to Ohio State next week. If Michigan State pulls off the upset, they’ll then be rooting for Michigan to beat Ohio State the week after to secure their spot in the Big Ten Championship Game if they beat Penn State in the regular-season finale.
8. Notre Dame
Besides Notre Dame fans, no one wants the Fighting Irish to keep winning than Cincinnati fans. The better Notre Dame looks, the better Cincinnati’s case to make the playoff looks. Notre Dame, of course, doesn’t care about them. They do, however, care about getting wins for their own benefit. Notre Dame is on the outside looking in for a repeat playoff appearance, but if a combination of Michigan State beating Ohio State, Michigan losing to Ohio State, Oregon losing to Utah and Alabama losing to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, Brian Kelly’s team will be alive for a national championship.
9. Oklahoma State
If Oklahoma State beats rival Oklahoma in their annual Bedlam Series at the end of the regular season and Baylor wins their next two games (at Kansas State, Texas Tech), they’ll play for the Big 12 Championship. The Pokes got past TCU who may have been experiencing an emotional hangover after beating Baylor last week. Oklahoma State’s defense is legit and running back Jaylen Warren is turning into a touchdown machine. Baylor vs. Oklahoma State would be a stark contrast to most Big 12 games where it’s the defense that’s the standout unit for both. Who says defense doesn’t win championships?
Baylor moves into the top 10 after handing Oklahoma their first loss of the year. The Bears got three total touchdowns from quarterback Gerry Bohanon and 148 yards on the ground from Abram Smith. But it was the Baylor defense that was the main takeaway in the 27-14 win. Oklahoma was held to 78 yards rushing and 260 total yards in a game that saw Caleb Williams benched for Spencer Rattler. Oklahoma was 2-9 on third downs and had two interceptions (both by Williams). The ground game was non-existent in the second half when Baylor put the game away. A rematch between Oklahoma and Baylor could be in store if the Sooners are able to beat Oklahoma State in Bedlam.