LSU beat Alabama in overtime with a two-point conversion to shake up the college football playoff race, while Georgia made arguably their biggest home game in program history, knocking Tennessee out of the top rankings and highlighting Saturday’s top 25 games. Along with Clemson’s loss to Notre Dame, there are some changes in Sunday’s Week 11 AP rankings and the subsequent playoff poll this week, and our latest projections reflect how we think analysts will vote.
TCU continued their unbeaten streak with a victory over Texas Tech while Oregon won their eighth game in a row. Hugh Freese and the Liberty upset Arkansas in a game that would have national ranking implications.
Leading up to the weekend, the Flames were ranked 23rd in the nation and were able to break into the top 20 after a 21–19 victory. Post-game attention surrounded Freese and the Auburn coaching vacancy, tying them together after the former coach Ole Miss improved to 8-1 this season. It was Liberty’s first victory in program history against an SEC school.
Here’s our AP Top 25 ranking prediction for week 11 after the crazy weekend starting in November:
1. Georgia Bulldogs (9-0)
saturday result: Defeat Tennessee, 27-13
The Georgia defense dominated the most important game of the season, limiting the country’s most powerful offense to 289 yards. Heisman leader Hendon Hooker has been sacked several times due to the furious onslaught of passing and missed a touchdown for the first time this fall. Tennessee went 2 for 14 in third place and Sanford Stadium unraveled shortly after the first hit and didn’t give up. Georgia is likely to climb to number one in Sunday’s AP poll and in the playoff rankings this week.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0)
saturday result: Beat Northwestern, 21-7
Heisman candidate CJ Stroud had more yards than passing in a hard-fought road win and the Buckeyes were lucky to come out of Week 10 undefeated. Stroud’s first game of the season with no touchdowns was largely due to the Northwestern’s well-executed defensive plan and strong winds that clearly affected the Buckeyes’ passing offense. With Georgia’s impressive victory over Tennessee, Ohio State should remain in second place in this week’s AP Poll and likely in the college football playoff rankings as well.
3. Michigan Wolverines (9-0)
saturday result: Beat Rutgers, 52-17
Fourth-place Michigan slowed through the first half of Saturday night against Rutgers before clicking all cylinders after the break. The Wolverines outscored the Scarlet Knights 28-0 in the third quarter after two touchdowns from JJ McCarthy, an interception return and Blake Corum’s 16th rushing touchdown of the season. Ranked No. 5 in the first college football playoff rankings this week, the Wolverines should enter the top four on Tuesday night after Clemson’s unbeaten first loss of the season, a decisive setback at Notre Dame. Michigan controls its playoff fortunes as it advances and will play two more ranked teams, Illinois State and Ohio State, before the end of the road.
4. Tennessee Volunteers (8-1)
saturday result: Lost to Georgia, 27-13
It’s not exactly a loss for Tennessee, but the nation’s top team in the opening playoff rankings has to work to advance to the final four after their first loss of the season between hedges. Now the Vols have probably squandered the SEC East on Georgia and need to win and hope there’s chaos somewhere else to secure a playoff run. For the first time, Josh Hoipel’s offense was neutralized by a top defense, and the Vols’ often-successful fast-paced offense was stuck in quicksand against a talented front.
5. Horned Frogs TCU (9-0)
saturday result: Beat Texas Tech, 34-24
TCU followed the Red Raiders to start the fourth quarter before a 21-point explosion lifted the Horned Frogs to their ninth straight win. Both of Max Duggan’s touchdown passes were made in the fourth quarter as TCU made another statement before the playoff selection committee that this team was worthy of a top-five finish. The Horned Frogs finished 7th in the first ranking this week, trailing Alabama with one loss and other players.
6. LSU Tigers (7-2)
saturday result: Beat Alabama, 32-31
LSU coach Brian Kelly didn’t doubt his team and made a fearless challenge to get a two-point conversion in overtime against Crimson Tide. Jayden Daniels won it when he found Mason Taylor at the assembly pylon. Daniels’ 25-yard touchdown in the first game of the LSU extra session was his biggest win of the season.
“I just love how our guys competed. I didn’t want to keep playing in overtime,” Kelly said on ESPN as fans stormed the field at Tiger Stadium. “It just felt like the right time for me to try and win the game.”
7. Oregon Ducks (8-1)
saturday result: Defeat Colorado, 49-10
Oregon quarterback Bo Nicks added four touchdowns to his season total to lead the Pac-12, and the Ducks won their eighth consecutive game convincingly. Oregon, one of the leaders in the conference, hasn’t lost a Pac-12 game so far and likely controls its own destiny in the playoff race if Georgia — the team the Ducks lost to in week one — wins. Oregon plays Washington, Utah and Oregon State in the last three games, which is a mini-tournament before the league title game.
8. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-2)
saturday result: Lost to LSU, 32-31
Alabama’s second loss in a decade to LSU at Tiger Stadium came in dramatic fashion after Bryce Young put the Crimson Tide in a position to force overtime after Will Reichard’s 46-yard field goal with 21 seconds left in the game. Young engineered a touchdown on Alabama’s only possession with a tricky top-ten run, but LSU won the game when he went for two after scoring in his time with the football. The defeat takes Alabama out of the national championship.
9. USC Trojans (8-1)
saturday result: vs. California, late
USC is trying to keep its wan playoff hopes alive on Saturday night against California, which Pac-12 team leader Oregon handled easily in Week 9. USC quarterback Caleb Williams was solid in the Heisman race, heading into week 10 as one of the national touchdown leaders. passes.
10. Clemson Tigers (8-1)
saturday result: Lost to Notre Dame, 35-14
The nation’s longest winning streak has come to an end after the Tigers failed in South Bend against a spirited team from Notre Dame, who should win the AP Poll this week thanks to their third straight win. Clemson turned him over several times, including an interception return with a fourth-quarter touchdown-loss close in the red. DJ Uiagalelei threw a corner route that was way off target and the Irish went the other way and took a 28-0 lead.
11. Ole Miss Rebels (8-1)
saturday result: open
After expressing sympathy to former Auburn coach Brian Harsin Following his firing this week, Lane Kiffin was bluntly asked Wednesday if he would be interested in reopening if the Tigers knocked on his door.
“No, we don’t comment on things like that in the season,” Kiffin said during a teleconference with SEC coaches. “They happen many times every year and they are all the result of good play by the players and assistant coaches.”
12. UCLA (8-1)
saturday result: in Arizona, late
UCLA coach Chip Kelly said this week that he’s not a fan of 7:30 pm starts in the West. He believes this limits the impact of his program.
“No, I think the problem is that I’ve been with ESPN for a year, so when the clock strikes midnight on a Saturday night, it’s…