Notre Dame remains undefeated, but they are still just outside the top four of our college football power rankings entering the second weekend of November.
1. Alabama (9-0) | Last week: 1
It was obvious from the way Alabama played and from Nick Saban’s comments after the game that the Crimson Tide did not feel they were getting the respect they deserve—mostly because the talk of them not playing any tough competition on the schedule. The win in Baton Rouge clinched another SEC West title for Alabama, and they are firmly in the driver’s seat to make the College Football Playoff.
2. Clemson (9-0) | Last week: 2
Clemson has two 60-point wins this season, which shows how dominant they’ve been in the ACC. Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, and the offense is on-fire, and they might be able to go toe-to-toe with Alabama’s offense. Boston College could be tricky this weekend, but Clemson is a heavy favorite and is likely to remain unbeaten.
3. Georgia (8-1) | Last week: 4 (+1)
Jake Fromm played well again, but the running back duo of D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield (combined 271 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns) carried the load in Georgia’s big road win against Kentucky. The Bulldogs will see Alabama in the SEC title game as SEC East champions, but they can’t look past their next three opponents starting this Sunday against Auburn.
4. Ohio State (8-1) | Last week: 5 (+1)
Obviously, the defense of Ohio State is a concern after the team struggled to contain two-win Nebraska despite a bye week to prepare for Scott Frost’s offense. And their own offense didn’t look very sharp despite putting up 36 points. However, the Buckeyes should be in a position to get into the Playoff if they can win out.
5. Notre Dame (9-0) | Last week: 6 (+1)
Northwestern made it interesting for most of the game against Notre Dame, but the Fighting Irish separated with a big touchdown drive late in the fourth to make it a two-possession game as they remain undefeated. Notre Dame’s win against Michigan—paired with a potential flawless regular season—has them in a great position for the Playoff.
6. Michigan (8-1) | Last week: 7 (+1)
Michigan’s revenge tour ended with a convincing rout of Penn State, eliminating the Nittany Lions from the Playoff discussion completely. Quarterback Shea Patterson continues to look comfortable in Jim Harbaugh’s offense, and the Wolverine’s defense continues to play exceptionally well. In terms of just how teams are playing right now, Michigan might be right behind Alabama and Clemson.
7. Oklahoma (8-1) | Last week: 8 (+1)
The defense clearly remains a concern, but the offense puts up crooked numbers every week, keeping them in most games. Kyler Murray played great after a couple of early turnovers, but Trey Sermon (206 yards, three touchdowns) was the key to Oklahoma’s offense against Texas Tech. The Sooners must survive the Bedlam game this weekend.
8. UCF (8-0) | Last week: 9 (+1)
Giving up over 700 yards to Temple isn’t a good sign for a team that wants to be in the top four, but UCF still got the win last week to improve to 8-0 and extend the program’s winning streak to 21 games. The Knights just need to keep winning and hope they’re given a shot by the committee at the end of the season.
9. Washington State (8-1) | Last week: 10 (+1)
Mike Leach’s offense can put up a ton of points, but Washington State picking up a tough win against California shows they’re a complete team. If they continue winning and claim a Pac-12 regular and post-season title at the end of the season, they’ll be squarely in the mix for a Playoff spot.
10. LSU (7-2) | Last week: 3 (-7)
That was a disappointing loss for the Tigers in Baton Rouge, but they ran into a supremely-talented team. Still, LSU has had a very good season and belongs in the top ten. West Virginia is right behind them and has a chance to vault up the rankings with a big end-of-season schedule.