Week 11 was unquestionably the most telling week of college football to date. Georgia (No. 1 CFP) was embarrassed at Auburn (No. 10 CFP), and Notre Dame (No. 3 CFP) traveled to Miami (No. 7 CFP) to put an end to the epic turnover chain and instead turned the ball over four times in a 41-8 rout. In a preview of the likely Big 12 Championship, TCU (No. 6 CFP) traveled to Norman and was ripped apart by Oklahoma (No. 5 CFP) and Heisman favorite Baker Mayfield, and Ohio State (No. 13 CFP) utterly destroyed Michigan State (No. 12 CFP) 48-3 at home. Instead of making the playoff race more clear, last weekend hit us like a tornado, and now we’re trying our best to put the pieces back together.
After the Georgia loss, undefeated Alabama moves up a spot to No. 1 in the latest CFP Ranking, even after its own struggles in Starkville. Behind the Tide, Clemson moves up to No. 2 CFP. To their fortune, the top two teams both play FCS teams this week, so both the Tide and the Tigers face no threat this weekend. Rounding out the top five are Miami, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. The Hurricanes and Badgers join Alabama and UCF as the only undefeated teams remaining, and they will face in-conference tests this weekend as Miami hosts Virginia and Wisconsin hosts Michigan (No. 24 CFP) in the lone top 25 matchup of the week.
After its huge win, Auburn moves up four spots to No. 6 CFP and is followed by Georgia (No. 7 CFP), who dropped from the No. 1 CFP spot. The Dawgs hope to bounce back at home against a Kentucky team that is not to be taken lightly, and the Tigers will attempt to keep focus on Louisiana-Monroe while the Iron Bowl (which could determine a playoff berth) looms on the horizon. Following the two SEC programs is Notre Dame, who falls to No. 8 CFP after losing its second game of the year. Rounding out the top 10 is a pair of fairly forgotten Big Ten teams, Ohio State (No. 9 CFP) and Penn State (No. 10 CFP). For Ohio State, there is still an outside shot at the playoff, with matchups against Michigan (No. 24 CFP) and Wisconsin (No. 5 CFP) yet to come.
Outside of the top 10, the biggest movers in the latest rankings are Washington State, who moved up five spots to No. 14 CFP after a 33-25 win at Utah; TCU, who dropped six spots to No. 12 CFP after the loss to Oklahoma (No. 4 CFP); and Washington, who dropped nine spots to No. 18 CFP after watching its playoff dreams come to an end at Stanford.
Two teams with an outside shot at the playoff are USC, who, at No. 11 CFP, is the highest-ranked Pac-12 team and favorite to win the conference, and UCF (No. 15 CFP), who is the last non-Power Five undefeated team and favorite to receive the New Year’s Six bid. However, UCF still has matchups remaining with South Florida and Memphis (No. 21 CFP), likely in the AAC Championship.
Three new teams entered the top 25 this week, with Stanford (No. 22 CFP), Michigan (No. 24 CFP) and Boise State (No. 25 CFP) moving in, while Virginia Tech, Iowa State and Iowa dropped out.
For this week, there is sense of calm in the air. With only one top 25 matchup, Week 12 shouldn’t cause much movement. However, if we have learned anything this year, it’s that no game can be overlooked. We are one upset away from 2007 deja-vu, when 11 top two teams lost during the season. Two-loss teams, such as Auburn and Ohio State, are definitely still alive, and teams like Notre Dame and USC cannot be forgotten yet. This week can be used as a chance to catch your breath, but don’t look ahead. Chaos awaits us like the Mind Flayer from “Stranger Things,” and it’s best that we prepare for it.