Welcome to the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 12 As it Should Be. Saturday started with seven undefeated teams, and now we are down to five. Firstly, my head may explode if one more person says LSU has four top 10 wins. They don’t. Texas was severely over ranked in the preseason and isn’t even in the top 25 right now. Your wins count for where those teams are ranked now. Rankings should be fair and unbiased, but that’s not the world we live in when preseason polls ultimately affect the final rankings. I’m not sure why I have to explain this but clearly I do.
Secondly, LSU vs Alabama was a great football game. But, the media and fans acting like it was the “Game of the Century” was tiring. Truth be told, there were five other games this season that were just as good.
Texas v LSU, Penn St vs Michigan, Oregon vs Washington, UCLA vs Washington State, Notre Dame vs Georgia
Every year there is always talk about the potential for chaos. I believe we may actually get some wild finishes to the season.
The biggest debate this week will be the #4 spot. Will the committee reward quality wins and schedules or named brands?
College Football Playoff
After the first CFB Playoff Committee rankings, we have enough information to put playoff scenarios together. So here is how it should shake out at this point. Check back here on Tuesday for the Road to the Playoff series where we examine every team’s path to the top 4.
- SEC Champion- LSU and Georgia have the inside track to play in the SEC championship. Ironically, Auburn could put the entire SEC out of the playoff by beating UGA and Alabama, then have 2-loss UGA win the SEC championship.
- Undefeated or 1-loss Big Ten Winner– (Ohio State/Minnesota/Penn State): The only thing that could mess up the Big Ten selection is if 2-loss Wisconsin wins the Big Ten Championship.
- Clemson– They have no competition in the ACC so they will finish undefeated with a string of blowout victories.
- Pac-12 Champion– (Oregon/Utah) If both teams finish the season 11-1 the conference championship game will feature a top 10 showdown. And both teams are playing exceptional football right now.
The Big 12 is in trouble. Baylor can’t score and Oklahoma can’t play defense and there are no signature wins possible to jump other teams.
The way this season is shaping up, everyone may be on board with an 8 team playoff. There will be so many 1 loss teams who will be deserving of a chance to play for a championship. Wouldn’t it just make more sense to have the five Power 5 champions and highest-ranked Group of 5 team to get automatic bids? There would still be two spots left for at-large bids. You would always get the best and most deserving teams in the tournament. That might actually cause teams to schedule better non-conference games because they would know they could still get in the CFB Playoffs with 1-2 losses. Fans would then get better games.
The Rules: No Bias, No Bull College Football Rankings
There is no more unbiased ranking out there than Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 6. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. These rankings are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. Teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. After the preseason rankings, only games played matter. No consideration is given for future games.
I re-rank the top 10 every Sunday from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information. So make sure to come back every Sunday. For reference, you can check College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 11.
College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 10:
Next Up: Florida, Baylor, Wisconsin, Michigan
Baylor has looked awful offensively in back-to-back weeks. Nothing about this team makes me believe they can beat any of the top 10 teams. They were #9 last week but can’t crack the CFTAISB this week.
10. Penn State (8-1)
Last Week: 26-31 (L) at Minnesota
PSU drank the “rat poison”. They showed up to Minnesota thinking they were all that and got punched in the mouth. The Nittany Lions tried to fight back but came up short. It was troubling to see their secondary have so many miscommunications and leave receivers wide open. And it was a very inopportune time for quarterback Sean Clifford to throw three interceptions.
All is not lost though. Penn State can still get to the Big Ten Championship by knocking off Ohio State.
9. Oklahoma Sooners (8-1)
Last Week: at 42-41 (W) vs Iowa State
Oklahoma’s defense is a real problem. No lead is safe because they cannot stop anyone. Part of the reason things got so bad against Iowa State is that injuries have caused them to be extremely thin in the secondary. The defense has struggled against Kansas State and Iowa State. So, imagine what Clemson, LSU, or Ohio State would do to Oklahoma.
Jalen Hurts had another great performance with over 330 total yards and five total touchdowns. But that was almost not enough. I would be surprised if the Sooners finish the rest of the season undefeated because they are playing with fire.
8. Minnesota (9-0)
Last Week: 31-26 (W) vs Penn State
Minnesota made a believer out of all the doubters. They clearly felt disrespected by the CFB Playoff committee ranking them #17.
It was a good thing that Minnesota signed PJ Fleck to that huge contract extension before the Penn State game. It would have cost more after Saturday. The Golden Gophers are for real. They have a humongous offensive line. I’m not sure I have ever seen a line this big. The secondary is extremely opportunistic. They can’t beat Iowa, Wisconsin, then Ohio State… right?
The name of the name is “win and you are in” for the Golden Gophers.
7. Georgia Bulldogs (8-1)
Last Week: 27-0 (W) vs Missouri
Georgia won 27-0 but it was not a very impressive win. The defense looked very good against an average Missouri offense. But, the offense was pretty pedestrian. The Bulldogs only managed 339 yards of total offense and wasn’t very explosive.
Their loss to South Carolina looks even worse this week after the Gamecocks lost to Appalachian State. Georgia is a very talented team but I can see a scenario where they drop another game before the SEC championship. Kirby Smart plays much too conservative to win anything.
Check out our Pac-12 Football Podcast, Pac-12 Apostles:
6. Utah (8-1)
Last Week: IDLE
The Utes are by far the most underrated team in college football. If they mess around and sneak in the playoff, they can shock the world. Their defense is experienced and physical. Utah’s quarterback, Tyler Huntley may be having the best season of any quarterback in the Pac-12.
Some are even arguing they are better than the Oregon Ducks. If you haven’t watched them play, Florida would be a really good comparison except UF has more explosive wide receivers.
5. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-1)
Last Week: 41-46 (L) vs LSU
Bama hadn’t played anybody with a pulse all year. When they finally did play their first top 25 team (TAMU is currently unranked), or team with a pulse, they lost. The Crimson Tide were not battle-tested while LSU had played Texas, Florida, and Auburn.
Tua fought hard and showed a lot of heart, but LSU was just too much. Most of the second half defensive stops had more to do with Joe Burrow missing throws than Alabama’s defense. It is clear that Bama is supremely talented offensively, but their defense is not what we are accustomed to. It would take a lot of chaos for Alabama to be deserving of a playoff spot.
They would need LSU to lose twice to make it to the SEC championship game. And if Bama were to beat Auburn, it would be their only quality win.
4. Oregon Ducks (8-1)
Last Week: IDLE
I would be pissed if I were Oregon. All week most of the national media debated their CFB Playoff chances and dismissed their defense and ability to compete with their preseason darlings. Expect Mario Cristobal to try and run up the score on their next three opponents before the Pac-12 championship to make a statement..
This is Oregon’s best team since the 2015 team that went to the CFB Championship in 2015. East coast bias will try and dismiss the Ducks, but this is a complete football team. They are one of the few teams in the nation who are tops in the nation in scoring offense and scoring defense.
People thought the Pac-12 was out of the CFB Playoff conversation. But eleven weeks into the season Oregon and Utah are squarely back in the conversation.
3. Clemson Tigers (10-0)
Last Week: 55-10 (W) at NC State
This game was over after Clemson scored 28 points int he first quarter. How is the ACC so bad?
What Clemson is missing schedule, they make up for with dominance. It’s crazy to me that so many people knock Clemson’s schedule while barely mentioning Alabama’s weak schedule. At least the Tigers tried to have a good schedule. They play their conference games plus South Carolina and Texas A&M to bring them to ten Power 5 games. Bama scheduled Duke, NMST, So. Miss, and WCU.
Clemson doesn’t have any obvious opportunities for quality wins on the schedule, so it is crucial they finish the season undefeated.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0)
Last Week: 73-14 (W) vs Maryland
The suspension to Chase Young and people questioning their #1 ranking only made Ohio State mad. They put a hurting on Maryland. If this where high school football in Arizona or New York, OSU head coach Ryan Day would be fired for running up the score. Not only did they score 73 points, but they also racked up 705 yards of total offense, and held Maryland to 139 yards.
We are a week away from the meat of the Buckeyes schedule. They play Penn State and Michigan after they destroy Rutgers this upcoming weekend.
1. LSU (9-0)
Last Week: 46-41 (W) at Alabama
LSU looks so unstoppable on offense. They can throw the ball downfield or run teams over. Joe Burrow cemented himself at the very least a Heisman finalist, if not sewing up the win. My biggest concern is this defense that has given up 38 points or more three times this season. But the good news is the offense is so potent LSU can win a shootout. Make no mistake, this is not an Oklahoma defense situation.
It is impossible to deny the Tigers’ body of work up to this point. Overtaking the #1 team in the College Football Top 10 As It Should Be Week 12 when the #1 team has been as dominant as Ohio State is a difficult task. But, LSU’s schedule played so far has been better and they knocked off Alabama last week.
Check back next Sunday morning for the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 12.