Week 11 College Football Rankings, No. 1-128: The Big Shakeup

    The college football rankings changed around in a big way ... it's time to put the best team at No. 1 already.

    November 8, 2015

    It’s the unwavering belief system of these rankings – you HAVE to go by what has happened on the field.

    If all the other variables are equal, then if Team A beat Team B, and Team B beat Team C, then Team A has to be ranked over Team C.

    Unless Alabama is the best team in college football.

    Unbeaten Clemson has to be ranked ahead of Notre Dame, whose only loss is to Clemson. Navy’s only loss it to Notre Dame. Navy handed Memphis its only loss. Memphis beat Ole Miss. Ole Miss beat Alabama. So if we’re going to stay true to what these rankings stand for in an era of wacky belief systems trumping actual proof, because there aren’t any other losses involved, the order out of that group must be Clemson, Notre Dame, Navy, Memphis, and then Alabama and Ole Miss in some way considering the Crimson Tide and Rebels now overlap in terms of some of the teams played – primarily, Arkansas.

    But there does come a time when the rest of the resumes have to be considered.

    Should Navy be ranked ahead of Alabama? Yes. Absolutely. Navy beat the team, that beat the team, that beat THE team.

    Sometimes, though, the pretentiousness has to take a break.

    The rest of the rankings are as true as possible to the head-to-head meetings – which is why North Carolina and Florida State are where they are – with calls being made once it comes down to the USC beat Utah, Utah beat Washington, Washington beat USC thing.

    College Football Rankings, Week 11

    1. Alabama (8-1)

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, Alabama lost to Ole Miss, and it should be ranked behind Navy and Memphis … fine. Duly noted. With wins over Wisconsin, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Louisiana State, even if the SEC is overrated, and even if the conference isn’t that great compared to the past, and even if the Badgers are just okay, the overall body of work – combined with the jaw-dropping talent on both sides of the ball – enough is enough. This has been the best team in college football all season long, even with the turnover-fest against Ole Miss. After that win over LSU, it’s not even close.

    2. LSU (7-1)

    The win at Mississippi State is probably better than just about anything anyone else who deserves this spot has done. The win over Florida is the key, and losing to Alabama at Alabama – especially a rested and focused Alabama – isn’t anything to get into a twist over. However, now the tests come against Arkansas and at Ole Miss to stay this high.

    3. Clemson (9-0)

    Exactly like Charles Barkley saying he was misquoted in his autobiography, is it possible to call Clemson ridiculously overrated if we’re the ones doing the rating? There’s only one win that’s any good, and that’s accepting the notion that Notre Dame’s wins over Navy, Temple, Pitt and USC are special. Let’s all be honest here – beating Florida State probably isn’t as big a deal as everyone is making it out to be. Florida State’s best win of the year? Miami. Second-best? Over a totally average Louisville team.

    4. Notre Dame (8-1)

    Navy beating Memphis really helps Notre Dame’s cause. Giving the Midshipmen and Temple their only losses is solid, and no matter the turmoil at the time, beating USC is still excellent. If you believe in Clemson – which the CFP committee obviously does – then putting Notre Dame one step behind is more than fine.

    5. Oklahoma State (9-0)

    Hot team, right time. Beating TCU in a blowout after hanging 70 on Texas Tech has the Cowboys rolling. Now they have to keep from blowing it at Iowa State before hosting Baylor and Oklahoma. The problem? The rest of the resume isn’t so hot. Whatever – the TCU win trumps all of that.

    6. Ohio State (9-0)

    This is the second-best team in the country, but it’s not playing like it. It’s just a strange season for a team that’s still figuring out its quarterback issues, and should be far better even if Cardale Jones isn’t Tom Brady at the moment. It’s time to starting looking the part instead of needing a late score at home to put away Minnesota.

    7. Oklahoma (8-1)

    This might be the second-best team in college football. The Sooners are getting better and better, playing their best football over the last month in dominant fashion, scoring 52 points or more in each of the last four games after the Texas aberration. Now it’s on, going to Baylor and facing TCU and going to Oklahoma State. The Sooners might be far, far better than all three teams.

    8. Florida (8-1)

    Ehhhhhhh, kicker problems or not, it shouldn’t have taken that much work to get by Vanderbilt. Yeah, the Commodores have a great D, but that’s a scary close call against a team that got housed by Houston. If the Cougars had played anyone else on the schedule slightly better than Cincinnati and Louisville – and struggling against both teams – they’d probably be here. This is a bit of a gift considering the Tennessee and Ole Miss wins aren’t as sweet now.

    9. Baylor (8-0)

    Here’s the crazy part. Jarrett Stidham was fantastic, and Baylor still almost blew it against a mediocre Kansas State team. The quarterback situation isn’t a problem – the Baylor defense might be. The wins over Texas Tech and West Virginia are nice, but Oklahoma, at Oklahoma State and at TCU are up next. It’s go time.

    10. TCU (8-1)

    SEC teams tend to get a break for losing to a strong team on its home field – the same should apply here. Oklahoma State was red hot on the right day, but after blowing out Kansas next week, TCU needs to redeem itself at Oklahoma.

    11. Iowa (9-0)

    How long can Iowa live off of wins over Wisconsin and Northwestern? The Indiana game was a close call, but it’s time to look dominant again with Minnesota and Purdue up next at home. Now, going to Nebraska looks like a real, live showdown.

    12. Utah (8-1)

    Don’t fall asleep on the Utes, even though beating Cal and Arizona State isn’t that impressive now and getting blowout by USC is a problem. However, the Michigan and Oregon wins are great, and beating Washington in Seattle is better than it appears.

    13. Wisconsin (8-2)

    It’s sort of a plus when you can win on the road despite playing like total garbage. RB Corey Clement has to get over his groin soreness and get back in two weeks for Northwestern, and then this should be a different team. Here’s the problem, though. The Badgers are ranked here because it played Alabama tough and should’ve beaten Iowa. The best win is over a Nebraska team that’s probably going to finish with a losing record.

    14. Navy (7-1)

    Okay, now the switch is flipped back on for the rankings. The only loss is to Notre Dame, and beating Memphis finally gives the Midshipmen a real, live win. They still have to go to Houston in a few weeks, and if they win that, they’re 11-1 and the theoretical debates become interesting. If the CFP committee believes in Notre Dame, and that’s the only loss, then Navy should be higher.

    15. Memphis (8-1)

    Beating Bowling Green on the road now looks absolutely phenomenal, while the win over Ole Miss is still the crown jewel. This could get interesting with road games at Houston and Temple next – the Tigers could jump right back into the mix of the top teams by winning out.

    16. Arkansas (5-4)

    Here’s the problem – losing to Texas Tech and Texas A&M now don’t look so hot, and losing to Toledo is a bigger issue after the Rockets just lost to Northern Illinois. But this goes on the Improving Team theory winning four of the last five with wins over Tennessee and Ole Miss on the road and Auburn at home. The battle with Bama in a 27-14 loss looks stronger now.

    17. Ole Miss (7-3)

    The win at Alabama is still the best by anyone this year, and losing on a miracle of a fourth down play to Arkansas is losing on a miracle of a fourth down play to Arkansas. But it’s still a three-loss team going into a week off to prepare for LSU. This is a dangerous X factor over the final two games with a trip to Mississippi State right after dealing with the Tigers.

    18. Michigan State (8-1)

    Look, enough with all the moronic media types out there saying Michigan State’s playoff chances are gone now. If the Spartans win out, they’ll have beaten an Oregon team that’s now on a roll – and could absolutely beat Stanford – Michigan at Michigan, Ohio State in Columbus, Penn State, and then, most likely Iowa. If that happens, they’ll have wins over nine bowl bound teams – maybe ten if Indiana gets lucky – and by the time they play the Buckeyes and then, if all goes well, the Hawkeyes, they’ll have beaten two elite teams. Watch how this plays out – yes, Michigan State. Go 12-1, and you’ll find your way in.

    19. Michigan (7-2)

    All of a sudden, Michigan just caught itself a massive break. Michigan State’s loss to Nebraska opens up the door to just about everything. If Ohio State beats the Spartans, and Michigan gets by Indiana and Penn State on the road, then the game against the 11-0 Buckeyes is for the Big Ten title. Win that, beat Iowa, and the resume becomes stronger than anything Clemson or Stanford could boast.

    20. Northwestern (7-2)

    Not to dog QB Clayton Thorson, but it’s not like the offense was moving with him in. Out hurt against Penn State, the Wildcats still got it done. The win at Nebraska looks better now, and combined with wins over Duke and Stanford, this is starting to build into a nice season. Beat Purdue, and it’s an 8-2 start going into a road game at Wisconsin.

    21. Stanford (8-1)

    The close-call win at Washington State is going to look better and better, and the victories over UCLA, USC and Washington are great. Now it’s really on. Beat Oregon, and then the playoff excitement kicks in full force. Lose, and it’s over for the Pac-12.

    22. USC (6-3)

    With excellent wins over Utah, Cal and Arizona, this finesse team has suddenly found the power game under Clay Helton. This is now a bruising running team with the upside to beat Colorado on Friday to set up showdowns against Oregon and UCLA.

    23. Mississippi State (7-2)

    Look out. After playing a brutally physical game, Alabama has to deal with a Mississippi State team on an extra few days of rest. There isn’t anything impressive on the MSU resume besides losing a tight battle with LSU, but this should be a dangerous team for the Crimson Tide to deal with.

    24. Auburn (5-4)

    Yeah, it’s not the Auburn you wanted, but it’s still turning into a nice year considering the circumstances. For all the talk and concern about the Tigers falling off the map, the win at Texas A&M all but assures a bowl bid with Idaho still to face. Finally, the team has a good win.

    25. Houston (9-0)

    This could be the high-rising team over the next few weeks. There’s a win on the road at Louisville, and the blowout victory over a Vanderbilt team that almost beat Florida, but that’s really it. Beating Cincinnati? Okay, that’s pretty good, too, but now it’s time to make some real noise with dates against Memphis and Navy coming up.

    RELATED: Projected College Football Rankings Top Four

    No. 26-128 College Football Rankings

    26. West Virginia (4-4)

    27. Temple (8-1)

    28. Texas Tech (5-5)

    29. Texas A&M (6-3)

    30. Toledo (7-1)

    31. Tennessee (5-4)

    32. Bowling Green (7-2)

    33. Georgia (6-3)

    34. Oregon (6-3)

    35. Washington State (6-3)

    36. Arizona State (4-5)

    37. UCLA (7-2)

    38. California (5-4)

    39. Louisville (5-4)

    40. BYU (7-2)

    41. Washington (4-5)

    42. Penn State (7-3)

    43. Illinois (5-4)

    44. Nebraska (4-6)

    45. San Diego State (6-3)

    46. Utah State (5-3)

    47. Boise State (8-2)

    48. Kentucky (4-5)

    49. Cincinnati (5-4)

    50. South Carolina (3-6)

    51. North Carolina (8-1)

    52. Florida State (7-2)

    53. Pitt (6-3)

    54. Miami (6-3)

    55. Duke (6-3)

    56. Arizona (5-5)

    57. Vanderbilt (3-6)

    58. Missouri (4-4)

    59. Virginia (3-6)

    60. Georgia Tech (3-6)

    61. Iowa State (3-6)

    62. Texas (4-5)

    63. Kansas State (3-5)

    64. Minnesota (4-5)

    65. Virginia Tech (4-5)

    66. NC State (5-3)

    67. Purdue (2-7)

    68. Rutgers (3-6)

    69. Indiana (4-5)

    70. Maryland (2-7)

    71. South Florida (5-4)

    72. Arkansas State (6-3)

    73. Appalachian State (7-2)

    74. Georgia Southern (6-2)

    75. Western Michigan (6-3)

    76. Syracuse (3-6)

    77. Wake Forest (3-6)

    78. Connecticut (5-5)

    79. East Carolina (4-6)

    80. Boston College (3-7)

    81. Central Michigan (5-4)

    82. Northern Illinois (6-3)

    83. WKU (8-2)

    84. Louisiana Tech (7-3)

    85. Colorado (4-6)

    86. Colorado State (4-5)

    87. Air Force (6-3)

    88. Middle Tennessee (4-5)

    89. Oregon State (2-7)

    90. San Jose State (4-5)

    91. UNLV (3-6)

    92. Nevada (5-4)

    93. Fresno State (2-7)

    94. Buffalo (5-4)

    95. Ohio (5-3)

    96. Marshall (8-2)

    97. Southern Miss (6-3)

    98. FIU (5-5)

    99. Tulsa (5-4)

    100. New Mexico (5-4)

    101. Akron (4-5)

    102. Kent State (3-6)

    103. Louisiana-Lafayette (3-5)

    104. Texas State (2-6)

    105. South Alabama (4-4)

    106. Old Dominion (4-5)

    107. Kansas (0-8)

    108. Hawaii (2-8)

    109. UTEP (4-5)

    110. Tulane (2-7)

    111. Rice (4-5)

    112. Army West Point (2-7)

    113. Florida Atlantic (2-7)

    114. SMU (1-8)

    115. Charlotte (2-7)

    116. Miami University (2-8)

    117. Georgia State (2-6)

    118. Ball State (3-7)

    119. Massachusetts (1-8)

    120. Troy (3-6)

    121. New Mexico State (2-7)

    122. Idaho (3-6)

    123. UCF (0-10)

    124. North Texas (1-8)

    125. UTSA (1-8)

    126. Eastern Michigan (1-9)

    127. Wyoming (1-9)

    128. ULM (1-8)


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