Week 10 marked the first week under the College Football Playoff rankings rather than the AP rankings. The committee came together and put Alabama, Clemson, Michigan and Texas A&M as it’s Top 4. Did the committee pick the right teams? Meanwhile, Louisville, Ohio State and Washington were all lurking outside the Top 4 hoping to build a strong enough resume to be considered for the Playoff. Here’s how the CFP Top 25 performed this week:
#1 Alabama – WEEK 10: W vs #13 LSU 10-0
The Crimson Tide were involved in a tough defensive battle, reminiscent of the 2011 clash between these two rivals at Tuscaloosa. The Tide were kept scoreless in the first half for the first time since 2007. At the end of the 3rd quarter, it was still locked at nil-all. It took a Jalen Hurts 28-yard rushing touchdown in the 4th quarter to break the deadlock and a field goal on their next drive clinched the win to propel Alabama to their 21st consecutive win. Hurts threw for only 107 yards and an interception, but ran for 114 yards and his go-ahead score. The Tide moves on to face Mississippi State in Week 11.
#2 Clemson – WEEK 10: W vs Syracuse 54-0
Clemson maintained their unbeaten record, forcing three turnovers and racking up 565 yards of offense in a demolition of Syracuse. The Tigers have now won 21 straight at home, the best streak in the FBS. Deshaun Watson threw for 169 yards and 2 TDs, while also running for 39 yards and a score, before being rested in the 2nd half. His replacement Nick Schuessler came in and threw for a game-high 177 yards and 2 touchdowns. Wide receiver Deon Cain caught 5 passes for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 65-yarder. His opposite receiver Mike Williams caught 6 passes for 106 yards and a score. The Tigers face Pittsburgh in Week 11.
#3 Michigan – WEEK 10: W vs Maryland 59-3
Behind a career day from Wilton Speight, as well as their consistently strong running game and top defense, the Wolverines had a big win over Maryland and proved that they deserve a Top 4 spot come playoff time. Michigan put up 660 yards of offense, with quarterback Speight throwing for 362 yards and 2 touchdowns, as well as a rushing touchdown. Running back De’Veon Smith ran for 114 yards and 3 touchdowns, while receiver Jehu Chesson had 112 receiving yards and a score. On defense, linebacker Delano Hill had six tackles and a pair of interceptions. Michigan faces Iowa next week.
#4 Texas A&M – WEEK 10: L vs Mississippi State 28-35
The Aggies were the only surprise after the release of the first College Football Playoff rankings for the year, where they leapfrogged to 4th position. Unfortunately, the committee were wrong on this occasion as A&M went down to Mississippi State. An injury to quarterback Trevor Knight hurt the Aggie’s chances and gave them their 2nd loss in three games, after starting the year 6-0. Backup quarterback Jake Hubenak threw for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns, while receiver Christian Kirk caught 7 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown. The Aggies will look to bounce back against Ole Miss next week.
#5 Washington – WEEK 10: W vs Cal 66-27
Washington posted 704 total yards and proved to the committee that they deserve to be in the Top 4 after a resounding victory at Cal, extending their winning streak to 12 games. Heisman contender Jake Browning threw for 378 yards and 6 touchdowns. John Ross had 208 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns, while Austin Pettis had 104 receiving yards and 3 scores, and even threw a 39-yard touchdown pass himself. Running back Lavon Coleman only required seven carries to gain 108 yards and a touchdown. The Huskies take on USC in Week 11.
#6 Ohio State – WEEK 10: W vs #10 Nebraska 62-3
The Buckeyes seem to have found their offense again, putting up 590 total offensive yards in a blowout of fellow Top 10 side Nebraska. It got out of hand from the beginning, as Damon Webb had a pick-six just 94 seconds into the game. Quarterback JT Barrett threw for 290 yards and 4 touchdowns and rushed for 39 yards. Top offensive weapon Curtis Samuel had 137 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns, while adding 41 yards on the ground. Mike Weber had a nice output, running for 72 yards and a score. The Buckeyes take on Maryland in Week 11.
#7 Louisville – WEEK 10: W vs Boston College 52-7
Louisville had little trouble putting away Boston College, with Heisman leader Lamar Jackson inching closer to the Heisman Trophy, while Louisville are still hoping the sides in front of them will stumble down the line. Jackson had 231 passing yards and 4 touchdowns, while running for 185 rushing yards and 3 scores – a total of 416 yards and 7 touchdowns. Wideout Jaylen Smith had 6 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. The Cardinals will face Wake Forest next week.
#8 Wisconsin – WEEK 10: W vs Northwestern 21-7
The Badgers are still in the hunt for a playoff spot and a Big 10 title after defeating Northwestern. Alex Hornibrook only threw for 92 yards, but running back Corey Clement took on the offensive load, rushing 32 times for 106 yards and a score. Wisconsin takes on Illinois in Week 11.
#9 Auburn – WEEK 10: W vs Vanderbilt 23-16
Auburn were on upset alert this week, but managed to hold on to win their 6th consecutive game. The Tigers now control their own destiny in the SEC West following Texas A&M’s loss and are one of the hottest teams in the nation with the Iron Bowl coming up soon. Quarterback Sean White threw for 106 yards and 1 touchdown, while tailback Kamryn Pettway ran for 173 yards. Auburn looks to win their 7th straight next week against Georgia.
#10 Nebraska – WEEK 10: L vs #6 Ohio State 3-62
Nebraska couldn’t keep up with the Buckeyes and the loss of quarterback Tommy Armstrong to a serious injury didn’t help the Cornhuskers’ chances. Armstrong became the total yardage leader in Nebraska history, surpassing Taylor Martinez’s mark of 10,233 yards. However, Armstrong was knocked unconscious in the first half after being pushed out of bounds and had to be taken to hospital, eventually returning to the stadium in street clothes. Safety Nathan Gerry had a game-high nine tackles – all solo. The Cornhuskers face Minnesota in Week 11.
#11 Florida – WEEK 10: L vs Arkansas 10-31
Florida looked to be on track to contend in the SEC, but they suffered an upset defeat at the hands of Arkansas. Quarterback Luke Del Rio struggled, throwing for 229 yards and 2 interceptions. The run game was a major disappointment, being contained to just 12 yards by the Razorback defense. The Gators face South Carolina in Week 11.
#12 Penn State – WEEK 10: W vs Iowa 41-14
It’s now five straight for the Nittany Lions, as they racked up nearly 600 yards of offense to remain undefeated at home this year. Quarterback Trace McSorley threw for 240 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also rushing for 40 yards and a score. Star running back Saquon Barkley ran for 167 yards and a touchdown. Penn State looks to win six straight as they take on Indiana next week.
#13 LSU – WEEK 10: L vs #1 Alabama 0-10
LSU’s defense went head-to-head with Alabama’s defense for most of the night, but the Tigers finally cracked, allowing a Jalen Hurts touchdown which led to their downfall. There wasn’t much happening on the other side of the ball as Danny Etling (92 yards, 1 interception) was pressured the entire night and missed wide open receivers, while Leonard Fournette (35 yards) was contained by the Bama front-seven. LSU only had 125 yards in the game and 25 yards solely in the 2nd half. Linebacker Kendell Beckwith led the game with 16 tackles. The Tigers move on to Week 11 where they take on Arkansas.
#14 Oklahoma – WEEK 10: W vs Iowa State 34-24
After struggling at the start of the season, the Sooners have now won six straight and 14 straight in the Big 12 conference after their win over the Cyclones. Baker Mayfield threw for 328 yards and 4 touchdowns, while Dimitri Flowers had a career high in carries (22) and rushing yards (115) in relief of Joe Mixon, who was suspended for one game. Wide receiver Dede Westbrook had 131 receiving yards and a score. His 65-yard touchdown was his FBS-leading 12th touchdown of the year and he now has six consecutive games with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown. Oklahoma take on Baylor in a tough Big 12 match-up next week.
#15 Colorado – WEEK 10: W vs UCLA 20-10
A punt returned for a touchdown helped Colorado overcome UCLA for the first time since 2003. The Buffaloes have now won three straight and five of their last six. The offense struggled, with Sefo Liufau throwing for only 143 yards and 2 interceptions. Running back Phillip Lindsay had 73 rushing yards and a score and 76 receiving yards. Colorado goes on to face Arizona in Week 11.
#16 Utah – WEEK 10: BYE
Utah takes on Arizona State in Week 11.
#17 Baylor – WEEK 10: L vs TCU 22-62
Baylor suffered their worst defeat since 2007, getting blown out by 40 at the hands of the Horned Frogs. Usually an offensive juggernaut, the Bears struggled on defense, conceding 688 offensive yards. Seth Russell had an underwhelming game, throwing for 282 yards, 1 touchdown and a pick, which was returned for a score. Receiver Ishmael Zamora had 121 receiving yards and a score, which went for 81 yards. Baylor are now completely out of contention for the College Football Playoff and will want to bounce back next week against Oklahoma.
#18 Oklahoma State – WEEK 10: W vs Kansas State 43-37
Oklahoma State avoided an upset, overcoming a fourth quarter deficit to escape Kansas State with a victory. The Cowboys have now won five straight games. Mason Rudolph threw for 457 yards and 5 touchdowns, as well as 2 interceptions which was a blemish on his outing. It’s the fifth 400-yard performance of Rudolph’s career. Rudolph’s #1 target James Washington had 117 receiving yards and 2 scores. Safety Jordan Sterns recorded a pick and a game-high 12 tackles. The Cowboys take on Texas Tech next week.
#19 Virginia Tech – WEEK 10: W vs Duke 24-21
The Hokies have won three straight, avoiding an upset at the hands of Duke. Quarterback Jerod Evans threw for 192 yards and ran for 83 yards and a touchdown. Linebacker Terrell Edmunds led the Hokies defense with 14 tackles. Virginia Tech takes on Georgia Tech in Week 11.
#20 West Virginia – WEEK 10: W vs Kansas 48-21
The Mountaineers extended their home winning streak to eight games after taking care of Kansas with 605 total yards. Quarterback Skyler Howard threw for 260 yards and 3 touchdowns. Running backs Justin Crawford and Kennedy McKoy ran for 129 and 127 yards respectively, with Crawford getting into the end zone. Receivers Daikiel Shorts Jr (104 yards, 1 TD) and Shelton Gibson (102 yards, 2 TDs) both had big receiving games. Cornerback Rasul Douglas made four tackles and had two interceptions. West Virginia faces Texas next week.
#21 North Carolina – WEEK 10: W vs Georgia Tech 48-20
The Tar Heels have won their third straight game after piling up over 600 yards of offense in the win over Georgia Tech. Mitch Trubisky had 329 passing yards and a touchdown, while adding 44 rushing yards and a score, as well as an 8-yard reception. Running back Elijah Hood only needed 12 carries to put up 168 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Bug Howard had 6 catches for 120 yards and a score. North Carolina face rivals Duke in Week 11.
#22 Florida State – WEEK 10: W vs NC State 24-20
After trailing for most of the game, Florida State pulled out a clutch touchdown with a few minutes to go to propel the Noles to victory over NC State. Deondre Francois threw for 330 yards and the clutch touchdown pass. Dalvin Cook was held to just 65 yards, ending his five-game streak of 100-yard games. Receiver Nyqwan Murray had 9 catches for 153 yards. Star defensive end DeMarcus Walker had 10 tackles and 2 sacks. The Seminoles face Boston College in Week 11.
#23 Western Michigan – WEEK 10: W vs Ball State 52-20
Western Michigan are now 9-0 for the season, the first time in school history, after taking down Ball State. Quarterback Zach Terrell threw for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns, with wide receiver Corey Davis catching 12 passes for 272 yards and 3 scores. The Western Michigan all-time leader in receiving touchdowns notched his 45th, 46th and 47th touchdown catches, with the last score giving him the all-time MAC conference lead. Running back Jarvion Franklin ran for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns. Cornerback Darius Phillips had a 75-yard interception return for touchdown – his third for the year to set a school record. The Broncos take on Kent State in Week 11.
#24 Boise State – WEEK 10: BYE
Boise take on Hawaii in Week 11.
#25 Washington State – WEEK 10: W vs Arizona 69-7
The Cougars have won their 7th game in a row and are in a battle with #5 Washington for the Pac 12 crown after destroying Arizona 69-7. Luke Falk completed an efficient 32 passes from 35 attempts, as he threw for 311 yards and 4 touchdowns. His backup Tyler Hilinski threw for 163 yards and 2 scores. Washington State faces Cal next week.