A new number one atop College Football Playoff rankings?
0:53 | College Football
A new number one atop College Football Playoff rankings?
Tuesday November 4th, 2014

With the College Football Playoff selection committee releasing its first official rankings last Tuesday, we've entered some sort of insane version of the NCAA tournament in a lot of ways. Teams are jockeying for position, and in this six-week stretch, contenders are going to be knocked off while others rise above.

There’s no “One Shining Moment,” but with how often we're hearing Pharrell’s “Come Get It Bae," that Fall Out Boy song and that Matt and Kim song from the Buick commercial, there’s still an official soundtrack. It’s why you’re humming those to yourself in the middle of the week. You can’t escape college football. It’s like some sort of Star Wars Force held together by pigskin and fight songs.

College football is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us. It penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together. Or something like that.

Here are the Power Rankings for Week 11:

• ELLIS: Bowl Projections: Who's headed to playoff, all other bowls?

College football power rankings
  • 1
    1Florida State Seminoles
    last week: 2
    record: 8-0
    I think I’ve finally figured out what I’m reminded of when I watch this Florida State team play. It’s John McClane from Die Hard. The Seminoles keep finding themselves in difficult situations that seem impossible to get out of and then find a way to send Alan Rickman (my distant relative maybe) toppling from the top of Nakatomi Plaza.
    Last game: Beat Louisville, 42-31
    Next game: Saturday vs. Virginia

  • 2
    2Mississippi State Bulldogs
    last week: 1
    record: 8-0
    After the close scrape with Arkansas, Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen said: “Our guys are finding ways to win, and that’s all that matters.” It’s easy to say that after a win, but there are some worries here. Mississippi State allowed 401 yards to the Razorbacks and turned the ball over three times to a team that doesn’t have a conference win. Luckily a date with the Skyhawks on Saturday should be a quick fix.
    Last game: Beat Arkansas, 17-10
    Next game: Saturday vs. Tennessee-Martin

  • 3
    3Auburn Tigers
    last week: 4
    record: 7-1
    The Tigers picked up a big win over Ole Miss on Saturday, but that’s not at all important right now. What is important is the revelation via Reddit of this video of Gus Malzahn dancing to MC Hammer.

    Last game: Beat Ole Miss, 35-31
    Next game: Saturday vs. Texas A&M

  • 4
    4Oregon Ducks
    last week: 3
    record: 8-1
    The Ducks exorcised two straight years of disappointing losses to Stanford in an impressive win over the Cardinal on Saturday, and they’re looking more and more like the playoff contender that beat Michigan State and less like the team that barely edged Washington State and lost to Arizona a few weeks ago.
    Last game: Beat Stanford, 45-16
    Next game: Saturday at Utah

  • 5
    5Michigan State Spartans
    last week: 5
    record: 7-1
    As long as I don’t have to see the College GameDay version of Mark Dantonio when the Spartans play Ohio State on Saturday, I’ll be okay. That was scary and should have come with a warning.
    Last game: Beat Michigan, 35-11
    Next game: Saturday vs. Ohio State

  • 6
    6Alabama Crimson Tide
    last week: 7
    record: 7-1
    Nick Saban said Monday that “rankings really mean nothing at all to our team,” but he didn’t say anything about Power Rankings. Secretly I want to believe Alabama loves them. But I doubt Saban would see them unless my friends at The Weather Channel wanted to start scrolling them along with the drive time forecast.
    Last game: Beat Tennessee, 34-20
    Next game: Saturday at LSU

  • 7
    7TCU Horned Frogs
    last week: 11
    record: 7-1
    If Saban isn’t worried about the committee and rankings, Gary Patterson certainly is. He campaigned hard after the Horned Frogs' win over West Virginia, but the best way to aid his cause would be to find a way to beat the Wildcats on Saturday.
    Last game: Beat West Virginia, 31-30
    Next game: Saturday vs. Kansas State

  • 8
    8Notre Dame Fighting Irish
    last week: 8
    record: 7-1
    The Fighting Irish beat the Midshipmen but lost one of their biggest leaders on defense in the process. With Joe Schmidt out for the remainder of the season with a fractured and dislocated ankle, Notre Dame will have to double back on the road against a Sun Devils team that averages just under 35 points per game.
    Last game: Beat Navy, 49-39
    Next game: Saturday at Arizona State

  • 9
    9Baylor Bears
    last week: 10
    record: 7-1
    In honor of Bryce Petty’s postgame interview after Kansas, here is my analysis of Baylor this week: They’re ready for Oklahoma.
    Last game: Beat Kansas, 60-14
    Next game: Saturday at Oklahoma

  • 10
    10Kansas State Wildcats
    last week: 12
    record: 7-1
    Watching Kansas State dismantle Oklahoma State felt like a torture film, which was only fitting considering it was Halloween weekend and there hasn’t been a new Saw movie in four years. After the Cowboys struck first, the Wildcats scored 45 straight points before Oklahoma State got its second score on an Ramon Richards interception for a touchdown.
    Last game: Beat Oklahoma State, 48-14
    Next game: Saturday at TCU

  • 11
    11Arizona State Sun Devils
    last week: 13
    record: 7-1
    The Sun Devils got a big game from receiver Jaelen Strong (eight catches, 136 yards, one touchdown) in last year’s 37-34 loss to the Fighting Irish. They’ll need that same sort of effort from Strong and quarterback Taylor Kelly if they hope to pull out a win in Tempe.
    Last game: Beat Utah, 19-16 (OT)
    Next game: Saturday vs. Notre Dame

  • 12
    12Ohio State Buckeyes
    last week: 14
    record: 7-1
    While Michigan State got a real bye week heading into Saturday's game against Ohio State, the Buckeyes basically had one too as they jumped out to a 48-0 lead over Illinois. Backup quarterback Cardale Jones got some work, and running backs Jalin Marshall and Warren Ball (who had 20 carries between them coming into the week) picked up 79 yards on 12 carries.
    Last game: Beat Illinois, 55-14
    Next game: Saturday at Michigan State

  • 13
    13Ole Miss Rebels
    last week: 6
    record: 7-2
    After he was injured trying to get into the end zone for a potential game-winning score late in the fourth quarter against Auburn, Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell posted this on his Instagram:
    Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for Treadwell.
    Last game: Lost to Auburn, 35-31
    Next game: Saturday vs. Presbyterian

  • 14
    14Nebraska Cornhuskers
    last week: 15
    record: 8-1
    Since their loss to Michigan State, the Cornhuskers have outscored opponents 114-55 in conference play. Granted those games were against Northwestern, Rutgers and Purdue, but points are points.
    Last game: Beat Purdue, 35-14
    Next game: Nov. 15 at Wisconsin

  • 15
    15Oklahoma Sooners
    last week: 16
    record: 6-2
    Teams probably lie and say they don’t play angry. But after losing two out of three games by a combined five points (with a closer-than-it-should-have-been win over Texas sandwiched in between), the Sooners inflicted all sorts of pain on Iowa State on Saturday. Now let’s see what Oklahoma has in store for the Bears.
    Last game: Beat Iowa State, 59-14
    Next game: Saturday vs. Baylor

  • 16
    16LSU Tigers
    last week: 17
    record: 7-2
    The always quotable Les Miles wants you to vote. This is what he had to say during his opening statement on Monday: "Just recognize that it's Election Day coming up, where all those model citizens will get off and take care of their duties to their country. This is not Columbus Day; this is not just for the Italians. This is certainly not St. Paddy's; it's not just for the Irish. It is for all of those who have the ability to vote in our country, so get out and do that, please." So get out there and vote, for Les, please.
    Last game: Beat Ole Miss, 10-7
    Next game: Saturday vs. Alabama

  • 17
    17Georgia Bulldogs
    last week: 9
    record: 6-2
    It wasn’t just that Georgia lost to Florida on Saturday, it was how the Bulldogs lost. The Gators seemed to run the same few running plays over and over, daring the Bulldogs to stop them. They couldn’t, and Florida rushed for 418 yards.
    Last game: Lost to Florida, 38-20
    Next game: Saturday at Kentucky

  • 18
    18Clemson Tigers
    last week: 22
    record: 6-2
    What a great time for a bye week followed by a Thursday night game against one of the worst offenses in the FBS. Deshaun Watson has been upgraded to doubtful, and if he can get back for Clemson's Nov. 15 matchup with Georgia Tech, a 10-win season could still be in store for the Tigers.
    Last game: Beat Syracuse, 16-6
    Next game: Thursday at Wake Forest

  • 19
    19Duke Blue Devils
    last week: 24
    record: 7-1
    When Duke plays Pitt, apparently we all hit the multiball. In the Blue Devils and Panthers' past two matchups, they’ve combined to score 212 points and compile 2,162 yards. I can’t believe I’m typing this, but I wish we could watch Duke and Pitt play more often.
    Last game: Beat Pitt, 51-48 (2OT)
    Next game: Saturday at Syracuse

  • 20
    20UCLA Bruins
    last week: NR
    record: 7-2
    Myles Jack revealed Monday that the UCLA coaches asked him if he wanted to switch to running back full time. He said that linebacker is “where [his] heart is,” and it might be where his best NFL prospects are as well. That doesn’t mean we can’t all wish to see him lining up in the backfield a bit more, though.
    Last game: Beat Arizona, 17-7
    Next game: Saturday at Washington

  • 21
    21Arizona Wildcats
    last week: 17
    record: 6-2
    Let’s go to Rich Rodriquez for his thoughts on his team’s offensive performance against the Bruins on Saturday: “The offense was poor. It was poorly called, poorly executed, poorly played. You can start with the coaching staff.” Well, alright then.
    Last game: Lost to UCLA, 17-7
    Next game: Saturday vs. Colorado

  • 22
    22Utah Utes
    last week: 19
    record: 6-2
    Utah’s Andy Phillips has been one of the best kickers in college football the past two seasons. Last year he told his goal was to be perfect on his kicks, and he made his first 11 field goals before missing. This season he had missed just two out of his 19 field goals heading into his 35-yarder in overtime against Arizona State. He missed, but Utah had called a timeout just before the kick. And then Phillips missed again and had to watch as Sun Devils kicker Zane Gonzalez played the hero.
    Last game: Lost to Arizona State, 19-16 (OT)
    Next game: Saturday vs. Oregon

  • 23
    23Marshall Thundering Herd
    last week: 23
    record: 8-0
    The Thundering Herd were left out of the College Football Playoff committee’s initial top 25, but with East Carolina losing Saturday, Marshall still has a shot at the top spot among the Group of Five. That’s an important place to be, as the highest ranked Group of Five conference champion earns a place in one of the New Year's Six bowls.
    Last game: Beat Florida Atlantic, 35-16
    Next game: Saturday at Southern Miss

  • 24
    24Colorado State Rams
    last week: 25
    record: 8-1
    Jim McElwain has quietly put together one heck of a turnaround with the Rams. After winning just four games in Year One, he had eight wins (including a win over Washington State in the New Mexico Bowl) last season and has already matched that total in 2014.
    Last game: Beat San Jose State, 38-31
    Next game: Saturday vs. Hawaii

  • 25
    25Wisconsin Badgers
    last week: NR
    record: 6-2
    The Badgers are right in the thick of things in the Big Ten West, and we’ll get our own Battle Royale to determine it, as Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa (all with one loss in conference play) will face each other the rest of the way.
    Last game: Beat Rutgers, 37-0
    Next game: Saturday at Purdue

Next five: Missouri, USC, West Virginia, Boise State, Those little hand warmer things

• BECHT: Playoff Bubble Watch: Who's in, out of the playoff for now?

1:35 | College Football
College football roundup: Week 10

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