College Football Outlook: Nov. 9

Anthony Sylvester

College Football Playoff Top 10

  1. Ohio State (Big Ten East)
  2. LSU (SEC West)
  3. Alabama (SEC West)
  4. Penn State (Big Ten East)
  5. Clemson (ACC Coastal)
  6. Georgia (SEC East)
  7. Oregon (Pac 12 North)
  8. Utah (Pac 12 South)
  9. Oklahoma (Big 12)
  10. Florida (SEC East)

ACC: Undefeated Clemson is still the favorite to win the conference. Trevor Lawrence and the Tigers continue to roll after beating Wofford 59-14. Clemson’s average margin of victory is 32.5 points per game, scoring 44.2 points per game, with 545.4 yards a game. 

The latest College Football Playoff rankings came out on Tuesday, which did not go in its favor as Clemson slid out of the Top 4 and landed at No. 5 due to a weak conference and schedule. 

The toughest opponent left for Clemson is No. 19 Wake Forest, 7-1 overall, and 3-1 in conference play. For Wake Forest to make any noise, they have to win out and beat Clemson November 16th at 3:30 in Death Valley.

In the ACC Coastal, Virginia took control after beating North Carolina last week and the Cavaliers are one game ahead of Pitt.

Virginia 6-3 overall, 4-2 in conference

Pitt 6-3 overall, 3-2 in conference

North Carolina 4-5 overall, 3-3 in conference

5 Clemson v. NC State – 730p on ABC. Clemson comes into this game as the 32.5-point favorite but there is a potential upset here as the Wolfpack are 4-0 at home.

Georgia Tech v. Virginia – 12:30 on ACCNX. The Pitt Panthers are on a bye week so this gives Virginia a chance to go up two games in conference with a win. 

BIG TEN: With the latest release in the College Football Playoff, Ohio State took the reign at No. 1, while Penn State made the Top 4. They face each other November 23rd and will be the deciding factor in the Big Ten East race. 

Ohio State’s ‘big man on defense’ Chase Young is under NCAA investigation and won’t play against Maryland. If he doesn’t play the rest of the season, that’s a huge loss and could affect the future play for Ohio State. 

For the Big Ten West, undefeated Minnesota has a two-game lead over Iowa and Wisconsin but if they lose to Penn State, the gap narrows to one game. Minnesota still has Iowa and Wisconsin on the schedule too.

4 Penn State v. 17 Minnesota – 12p on ABC. These teams are both unbeaten at 8-0 overall and 5-0 in conference. It’s already confirmed there will be a sellout crowd in Minnesota. 

The Golden Gophers have outscored their Big Ten opponents 206-72 and put up 28 points or more in all eight games with an average margin of victory of 18.3 points. However, their strength of schedule is under question. Have the Gophers been tested? This will be the first ranked opponent for them this year. 

For Penn State, their average margin of victory comes to just under four touchdowns. The Nittany Lions have allowed 77 points this season, which is the second fewest in FBS.

18 Iowa v. 13 Wisconsin – 4pm on FOX. The Badgers have won six out of the last seven meetings against the Hawkeyes and have outscored them by a combined margin of 83-40 during the latest three-game win streak. Wisconsin needs a win, coming off an upset loss at Illinois and a big loss to Ohio State. That should fuel them with these Big Ten West games approaching. 

Wisconsin’s defense leads the nation in total defense, 223.5 yards per game. 

Iowa is still seeking its first win over a ranked opponent this year. The Hawkeyes have four shutouts in their last 11 Big Ten games, spanning back to last season.

BIG 12: The highest ranked team from the conference is ninth-ranked Oklahoma and they are currently 7-1 overall and 4-1 in conference. The Sooners look elite on offense, scoring 49.3 points per game, 4th in the country with 346.3 passing yards a game, and a total of 598.4 yards per game which is number one in the country. 

But in order to contend with better teams, the defense needs to make some stops, giving up an average of 338 yards per game, which is 35th in the country. 

And then there is Baylor, 8-0 overall and 5-0 in conference play. The Bears play a TCU team this week that handled 15 Texas, and plays Oklahoma next week in Norman, 730pm on ABC. That game could be the deciding factor in the BIG 12 champion.

Current BIG 12 standings:

Baylor 8-0 overall, 5-0 in conference

Oklahoma 7-1 overall, 4-1 in conference

Kansas State 6-2 overall, 3-2 in conference

12 Baylor v. TCU – 12pm on FS1. Baylor has won 10 games in a row since they last played TCU back in last November, losing 16-9. TCU has uncertainty at QB and has lost three of its last four games. TCU leads the series and rivalry 55-52-7, winning the last four contests.

16 Kansas State v. Texas – 3:30p on ESPN. Texas is the favorite in this one by seven points and they’re at home. After losing two out of their last three games, the Longhorns need a win to get back in the BIG 12 title race. Kansas State however has been surging lately with three straight wins, including an impressive win over Oklahoma.

PAC 12: The stage was set for playoff contentions last week after some key wins by Oregon and Utah. Likely a representative in the PAC 12 Championship Game, Oregon is 8-1 overall, 6-0 in conference and first in the PAC 12 North. They don’t have a tough schedule remaining, playing the weaker teams in the conference. 

However Utah 8-1 overall, 5-1 in conference and first in the PAC 12 South, still has to worry about UCLA, who is one game behind them at 4-2 in conference play. The latest College Football Playoff rankings has 7 Oregon, and 8 Utah.

PAC 12 South Standings:

Utah 8-1 overall, 5-1 in conference

USC 5-4 overall, 4-2 in conference

USC v. Arizona State – 330pm on ABC. The Trojans are a full game behind in the PAC 12 South, and have the head-to-head win over Utah. The Utes have a bye this week. Arizona State doesn’t have much on the line except bragging rights, 4th in the South, while USC is trying to make the best of their season and get into the PAC 12 Championship Game. 

SEC: The game of the week nationally last Saturday likely decided the fate and representative for the SEC East. Georgia beat Florida in a close game 24-17. The Bulldogs got the nod and are now ranked 6th in the first released College Football Playoff. 

This week, the SEC West is shining and all eyes are watching LSU and Alabama. The winner of this game will stay in the Top 4 and contend for the SEC Championship Game. Winner take all. The big question of the game is the health of Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, his start will be a game-time decision.

LSU has a pretty good resume beating three tanked teams, Texas, Florida, and Auburn, while Alabama has none. A loss for the Tigers could hurt them, but could still have playoff hopes at the end.

2 LSU v. 3 Alabama – 3:30pm on CBS. Alabama is at home and the favorite in this contest by 5.5 points. Game time decision for Nick Saban on his QB Tua Tagovailoa, who practiced all week. If he’s healthy, this makes an amazing quarterback showdown with two Heisman contenders. LSU QB Joe Burrow leads the nation in completion percentage, 78.8%, while Tagovailoa is 2nd at 74.7%.

Group of 5: The latest College Football Rankings have the group of five in the 20-25 range.

Here are the standings in the CFP:

20. Cincinnati

21. Memphis

22. Boise state

24. Navy

25. SMU

The Bearcats, 7-1 overall and 4-0 in conference play, lead the pack. They must win out in order to surprise the committee and reach a New Years Six Bowl Game. That means they have to beat Memphis on the road. That game is November 29th. If Memphis wins out, they would be the clear favorite to represent the AAC with two wins over ranked opponents, SMU and Cincinnati.

The latest standings in the AAC:


20 Cincinnati 7-1 overall, 4-0 in conference

UCF 7-2 overall, 4-1 in conference


24 Navy 7-1 overall, 5-1 in conference

21 Memphis 8-1 overall, 4-1 in conference

25 SMU 8-1 overall, 4-1 in conference