The second Saturday in November saw six games matching ranked teams, so we expected some excitement—and we got it. The result is that there are some surprises as the College Football Playoff Committee releases its third-ever top-25.
Mississippi State remains #1 at 9-0 after a 45-16 win over the OVC’s UT-Martin. It is the first 9-0 record in history for State who now travels 80 miles east to take on Alabama. The Crimson Tide rallied late to defeat LSU 20-13 in overtime in Baton Rouge, only the fourth loss at night in Tiger Stadium in 10 years under Les Miles. But Mississippi State also did it this season. It is the ‘Game of the Year’ this week in the SEC.
The surprises begin at #2 where it is Oregon, not Florida State. It should be said this does not really matter considering #2 plays #3 in the playoff anyway. But this certainly raised some eyebrows. The Ducks defeated Utah 51-27 last week while FSU just did enough, again, in beating Virginia 34-20. Florida State faces in-state rival Miami this week. And the Miami team is playing very well. It is a game some experts believe could go the U’s way.
The next surprise comes as TCU, not Alabama, sits in the final playoff position at #4. The Frogs jumped on Kansas State 41-20 in the top-10 matchup, and look as good as anyone led by QB Trevone Boykin. But Alabama gets the chance to prove their worth against State this Saturday, so it is a fluid situation. Arizona State is at #6 following their impressive 55-31 romp over Notre Dame. The Sun Devils look to be on a collision course with Oregon in the Pac-12 title game.
There’s more controversy as Baylor sits seventh, fresh off a 48-14 win at Oklahoma. The Bears are 8-1, like TCU, and they beat TCU by three at home, earlier in the season. Baylor’s loss was by 14 at West Virginia, a place the Frogs won. So you decide. Speaking of proving their worth, Ohio State certainly did that in whipping Michigan State 49-37 to take control of the Big Ten East, the Buckeyes move from 14th to 8th. Auburn and Ole Miss round out the top 10, and are the top ranked two-loss teams, Auburn picking up their second in an astounding 41-38 upset loss at home to Texas A&M.
The second 10 sees UCLA, Michigan State, Kansas State, Arizona, Georgia, Nebraska, LSU, Notre Dame, Clemson and Wisconsin. UCLA is playing the best of this group having won four straight. Georgia takes on Auburn this week in the Deep South’s oldest rivalry with Todd Gurley back at RB. Nebraska is the only team in this group with just one loss, but they go to Wisconsin on Saturday.
The CFP Top-25 rounds out with Duke, Georgia Tech, Utah, Texas A&M and Minnesota. Not ranked by the committee is 9-0 Marshall or 9-1 Colorado State, despite both being ranked in the conventional polls. Duke remains the lowest ranked team with one loss. Georgia Tech has a big game with Clemson at home this week, as does A&M with SEC East leading Missouri. Minnesota hosts Ohio State in the biggest game the Gophers have had in years.