Ohio State thrashed Nebraska by 59 points on Saturday evening, yet the Buckeyes remain at No. 6 in the AP Poll. Perhaps the Week 11 rankings tell us more about what the voters thought of the Cornhuskers than the team that blew them out of The Horseshoe.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL RANKINGS: Week 11 AP Poll
Nebraska fell a whopping 12 spots in the college football rankings after no-showing against Ohio State, and while Buckeye fans may be salty about standing pat after a statement win, ask yourselves this: does it really matter?
As the weeks go by, Ohio State-Michigan on Nov. 26 is looking more and more like a CFP play-in game. If anything, after a few uninspiring outings, Buckeye fans should be ecstatic that their squad looked like a Playoff team for the first time in weeks.
That matters. The Ohio State team that sputtered against Penn State and Northwestern was never beating Michigan; the Ohio State team that showed up against Nebraska probably was. Also, the Wolverines have to travel to Columbus the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The Buckeyes are sitting in a prime position.
Elsewhere around the country, the story of Week 10 was Texas A&M falling against Mississippi State. It raised more than a few eyebrows when the College Football Playoff committee ranked the Aggies fourth in its first 2016 poll (Texas A&M was ranked seventh in last week’s AP Poll).
That won’t last long. Texas A&M fell to No. 10 this week, and it could drop even further in the next CFP rankings. With LSU’s loss and the Iron Bowl still looming, the Aggies likely squandered any chance the SEC had to punch two tickets the Playoff. It was fun while it lasted.
The Sooners shot up to No. 9 in the Week 11 rankings, and considering their 1-2 start, they have to be quite pleased. It’s better to lose early in the season than to lose late in the season, and Oklahoma is living proof. At the very least, two top-eight teams will fall before the end of the regular season (Ohio State plays Michigan; Alabama plays Auburn). Washington has given us little reason to doubt it in 2016, but if the Huskies somehow wither down the stretch, Bob Stoops could sneak into the College Football Playoff once again. Unlikely, sure, but the fact that it’s even in play at this point is remarkable.
MORE: Full Week 10 recap
For your weekly Group of Five watch, here’s what you need to know: Western Michigan is ranked No. 14. I repeat, Western Michigan is ranked No. 14. Could the Broncos crack the top-10 by the end of the year? It’s absolutely possible. Good on P.J. Fleck, and good on the entire Western Michigan program. It’s stories like the Broncos that make college football so fun.
A final team that sticks out in this week’s rankings is Penn State. The Nittany Lions were ranked eight spots higher in the first CFP rankings than the Week 10 AP Poll, but the AP seems to have caught up. Penn State shot up eight spots in the Week 11 Poll, and it now has the same ranking in each list.
The Nittany Lions have a very real chance to reach the Rose Bowl. Considering James Franklin’s seat temperature this time last year (one might say it was, for a lack of a better term, “hot,”) good for Penn State. It looks like the Lions are turning the corner on the field after a big win against Iowa.