Clemson fans, the world is not over. I know it hurt, and trust me I feel it with you. But this season is not done. Elsewhere, we got some clarity on who the number one team in the country is. A Big Ten team struggled against one of the worst teams in the country. Will they get punished for it? Probably not, they aren’t Clemson. Michigan looked solid. The Pac-12 has a strong group of 3 teams that all could sneak their way into the playoff (no, seriously), potentially ending the streak of leaving the conference out. Oh, TCU won again. Maybe some of the criticism people threw out for having TCU ranked below Alabama and Clemson was warranted. Speaking of Bama, let the LSU band play Neck! Let’s take a look at how the Clemson media sees the college football landscape after this weekend:
Last Week STS Poll: 2
Current CFP Ranking: 1
Avg. Rank: 1.0 (100% of First Place Votes)
Last Week: W vs. #1 Tennessee, 27-13
Georgia had a point to prove, and my God did they prove it. After hearing for weeks about how Tennessee was the best team in the country, and how it was concerning for Georgia to get through Kent State and Missouri the way that they did, Kirby Smart’s team sent a message to the rest of the country. Stetson Bennett savagely mocked Tennessee fans who leaked his phone number the night before this slugfest, making a phone symbol with his hands after rushing for a touchdown. He finished 17/25 for 257 yards and two passing touchdowns to accompany his rushing score. Georgia has set themselves up quite nicely for the rest of the season, as they now control their own destiny in the SEC East, and have almost solidified their spot in the College Football Playoff. Athens is dreaming of a repeat.
Next Up: @ Mississippi State, 7:00 PM, ESPN
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: First unanimous ranking in poll history!
2. Ohio State
Last Week STS Poll: 3
Current CFP Ranking: 2
Avg. Rank: 2.3
Last Week: W @ Northwestern, 21-7
Ohio State was tied with a 1-7 Northwestern team at halftime. I am aware of the weather conditions that were present in Evanston on Saturday. I can also tell you as a former player, the weather had nothing to do with Ohio State being bullied at the line of scrimmage throughout the first half. Luckily for Ohio State, they woke up in the second half and realized that they were the superior team. All told, Ohio State ended up running for a combined 207 yards on 35 carries, as the passing game was not effective. C.J. Stroud finished 10/26 for 76 yards, also hurting his Heisman aspirations. Ohio State won a game at its worst, and I will give them credit for turning it around and gutting out a win. However, they need to understand that with Michigan looming, and potentially a stout Illinois defense in the Big Ten Championship Game, they need to perform to their capabilities, otherwise they won’t be lifting any trophies.
Next Up: vs. Indiana, 12:00 PM, FOX
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: John from Shaking the Southland had the Bucks at #4
Last Week STS Poll: 5
Current CFP Ranking: 3
Avg. Rank: 3.2
Last Week: W @ Rutgers, 52-17
Michigan used a 28-point third quarter to pull away from Rutgers in Piscataway (shoutout to the home state, Go Jersey!). The Wolverines ran the ball almost twice as many times as they threw the ball, resulting in 282 rushing yards. Blake Corum turned in a strong performance on a weekend where many other Heisman hopefuls struggled, lifting his stock tremendously. Michigan’s defense looks good, and whatever was said in the locker room at halftime needs to be replicated at the beginning of the game. Rutgers lead this one at halftime but proceeded to get shut out in the second half. Michigan continues to just win, and they seem to have found what works for them on offense. Based on this weekend, I like Michigan’s chances of pulling the upset in Columbus.
Next Up: vs. Nebraska, 3:30 PM, ABC
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Jarrett and Nick, or the entirety of The Clemson Pawcast, had Michigan at #6
Last Week STS Poll: 6
Current CFP Ranking: 4
Avg. Rank: 4.0
Last Week: W vs. Texas Tech, 34-24
After feeling disrespected by the committee for being ranked #7 in the inaugural rankings, TCU came out and won against a tough Texas Tech team. Once again, TCU came from behind and used a 21-point fourth quarter to secure win number 9 on the season. Teas Tech’s starting quarterback got hurt, continuing a weird trend of TCU seemingly playing against backup quarterbacks in most of their games. Kendre Miller paved the way for TCU, finishing with 158 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. This win seems significant to me as TCU did it without their best receiver, Quentin Johnson. If TCU can go into Austin this weekend and pull out another win, I believe that Horned Frog fans can start dreaming of a playoff berth.
Next Up: @ #18 Texas, 7:30 PM, ABC
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Qualk from 105.5 The Roar, Houston from Rubbing the Rock, and Brandon from TigerNet ranked the Frogs at #5
Last Week STS Poll: 1
Current CFP Ranking: 5
Avg. Rank: 5.1
Last Week: L @ #3 Georgia, 27-13
Did their magic run out? Or was Georgia unequivocally leaps and bounds ahead of everyone Tennessee has played so far? Tennessee’s high-powered offense was limited to 94 yards rushing on 42 carries in an effort that left fans on Rocky Top wondering if the team even got off the bus. Hendon Hooker’s Heisman chances took a hit, as he finished 23/33 for 195 yards and an interception, as well as a total of 17 yards rushing (sacks count as rushing yards for quarterbacks). Cedric Tillman totaled 68 yards on 7 receptions in his much-anticipated return from injury. Tennessee now needs Georgia to lose two SEC games to get to Atlanta, and if Georgia plays like this the rest of the season, that ain’t happening. On the bright side for Tennessee, the committee ranked the Vols at #5, indicating that they are almost a lock to get in as long as they win the remainder of their games, as two teams ahead of them (Ohio State and Michigan) still need to play each other.
Next Up: vs Missouri, 12:00 PM, CBS
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: John from Shakin the Southland had Tennessee at #8
Last Week STS Poll: 8
Current CFP Ranking: 6
Avg. Rank: 6.1
Last Week: W @ Colorado, 49-10
Oregon didn’t have to sweat much in this one. Bo Nix had 4 total touchdowns (2 rushing, 2 passing), Bucky Irving ran for 120 yards (and threw a touchdown), and the Oregon defense bent but didn’t break and kept Colorado from giving any legitimate scare. Oregon has taken care of business since that fateful loss to Georgia to start the year, but things get tougher now. Washington and Utah are currently ranked opponents, and Oregon State is on the verge of being ranked after losing last week as a ranked opponent. After those three games, Oregon (should they get through) has to play most likely USC or UCLA in the PAC-12 title game. I’ll put it this way, if Oregon can win all of these games, they will deserve a spot, regardless of the margin of defeat in the first game of the year.
Next Up: vs. #25 Washington, 7:00 PM, FOX
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Matt from Shakin the Southland had the Ducks at #9, while Jarrett from The Clemson Pawcast had them at #4
Last Week STS Poll: NR
Current CFP Ranking: 7
Avg. Rank: 7.7
Last Week: W vs. #6 Alabama, 32-31 (OT)
Sweet home, Louisiana? LSU outlasted Alabama in a great game to watch during the 7:30 window (there weren’t any other important games on during this time, right?). Jayden Daniels put the team on his back, leading the team in rushing with 95 yards and a touchdown to go along with his 182 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. Bryce Young threw for 328 yards and Jahmyr Gibbs ran for 99, but it was over shined by LSU running a familiar-looking play (I suddenly can’t get the words “Orange Crush” out of my mind, weird…) in overtime to secure the dub and their first home win over Alabama in a decade. With the win, LSU has overtaken first place in the SEC West and controls their own destiny, with games remaining against Arkansas and Texas A&M. This game officially ended Alabama’s playoff hopes, as no two-loss team has ever made the playoffs. Oddly enough, if it happens this year, it won’t be them - the team they just lost to has two losses. Despite all of the jokes and challenges Brian Kelly has received this year, he has LSU ranked #7 and in first place in the West. He beat Bama. I am happy to say I predicted this one, and it definitely helped ease the pain of a different team named “Tigers”. More on that to come.
Next Up: @ Arkansas, 12:00 PM, ESPN
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Jay from Shakin the Southland was the only media member to have LSU outside of the Top 10, slotting them at #11
Last Week STS Poll: 9
Current CFP Ranking: 8
Avg. Rank: 8.7
Last Week: W vs. California, 41-35
USC used 360 passing yards and 4 touchdown passes from Caleb Williams to outlast a comeback attempt from California on Saturday night. Travis Dye contributed 98 yards and a touchdown on the ground in a complete offensive showing from the Trojans. Cal made it interesting with 21 fourth-quarter points, but they ran out of time after bringing the game to within 6. USC has a tough two-week stretch to end the season, as they will need to beat UCLA and Notre Dame consecutively to keep their playoff hopes alive. If USC can win out and beat Oregon (as of right now) in the PAC-12 title game, they will have a compelling argument for a playoff spot.
Next Up: vs. Colorado, 9:30 PM, FS1 (Friday, November 11)
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Alex from Shakin the Southland had the Trojans at #15 (!)
Last Week STS Poll: 10
Current CFP Ranking: 12
Avg. Rank: 9.8
Last Week: W @ Arizona State, 50-36
UCLA’s offense exploded for a 50 burger in a two-touchdown victory over Arizona State. Dorian Thompson-Robinson had 169 passing yards, 120 rushing yards, and 4 total touchdowns to lead the Bruins. UCLA finished with 402 rushing yards, imposing their will over the Sun Devils. If UCLA is going to make noise and knock off USC, the defense will have to improve. Trenton Bourguet threw for 349 yards to go along with 92 rushing yards from Xazavian Valladay en route to 468 total yards for Arizona State. UCLA has one more game (this week against Arizona) to fine-tune themselves before that matchup with USC.
Next Up: vs. Arizona, 10:30 PM, FOX
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Matt from Shakin the Southland and David from TigerNet had the Bruins at #15
Last Week STS Poll: 4
Current CFP Ranking: 10
Avg. Rank: 10.5
Last Week: L @ Notre Dame, 35-14
This sucked. The playcalling was unimaginative (if I see a single screen this weekend I will lose my mind). The mistakes on both sides of the ball were maddening. All around, this was one of the worst performances I’ve seen a Clemson team give in recent memory. Notre Dame was the better team this week. They deserved to win, and they wanted it more. The biggest question Clemson faces: do they let DJ finish the season, or throw Cade in and hope experience helps him grow as a player? Either way, quarterback play, which until the Syracuse game had been a strength for this team, has become a big concern. All that being said, with the committee ranking Clemson at #10, there is still a chance for a playoff spot. Clemson will need some help, but if they win out, there is a chance. Win the next three, win in Charlotte, and hope for some chaos. Dabo Swinney's teams are dangerous after a loss. Don’t count this team out.
Next Up: vs. Louisville, 3:30 PM, ESPN
Most Unique Writer’s Opinion: Matt from Shakin the Southland is the highest on Clemson, keeping them ranked high at #6
What do you think of our rankings? Let us know in the comments!