No. 10: Penn State Nittany Lions (8-1, +1). From day one, the Nittany Lions had two dates circled on their calendars as games that would define their season; Oct 21st @ Ohio State and Nov 11th v. Michigan. Penn State has looked dominant against all opponents except Ohio State. They will need to play at their very best to beat the Wolverines and jump back into the conversation.
No. 9: Ole Miss Rebels (8-1, +1). At the end of the day, all wins count the same. While it was not a pretty win against division rival Texas A&M, they still moved to sole possession of second place, keeping the pressure on Alabama atop the SEC West. Tre Harris had a career day, pulling in 11 receptions for 213 yards and a TD. The Rebels fell victim to overlooking their opponents in lieu of their blockbuster matchup against no. 2 in the country Georgia. If they can defy all expectations and beat the Bulldogs in Athens, you can see a world where the Rebels are playing in the Sugar Bowl. Unfortunately for fans in Oxford, the CFP is just too far out of reach for this squad.
No. 8: Texas Longhorns (8-1, -1). If Kansas State does not go for broke on 4th and goal from the 4-yard line in OT and instead opts for the chip shot FG to force a second OT, there’s no guarantee the Longhorns maintain top-10 status. The Longhorns have suffered without QB Quinn Ewers and Saturday was no exception.
No. 7: Alabama Crimson Tide (8-1, +1). Jalen Milroe outshined Jayden Daniels in their faceoff in Tuscaloosa. Another dominant second-half performance with 20+ unanswered points. They proved they are in a league of their own atop the SEC West, dashing LSU’s hopes of winning the division. At 8-1, Bama still has designs on a CFP spot, but they’ll need a lot of help, even assuming an upset of Georgia in the SEC Championship.
No. 6: Oregon Ducks (8-1, NC). After a dominant 6 TD performance against Cal, Bo Nix looks as good as anyone and is the front runner for the Heisman race. While the Ducks did not look their best in the rainy conditions, they got the job done and put up a 63-point performance. Another week, another ounce of pressure on the premier teams above them. The Ducks face Glass Cannon USC this weekend in Eugene. They will end their season against Oregon State in the Oregon Civil War’s last conference edition. The Ducks are currently in sole possession of second place in the Pac-12 sitting at 5-1, meaning if the Ducks finish the regular season at 11-1 they would find themselves in the Pac-12 Championship Game, where a win, regardless of opponent, would most likely earn them a spot in the CFP.