College Football Playoff rankings Nos. 11-15
15. LSU Tigers (8-3, NC): Jayden Daniels’ video game stat lines just continue to appear and stun audiences. LSU destroyed Georgia State 56-14 on Daniels’ 413 passing yards, six passing touchdowns, 96 rushing yards, and two rushing touchdowns. Junior receivers Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr., and senior wideout Kyren Lacy all caught for over 100 yards and at least a touchdown each (Nabers and Lacy both caught two touchdown passes). LSU posted touchdowns on all possessions. Looking to boost their bowl stock, LSU hosts Texas A&M in their season finale on Saturday.
14. Oklahoma Sooners (9-2, NC): In a game closer than most Sooner fans would have hoped for, Oklahoma stays in the Big 12 title hunt with a back-and-fourth 31-24 win at BYU. The defense could not stop the BYU rush, surrendering 217 yards. Senior quarterback Dillon Gabriel threw two touchdowns on 191 yards and freshman running back Gavin Sawchuk bulldozed his way to 107 yards on the ground and a score. Oklahoma’s Week 10 loss at Oklahoma State puts them on the outside track to make the Big 12 title game, but if the Cowboys cannot hold off BYU, Oklahoma holds the tiebreaker over Kansas State meaning they have a semi-realistic path to AT&T Stadium. Oklahoma hosts TCU in their final regular season Big 12 game on Friday.
13. Ole Miss Rebels (9-2, NC): The Rebels bounced back after losing against Georgia with a win against UL-Monroe. Junior quarterback Jaxson Dart came alive in the second half, throwing for 310 yards and three touchdowns. Senior receiver Dayton Wade had another great day, pulling in 108 receiving yards and a score. Ole Miss travels to Mississippi State for this year’s Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving Day with all eyes on double-digit wins. At this point in the year, seeing the Rebels in play on New Year’s Day would not be unrealistic.
12. Oregon State Beavers (8-3, -1): Now, looking at their record, No. 12 might be very high for a three-loss team. But, the Beavers held No. 5 Washington scoreless in the second half in their 22-20 loss and a better quarterback performance probably sees Washington lose their first game of the season. Junior quarterback DJ Uiagalelei struggled in the rainy Corvallis conditions, throwing for a mere 164 yards, no scores, and two interceptions on 48 percent completions. The Beavers were kept in this game by another Iron Man performance from sophomore running back Damien Martinez, tallying 123 yards and two touchdowns. Looking forward, the Beavs have back-to-back top-10 opponents. Oregon State travels to Eugene for the last Pac-12 edition of the Oregon Civil War on Friday.
11. Penn State Nittany Lions (9-2, +1): After losing starting quarterback Drew Allar, the Nittany Lions changed to an all-out ground assault, and sophomore running back Kaytron Allen led the way with two touchdowns, while next-quarterback-up Beau Pribula drove another touchdown in himself. The Penn State defense stood strong, allowing two field goals in the first half and nothing in the second half. Penn State won 27-6 against Rutgers but Allar’s season hangs in the balance. The Nittany Lions visit Michigan State on Friday for their season final before what should be a favorable bowl selection.