College Football Playoff rankings Nos. 6-10
10. Louisville Cardinals (10-1, NC): With their 38-31 win at Miami, the Cardinals clinched their first ACC title game appearance in their 10 years of membership. Senior quarterback Jack Plummer was electric from the pocket, throwing for 308 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception, not to mention leading his team to a fourth-quarter comeback. Isaac Guerendo was also a monster in the run game, tallying a touchdown and 104 scrimmage yards. The Cardinals host Kentucky on Saturday before traveling to Charlotte for the ACC title game the following week.
9. Missouri Tigers (9-2, NC): The Tigers walked off against Florida 33-31 in one of the best games the SEC has offered this season. Junior quarterback Brady Cook was a real field general, throwing for 331 yards and a touchdown as well as rushing one in himself. Senior rusher Cody Schrader also had a great night, posting 148 rushing yards and a score himself. Missouri scored on seven possessions in back-to-back games, an extraordinary feat in the SEC. Missouri travels to Arkansas on Friday to wrap up the season before playing in the Reliaquest Bowl or a bowl of similar standing.
8. Texas Longhorns (10-1, -1): Sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers finally looks like himself again, posting a 281-yard, two-touchdown performance in Texas’ 26-16 win at Iowa State. The Texas defense bled a lot of air yards but was sturdy on the run block, a motif that might be of note as we go into the postseason. Texas posts their first 10-win regular season since 2009. Texas controls its own destiny in terms of the Big 12 title game, a win this weekend against Texas Tech would seal their ticket regardless of other teams’ results. If they end up losing, Longhorn fans might have to do convoluted scoreboard-watching to see if Ewers and company will feature in their last Big 12 championship.
7. Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1, +1): After putting the game to bed early this weekend against UT-Chattanooga, winning 66-10, all eyes are on the Iron Bowl in Auburn on Saturday. The Tide roll in on a nine-game winning streak with slightly longshot hopes of the CFP. this marks a very impressive turnaround from Jalen Milroe and Co. after some early-season woes, highlighted by a home loss against Texas.
Just as last week, for as long as Alabama has the same record as Texas, Alabama will never jump the Longhorns because the CFP strongly emphasizes head-to-head results and Texas’ Week 3 win in Tuscaloosa guarantees them a small edge in the rankings. However, in the past five weeks, Alabama has played like the perennial, game-winning machine we expect from them, and simply better than Texas.
6. Oregon Ducks (10-1, NC): The Ducks silence doubters once again with another offensive masterclass, this time in Tempe against Arizona State 49-13. Senior quarterback Bo Nix only played the first half but still had a field day, racking up 404 yards (13.9 yards per attempt), and six touchdowns. Junior wideout Troy Franklin caught eight passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Patrick Herbert, younger brother of NFL quarterback and former Duck Justin Herbert, had a career day, reeling in two scores on 78 yards receiving. Looking ahead, only one hurdle stands between the Ducks and the Pac-12 title game: in-state archrival Oregon State. Oregon looks to exorcise their demons from last year on Friday.