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No. 1 LSU
Going to Ole Miss the week after beating Alabama felt like a trap game. And in a way, it sort of was. Ja'Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson became just the third SEC duo with 1,000 receiving yards each and Joe Burrow set records for consecutive completions. But Burrow threw a pair of interceptions to go with his five TD passes and the running game was so-so. LSU's defense was an even bigger mess, though, as John Rhys Plumlee rushed for more than 200 yards and four touchdowns. Plumlee is a speedster who has made a few defenses look slow, but the Tigers' lack of containment could be something to watch. -- Alex Scarborough
No. 2 Ohio State
Let's be honest: The only question was whether the Buckeyes would cover. (In a bit of an upset, they did not.) Rutgers was mostly overwhelmed, Justin Fields went over 300 passing yards for the first time, JK Dobbins went without a second-half carry for the fourth time, Chase Young finished his suspension, no key players got hurt, and now, with the formalities out of the way, it's time to gear up for Ohio State-Penn State. -- Bill Connelly
No. 3 Clemson
The Tigers did what they have done over the past six games -- dominate an overmatched ACC opponent with relative ease. This time, the domination came against one of the better teams in the league in Wake Forest. Once again, Clemson pulled its starters before the fourth quarter even began. Trevor Lawrence threw four touchdown passes, and he has zero interceptions since throwing two in the first quarter against Louisville on Oct. 19. This is Clemson's sixth game with 50 or more points this season, most in the FBS. Meanwhile, the defense shut down the No. 2 offense in the ACC. After an open date, the Tigers play rival South Carolina. The idea will be the same -- win that plus the ACC championship game and they are back in the playoff. -- Andrea Adelson
No. 4 Georgia
The Bulldogs clinched the SEC East, and should remain in the selection committee's No. 4 spot this week, with their toughest regular-season games behind them. Wins on Saturday by Notre Dame and Florida will also continue to help separate Georgia from the rest of the one-loss pack. If Georgia can defeat LSU to win the SEC title, it would give the conference its best shot at having two teams finish in the top four.
No. 5 Alabama
Alabama scored an easy, and very costly, win in Starkville. The Tide bolted to a 35-7 lead in the second quarter and cruised, but the obvious story wasn't the result. Tua Tagovailoa suffered a dislocated hip late in the first half, then Bama's star defensive lineman, Raekwon Davis, went down as well. Tagovailoa is done for the season with two regular-season games left and the Tide still immersed in the national title hunt. -- Bill Connelly
No. 6 Oregon
If Oregon beats Arizona State and Oregon State, then Utah in the Pac-12 title game, it will have won 12 straight games to close the season. Could the playoff selection committee really turn away a team that hasn't lost since August? If they do, it would essentially send the message that the entire Pac-12 season didn't matter, which would be a catastrophic blow to a conference that has struggled for national relevancy the past few seasons. - Kyle Bonagura
No. 7 Utah
In the portion of the schedule where style points really start to matter, Utah turned in arguably its most complete performance of the season. UCLA isn't great, but the Bruins would have overtaken Utah in the Pac-12 South with a win in Salt Lake City. With games against Arizona and Colorado to close out the regular season, Utah shouldn't have much trouble reaching the Pac-12 title game at 11-1, where a win could result in a playoff berth. -- Kyle Bonagura
No. 8 Oklahoma
The Sooners' impressive comeback keeps their playoff hopes alive. It was a mess of a first half, with Jalen Hurts turning the ball over and not seeming to trust anyone else with the ball, but he utilized his teammates much better down the stretch. And the defense, which took it on the chin in the past few weeks, pitched a strong second half to allow the OU offense to get back in it. If the Sooners can win out (including the Big 12 title game) they'll keep themselves in good position to argue for a playoff berth. - Kyle Bonagura
No. 9 Penn State
The Nittany Lions strung together a gritty, 18-play scoring drive that ate 9:01 off the clock late in the fourth quarter to beat a much-improved Indiana team and keep their playoff hopes alive. PSU can now focus on Ohio State -- the most important remaining regular-season game for both teams, as it will decide the East winner. ESPN's FPI gives PSU a 15.9% chance to win, but an upset would catapult it right back into the conversation. -- Heather Dinich
No. 10 Florida
It took a while for the Gators to get going offensively in a win over Missouri but there were definite bright spots, including the continued development of Kyle Trask -- who has now thrown two touchdown passes in eight straight games, the longest streak by a Florida player since Tim Tebow in 2008 (10 straight). The defense had another big game, and Jonathan Greenard appeared to be rounding back into form with two sacks and five tackles for loss. The Gators have an open date to prepare for rival Florida State, where they will try for back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 2008-2009. -- Andrea Adelson
No. 11 Minnesota
A one-dimensional offense and a defense that started too slowly led to Minnesota's first loss, which likely ends its playoff chances. P.J. Fleck's team didn't wilt at Kinnick Stadium, by far the toughest environment the Gophers have seen this season, but it couldn't convert yards into points, generate a run game or contain a more balanced Iowa offense with a hot quarterback in Stanley. Minnesota's miscues in the red zone proved especially costly. The Gophers remain in good shape to win their first West Division title but likely must beat rival Wisconsin on Nov. 30 at TCF Bank Stadium. -- Adam Rittenberg
No. 12 Michigan
Michigan moved to 8-2 with an improving offense and only Indiana and Ohio State remain on the schedule. That rivalry game against the Buckeyes is a lot more intriguing than it looked at the beginning of the season, but Indiana is no pushover. The Wolverines will need similar performances out of quarterback Shea Patterson, who threw for more than 350 yards. -- Tom VanHaaren
No. 13 Baylor
What was a dominant start turned into a nightmarish finish. Baylor's playoff hopes are likely done as a result. The committee already sent a message of what it thought of the Bears and how good they were (or more specifically, their strength of schedule) in the rankings, and a loss is going to effectively eliminate them from playoff contention, even if they were to bounce back by winning out and taking the Big 12 championship. -- Sam Khan Jr.
No. 14 Wisconsin
The Badgers stayed within striking distance of Minnesota in the Big Ten West by winning 37-21 at Nebraska. It was the Jonathan Taylor show once again, as the star tailback ran 25 times for 204 yards with two touchdowns. It was the third time Taylor ran for 200 yards or more against the Cornhuskers. He has 11 career games with at least 200 yards, which ties Ron Dayne, Ricky Williams and Marcus Allen for the most in FBS history, according to data from ESPN Stats & Information. With 5,634 career rushing yards, Taylor passed 1982 Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker's NCAA record for most rushing yards by a player through his junior season. Walker had 5,596 yards from 1980 to 1982. -- Mark Schlabach
No. 15 Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish have found another gear. Since the blowout loss to Michigan and a funky, narrow win against Virginia Tech, Notre Dame has beaten Duke and Navy by a combined 90-27. The Irish put up 300 yards and 38 points in the first half and cruised. Finish strong against BC and Stanford, and Notre Dame could be in position for a New Year's Six bowl, not a bad consolation prize considering how dire things looked in Ann Arbor. -- Bill Connelly
No. 16 Auburn
Unlike in the season-opening win against Oregon, the fourth-quarter magic of Bo Nix came up short. The Tigers will have a chance to recover this week against FCS Samford, but all eyes will be on the Nov. 30 Iron Bowl to see what Alabama looks like without injured starter Tua Tagovailoa. The question is if Auburn can play the role of spoiler, or if Alabama can still state its case as a top-four team without Tagovailoa. -- Heather Dinich
No. 17 Cincinnati
The Bearcats narrowly avoided disaster, rallying to kick a game-winning 37-yard field goal as time expired after going into halftime down 10-0 with just 46 yards of offense. Cincinnati clinched at least a share of the American's East Division title, and can win it outright with a victory over Temple at home on Saturday. But if the Bearcats want to remain the College Football Playoff's top-ranked Group of 5 team and earn a New Year's Six berth, the offense will have to get going after being outgained by 160 yards (438-278) by a 4-6 USF team. A showdown with No. 18 Memphis awaits on Nov. 29, potentially for that prime bowl slot. -- Dave Wilson
No. 18 Memphis
The Tigers got off to a slow start, but outscored Houston 35-3 in the second and third quarters to remain in contention for a New Year's Six bowl bid. Memphis outgained Houston 531-256 in total yards, and held the Cougars to 99 rushing yards. As long as Memphis avoids an upset at South Florida on Saturday, the Tigers will have a chance to take the lead in the NY6 race if they can end the regular season with a win against Cincinnati. -- Heather Dinich
No. 19 Iowa
The offense Hawkeyes fans waited for all season finally showed up. An aggressive, creative and balanced approach gave Iowa a nice first-half lead against unbeaten Minnesota. Senior quarterback Nate Stanley passed the ball with confidence, and Iowa finally wised up and used dynamic freshman Tyler Goodson (94 yards, 1 TD) as its featured back. Although the Hawkeyes' defense struggled with Minnesota's talented receivers, pressure from A.J. Epenesa, Kristian Welch and others did enough to slow down the Gophers. Why it took so long for Iowa to perform like this is a question that will linger throughout the offseason, but the Hawkeyes kept the Floyd of Rosedale trophy and notched a signature win. - Adam Rittenberg
No. 20 Boise State
An easy win against New Mexico keeps the Broncos undefeated in Mountain West play and in the mix for the Group of 5 spot in the Cotton Bowl. As things sit, there are two Group of 5 teams ahead of Boise in the playoff rankings - Memphis and Cincinnati - and they play in the regular-season finale. If the winner of that game doesn't go on to win the American, it could open the door for the Broncos to grab the Cotton Bowl bid. The Broncos can clinch the Mountain division with a win at Utah State next week, while a loss could lead to a three-way tie atop the division with the Aggies and Air Force.-- Kyle Bonagura
No. 21 SMU
While a loss to Memphis ruined the Mustangs' hopes at a perfect season, they bounced back with a win over ECU and now have games against Navy and Tulane to finish out the season. A berth in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic isn't out of the question.
No. 22 Oklahoma State
The Cowboys have quietly won three games in a row to climb up the Big 12 standings, the latest a 31-13 decision over Kansas. Tailback Chuba Hubbard ran for 122 yards with two touchdowns on 23 carries. It was his seventh game this season with at least 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns, which is second-most in a season in Big 12 history, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Texas' Ricky Williams had eight such games in 1997. OSU's defense turned in one of its better performances of the season, limiting the Jayhawks to only 290 total yards, including 39 rushing. The Pokes also picked off three passes. -- Mark Schlabach
No. 23 Appalachian State
The big question entering Saturday was whether the Mountaineers spent too much time celebrating their big win over South Carolina, and the immediate answer was yes. Georgia State jumped out to a 21-7 lead, and App State looked like it had fallen headfirst into a trap game. Zac Thomas had other ideas. The Mountaineers reeled off 49 straight points and ended with a 56-27 victory. With Texas State and Troy remaining, App State is in good position to wrap the regular season 11-1 and remains in the mix for a New Year's Six bowl. -- David Hale
No. 24 Texas A&M
The Aggies ran for 319 yards and stifled South Carolina's offense in a 30-6 win Saturday at Kyle Field, their fourth consecutive victory. Quarterback Kellen Mond threw for 221 yards with one touchdown and ran for another score. Cordarrian Richardson ran for 130 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown, and Isaiah Spiller had 129 yards on 24 attempts. The Aggies couldn't produce much offense in the third quarter before putting up 17 points in the fourth. South Carolina had 260 yards of offense, and the Aggies controlled the ball for more than 41 minutes. They'll have to be as efficient in their final two regular-season games at Georgia and at LSU. -- Mark Schlabach
No. 25 Virginia Tech
After a 2-2 start, the Hokies continued their resurgence by shutting out Georgia Tech 45-0 on the road Saturday. It was Virginia Tech's fifth victory in its six games since being routed by Duke 45-10 on Sept. 27. The Yellow Jackets were held scoreless for the first time since a 38-0 loss to Florida State on Oct. 18, 1997. Virginia Tech coordinator Bud Foster's unit limited Georgia Tech to eight first downs, 2-for-15 on third down, 134 total yards of offense and 53 rushing yards. Virginia Tech is 5-0 in games started by quarterback Hendon Hooker, who threw for 159 yards with one touchdown and ran for two more scores. With games remaining against Pittsburgh (home) and Virginia (road), the Hokies are very much in the hunt for an ACC Coastal Division title and the league's automatic berth in the Capital One Orange Bowl (provided Clemson makes the CFP). -- Mark Schlabach
Injury updates and latest news
- Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, was carted off the field with an injury in the second quarter of Saturday's game against Mississippi State. He has a dislocated right hip and will miss the rest of the season, according to sources.
- Notre Dame's streak of 273 straight home sellouts, second nationally only to Nebraska's 373 straight, ended with Saturday's game against Navy.
- South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner gave his coach a vote of confidence, saying "I want to make it clear that Will Muschamp is our football coach and will be our coach going forward."
He took a flying leap!
ESPN's Pat McAfee once took an infamous swim in an Indianapolis canal. Saturday, he made a splash in the beautiful, murky green waters of Waco, Texas.
Best of the week
Like looking in a mirror
Bella Martina, a 16-year-old Georgia high school student who went viral with her re-creations of Trevor Lawrence photos, met the Clemson QB. "That one girl actually does look a lot like me so it's kind of crazy," Lawrence said previously. He was right.
Suitable for framing
Michigan players Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black and Khaleke Hudson celebrated a win over Michigan State and holding on to the Paul Bunyan Trophy -- once called "the ugliest trophy in college football" by former Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr, according to the Detroit Free Press -- with a pose replicating the mythical lumberjack.
Now, that's a wave
One of the best things in college football is the fans and players waving to the kids at University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, which overlooks Kinnick Stadium. Saturday, four-time cancer survivor Casey O'Brien took part in the tradition.
A really big play
Ball State senior offensive lineman Danny Pinter got a taste of glory with a touchdown catch.
Bet on black
Iowa State wore its "blackout" uniforms for Saturday's home game against Texas, and the move paid off. The Cyclones won on a field goal as time expired.