College Football Power Rankings: Just like that, Oklahoma is back in the playoff picture
Oklahoma is not the only team that made a statement: Auburn did, too, just in the opposite way
Oklahoma is back in it. Alabama hopes to stay in it. Minnesota stepped in it. How's that for a summary of Week 12?
The Sooners made the biggest jump in this week's Power Rankings, up five spots off the biggest comeback in school history at Baylor. In a typical high-scoring fashion (65 combined points), Oklahoma had to impress the College Football Playoff Selection Committee with that comeback. As bad it was in the first half in Waco, Texas -- down 28-3 -- OU outscored Baylor 31-3 the rest of the way. It was the worst of Alex Grinch's defense and the best of Alex Grinch's defense.
How all this affects Alabama's chances is yet to be determined. But there is no question Bama is diminished because of the injury to Tua Tagovailoa.
If Auburn (7-3) continues to lose, that's not going to help Alabama's cause. The Iron Bowl in two weeks may produce the Crimson Tide's best win … over a four-loss team.
Minnesota (down one) can't be penalized much for losing on the road to a top 20 team (Iowa). The Big Ten West is at stake this week against Wisconsin. (As is the Big Ten East for Ohio State in the week's biggest game vs. Penn State).
|1||LSU||We're just beginning to understand the depth of Ed Orgeron's feelings. He said this about not getting the USC job in 2013: "Aside from the day I buried my father, it was the worst day of my life." Some of the best days of his life continue to unfold with a 58-37 win at Ole Miss. Joe Burrow threw five touchdowns.||--||15-0|
|2||Ohio State||The only thing worse than giving up 37 to Ole Miss might be giving up 21 to Rutgers. OK, we're nitpicking. Justin Fields threw four more touchdowns helping set up the Penn State game.||--||13-1|
|3||Clemson||The ACC game of the year was played after the Tigers had already clinched the ACC Atlantic. Predictably, Wake Forest didn't provide much push back in a 52-3 loss. The Tigers have more points (315) in the last six games (half a season) than 78 teams have all season.||--||14-1|
|4||Georgia||I knew the Bulldogs reminded me of some team of the past. It's Alabama from about 2009-11. Jake Fromm is a game manager, D'Andre Swift is the go-to running back, and the defense is nails. Bama won natties playing that way. Georgia is trending that way after slugging it out with Auburn.||1||12-2|
|5||Minnesota||The Gophers lost by four to a ranked team (Iowa). They still have something Oregon, Alabama, Oklahoma others don't -- a win over a top 10 team. Minnesota can clinch the Big Ten West this week with a win over Wisconsin.||1||11-2|
|6||Oklahoma||A comeback for the ages is sure to get the attention of the committee. Jalen Hurts became the first OU quarterback to throw four touchdowns, rush for 100 yards and turn the ball over three times. Hurts made up for his sins rallying the Sooners back from a 28-3 deficit at Baylor. A fifth straight Big 12 title looms.||5||12-2|
|7||Penn State||Closer-than-expected tussle against Indiana leads to these questions going into Ohio State: Can the Nittany Lions tackle in space? Can Sean Clifford match up with Justin Fields? Can Penn State contain Chase Young? The winner has the inside track to the Big Ten East.||1||11-2|
|8||Oregon||It was a great day for the Pac-12. Both of its best teams won convincingly. The Ducks did their part in clinching the Pac-12 North with a convincing win over Arizona. In a bit of symmetry, five years after Oregon's last Pac-12 title, the Heisman Trophy winner who led the charge (Marcus Mariota) was on the sideline.||--||12-2|
|9||Alabama||Bama has become Quarterback U. Tua, Jalen. Even Greg McElroy and A.J. McCarron played in the NFL. The point here is, who are we to doubt Mac Jones? Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is having an all-star year. Don't count the Tide out yet.||2||11-2|
|10||Utah||Go ahead and call them Georgia Jr. That's not an insult. The Utes play smothering defense and pound the ball with tailback Zack Moss. There are few other teams playing as well at the moment. There were five turnovers snatched from UCLA. The Utes went over 500 yards for the fourth time this season.||1||11-3|
|11||Florida||Dan Mullen was rooting for Auburn in the postgame. So much for that. Despite beating Missouri 23-6, the Gators were eliminated from the SEC East when Georgia won. Not bad to be the nation's best two-loss team at this point.||1||11-2|
|12||Baylor||Whatever the word is -- ashamed, shocked, depressed -- Baylor must wear it after blowing a 25-point lead to Oklahoma. A playoff berth is still a possibility if the Bears beat Texas, Kansas and get an expected rematch against OU in the Big 12 Championship Game.||2||11-3|
|13||Wisconsin||Scott Frost got an extension. Wisconsin got the win at Nebraska (37-21) setting a battle with Minnesota for the Big Ten West. Jonathan Taylor went over 200 yards for the third time this season.||4||10-4|
|14||Cincinnati||A sleepy effort by the nation's best Group of Five team (at least in this corner of the world). Sam Crosa kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to break a 17-17 tie with South Florida. At 6-0, Cincinnati is the only undefeated AAC team in league play. It's still the best Group of Five conference.||--||11-3|
|15||Memphis||During a four-game winning streak, the Tigers have averaged 47 points. Brady White threw five touchdowns at Houston. With 32 days left until early signing day, Mike Norvell's future has to be a consideration. He has been mentioned at Arkansas and Florida State.||--||12-2|
|16||Michigan||The Wolverines have grown powerful, consistent and better. In what might have been the most complete performance of the season, Michigan beat Michigan State 44-10. Shea Patterson has seven touchdown passes, no picks in his last three games.||2||9-4|
|17||SMU||Bye. One of three 9-1 teams in the AAC, the Mustangs have Navy and Tulane down the stretch. There is the very real possibility that at 11-1 SMU could be left out of a New Year's Six Bowl.||1||10-3|
|18||Notre Dame||Ian Book and Chase Claypool are having sneaky-good seasons. For the third time this season, Book threw five touchdown passes. Claypool caught four of them against Navy, tying a school record. No sellout? No problem.||1||11-2|
|19||Auburn||Because of the disparity between offense and defense, the Tigers barely slide into the top 20. This is what the toughest schedule in the country gets you: three losses, all to top 10 teams -- Florida, LSU and Georgia. Behold, the nation's best three-loss team.||6||9-4|
|20||Boise State||Third-string quarterback Jaylon Henderson made his first career start. The Broncos scored 28 in the first quarter against New Mexico in a 42-9 rout. Coach Bryan Harsin's name has come up for the Arkansas vacancy.||--||12-2|
|21||Appalachian State||Georgia State scored three first-half touchdowns. App. State won by 29. Yes, the Mountaineers spent the final three quarters outscoring the Panthers 42-9. They can clinch the division this week.||3||13-1|
|22||Iowa||Freshman Tyler Goodson ran for 94 yards and a touchdown. Minnesota finally met its match in a 23-19 Hawkeyes' victory. A 15 ½-inch bronze pig trophy (Floyd of Rosedale) goes to Iowa.||NR||10-3|
|23||Oklahoma State||Now that Tagovailoa is out for the season, more light might be shown on Chuba Hubbard. Consider the Cowboys' tailback a Heisman Trophy finalist for now after he ran for 122 yards against Kansas. The nation's leader is on pace to rush for more than 2,200 yards.||NR||8-5|
|24||Texas A&M||Take a good look. Four straight wins have the Aggies at 7-3. Seems like improvement in Jimbo's second season. Now realize A&M finishes the season at Georgia and at LSU.||NR||8-5|
|25||Air Force||A five-game winning streak has put the Falcons on the national radar. After winning at Colorado State, Air Force (8-2) already has its best record since 2016. With games left against New Mexico and Wyoming, Troy Calhoun could win 10 for the third time since 2014.||NR||11-2|
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