College Football Power Rankings: Penn State jumps two SEC teams after Michigan win

It began two weeks ago and is not bound to stop anytime soon: attrition of the remaining undefeated teams is upon us. Wisconsin got knocked from those ranks on Saturday in one of the most surprising results of the season, a 24-23 defeat at Illinois. On the other side of the conference, Penn State established itself as one of the Big Ten East's top two teams with a thorough 28-21 win over Michigan in Happy Valley.

As we approach the College Football Playoff Rankings -- set for their first release two weeks from Tuesday -- we are not just trying to determine the best team in the nation but also the best conference. That seems to be a battle between the Big Ten and the SEC, which combine for seven of the top 10 teams in this week's Power Rankings.

Clemson reentered the top five with a slow-developing win over Louisville, while Oregon jumped Notre Dame for the No. 10 spot after proving itself to be the class of the Pac-12. The one-loss Fighting Irish have a chance to further bolster their resume this week when they travel to the Big House to face Michigan as slight underdogs.

Elsewhere, 7-0 Baylor and 7-0 SMU both made moves into the top 15, while 7-0 Minnesota entered the top 20 for the first time. The undefeateds are falling slowly but surely. For now, let's see where they -- and the rest of the top teams in the FBS -- rank in this week's Power Rankings.

Biggest Movers
4 Penn State
7 Wisconsin
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 LSU Dominant showing over Arkansas saw QB Joe Burrow set the LSU single-season passing touchdown record ... in just seven games. Auburn provides a big test this week, but LSU gets another key game in Death Valley. --10-0
2 Alabama Tua Tagovailoa's high-ankle sprain threw cold water on another win. Tagovailoa will miss the Arkansas game, but Bama doesn't need him for it. Will he be cleared for the LSU game? --9-1
3 Ohio State The Buckeyes left no doubt in a 52-3 obliteration of Northwestern on Friday night. Pat Fitzgerald called Ohio State the best team in the country. You know what? He might be right. No-longer-undefeated Wisconsin still poses a big challenge Saturday. --10-0
4 Oklahoma Jalen Hurts totaled five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) and completed 16-of-17 passes for 316 yards. The Heisman Trophy hype is real. The Sooners should not suffer a let down at Kansas State this week. --9-1
5 Clemson Clemson only led Louisville 17-3 at the half but outscored the Cardinals 28-7 after the break for a 45-10 win. Two more interceptions for Trevor Lawrence had Dabo Swinney scratching his head at times, but Swinney praised him after the game. Lawrence now has 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions through seven games. He had four picks in all of 2018. 111-0
6 Florida South Carolina looked poised for a second-straight top-10 upset until Florida found its groove late. The Gators scored 21 fourth-quarter points with Kyle Trask throwing a career-high four touchdowns. Florida-Georgia looms in two weeks, and the Gators' play of late adds major intrigue to that game. 19-2
7 Penn State Penn State saw its 21-0 lead chipped away by Michigan, but the Nittany Lions' defense did just enough to hold on for a 28-21 win. Sean Clifford tossed three touchdowns, but the running game will need to get going better vs. Ohio State. 49-1
8 Auburn Get-right game for Gus Malzahn in a 51-10 domination of Arkansas. The Tigers led 17-0 at half and scored 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Bo Nix tossed three touchdowns. Will the true freshman struggle in Death Valley like he did in The Swamp? --7-3
9 Georgia Despite Kentucky having no passing game, Georgia found itself tied ... at 0-0 ... entering the half. The Dawgs did find 21 points to win in a shutout, but Jake Fromm had 35 yards on 9-of-12 passing. If not for DeAndre Swift (179 yards, two touchdowns), who knows? Now Georgia has to find some offense before it faces a rejuvenated Florida under Dan Mullen. --9-1
10 Oregon One of the most impressive wins of the week was Oregon coming from behind to beat Washington in Husky Stadium. The Ducks are the class of the Pac-12, and Justin Herbert (280 yards, four touchdowns) made a statement in the second half. 29-1
11 Notre Dame The Irish were off in Week 8 but have a road game at Michigan set for Saturday. The Wolverines will be hungry for abig win, while the Fighting Irish are hoping to maintain their resume. 18-2
12 Wisconsin One of the most shocking upsets of the week was Wisconsin falling 24-23 on a last-second field goal by Illinois. The FG make is the only second the Badgers have trailed ... all season. Wisconsin is rewarded with a visit to an on-fire Ohio State team. 78-2
13 Utah Utah held Arizona State to 119 total yards (8 passing) in a dominant 21-3 defensive victory. Zach Moss scored two touchdowns on 99 yards rushing. Cal should pose a difficult challenge next week. --9-1
14 Baylor Matt Rhule has the Bears rolling. Baylor looked every bit of its 7-0 record in a 45-27 demolition of Oklahoma State. The Bears outscored the Cowboys 35-14 in the second half and enter a strange slate with a bye followed by a Thursday night game before heading toward a showdown with Oklahoma on Nov. 16. 49-1
15 SMU The Mustangs continued rolling, 45-21 over Temple. The top Group of Five team is now in the driver's seat to a New Year's Six bid. Shane Buechele had 457 yards and six -- yes, six! -- touchdowns on Saturday. Short turnaround at Houston on Thursday. 49-1
16 Texas We kept waiting ... and waiting ... and waiting for Texas to pull away against Kansas, but it never did. The Longhorns and Jayhawks combined to score 50 points in the fourth quarter in a thrilling yet worrying (for Texas) game that the 'Horns escaped 50-48 despite Kansas holding a late lead. 16-4
17 Cincinnati The Bearcats took care of Tulsa and stand at 3-0 in AAC play. Cincinnati cannot look ahead to its season-ending showdown with Memphis despite some weaker competition between now and then. 39-1
18 Minnesota The Golden Gophers dominated Rutgers (who doesn't?) 42-7 and continue their ascent to the top of the Big Ten. Maryland awaits Saturday, but the schedule is much more difficult afterward with Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin among the teams waiting for Minnesota. 39-1
19 Wake Forest Wake Forest found a way to win, and Florida State found a way to lose. Story of the teams' respective seasons. The Demon Deacons are off before facing NC State in two weeks. Clemson looms on Nov. 16. 37-3
20 Boise State With both teams starting backup quarterbacks, Boise State was knocked from the list of unbeatens at BYU late Saturday night. The Broncos hold on in the power rankings but lost their spot among the top Group of Five teams. 69-1
21 Michigan Shea Patterson and the Wolverines found some offense in the second half, but it was too little too late to come back from a 21-0 deficit. It does not get any easier with Notre Dame on deck, though at least the game is in the Big House. Perhaps Jim Harbaugh can carry some of that second-half momentum at Penn State back home. 68-2
22 Arizona State Tough loss for Herm Edwards' Sun Devils, which fall to third in the Pac-12 South. UCLA is ahead next week with USC and Oregon both coming to Temple before Thanksgiving. 65-5
23 Appalachian State The Mountaineers took to being ranked well with a 52-7 bludgeoning of Louisiana-Monroe. Off this week before facing Georgia Southern on Thursday, but a game at South Carolina on Nov. 9 could be huge. 19-1
24 San Diego State A clean 27-17 win over rival San Jose State has the Aztecs rolling on. Must avoid a trap game at UNLV on Saturday before it hosts Nevada in three weeks. 18-2
25 Iowa Iowa outlasted Purdue on Saturday and held a double-digit lead until a late Boilermakers touchdown. The Hawkeyes should continue to build confidence at Northwestern on Saturday before they play Wisconsin and Minnesota back-to-back in mid-November. NR7-3
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Dennis Dodd has covered college football for CBS Sports since it was CBS SportsLine in 1998. He is one of only seven media members to attend all 16 BCS title games and has chronicled conference realignment... Full Bio

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