A few top-ten college football teams looked in danger of losing this week. Ohio State, Georgia, Florida State, Texas, and Ole Miss all survived a scare. One of them, the previously ninth-ranked Oklahoma, did end up losing in what was the last remaining Bedlam game that is scheduled. The Sooners certainly are now officially out of the playoff race, as it was their second loss on the season after dropping one to Kansas last week. Outside of that, there won't be too much movement in these updated rankings. Missouri held right with Georgia, so there is no need to drop them from the 12 spot. Let's get into it.
1. Florida State (9-0, 6-0)
The Seminoles played a tight game with a two-win Pitt team but did enough to take care of business and clinch a spot in the ACC title game for the first time since 2014. Florida State doesn't have too tough of a remaining schedule, as they face Miami, North Alabama, and Florida to close out the regular season. If they take care of business and defeat Louisville in the ACC Championship, they are locked into the top four teams for the College Football Playoff. It likely won't be one, though, unless the teams ahead of them in the official rankings collapse.
2. Ohio State (9-0, 6-0)
The Buckeyes were losing to Rutgers, 9-7, at halftime. It was the first time they were trailing at half this season, but Ohio State did what winning teams do: they pulled away in the second half to win, 35-16. They were fueled by a massive 93-yard pick-six by defensive back Jordan Hancock in the third quarter and would never look back from that. Receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., a top Heisman candidate, caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Kyle McCord in the fourth quarter to put the game away. The Buckeyes have to try not to look ahead to Michigan as they still have two games - Michigan State and Minnesota to play before then. Despite those two teams' records, they will give Ohio State their all.
3. Georgia (9-0, 6-0)
The Bulldogs were locked at ten all with Missouri at halftime and were losing 13-10 early into the third quarter. But after that, they would outscore the Tigers 20-8 to survive the upset scare. Freshman kicker Peyton Woodring came up clutch in the fourth quarter to seal the game with a 30-yard and 48-yard field goal. Another big test is coming for Georgia next week as they face another team that survived an upset scare in Ole Miss.
4. Michigan (9-0, 6-0)
Amidst the sign-stealing allegations against them, Michigan was the only top-four team not to face a potential upset. It was a two-score game at halftime, 20-6, against Purdue, but the Wolverines would score three touchdowns in the second half to win 41-13. All five of their touchdowns in the game came on the ground - three from Blake Corum, one from Semaj Morgan (44 yards), and one from Donavan Edwards. Michigan has been able to handle business all year, but they face the best defense they have faced up to this point (by a long shot) next week. That defense is a Penn State team that hasn't allowed more than 24 points and has allowed over 100 rushing yards just once, and that was Week 1 against West Virginia. Outside of that game, Penn State has allowed just 399 total rushing yards on the season. If Michigan is going to win, they will have to do it through the air, and J.J. McCarthy will be tested in a big way.
5. Washington (9-0, 6-0)
The Huskies also played a tight game against a USC team that had come in struggling. The game was tied a handful of times, and it was a three-point game late into the fourth quarter before Washington held on, 52-42. Junior running back Dillon Johnson took over the game, as he ran for 256 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries, good for an average of 9.8 yards per carry. If Washington can handle business down the stretch, they are a good bet to get into the CFP. At least one of the top four teams will lose at least once when the Wolverines and Buckeyes meet up.
6. Oregon (8-1, 5-1)
The Ducks handled Cal this weekend, winning 63-19 for their third straight win after losing to Washington. Bo Nix threw four touchdown passes and ran in for two more. With games against USC and Oregon State over the last three weeks, Oregon will be tested. But they should get a rematch against Washington in the Pac-12 title game and have an excellent shot to line themselves up for a New Year's Six bowl.
7. Texas (8-1, 5-1)
To be honest, Texas looked like they wanted to lose to Kansas State, and it was really the Wildcats that handed the Longhorns the game, but Texas survived, and that's really all that matters now. Win out and win the Big 12; they will be a lock for a New Year's Six bowl. And if they get some help with losses in front of them, the CFP isn't out of the question. The Longhorns' last three regular season games are certainly winnable, as only Iowa State is currently above .500.
8. Alabama (8-1, 6-0)
When you thought they were out, the Crimson Tide pulled themselves back in. Since losing to Texas, they have taken care of business to win the last seven games in a row. This week, Alabama was in trouble against LSU as they were down in the third quarter, 28-21, before scoring 21 unanswered points. Jalen Milroe has continued to prove himself and show that he can be a more than serviceable quarterback for Nick Saban and the Tide. Against LSU, Milroe had four rushing touchdowns and 155 yards on 20 carries. While we thought just two months ago that Alabama was beginning to fall off, they are now right in the mix for the Playoff. Right now, they are on a crash course to face Georgia in the SEC Championship, with the winner likely getting into the CFP.
9. Penn State (8-1, 5-1)
After surviving an upset against Indiana last week, the Nittany Lions stomped on Maryland's throats. Penn State had their most complete game to date, as Drew Allar looked extremely poised. The sophomore quarterback tossed four touchdowns and 240 yards on 25 of 34 passing. Penn State's defense continues to dominate, as they allowed just 15 points and negative 49 yards rushing to the Terrapins. If they play like that against Michigan, they have a shot. But for whatever reason, beating Ohio State and/or Michigan proves to be the hump that Penn State can't get over. Let's see if that changes this year.
10. Ole Miss (8-1, 5-1)
The Rebels are very lucky to have survived against Texas A&M and now have to travel to Athens to face the Bulldogs in a marquee matchup on Saturday night. Ole Miss took the lead with just 1:40 left in the game on a one-yard rushing score from Quinshon Judkins. They had choked away the lead in the second half after leading at halftime 20-14. After scoring halfway through the third quarter to make it 28-14, the Rebels were outscored 21-3, as the Aggies took a 35-31 lead with less than five minutes remaining. I can guarantee if Ole Miss plays like they did, despite pulling out the win against Georgia, they will be exposed.
11. Louisville (8-1, 5-1)
Louisville enters the top 12 following the Oklahoma loss. The Cardinals will face Florida State in the ACC Championship and have a solid chance to make a New Year's Six. They were handed their first loss by Pitt a few weeks ago but have bounced back with two big wins over Duke and Virginia Tech. At this point, the strength of schedule for the Cardinals isn't very favorable, especially with Notre Dame losing again. But winning out and finishing 11-1 while making the ACC chip is certainly a great spot for a team that finished 8-5 last year.
12. Missouri (7-2, 3-2)
It seems to be a story of what could have been for Missouri this year. They hung around with LSU on October 7 and had a great shot to beat Georgia this week. A New Year's Six bowl is still very much in the cards for the Tigers, but if they had beaten the Bulldogs, the SEC Championship would be a factor for them as well as the CFP.
College Football Playoff Projections
Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 4 Michigan
Rose Bowl: No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Georgia
New Year's Six Bowls
Orange Bowl: Louisville vs. Alabama
Cotton Bowl: Oregon vs. Texas
Peach Bowl: Penn State vs. Ole Miss
Fiesta Bowl: Washington vs. Tulane
Main Image Credit: From Getty Images