As expected, Ohio State drops in these rankings after a loss to Purdue, but the loss isn’t as devastating as you might have expected. Each loss is worth -3 points, and while the Buckeyes only had a lead of 0.2 points on Texas in last week’s rankings, the gap between it and No. 5 Florida was 4.8 points, so it only drops a spot with Michigan the new No. 5 after its win over Michigan State.
This is why Ohio State should not be considered dead in the water when it comes to the College Football Playoff. The Purdue loss certainly hurts, but Purdue could prove to be a much better team than its current record suggests. The bigger problem for Ohio State might be the TCU win looking less relevant with each passing week.
Here’s how the rest of this week’s top 10 shakes out. If you aren’t familiar with how we compile these rankings, you can read the explanation here.
LSU makes a move for the second consecutive week after beating No. 22 Mississippi State 19-3 on Saturday night. The win was worth 4.6 resume points, which moved LSU to No. 1, passing Notre Dame, which had the weekend off. The No. 1 spot in the rankings is nothing new for LSU, as it had been there just about the entire season until its loss to Florida knocked it from the top spot. Still, even with that loss, the Tigers’ wins over Miami, Auburn, Georgia and Mississippi State are enough to push it back on top.
Washington State is new to the top 10, and it tied for the most resume points this week. It’s 34-20 win over No. 12 Oregon was worth 6.4 points. Oregon fell from No. 6 in last week’s rankings to just outside the top 10 at No. 11. So, essentially, the Pac-12’s playoff hopes swapped from Oregon to Wazzu. As of right now, the Cougars are the only realistic playoff candidate the conference has barring chaos of epic proportions across the rest of the country.
- The team Washington State tied with was Clemson. The Tigers earned 6.4 resume points for their 41-7 win over No. 16 NC State and entered our top 10 for the first time this season. Before the win over NC State, all of Clemson’s resume points were for its wins only. It hadn’t beaten a ranked team as Texas A&M wasn’t in the top 25 when the Tigers went on the road to beat them. The good news for Clemson is that it’s still Clemson. Like Alabama, when it comes to the actual committee, its resume isn’t nearly as important as its unbeaten record. It has the track record to stand on its own.
- Michigan makes a nice climb this week as well, jumping from No. 9 to No. 5. Its 21-7 win over No. 24 Michigan State was worth 4.4 resume points. Our rankings suggest that Michigan and Ohio State are the only Big Ten teams with realistic playoff hopes at the moment, as no other Big Ten title contender is ranked higher than Michigan State at No. 39. Penn State is currently No. 40 and Wisconsin is at No. 57. The conference wild card is Iowa, which is currently ranked No. 22 and could earn some resume points this weekend with a win over Penn State.
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