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The college football schedule featured a variety of huge matchups in Week 11, and the results shook up the polls heading into Week 12.
Below, we’ll take a look at the Amway Coaches Poll and break down the implications of the past week’s results.
8. Ohio State
9. Notre Dame
11. Penn State
12. Central Florida
13. Oklahoma State
16. Washington State
19. Mississippi State
20. South Florida
22. NC State
24. Michigan State
25. West Virginia
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Sometimes the field of contenders seems like the Red Sea, parting as the season wears on so that Nick Saban can once again lead Alabama to the promised land.
That was certainly the case Saturday, as a number of College Football Playoff hopefuls lost while Alabama escaped Mississippi State 31-24, with Jalen Hurts finding wide receiver DeVonta Smith for a 26-yard touchdown pass with just 25 seconds remaining.
“Sometimes you need hard,” Saban said after the game, per the Associated Press. “If we’re going to beat really good teams, if we’re going to compete, we’ve got to learn how to compete in close games where every play counts. Where you’ve got to play every play for 60 minutes.”
Not every team stood up to “hard” Saturday. Most notably, Georgia—No. 1 in the playoff rankings—was brushed aside by Auburn, 40-17.
“Humility is always a week away, and I think this team will answer and respond the right way,” Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart said, per the Associated Press. “We’ve got some good leaders in that room, and they want to improve on what they just showed.”
Georgia wasn’t the only contender to fall. Miami destroyed Notre Dame 41-8, donning its vaunted Turnover Chain four times in the huge win.
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The turnover chain is here to stay. https://t.co/bP8dEX5BFP
Oklahoma re-inserted itself into the playoff picture in a big way, smoking TCU 38-20. Wisconsin remained undefeated, dispatching a tough Iowa team 38-14, while Clemson handled Florida State 31-14. On Friday, Washington’s 30-22 loss to Stanford all but ended its playoff aspirations.
Add it all up, and Saban’s Crimson Tide are once again the front-runners for the national title. Alabama will host Mercer next week before an Iron Bowl matchup at Auburn on Nov. 25. With a win in that game, the Crimson Tide would be headed to the SEC title game and may even lock up a playoff berth.
Lose, however, and they could find themselves out of the playoff picture altogether. College football can be unforgiving like that.
Those storylines are for two weeks from now, though. Next weekend’s matchups will be highlighted by Michigan at Wisconsin. And while the slate of games may not include the number of elite matchups we saw in Week 11, an upset is always one contest away.