College Football Rankings 2018: Bleacher Report's Week 10 Top 25

Brad Shepard@@Brad_ShepardFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2018

Oklahoma State wide receiver Tylan Wallace (2) jumps across the goal line while evading Texas defensive back Brandon Jones (19) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
Brody Schmidt/Associated Press

On the last weekend before the first College Football Playoff rankings are revealed, the pool of possibilities continued to evaporate even more.

Texas was the latest to bite the dust, losing 38-35 on the road to a previously struggling Oklahoma State team in what will assuredly put the Longhorns in a free fall from their No. 6 ranking. At this point, it's going to be interesting to see who is good enough to join Alabama and Clemson in the postseason Final Four.

Georgia re-emerged as a possibility by trouncing Florida in the game formerly known as the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Notre Dame continued Navy's recent woes, handing the Midshipmen their fifth straight loss with a 44-22 win.

The chaos died down a bit on Saturday, but it felt more like the calm before next week's storm of major games against title contenders. 

Bleacher Report's panel of experts—Matt Hayes, David Kenyon, Adam Kramer, Kerry Miller, Brad Shepard and Ian Wharton—tried to sort everything once again on Saturday. A first-place vote is worth 25 points, followed by 24 points for second, 23 for third, etc.

Here is our Week 10 poll:

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1. Alabama (last week: 1)

2. Clemson (2)

3. Notre Dame (3)

4. LSU (4)

5. Georgia (5)

6. Michigan (6)

7. Oklahoma (9)

8. Ohio State (8)

9. UCF (11)

10. West Virginia (12)

11. Kentucky (13)

12. Washington State (14)

13. Penn State (15)

14. Florida (10)

15. Texas (7)

16. Utah (NR)

17. Houston (22)

18. Iowa (18)

19. Virginia (25)

20. Utah State (NR)

21. Syracuse (NR)

22. Washington (16)

23. Georgia Southern (NR)

24. NC State (23)

25. Fresno State (NR)

Others receiving votes: UAB, Oregon, San Diego State, Stanford, Iowa State, Northwestern, Cincinnati, Texas Tech, Buffalo, Texas A&M           

           

Who's Hot: Kentucky Wildcats

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Keep doubting the Kentucky Wildcats, and they'll keep making everybody eat their words.

They did it again on Saturday night against a Missouri team that was favored entering the game. The Wildcats trailed 14-3 going into the fourth quarter and closed the gap to 14-9 before driving at the end of the game.

Needing a touchdown to win, quarterback Terry Wilson threw into the end zone too high for his intended receiver with no time left on the clock. But even though it went out of bounds, Missouri was flagged for defensive pass interference, giving the 'Cats one more shot.

Rather than go to Heisman Trophy candidate Benny Snell Jr. from the 2-yard line, offensive coordinator Eddie Gran elected to ride the hot hand. Wilson found senior tight end C.J. Conrad at the pylon for a touchdown on the untimed down, giving UK a resounding 15-14 win.

The celebration lasted deep into the night and even gave us this gem of a moshing Mark Stoops.

Conrad told the SEC Network afterward that he told his team, "I'm gonna win this game."

He did, and it continues to be a season to remember for the No. 12 Wildcats, who still have just one loss, which came in overtime on the road against Texas A&M.

Stoops has gotten downright salty at times this year talking about his team's doubters, and though they don't always win pretty, they win. They love their coach in Lexington, and they kept proving it Saturday night.

On Saturday, it was the much-maligned Wilson who rose to the occasion, completing 22 of 31 passes for 267 yards and the game-winning score as Mizzou keyed in on Snell. The victory sets up a showdown with Georgia next weekend in Lexington for a spot in the SEC Championship Game.

             

Who's Not: Texas Longhorns

STILLWATER, OK - OCTOBER 27:  Quarterback Sam Ehlinger #11 of the Texas Longhorns throws against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the second quarter on October 27, 2018 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  The Cowboys lead 31-14 at the half. (P
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Just when it looked like college football may go a full week without a Top 10 team getting upset, Texas happened.

The Longhorns went on the road to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to take on an Oklahoma State team that was coming off a bye week, had the alternate uniforms out and was ready for an upset. The Cowboys burst out to a 31-14 lead they took into the second half, then held off UT for a 38-35 victory.

That loss takes the No. 6 Longhorns out of the College Football Playoff race for now, unless something drastic happens. Of course, this is college football; "drastic" is the norm.

A Cowboys team that had been 1-3 in the Big 12 pulled perhaps the biggest upset in the conference so far this season, right up there with Iowa State's win over West Virginia.

"The kids just played their butts off," OSU coach Mike Gundy told ABC's Maria Taylor after his team's first ever win over a Top 10 team from Texas, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Though Texas scored late to cut the lead to three, OSU recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock after a brilliant call by Gundy on a Taylor Cornelius keeper sealed it. The signal-caller was 23-of-34 for 321 yards and three touchdowns.

The clincher wasn't his biggest run, either.

The Longhorns still can win the Big 12, but the bigger goals are put on the shelf for now. They've got to regroup quickly because they head back to Austin to take on the high-octane West Virginia Mountaineers next week.

The secondary's performance against Cornelius is reason enough to worry, and now it's just a matter of if coach Tom Herman can rally his team and keep them on an upward trajectory. This was a major setback. 

                    

Fun Fact: Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins is more athletic than you

TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 27: Christian Wilkins #42 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after rushing for a one-yard touchdown in the second quarter of the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 27, 2018 in Tallahassee, Flor
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Clemson star defensive tackle Christian Wilkins has pretty much a unanimous first-round projection in the upcoming NFL draft (B/R colleague Joe Tansey has him going No. 28 to the Miami Dolphins in his latest mock), and he is an anchor of one of the top defenses in college football.

But just because the 6'4", 315-pound cog in the Tigers D does his job, don't stereotype him when it comes to those "Big Boy Touchdowns." It's becoming the norm for him to get in the end zone.

During Clemson's 59-10 dismantling of Florida State on Saturday, Wilkins scored a rushing touchdown. The 1-yard score gave him 22 more rushing yards in the game than the Seminoles, who finished with minus-21.

"You've got to get your heavy running back in there," Wilkins joked to reporters after the game, per Grace Raynor of the Charleston Post & Courier. "I'm the sixth-string running back right now."

It was Wilkins' second offensive touchdown of his career, and he almost had three. Against Georgia Tech earlier this year, he scooped up a fumble and nearly scored before fumbling himself. It was picked up by teammate Clelin Ferrell, who got the touchdown.

In September 2016, Wilkins also had a receiving touchdown against Troy, so, yes, the 315-pound defensive tackle can make things happen all over the field.

Believe it or not, he also has played on the kick coverage team and served as a Wildcat quarterback at times in his Clemson career. Call those gimmicks if you want, but Wilkins can scream "Scoreboard!" with those touchdowns.

It was a little extra embarrassment for the 'Noles, who have surprisingly struggled to move the ball on the ground all year with run-minded Willie Taggart as the head coach. But the offensive line's deep-rooted struggles hit an all-time low thanks to stars like Wilkins, who performed his day job incredibly well too.

It was a huge statement win for the Tigers, and Wilkins added punctuation.

      

What to Watch For: Huge SEC battles and more in a jam-packed weekend

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 13: Michael Divinity Jr. #45 of the LSU Tigers and Devin White #40 celebrates during a game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Tiger Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Beyond Georgia's second consecutive pivotal SEC East battle next week with Kentucky, which almost certainly will be a heavy underdog again, it is a strong week in college football showdowns.

Sticking in the SEC, Alabama's biggest test so far will come in the form of a night game in Death Valley against LSU. There already has been tons of buildup with both the Crimson Tide and Tigers having a bye week.

Some of that came in the form of the #FreeDevinWhite billboards and banners, which are a result of the LSU star linebacker having to miss the first half of the game against Bama after a targeting call against Mississippi State. You know LSU is going to be as fired up as possible to play the Tide.

But being excited and being ready are two different things, as Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns coach (and former Alabama assistant) Billy Napier so eloquently put it to the Advocate's Scott Rabalais: "It's all fun and games until you're looking them in the eye." Napier's team lost to the Tide 56-14 in September.

Texas hosts West Virginia in a massive game that will have major ramifications in the Big 12. Texas now has two losses after the setback at Oklahoma State, but if the Mountaineers win out (including wins at Texas and against Oklahoma), the College Football Playoff is still attainable for them.

The Mountaineers need to win with some style points in this one.

Michigan has a crucial tilt with Penn State in the Big House to keep its playoff hopes alive and set up a major showdown with Ohio State to close the season. The Wolverines need to win, but the Nittany Lions are more than capable of spoiling that party.

Stanford-Washington and Oklahoma-Texas Tech also are worth watching.

       

Unless otherwise noted, stats courtesy of Sports Reference and CFBStats.com.

Brad Shepard covers college football for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter, @Brad_Shepard.