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NCAA Football Rankings 2018: Week 11 Polls, Top 25 Standings and Analysis

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistNovember 5, 2018

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 03: Jerry Jeudy #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide carries the ball against the LSU Tigers in the second quarter of their game at Tiger Stadium on November 03, 2018 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The No. 1 position atop every college football poll has belonged to Alabama since August. 

After their win over LSU Saturday, the Crimson Tide reaffirmed they're going nowhere, and given the strength of the SEC, the conference won't be giving up its dominance in the AP Top 25 and Amway Coaches Poll anytime soon. 

While the SEC has the most teams in the Week 11 polls with six, there are some unexpected programs climbing the rankings due to the tumultuous set of results over the last few weeks. 

Looking down the Top 25, there are possible scenarios for teams like Syracuse, Boston College, Utah State and Fresno State to play in high-profile bowls because of their respective success in the business part of the season.  

         

Week 11 Standings

AP Top 25

1. Alabama (9-0) 

2. Clemson (9-0) 

3. Notre Dame (9-0) 

4. Michigan (8-1) 

5. Georgia (8-1) 

6. Oklahoma (8-1) 

7. West Virginia (7-1) 

8. Ohio State (8-1) 

9. LSU (7-2) 

10. Washington State (8-1) 

11. UCF (8-0) 

12. Kentucky (7-2) 

13. Syracuse (7-2) 

14. Utah State (8-1) 

15. Texas (6-3) 

16. Fresno State (8-1) 

17. Boston College (7-2) 

18. Mississippi State (6-3) 

19. Florida (6-3) 

20. Washington (7-3) 

21. Penn State (6-3) 

22. NC State (6-2) 

23. Iowa State (5-3) 

24. Michigan State (6-3) 

25. Cincinnati (8-1) 

       

Amway Coaches Poll

1. Alabama (9-0) 

2. Clemson (9-0) 

3. Notre Dame (9-0) 

4. Michigan (8-1) 

5. Georgia (8-1) 

6. Oklahoma (8-1) 

7. Ohio State (8-1) 

8. West Virginia (7-1) 

9. Washington State (8-1) 

10. LSU (7-2) 

11. UCF (8-0) 

12. Kentucky (7-2) 

13. Syracuse (7-2) 

14. Boston College (7-2) 

15. Mississippi State (6-3) 

16. Utah State (8-1) 

17. Fresno State (8-1) 

18. Washington (7-3) 

19. Texas (6-3)

20. Penn State (6-3)

21. Florida (6-3) 

22. NC State (6-2) 

23. Cincinnati (8-1) 

24. Utah (6-3) 

25. Iowa State (5-3) 

          

Analysis

SEC Still In Charge With 4 Teams In Top 12 

Even though the SEC Championship Game participants are already locked in by way of Alabama and Georgia's victories over LSU and Kentucky in Week 10, the SEC is still king. 

As it has been all season, Alabama is the No. 1 team in the nation, and there appears to be no team that can slow down the Crimson Tide. 

Georgia, who moved up to No. 5 following LSU's loss to Alabama, sits in the best position of any program outside the Top 4 to qualify for the College Football Playoff. 

LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 03: D'Andre Swift #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs the ball in the first quarter of the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Kroger Field on November 3, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. Georgia won 34-17. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty I
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Although it'll be unpopular if it happens, Alabama and Georgia could get into the playoff if both teams run the table at the end of the regular season and the Bulldogs knock off the Crimson Tide in Atlanta on the first Saturday of December. 

Even the two teams that came out on the losing end of the Week 10 showdowns are in decent positions, as LSU sits at No. 9 and Kentucky resides at No. 12. 

A spot in the New Year's Six is still up for grabs for both the Tigers and the Wildcats, and at the bare minimum, they'll be participating in one of the three SEC-affiliated bowls scheduled for New Year's Day. 

While the four SEC teams in the Top 12 are clearly the best teams in the conference, they aren't the only ranked sides, as Mississippi State is 18th and Florida is 19th in the AP Top 25.

As if that wasn't good enough for the SEC, Auburn and Texas A&M received votes in the AP Top 25, while South Carolina and Missouri joined the Aggies and Tigers as programs earning votes in the Amway Coaches Poll. 

            

Syracuse Could Be In Top 10 Ahead Of Notre Dame Clash 

One of the unlikeliest teams in the Top 15 entering Week 11 could be a Top 10 program as early as next Sunday. 

Syracuse clocked in at No. 13 following a road win over Wake Forest and yet another week of carnage in the middle of the rankings. 

The Orange should move to 8-2 with their fourth consecutive win against Louisville Friday in a game that could only be a bit less ugly than Clemson's demolition of the Cardinals. 

Chuck Burton/Associated Press

But no one is worried about what Dino Babers' team will do against Louisville because Notre Dame and Boston College await at the end of November. 

Not only would a win over Louisville hand Syracuse momentum to play spoiler against Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium in Week 12, it could put the Orange in position to qualify for an at-large spot in a New Year's Six bowl. 

In Syracuse's best-case scenario, it would finish as the team with the second-best record in the ACC behind Clemson, which means the Orange would have to root for the Tigers to defeat the ACC Coastal champion in the ACC Championship Game.

If that scenario plays out in Syracuse's favor, the Orange would be 10-2 with a 3-1 record over ranked teams and be sitting in the Top 10 after championship weekend. 

While beating Notre Dame won't be an easy task, the Orange have the firepower on offense capable of keeping up with the Fighting Irish, as they rank 18th in total offense and eighth in points per game. 

However, Syracuse's defense must improve, as it ranks 98th in total defense compared to Notre Dame's 26th-best mark. 

Although Syracuse's situation seems bizarre because it hasn't won 10 games in a season since 2001, it's one of many unusual scenarios in play because of the topsy-turvy nature of college football in 2018. 

              

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com

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