College Football Rankings 2018: Reviewing NCAA Week 11 Standings Before Saturday

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2018

Trevor Lawrence takes the Tigers on the road to Boston College.
Trevor Lawrence takes the Tigers on the road to Boston College.Richard Shiro/Associated Press

As the college football season hits the home stretch, three of the top four teams in the College Football Playoffs appear to be in excellent positions to win their Week 11 matchups and retain their rankings inside the playoff structure.

Alabama, Notre Dame and Michigan look to have relatively easy games, but Clemson is likely to get a challenge from a strong Boston College team. The second-ranked Tigers must go to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, for a Saturday night game against the 17th-ranked Eagles.

Clemson is a 19.5-point favorite, according to OddsShark, but Boston College has been a competitive team all season and the Eagles should be able to push Dabo Swinney's team quite hard.

                    

College Football Playoff Rankings

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. LSU (7-2)
8. Washington State (8-1)
9. West Virginia (7-1)
10. Ohio State (8-1)
11. Kentucky (7-2)
12. UCF (8-0)
13. Syracuse (7-2)
14. NC State (6-2)
15. Florida (6-3)
16. Mississippi State (6-3)
17. Boston College (7-2)
18. Michigan State (6-3)
19. Texas (6-3)
20. Penn State (6-3)
21. Iowa (6-3)
22. Iowa State (5-3)
23. Fresno State (8-1)
24. Auburn (6-3)
25. Washington (7-3)

                  

Alabama goes back on the road in Week 11 after their 29-0 triumph at LSU last time out.

The Crimson Tide take on a tough Mississippi State team, and the Bulldogs would normally be capable of providing a strong challenge at home to most highly ranked opponents.

But this year's Crimson Tide team is special, and their usual result is an overpowering victory. Tua Tagovailoa is a brilliant quarterback who is capable of throwing picture-perfect passes.

Combine Tagovailoa's propensity for big plays and his 27-1 TD-interception ratio with the running games of Najee Harris and Damien Harris and Alabama's stout defense, and it's difficult to see the Bulldogs providing much of a challenge.

The numbers are in Alabama's favor as well, as the Crimson Tide have won their past 10 games with Mississippi State. Alabama is averaging 51.3 points per game this season, and the Bulldogs are 2-5 against the spread in their past seven games. Alabama is a 23.5-point favorite.

In addition to playing on the road against Boston College, the Tigers are going to have to contend with a hard-charging Eagles defense that has recorded 28 sacks and 14 interceptions. Defensive end Wyatt Ray and defensive back Hamp Cheevers are both big-play makers for Boston College.

Cold weather and wind, which Weather.com forecasts for the area around Alumni Stadium, could make it tough for the favored Tigers.

No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 4 Michigan appear to have easier assignments. The unbeaten Fighting Irish host Florida State, but the Seminoles are just a shell of the team that most college football fans are used to seeing. Florida State is 4-5 and doesn't expect quarterback Deondre Francois to have much success leading the attack against Notre Dame's tough defense.

While Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book (ribs) is not expected to play, Notre Dame is still a 16-point favorite. 

No. 4 Michigan is an overwhelming 39-point road favorite against Rutgers, and the biggest thing head coach Jim Harbaugh should have to worry about is criticism for running up the score. Michigan has its annual grudge match with Ohio State coming up Nov. 24, but this game and Week 12's matchup with Indiana both look set to be one-sided wins.

No. 5 Georgia is a solid 14-point home favorite over No. 24 Auburn, but Tigers quarterback Jarrett Stidham could cause problems for the Bulldogs. Stidham has thrown for 1,953 yards and 10 touchdowns. Georgia running back Elijah Holyfield has rushed for 674 yards and is averaging 6.5 yards per carry.

No. 10 Ohio State can't afford any more slip-ups if it is going to have an outside chance to get to the College Football Playoff.

The Buckeyes are on the road against 18th-ranked Michigan State, and the visitors are 3.5-point favorites. This could be a tough assignment for quarterback Dwayne Haskins (32 TDs) and the Bucks because they are not in good form.

After their brutal 49-20 loss to Purdue, the Buckeyes barely got by Nebraska at home. Michigan State has the No. 1 rushing defense in the nation, and head coach Mark Dantonio would love to see the Spartans pick up a big win at Ohio State's expense.

                        

All point-spread information according to OddsShark.

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