College Football Rankings: B/R's Top 25 After Week 10

Morgan MoriartyFeatured Columnist INovember 7, 2021

College Football Rankings: B/R's Top 25 After Week 10

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Week 10 in college football featured an upset of a Top 4 team and some exciting finishes throughout.

    The biggest upset of the day came for Michigan State at the hands of Purdue. Purdue defeated the No. 3 ranked Spartans at home 40-29, giving the Boilermakers their second Top-5 upset of the season as they knocked off No. 2 Iowa three weeks ago.

    But it wasn't the last upset we saw today. No. 8 Wake Forest suffered its first loss of the season, losing at UNC 58-55. The Demon Deacons were already a doubt for the College Football Playoff, but falling to a 4-4 UNC team all but dashes their chances.

    Ohio State defeated Nebraska on the road 26-17, and Cincinnati survived a scare at home against Tulsa, winning 28-20. No. 2 Alabama eked out a close one against LSU, winning 20-14. No. 4 Oregon took care of business on the road to beat Washington 24-9, and No. 7 Michigan topped Indiana 29-7.

    As they do each and every week, Bleacher Report's college football experts—David Kenyon, Adam Kramer, Kerry Miller, Morgan Moriarty and Brad Shepard—tried to make sense of it all, casting a ballot after the Week 4 games. A first-place vote is worth 25 points, followed by 24 points for second, 23 for third, etc.

      

    B/R's Post-Week 10 Top 25

    1. Georgia (Last week: 1)
    2. Cincinnati (3)
    3. Alabama (2)
    4. Ohio State (5)
    5. Oklahoma (6)
    6. Oregon (7)
    7. Michigan (9)
    8. Oklahoma State (T-11)
    9. Notre Dame (10)
    10. Texas A&M (T-11)
    11. Michigan State (4)
    12. Ole Miss (15)
    13. Wake Forest (8)
    14. UTSA (16)
    15. Baylor (T-13)
    16. BYU (T-24)
    17. Houston (17)
    18. Coastal Carolina (19)
    19. NC State (T-20)
    20. Wisconsin (NR)
    21. Louisiana-Lafayette (T-20)
    22. Auburn (T-13)
    23. Pittsburgh (NR)
    24. Purdue (NR)
    25. Arkansas (NR)

    Others receiving votes: Iowa, Penn State, San Diego State, UVA. 

Who's Hot: Purdue

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Yes, I am aware that the Boilermakers are currently unranked, but you have to give some credit to Jeff Brohm and this Purdue team.

    For the second time this season, Purdue has defeated a team ranked inside the Top 5, as the Boilermakers upset No. 3 Michigan State on Saturday afternoon in West Lafayette 40-29. On Oct. 16, the Boilermakers shocked the college football world and upset the then-No. 2 Iowa Hawkeyes on the road 24-7. The last time the Boilermakers defeated two teams inside the top five in a season was in 1960, when they defeated both Ohio State and Minnesota.

    The College Football Playoff committee ranked the Spartans No. 3 in the nation in its initial rankings earlier this week. Although it was a bit surprising, Sparty just came off of a huge win over Michigan. But the Boilermakers spoiled Michigan State's playoff hopes, at least for now. Purdue went to the locker room with a 21-14 lead, and although MSU tied it up at 21 early in the third, the Boilermakers pulled away. Purdue outscored 19-7 after Michigan State's early third-quarter TD to seal the upset victory. Purdue quarterback Aidan O'Connell had an incredible day, going 40-of-54 for a whopping 536 yards and three touchdowns. 

    As for what it means for Michigan State, Sparty will fall behind Ohio State in the rankings, who defeated Nebraska earlier Saturday. MSU still has to play Ohio State and Penn State for a chance to represent the Big Ten East in Indianapolis for the championship game. But this certainly opens the door further for the Buckeyes to get into the Playoff come December. 

    For Purdue, the Boilermakers are now tied in the Big Ten West with Wisconsin and Minnesota, so there's a chance they could sneak into the title game. 

     

Who's Not: Stanford

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    Dear Lord, what has happened to Stanford football?

    The same Cardinal team that upset Oregon in October played Utah at home Friday night. Let's just say this one wasn't close whatsoever. Utah opened with three touchdowns on its first four drives en route to a 38-0 lead at halftime. Utah running back TJ Pledger's 96-yard touchdown run that gave his team a 35-0 lead was the longest run in Utah school history.   

    The box score in the first half was incredibly lopsided, too. The Utes defense held Stanford to just three first downs and 28 total yards—including just five rushing yards—in the first half. Not to mention the Cardinal averaged just .3 yards per rush in the first half. Yes, you read that right—0.3! 

    It didn't exactly get any better in the second half. Stanford managed to score one touchdown in the third quarter. Utah added 14 to its lead to win 52-7. On the night, Stanford's offense had just 167 total yards and 82 rushing yards. The loss to the Utes is Stanford's worst margin of defeat since 2003. That year, they fell to Notre Dame 57-7. 

    The loss certainly raises questions about head coach David Shaw's future with the Cardinal. Although he led Stanford to three Rose Bowl appearances in 2012, 2013 and 2015, Stanford hasn't been to a bowl game since 2018. Shaw has a 93-43 record as Stanford's head coach, and while he is the winningest coach in Cardinal history, there are plenty of reasons to wonder how long he'll stick around.

Fun Fact: 1-6 Nebraska Has Outscored Its Big Ten Opponents 190-176

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    Rebecca S. Gratz/Associated Press

    Shoutout to @RedditCFB for this stat. Nebraska hung tough at home and looked like it had a chance to upset the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes. The 'Huskers trailed by just seven at halftime, and were down by just six at the end of the third quarter thanks to an Adrian Martinez touchdown run. 

    The 'Huskers got the ball back quickly after picking off CJ Stroud on the Bucks' ensuing possession. Despite driving down to the OSU 13, head coach Scott Frost opted for a 31-yard field goal attempt on 4th and 4. The 31-yard field goal attempt by kicker Chase Contreraz was no good, and Nebraska failed to score the rest of the game. Here's what Frost said after the game on the decision to kick it instead of going for it on 4th down, via the Omaha World Herald:

    "I kind of made that decision before the third-down call," Frost said.

    On third down, quarterback Adrian Martinez just missed a crossing pattern pass to Levi Falck.

    "We had a good play call on and we decided (before third down), let's try to hit one here," Frost said.

    [...]

    "That was a chip shot," Frost said. "(Contreraz) has been kicking really well. Wish I had it back now, obviously you second-guess yourself. But to try to make it a three-point game, that’s the right football decision.

    "Whether or not it was the right situational decision, knowing what I know now, I would have done something different."

    Ohio State kicked a 46-yard field goal with 1:29 left to essentially put the game on ice. Looking at the bulk of Nebraska's conference games, the Huskers have failed to win close games consistently. A look at their conference scores this season, minus its 56-7 loss to Northwestern: 

    • At Illinois: L, 30-22
    • At Michigan State: L, 23-20
    • Vs. Michigan: L, 32-29
    • At Minnesota: L, 30-23
    • Vs. Purdue: : L, 28-3
    • Vs. Ohio State: L, 26-17

    With the loss to Ohio State, Frost's record goes to 15-27 over four seasons. Frost's seat was already warm, but it might get even warmer if the Huskers keep losing close games like this. 

     

What to Watch For: Could Week 11 Give Us Some Surprise Upets?

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    The second weekend of November might not have too many ranked games on the slate, but there are some matchups that look intriguing. On Thursday night, UNC plays at Pitt in a game that's crucial to decide who will represent the ACC Coastal in Charlotte come December. And then on Friday night, Cincinnati visits USF in what could be another trap game for the Bearcats. 

    On Saturday, Purdue travels to face No. 5 Ohio State, and No. 7 Michigan goes on the road to face Penn State. If Michigan wants a shot at making it into the Playoff, it has beat the Nittany Lions on Saturday. Penn State has defeated Michigan in the last two matchups between these two. No. 8 Oklahoma goes to Waco, Texas, to face the No. 12 Baylor Bears in what looks like a very intriguing Big 12 matchup. The best SEC matchup of Week 12 looks like it'll be Texas A&M playing Ole Miss in Oxford on Saturday night. 

    In late night #Pac12AfterDark action, No. 4 Oregon hosts Washington State in Eugene. The Ducks have defeated the Cougs two years in a row. Week 11 obviously doesn't have too many big games on the slate as you can see, but perhaps it might get weird and give us some upsets.

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