Anarchy! Chaos! Welcome to another week of college football, and welcome to another round of projections for the College Football Playoff ranking.
Four of last week’s Top 10 lost in Week 11: No. 6 Baylor, No. 7 Stanford, No. 9 LSU and No. 10 Utah. Of the four, only Baylor lost to a ranked opponent. That ensures some upward mobility for the mid-level teams appearing in last week’s ranking.
North Carolina should climb considerably from No. 23, with four of the six teams ranked immediately ahead of the Tar Heels all sustaining Week 11 losses. Don’t expect the new ranking to vault Larry Fedora’s bunch into the Top 15 just yet, however. The Heels’ loss is arguably the worst of any Playoff contender, save Oklahoma with its blemish against Texas.
Meanwhile, North Carolina lacks a win the quality of Oklahoma’s defeat of Baylor. In other words, it’s ACC Championship Game or bust for the Heels.
Speaking of bust, the Pac-12’s bubble did just that with Stanford and Utah losing to Oregon and Arizona, respectively. Oregon’s likely to sneak into this week’s ranking; so too is USC, which will bolster the Cardinal’s resume.
The Trees aren’t completely felled just yet, but need a lot of help. Utah’s wins are impressive: Michigan will appear later in the rundown, and Oregon’s upcoming, initial appearance in the Top 25 gives the Utes a couple of ranked victories. But struggling Arizona catching Utah late in the season, and USC completely manhandling the Utes likely complicates things too much for Kyle Whittingham’s crew to get back into contention.
So the Pac-12, which last year staked a compelling case as the nation’s best conference, will be without a Top 10 representative. If your sole metric of strength is where the top teams fall in a ranking, college football’s new overlord is the Big Ten.
Read on by clicking the page numbers below.