2018 College Football Playoff Rankings Projections, Week 11: Top 25 Gets Shake-Up

Nov 06, 2018 8:49 AM EST
  • The 2018 College Football Playoff rankings Top 25 will get a refresh on Tuesday after several elimination games on Saturday.
  • Our projections have Michigan sliding into the top 4 with Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame.

Ready for some arguments that will surely lead to nothing, and be decided on the field anyway? Then you’re ready for the 2018 College Football Playoff rankings after Week 11.

LSU was No. 3 in last week’s poll and got trounced by Alabama, leaving a spot open for Michigan for the time being. The Tide, Clemson and Notre Dame will retain their spots in the top four.

Below we’ve listed our projected rankings, each team’s College Football Playoff chances projected by FiveThirtyEight.com, and their national championship odds from 5Dimes.

At this point, those title odds are mostly about who can make the playoff, not about who the best teams are (though there’s plenty of overlap). 5Dimes lists just 13 teams in its futures market, and there are really only seven or eight with a chance to reach the 2018 College Football Playoff.

2018 College Football Playoff Rankings Top 25, Week 11

Here are the rankings that have been released so far.

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Notre Dame
  4. Michigan
  5. Georgia
  6. Oklahoma
  7. LSU
  8. Washington State
  9. West Virginia
  10. Ohio St
  11. Kentucky
  12. UCF
  13. Syracuse
  14. NC State
  15. Florida
  16. Miss. State
  17. Boston College
  18. Michigan State
  19. Texas
  20. Penn State
  21. Iowa
  22. Iowa State
  23. Fresno State
  24. Auburn
  25. Washington

1. Alabama

  • Record: 9-0
  • CFP Chances: 76%
  • National Championship Odds: -270

The Tide blew the doors of LSU, and it could have been a lot worse. Pundits are now comparing them to some of the best college football teams of all time, not to the rest of the country.

2. Clemson

  • Record: 9-0
  • CFP Chances: 86%
  • National Championship Odds: +375

While Alabama has looked fabulous, Clemson continues to roll. The Tigers have scored an average of 60 points per game over their past four contests, all against ACC teams.

3. Notre Dame

  • Record: 9-0
  • CFP Chances: 58%
  • National Championship Odds: +700

Seeding doesn’t matter at this point, but if the committee were to rank Michigan ahead of Notre Dame on Tuesday, it sets the precedent that the unbeaten Irish could be left out for a Big Ten champion Michigan, despite their Week 1 win over the Wolverines.

Basically, the committee can make a statement about head-to-head victories mattering. If Notre Dame is ahead of Michigan, we won’t really learn anything.

4. Michigan

  • Record: 8-1
  • CFP Chances: 40%
  • National Championship Odds: +850

The Wolverines are rolling through the Big Ten, and Westgate made them a 3.5-point favorite over Ohio State in their season-ending game.

5. Georgia

  • Record: 8-1
  • CFP Chances: 40%
  • National Championship Odds: +1200

Imagine this scenario: Notre Dame, Michigan and Clemson all win out. Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. Which school does the committee leave out? Could it be the Dawgs, who would have the best win but also the worst loss of any of those five teams?

6. Oklahoma

  • Record: 8-1
  • CFP Chances: 41%
  • National Championship Odds: +2000

It’s looking like Oklahoma and West Virginia might play twice to end the season, the second in the Big 12 title game.

7. Washington State

  • Record: 8-1
  • CFP Chances: 13%
  • National Championship Odds: +10000

I still don’t think Washington State has a clear path to the College Football Playoff if it wins out, but the Cougs’ toughest test left is home against Washington in the Apple Cup to end the season.

8. Ohio State

  • Record: 8-1
  • CFP Chances: 19%
  • National Championship Odds: +1350

Everyone has forgotten about the Buckeyes, but they still control their own destiny.

9. West Virginia

  • Record: 7-1
  • CFP Chances: 12%
  • National Championship Odds: +10000

The Mountaineers have an outside chance, but as mentioned, it would take consecutive wins over Oklahoma to end the season.

10. LSU

  • Record: 7-2
  • CFP Chances: 3%
  • National Championship Odds: +50000

LSU played itself out after a blowout loss to Alabama, but the Tigers are still in great position for a New Year’s Six bowl.

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured:LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron

11. UCF

  • Record: 8-0
  • CFP Chances: 5%
  • National Championship Odds: +50000

UCF continues to win, but not in impressive fashion. The Knights gave up 670 yards to Temple in a 52-40 win on Thursday. That won’t do them any favors.

12. Kentucky

  • Record: 7-2
  • CFP Chances: Less than 1%
  • National Championship Odds: N/A

Kentucky has had a magical season, but the Wildcats will drop back to No. 12 thanks to a second loss.

Here’s where things get messy in the Top 25 …

13. Mississippi State

  • Record: 6-3
  • CFP Chances: Less than 1%
  • National Championship Odds: N/A

Of the six teams ranked 11-17 last week, five lost. So by default, three-loss Mississippi State slides into No. 13.

14. Syracuse

  • Record: 7-2
  • CFP Chances: Less than 1%
  • National Championship Odds: N/A

Like Mississippi State, Syracuse actually won, so it moves up into the top 15.

15. Florida

  • Record: 6-3
  • CFP Chances: Less than 1%
  • National Championship Odds: N/A

Typically, the committee hasn’t dropped teams as dramatically for losing as AP Poll voters do. Last season, Virginia Tech dropped four spots after a loss between the first two sets of rankings, and N.C. State dropped three spots.

Florida has three losses, but impressive wins over LSU and Mississippi State.

16. N.C. State

  • Record: 6-2
  • CFP Chances: Less than 1%
  • National Championship Odds: N/A

The committee had N.C. State above Boston College last week, which shows the value of a head-to-head win. Both teams have similar bodies of work and just two losses, but the Wolfpack beat the Eagles in early October.

17. Penn State

  • Record: 6-3
  • CFP Chances: Less than 1%
  • National Championship Odds: N/A

Like Florida, Penn State has three losses, but it doesn’t have many (any?) impressive wins. The Nittany Lions beat Iowa and Appalachian State … and that’s about it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them drop farther than this.

18. Boston College

  • Record: 7-2
  • CFP Chances: 3%
  • National Championship Odds: +100000

Those wins by Florida are better than anything Boston College has, but hear me out — the Eagles have a super outside shot at the College Football Playoff. That’s why they’re still listed by oddsmakers.

If BC beats Clemson this weekend, it will control the ACC Atlantic, and could be a two-loss Power 5 champion. With tons of chaos elsewhere, it would have a shot. Of course, the Eagles need to beat Clemson as a 20-point dog this weekend.

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: AJ Dillon

19. Utah

  • Record: 6-3
  • CFP Chances: Less than 1%
  • National Championship Odds: N/A

Utah’s slim College Football Playoff hopes are dead after a loss to Arizona State, but the Utes can still win the Pac-12 and play in the Rose Bowl.

20. Texas

  • Record: 6-3
  • CFP Chances: Less than 1%
  • National Championship Odds: N/A

The Longhorns have lost consecutive games to Oklahoma State and West Virginia, and have looked wholly unimpressive other than an overtime win over Oklahoma.

21. Fresno State

  • Record: 8-1
  • CFP Chances: Less than 1%
  • National Championship Odds: +75000

Fresno State’s efficiency metrics are impressive, and the Bulldogs play at Boise State this weekend in a pivotal MWC game. They’re a 3-point favorite and with a win, will stay in the running for the Group of 5’s New Year’s Six bowl.

22. Iowa State

  • Record: 5-3
  • CFP Chances: Less than 1%
  • National Championship Odds: N/A

Three losses, but some solid wins. That’s enough to keep Iowa State in the Top 25.

23. Iowa

  • Record: 6-3
  • CFP Chances: Less than 1%
  • National Championship Odds: N/A

Iowa should probably drop out of the Top 25 after losing to Purdue, but there just aren’t a whole lot of teams to put in ahead of the Hawkeyes.

24. Washington

  • Record: 7-3
  • CFP Chances: 1%
  • National Championship Odds: N/A

Washington has fallen short of expectations, but can still win the Pac-12. And despite three losses, the Huskies have some good wins, and there isn’t anyone to put in the Top 25 over them.

25. Utah State

  • Record: 8-1
  • CFP Chances: Less than 1%
  • National Championship Odds: N/A

The Aggies’ lone blemish is an overtime loss at Michigan State and they continue to roll everyone in the Mountain West. They’re also very much in the running for the G5 New Year’s Six bowl bid.

Credit:

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: The Alabama mascot.

Follow Steve Petrella on Twitter
@steve_petrella

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