Photographs by Associated Press
Miami defensive back Jaquan Johnson (4) celebrates after intercepting Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Sunday, November 12, 2017
FAYETTEVILLE Tom Murphy breaks down his latest Associated Press Top 25 ballot.
4 Miami, Fla.
8 Oklahoma State
9 Penn State
11 Ohio State
12 Notre Dame
15 Central Florida
17 Mississippi State
19 Washington State
21 N.C. State
22 Virginia Tech
23 South Florida
Dropped out: Michigan State, Iowa, Iowa State
Massacres in the top 10 shook up Week 11.
Auburn, Oklahoma and Miami all took down fellow top 10 teams in impressive fashion. Auburn wiped out unworthy No. 1 Georgia 40-17. Let's be real here. The College Football Playoff committee's willingness to slot the Dogs at No. 1 makes that body just as "out there" as that crazy AP voter you take offense to from time to time. That means they're just like you and me.
Now, Alabama did not look like a No. 1 team in Starkville and a large reason for that can be attributed to the attrition on their defense. Auburn will undoubtedly rack up some yards and points on that defense in a couple of weeks.
Wisconsin and Miami just keep plugging away, beating all in their path. So they're Nos. 3 and 4 for me this week. Oklahoma was very impressive in the first half of its 38-20 home win against TCU. The Sooners should stay clean into the Big 12 championship game, likely a rematch with the Horned Frogs.
The Badgers close with a home game against Michigan, which has been flying low since getting blown out by Penn State. If the Hurricanes can stay unbeaten vs. Virginia and at Pitt, they'll take on No. 2 Clemson in what will surely be a winner-makes-the-playoff ACC title game.
My top two- and three-loss teams are both from the SEC. No. 6 Auburn is one inexplicable second half at LSU away from nipping at Alabama's heels. The Tigers have a path to the playoff.
Mississippi State gave Alabama a great run and checks in at No. 17 as my top three-loss team heading into a road game at Arkansas.
Thanks to Notre Dame's loss, at least three Power 5 conferences should put a team in the playoff. One of them won't be the Pac 12, which has simply run out of time and contenders.
At No. 15, Central Florida is just ahead of No. 16 Memphis, whom the Knights beat 40-13, for the top spot among Group of 5 teams. UCF hosts No. 23 South Florida in a critical game on Nov. 24 and maybe they can draw a respectable crowd.
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