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    College Football Power Rankings: Alabama back in top three as Oklahoma, Texas A&M fall sharply – CBS Sports


    1


    Georgia
    There is one undefeated Power Five program left. Tennessee tested the Dawgs in the first half, but UGA rolled to finish out its SEC schedule. It can now tune up against Charleston Southern and Georgia Tech before the SEC Championship Game. Of course, Kirby Smart has probably been working on Alabama stuff since spring practice. — 10-0
    2


    Cincinnati
    Oklahoma’s loss helped, a lot. With only three undefeateds left, Cincinnati has to be seriously considered for the CFP now. Unless the SEC and Big Ten both get two in, how are you going to keep the Bearcats out if they keep winning? Might be a decision between a one-loss Oregon and undefeated Cincinnati. Who ya got? 1 10-0
    3


    Alabama
    That moan (or cheer) you heard was a continent of bettors reacting to the Tide covering the 51.5-point spread with 10 fourth-quarter points against New Mexico State. After a glorified, full-priced (for the fans) scrimmage, it’s back to the real world this week against Arkansas. 1 9-1
    4


    Oregon
    Body of work counts at this stage. Oregon’s body of work includes a two-month-old win over Ohio State that has stood the test of time. That’s enough to keep the Ducks in the top four. Joe Moorhead deserves the Broyles Award for maneuvering Anthony Brown through this season. And how about 635 combined rushing yards the last two weeks? 1 9-1
    5


    Ohio State
    Outside the playoff at this point, for sure. The Buckeyes are clearly the best team in the Big Ten, but they still have to prove it and finish. C.J. Stroud is probably the Heisman Trophy frontrunner, but he still must prove it, too. 1 9-1
    6


    Oklahoma State
    The new frontrunner in the Big 12? The Cowboys have everything in front of them after stifling TCU. OSU can get into the Big 12 Championship Game by winning out against Texas Tech and Oklahoma. At that point, we must talk about playoff contention. 1 9-1
    7


    Michigan
    Clutch, thy name is Wolverine. Budding star Erick All caught the winning touchdown pass at Penn State with less than 3 minutes left. All went into the Michigan State game with 16 catches on the season. In the last two games, he has 14. Michigan remains my sleeper pick for the CFP. 3 9-1
    8


    Michigan State
    The Spartans arrive in Columbus, Ohio, this week with the Big Ten East on the line. The loser is eliminated from the CFP. The winner still has a significant hurdle left. MSU’s key is controlling the clock in The Shoe with Kenneth Walker III. The Buckeyes have won the last four meetings by a combined 129 points. 1 9-1
    9


    Oklahoma
    Lincoln Riley and OU still have everything out in front of them. They can win out and grab the Big 12 for the seventh straight year. The challenge will be convincing the CFP Selection Committee to somehow forget the job Baylor did on them. The last time OU was this inefficient (six points in the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl), offensive coordinator Josh Heupel was fired and Bob Stoops hired Riley. 7 9-1
    10


    Notre Dame
    No Brennan Armstrong, big problem for Virginia. Without one of the nation’s best passers, the Cavaliers had no answer for the methodical Fighting Irish. Cincinnati’s best friend in the CFP race is now 9-1. The Irish have to beat a pair of 3-7 teams, Georgia Tech and Stanford, to get to at least 11 wins for the third time in the last four years. That last happened in 1993. 2 9-1
    11


    Baylor
    Among Dave Aranda’s many accomplishments Saturday was shutting down Oklahoma’s Marvin Mims. In two career games against Baylor, Mims has three catches for 16 yards. The Bears find themselves in the running for a second Big 12 Championship Game berth in three years … with two different coaches! Something special is happening in Central Texas. 3 8-2
    12


    Ole Miss
    Hear me out: Lane Kiffin for SEC Coach of the Year. It could happen. Ol’ Kiff has developed into a program guy, not just an offensive genius who says quirky things. That was a methodical takedown of Texas A&M that puts the Rebels in position for a New Year’s Six bowl. 1 8-2
    13


    Wake Forest
    Wake has taken this basketball-on-grass thing a bit too far. Its games have averaged a combined 88 total points the last six contests. It has been involved in four games this season decided by three points, winning three of them. Another day, another shootout, 45-42 over NC State. 2 9-1
    14


    Iowa
    The most eye-popping stat of the week is Kirk Ferentz getting a $500,000 bonus for winning his eighth game over Minnesota. Quite a haul for essentially going 8-4. Nick Saban got $25,000 for his ninth victory. Tells you something about the expectations at both places. 1 8-2
    15


    Pittsburgh
    Kenny Pickett became the program’s all-time passing leader with 346 yards to beat North Carolina in overtime. More than 30 NFL executives came to Pickett and North Carolina’s Sam Howell. A Wake-Pittsburgh ACC Championship Game is becoming a reality. 1 8-2
    16


    BYU
    Bye. Utah is likely playing for the Pac-12 title. BYU has beaten four Pac-12 teams (including Utah). That incongruous possibility will be solved when the Cougars join the Big 12. The Cougars finish the season by playing Clay Helton’s current team (Georgia Southern) and his former team (USC). 2 8-2
    17


    UTSA
    The Roadrunners pulled away from Southern Miss in the final minutes to stay one of three undefeated in FBS. That means something if, say, Cincinnati happens to lose. It’s a longshot, but do you realize UTSA could be playing in a New Year’s Six bowl? 5 10-0
    18


    Houston
    It’s possible Houston is the most anonymous 9-1 team in the nation. The Cougars clinched a spot in the AAC Championship Game by routing Temple. Cincinnati, tied for the nation’s second-longest winning streak (10), actually is further away, having to still win one game to get there against the Cougars, tied for the third-longest winning streak (nine). 1 9-1
    19


    Texas A&M
    The Aggies still have the receipts from that Alabama win. At this point, that’s the only thing keeping them in the Power Rankings following a disappointing loss at Ole Miss. They went from highest-ranked two-loss team to highest-ranked three-loss team. Molotov, Jimbo. 7 7-3
    20


    Wisconsin
    So, they do grow tailbacks on trees in Madison! The latest, 17-year-old Braelon Allen, ran for 173 yards and three touchdowns against Northwestern. Wisco has won six in a row since stinking it up earlier. NR 7-3
    21


    Arkansas
    Sam Pittman led the Razorbacks to their seventh win in an overtime victory over LSU. That’s the most wins for Arkansas since 2015. If Pittman beats Alabama this week, they’ll build a statue. 2 7-3
    22


    Louisiana
    With Florida perhaps coming open, Billy Napier may have options. A ninth consecutive win kept momentum going for the Ragin’ Cajuns fourth straight appearance in the Sun Belt Championship Game. They have home-field advantage for the first time. 3 9-1
    23


    San Diego State
    The Aztecs seized control of the Mountain West — I love writing that — in beating Nevada. It was another opportunity to watch SDSU’s most valuable player, kicker/punter Matt Araiza. He has two 80 yard punts this year and more than 15 greater than 60 yards. Araiza’s nation-leading 52.2-yard average would the longest in the game in at least 13 years. NR 9-1
    24


    NC State
    Devin Leary threw for 408 yards and four touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Wake Forest. Time to recalculate goals now that the Wolf Pack are all but eliminated from the ACC Atlantic race. Dave Doeren already has won at least seven for the seventh time in eight seasons. 3 7-3
    25


    Utah
    Game of the year for both teams with Oregon coming to town this week. Oregon can clinch the Pac-12 North with one more win or an Oregon State loss. A Utah win would knock the Pac-12 out of the CFP. Does it care? No. The Utes can clinch the South with one more win or an Arizona State loss. NR 7-3

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