Winning in the ugly is still winning

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college football rankings

The new college football rankings after week 10 saw Michigan State and Wake Forest fall from the ranks of the unbeaten and Alabama and Cincinnati survived upset offers.

The first Georgia (9-0) beat Missouri 43-6

Missouri effectively led this 3-0 match for a brief moment by sending alarm bells across the Athens metropolitan area. All right. The Dawgs improved to 9-0 and scored 43 of the next 46 points in the process. Stetson Bennett made some great plays in the passing game and JT Daniels also got some time for the first time in a long time. Expect Kirby Smart to give him a little more time and speed up his business basically to see how his health handles it. Smart has already messed with the quarterbacks, but this time he wants to make sure he avoids it. He’ll want to keep Daniels busy in case he needs to call him out of the bullpen to win a match in the SEC championship game or playoffs later this year.

Next: in Tennessee

2. Alabama beat LSU 20-14

There were no style points awarded for Alabama’s six-point victory over LSU. This was one of the worst games Alabama has played all year and could have lost if it weren’t for Will Anderson not being blocked by the edge. The outside linebacker had 12 tackles, 4 tackles per loss and 1.5 sacks. Bryce Young went over 300 yards and had two touchdowns, but there was a lot to work on for Alabama to finish the year on a high note and try to upset Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. Alabama is the No. 2 in the country, but this may be the worst team Saban has had in a decade.

Next: against the state of New Mexico

3rd Ohio State (8-1) beat Nebraska 26-17

This game got a bit risky towards the end of the fourth quarter. Nebraska played hard in Ohio State, but this has had the same result as so many previous Huskers games. Nebraska plays competitively, makes things stressful for the opponent and his fans and ends up losing by a single amount. This sums up the Scott Frost era. CJ Stroud threw more than 400 yards, but it wasn’t necessarily a good game. He made some bad shots and decisions that led to turnovers. He kept Nebraska in the game at the end and left Ohio State needing to make a late field goal. Ohio State prevailed but they would lose a game to a better opponent, which they will see later this year with Michigan State and Michigan looming. Plus, they have the giant Purdue killer coming to Columbus next week. The Boilers ruined a path for the Buckeyes title in 2018 and have already won on the No. 2 Iowa and No. 3 State of Michigan this year.

Next: against Purdue

4. Oklahoma (8-0) inactive

Sometimes the best thing you can do to climb the college football rankings is to take a week off and let others lose. This is what happened with Oklahoma enjoying their week off and seeing Michigan State and Wake Forest fall from the ranks of the unbeaten. Along with Cincinnati’s close call, Oklahoma has a chance to get past two teams and get some separation behind them. The best version of Oklahoma has yet to fully reveal itself after the change of quarterback from Spencer Rattler to Caleb Williams. Fully expect it to come to the fore in the next month and the hardest part of the Sooners program awaits. The Sooners will go to Baylor next week after the Bears lost to TCU this week. Then, they host the state of Iowa before traveling to Stillwater for Bedlam.

Next: in Baylor

5. Oregon (8-1) beat Washington 26-16

Travis Dye ran more than 200 yards to accelerate Oregon’s offensive attack on Washington in sloppy conditions. Washington State, Utah, and Oregon were left on schedule and then an appearance on the Pac-12 Championship Game. Can they manage the table? Even if they do, there is potential for the playoff committee to move Ohio State ahead of them despite the heads-up victory due to the better strength of the Buckeyes program. Stanford beating Oregon and then laying an absolute egg Friday night against Utah will not make their defeat of quality.

Next: Against Washington State

6. Cincinnati (9-0) beat Tulsa 28-20

Deep breath. Inside and outside. In and hold for three and out for three. Ok, are you feeling better? Nice and calm after that ordeal? Cincinnati nearly wasted its perfect season and a chance for a playoff spot against Tulsa, but managed to hold out for a matter of inches. After tinkering the ball in Tulsa in the final minute to give the Golden Hurricane a second chance to force overtime, Cincinnati forced a fumble on the goal line on the fourth down to preserve the win and keep the dream season alive. After entering at no. 6 in the early playoff standings, certainly won’t be enough to impress the playoff committee, but a win is a win and they will benefit with the defeat of the State of Michigan. The margin of error is more subtle than a flying wing and the Bearcats missed the opportunity for some style points.

Next: at the USF (11/12)

7. Michigan (8-1) beat Indiana 29-7

The Wolverines rebounded after last week’s fourth quarter slump against the state of Michigan. Thankfully, Indiana was scheduled for an easy win this week. Hassan Haskins led the Michigan offensive offensive, running more than 160 yards. Cade McNamara was consistent with a couple of touchdowns and playing football with no mistakes. Luke Schoonmaker was the beneficiary of McNamara’s strikes, scoring two touchdowns. Michigan heads to Happy Valley next week for a big test against a Penn State team that isn’t good enough this year, but it won’t be easy either.

Next: at Penn State

8. Notre Dame (8-1) beat Navy 34-6

Notre Dame is one of the difficult teams to understand this year. Their record suggests they are one of the top 10 teams in the nation. Looking beyond the box score and their record, they could be an above average team rather than a team with a chance to do the College Football Playoff for the second consecutive year and third time in total. The attack can seem like a disaster at times, but when Kyren Williams brings the ball you forget any problems in the passing game and are mesmerized by her ability to miss defenders and her ability to run away from them. Virginia, Georgia Tech and Stanford remain on the schedule and the Irish will be big favorites in all of them. Could a Notre Dame team with a single defeat blow some of the Big Ten teams in front of them and sneak in? Irish fans better cheer on the chaos of Big Ten, Cincinnati and Oklahoma to fall. A lot has to happen, but some of it can happen.

Next: in Virginia

9. Oklahoma State (8-1) beat West Virginia 24-3

Anyone outside Stillwater noticing Mike Gundy’s team? I don’t think they are. Quietly, Poke are 8-1 and have had no problem putting West Virginia away. And they did it with their defense which allowed only a meager field goal. Spencer Sanders threw a couple of touchdowns at Tay Martin, but it was eight sacks since the Oklahoma State defense that was the biggest takeaway and reason to believe they can beat Oklahoma for the Big 12 title. They will have to beat them twice, however, to have a chance in the playoffs.

Next: against TCU

10. Texas A&M (7-2) beat Auburn 20-3

I could have gone with one of the undefeated teams to lose this weekend, but Michigan State and Wake Forest aren’t doing it for me this week. At least for this week, Texas A&M gets approval to enter the top 10 after winning the state in Alabama. After beating Alabama earlier this year, the Aggies added a win over Auburn to wipe out the state. If only they hadn’t had those two nagging losses, this could be a special year for Texas A&M. Alas, they got a big win in recruiting by getting the No. 2 are recruiting Walter Nolen to commit before the game, so they’ve scored two wins this weekend.

Next: against Ole Miss

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