The CFN After Week 12 Rankings. Based on head-to-head as well as talent, here’s the latest ranking of all 128 teams.
College Football News Rankings
Things calmed down after a wacky Week 11, but Week 12 seems to have set up everything for a big finishing kick. Welcome to the latest College Football News rankings.
For any complaints or thoughts, hit us at @ColFootballNews
CFN After Week 12 College Football Top 25 Rankings
1. Alabama (11-0)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 1
Final Score: Alabama 31, Chattanooga 3
Up Next: Auburn
Should be lower because … the Tide might be the unquestioned best team in college football, but they haven’t beaten a team with fewer than three losses.
2. Ohio State (10-1)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 2
Final Score: Ohio State 17, Michigan State 16
Up Next: Michigan
Should be higher because … the resume is looking stronger as stronger as Oklahoma looks like the Big 12 champion-to-be and Wisconsin is on the doorstep of taking the B1G West.
Should be lower because … there’s a whole bunch of average over the last several weeks wrapped around a dominant 62-3 blasting over Nebraska. Maybe, just maybe, everyone went overboard on the Maryland blowout. Michigan State was a two-point conversion away from pulling off the shocker.
3. Michigan (10-1)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 3
Final Score: Michigan 20, Indiana 10
Up Next: at Ohio State
Should be higher because … there’s no need to worry about the close call to Indiana. The snow kicked in and the game stalled, but the running game was fun and the defense was great. Buuuuuut …
Should be lower because … uh-oh. John O’Korn struggled way too much for an offense that needed to see a sign of life out of the passing game following the Iowa debacle.
4. Clemson (10-1)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 4
Final Score: Clemson 35, Wake Forest 13
Up Next: South Carolina
Should be higher because … everything’s back to normal now. The Tigers can’t lose to South Carolina, but they really couldn’t lose to Wake Forest. A 21-point first quarter ended that fast.
Should be lower because … that close call against NC State is looking far worse than the actual loss to Pitt. The overall consistency just isn’t there. The Tigers could lose to a team like South Carolina if the mistakes start coming early.
5. Wisconsin (9-2)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 5
Final Score: Wisconsin 49, Purdue 20
Up Next: Minnesota
Should be higher because … the Badgers are starting to blowout the mediocre. While others are sputtering and coughing, Wisconsin’s offensive line appears to have found a groove. The ground game is getting more and more effective. However …
Should be lower because … it helps to play Illinois and Purdue. The passing game is still suspect and Boilermaker QB David Blough had a few too many easy midrange completions early on, and one long bomb. The secondary has faced only one dangerous QB – J.T. Barrett – and lost.
6. Penn State (9-2)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 8
Final Score: Penn State 39, Rutgers 0
Up Next: Michigan State
Should be higher because … it’s all there. The schedule might not be anything great, but the Ohio State win is technically the best victory by anyone this year, and the offense has drilled everyone ever since.
Should be lower because … it can’t be, actually. Six of the ten wins have come over teams that’ll end up going bowling – most likely – including a blasting of Iowa. Now the Nittany Lions just need some help to get its shot at the CFP.
7. Oklahoma (9-2)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 9
Final Score: Oklahoma 56, West Virginia 28
Up Next: Oklahoma State (Dec. 3)
Should be higher because … for any and all doubters about what the offense could do, the Sooners hung up 56 on the board – the D had a little to do with that, too – on the road in one of West Virginia’s biggest games ever. The game was never close, even though the OU O had to roll through the snow.
Should be lower because … the stats don’t matter, but it’s never a positive when the other team’s running back tears off 331 yards. Justin Crawford did just that. It’s not a plus this year that the good wins are over just Big 12 teams.
8. USC (8-3)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 10
Final Score: USC 36, UCLA 14
Up Next: Notre Dame
Should be higher because … the offense has been red hot – even with JuJu Smith-Schuster hurting – with Sam Darnold looking more and more like a special, franchise quarterback to build around. Everything is clicking at just the right time.
Should be lower because … UCLA might get a bowl bid on APR, but unless Arizona State beats Arizona, USC has just two wins over teams sure to go bowling.
9. Washington (10-1)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 11
Final Score: Washington 44, Arizona State 18
Up Next: at Washington State
Should be higher because … that’s how you get past a painful loss. It was a little rocky early against Arizona State, and then the floodgates opened. This was the team everyone was getting used to, but …
Should be lower because … the resume still stinks. Utah, Idaho and Stanford. That’s really it for a team that’s trying to make the argument that it’ll belong in the CFP over a potentially 11-1 Ohio State.
10. Oklahoma State (9-2)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 14
Final Score: Oklahoma State 31, TCU 6
Up Next: at Oklahoma (Dec. 3)
Should be higher because … it would’ve been interesting to have seen what the national viewpoint would’ve been if there wasn’t that Central Michigan anchor. TCU was coming off a two-week rest, and the Cowboys came up with a gem.
Should be lower because … this is actually about right. There’s no getting into the College Football Playoff, but beat Oklahoma, and the Sugar Bowl wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize.
11. Auburn (8-3)
CFN Week 11 Rank:13
Final Score: Auburn 55, Alabama A&M 0
Up Next: at Auburn
Should be higher because … the Tigers needed the relaxing FCS win, and it got it to help get past the stunner against Georgia. They got their key guys some more rest, and now it’s Alabama time. It doesn’t matter, except to potentially screw up the Tide.
Should be lower because … it’s Alabama A&M. 55-0, schmifty-five-nothing. The Tigers still have most of the same issues it had after the Georgia loss.
12. Tennessee (8-3)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 16
Final Score: Tennessee 63, Missouri 27
Up Next: at Vanderbilt
Should be higher because … Joshua Dobbs has taken over the Tennessee season. There might not be an SEC East title on the horizon, but the Vols can still finish with ten wins if Dobbs keeps on playing at the ridiculously high level he’s been at over the last two weeks.
Should be lower because … Missouri doesn’t play any defense, and the Vol defensive front was a nightmare. The Vols might have run for 386 yards and averaged eight yards per pop, but Missouri ran for 420 yards and four scores.
13. Florida (8-2)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 23
Final Score: Florida 16, LSU 10
Up Next: at Florida State
Should be higher because … defense, defense, defense. The offense might have been all about just one big play against LSU, but the defense came up with a stop for the ages. Considering all the injuries, it was a special performance to take the East.
Should be lower because … if you don’t believe in LSU, you don’t believe in that win. That blowout loss to Arkansas was still too fresh, but even so, too bad. You might not like it, but Florida is in the College Football Playoff with two more wins.
14. Colorado (9-2)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 24
Final Score: Colorado 38, Washington State 24
Up Next: Utah
Should be higher because … there we go. Washington State might really be better, but Colorado did its job roaring back in the second half with Sefo Liufau pulling off a thriller. Unlike other Pac-12 teams, now the Buffs have wins over teams that’ll go bowling – Colorado State, Stanford and Wazzu – and there could be a few more after next week.
Should be lower because … it shouldn’t be. The losses to Michigan and USC are only behind Wisconsin’s losses to Michigan and Ohio State as the most acceptable of the season.
15. LSU (6-4)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 6
Final Score: LSU 16, Florida 10
Up Next: at Texas A&M
Should be higher because … LSU would’ve beaten Florida if it had a healthy Leonard Fournette. And Hillary would be president if she won Pennsylvania and Florida. This is still a special team with a great defense that gave up just one massive play.
Should be lower because … at this point, there’s a win over Arkansas, and … ? As good as the Tigers are, the Hogs are the only team they’ve beaten who’s guaranteed to go bowling.
16. Arkansas (7-4)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 17
Final Score: Arkansas 58, Mississippi State 42
Up Next: at Missouri
Should be higher because … this might be a flaky team, but when it’s flaky-good, it’s really, really good. This is still the team that blew out a Florida team that’s two wins away from going to the playoff, and it was good enough to hang 58 on Mississippi State in Starkville.
Should be lower because … this might be a flaky team, but when it’s flaky-bad, it’s really, really bad. The defense did everything possible to allow Mississippi State back in the game, and that blowout loss to Auburn is still too fresh.
17. Nebraska (9-2)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 22
Final Score: Nebraska 28, Maryland 7
Up Next: at Iowa
Should be higher because … yeah, the Huskers still have a shot to get into the playoff. Beat Iowa, hope Minnesota beats Wisconsin, and they’re off to the Big Ten Championship. Win that, and yeah, get in. The O adapted nicely without Tommy Armstrong.
Should be lower because … there just doesn’t seem to be anything special about this team other than its record – and you are what your record is. Ohio State might be very good, but it’s struggling against just about everyone but Maryland and Nebraska. Even against OSU, 62-3 still isn’t okay.
18. Utah (8-3)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 12
Final Score: Oregon 30, Utah 28
Up Next: at Colorado
Should be higher because … the win over USC continues to be the marking point for the Trojans. The Utes actually have some decent wins – most Pac-12 teams can’t say that – and the pop might just be there beat Colorado if the defense can stiffen a bit, but …
Should be lower because … the lost to Cal was bad, and Oregon might be worse. With the Pac-12 title there for the taking by winning out, all the Utes had to do was beat the Ducks to set it all up, and they gagged.
19. West Virginia (8-2)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 15
Final Score: Oklahoma 56, West Virginia 28
Up Next: at Iowa State
Should be higher because … this is still a good team that had a bad day. It didn’t quit, even when nothing went right and Oklahoma was rolling. Justin Crawford’s 331 yards were impressive, even if it was all hopeless after the first quarter.
Should be lower because … there aren’t any really good wins anymore. BYU and Kansas State – there are your victories over bowl bound teams. Texas is the third-best win. Yay.
20. Virginia Tech (8-3)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 18
Final Score: Virginia Tech 34, Notre Dame 31
Up Next: Virginia
Should be higher because … here you go, Hokies. Beat Virginia, and you get the shot at Clemson for the ACC title. It might have been against Notre Dame, but give them credit for steamrolling back with a brilliant day from Jerod Evans.
Should be lower because … there are still too many brain-cramps along the way to being a game away from playing for the ACC title. If they beat Virginia and Clemson, there will be plenty of hand-wringing over the losses to Syracuse and Georgia Tech.
21. North Carolina (8-3)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 20
Final Score: Duke 28, North Carolina 27
Up Next: NC State
Should be higher because … there’s still a shot to play for the ACC title. Beat NC State, get a Virginia Tech loss to Virginia, and it’s Clemson rematch time. The Citadel might be an FCS team, but it was unbeaten – the Tar Heels rolled at will.
Should be lower because … the defense still has way too many question marks. However, the better overall resume is better than Virginia Tech’s, even with the head-to-head loss.
22. Houston (9-2)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 56
Final Score: Houston 36, Louisville 10
Up Next: at Memphis
Should be higher because … whooooaa. Considering Louisville was the one needing to make a statement, it was destroyed by the Houston defensive front in a breathtaking game. That’s the Houston team everyone wanted to see, and now it has two wins over top five teams (Oklahoma, Louisville).
Should be lower because … SMU 38, Houston 16. Next.
23. Louisville (9-2)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 7
Final Score: Houston 36, Louisville 10
Up Next: Kentucky
Should be higher because … the overall body of offensive work is still impressive. When this team has been humming this year, it’s been one of college football’s biggest stories. It was one really, really bad performance in Houston. Really, really bad. That might not be the real Louisville. But …
Should be lower because … it just might be. The Cardinals had one amazing half against Florida State, and it beat Wake Forest. Those remain the only two wins over teams likely to go bowling.
24. Florida State (8-3)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 21
Final Score: Florida State 45, Syracuse 14
Up Next: Florida
Should be higher because … it’s too late, but the Seminoles are looking incredible. The offense has been unstoppable over the last few weeks, and while the wins only came against Boston College and Syracuse, the team could’ve quit, and didn’t.
Should be lower because … it’s not. It’s actually too low, but beating NC State, Boston College and Syracuse is nothing to get excited about. Beat Florida, and everything changes.
25. Texas A&M (8-3)
CFN Week 11 Rank: 25
Final Score: Texas A&M 23, UTSA 10
Up Next: LSU
Should be higher because … the UTSA win was a bit better than it might appear – don’t get into a twist over the 23-10 final score. It might be a different Aggie team now, but the overall body of work is still impressive.
Should be lower because … UTSA is okay, but it would’ve been nice to have come up with something bigger after the disastrous previous four weeks. Beat LSU, and none of that will matter.