College football rankings: Michigan makes a major case for No. 1

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By Samantha Rose

Michigan hadn’t played anybody.

Then the Wolverines walked into Beaver Stadium and pounded a top-10 Penn State team into the ground.

They did it with 32 straight rushing attempts in the second half, and by asking Heisman hopeful J.J. McCarthy to make just eight pass attempts.

It was not only the best win by any team this season, but evidence that Michigan is the best team in the sport. 


Without their head coach on the sideline and against an outstanding Penn State defense, Michigan all but said out loud: “We’re running the ball, and you are powerless to stop us.”

It’s one thing to turn the passing game into a hood ornament. It’s another to run the ball when a ranked opponent knows you’re going to do just that, yet can’t do much more than get blown off the ball. 

With games left against only Maryland and Ohio State — the College Football Playoff selection committee’s No. 1 team — it’s becoming increasingly difficult to deny that Michigan is the team to beat.

Here are my Top 25 rankings after Week 11.

How Michigan’s defense stopped Drew Allar, Penn State

How Michigan's defense stopped Drew Allar, Penn State

1. Michigan (10-0)

Defeated Penn State, 24-15

Passing for 60 yards and beating a ranked team easily?  It’s a very Michigan thing to do.

2. Georgia (10-0)

Defeated Ole Miss, 52-17

Don’t look now, but Brock Bowers is back, and the Dawgs blew out a top-10 team.

3. Ohio State (10-0)

Defeated Michigan State, 38-3

With more than 100 yards receiving in the game, Ohio State wideout Marvin Harrison Jr., became the first Buckeye to record back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons and tied David Boston for the most 100-yard receiving games by a Buckeye in a career.

4. Washington (10-0)

Defeated Utah, 35-28

The Huskies have ranked wins against all three teams expected to challenge them for the Pac-12 title — Oregon, Utah, USC — and are two wins away from their first perfect regular season since 1991. That was also the year UW won the national title.

Does Washington belong in the CFP?

Does Washington belong in the CFP?

5. Florida State (10-0) 

Defeated Miami, 27-20

The Seminoles pulled out a late victory against a Miami team that didn’t start Tyler Van Dyke at home, remaining one of the five undefeated Power 5 teams in the sport.

6. Oregon (9-1)

Defeated USC, 36-27

Bo Nix passed for 415 yards and four TDs as the Ducks handed the Trojans their fourth loss in their last five games.

7. Texas (9-1)

Defeated TCU, 29-26

In his first game back since the Longhorns’ win against Houston, QB Quinn Ewers threw for 244 yards in the first half.

8. Alabama (9-1)

Defeated Kentucky, 49-21

The Tide clinched the SEC West division title and will play for the SEC Championship against a Georgia team that hasn’t lost a game since 2021.

How Jalen Milroe grew into being a Heisman contender

How Jalen Milroe grew into being a Heisman contender

9. Louisville (9-1)

Defeated Virginia, 31-24

The Cardinals have all but clinched a spot in the ACC title game against FSU. How did the Cardinals lose to Pitt by 17?

10. Penn State (8-2)

Lost to Michigan, 24-15

The Nittany Lions’ only losses are to top 10 opponents Ohio State and Michigan. PSU coach James Franklin is 3-17 against top 10 opponents.

‘We did this for you’ – Michigan acting HC Sherrone Moore gets emotional

'We did this for you' – Michigan acting HC Sherrone Moore gets emotional

11. Ole Miss (8-2) 

Lost to Georgia, 52-17

Ole Miss’ only losses are to Alabama and Georgia.

12. Missouri (8-2)

Defeated Tennessee, 36-7

After trailing early, the Tigers put up 33 points and didn’t allow a UT score. This win does more for Georgia than it does for the Tigers. Missouri’s only losses are to Georgia and LSU.

No. 14 Missouri crushes No. 13 Tennessee

No. 14 Missouri crushes No. 13 Tennessee

13. Oklahoma (8-2)

Defeated West Virginia, 59-20

Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel accounted for a school-record eight TDs in the win.

OU wideout Drake Stoops became the first Sooner with 60 catches in a season since CeeDee Lamb in 2019.

14. Oregon State (8-2) 

Defeated Stanford, 62-17

The Beavers scored 41 points across the second and third quarters against the Cardinal.

15. Iowa (8-2)

Defeated Rutgers, 22-0

The Hawkeyes defense is one of the four best in the sport, and Iowa is a fair-caught punt away from being a one-loss team.

16. Kansas State (7-3)

Defeated Baylor, 59-25

The Wildcats have scored 41 or more in six out of 10 games this season.

17. Utah (7-3) 

Lost to Washington, 35-28

With their third loss in conference play, the Utes’ are a long shot to win their third straight Pac-12 title.

No. 18 Utah vs. No. 5 Washington highlights

No. 18 Utah vs. No. 5 Washington highlights

18. James Madison (10-0)

Defeated Connecticut, 44-6

With a waiver from the NCAA, the Dukes could make a New Year’s Six Bowl in just their second season of FBS play.

19. Tulane (9-1)

Defeated Tulsa, 24-22

The Green Wave’s only loss this season is to Ole Miss.

20. LSU (7-3)

Defeated Florida, 31-24

Jayden Daniels passed for 372 yards and rushed for 234 more. Will he be a Heisman finalist?

21. Arizona (7-3)

Defeated Colorado, 34-31

The Cats have won four straight after beating the Buffs at the buzzer.

Can Arizona be a competitor in the Big 12 next season?

Can Arizona be a competitor in the Big 12 next season?

22. Oklahoma State (7-3)

Lost to UCF, 45-3

Major hangover for the Cowboys, who stumbled badly one week after beating rival Sooners.

23. Kansas (7-3)

Lost to Texas Tech, 16-13

The Jayhawks’ 13-point fourth quarter was too little, too late.

24. Notre Dame (7-3)


Notre Dame plays host to Wake Forest on Nov. 18.

25. Tennessee (7-3)

Lost to Missouri, 36-7

Among several areas in which the Vols fell short, they lost the time-of-possession battle by nearly 40:00-20:00.

RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast “The Number One College Football Show.” Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Young and subscribe to “The RJ Young Show” on YouTube.

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