Where the College Football Playoff stands after Week 11
You'd struggle to find another November weekend with as little impact on the College Football Playoff.
With several games featuring many of the best teams in the Bowl Subdivision canceled due to COVID-19 safety guidelines and protocols, the playoff race pressed pause.
For those teams able to move forward as scheduled, the weekend presented an opportunity. Notre Dame beat Boston College 45-31, showing little signs of a post-Clemson hangover to remain unbeaten. Florida scored 63 points on Arkansas, while quarterback Kyle Trask made another Heisman Trophy statement.
But there are no changes to the top four: Alabama leads, followed the Irish, Ohio State and Clemson.
Alabama running back Trey Sanders tries to avoid Mississippi State tacklers during their game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. (Photo: Gary Cosby Jr, The Tuscaloosa News)
The playoff debate will be rekindled this week, should college football be able to withstand the latest round of coronavirus-caused cancellations and postponements.
That so many schedules have been impacted brings up a question for the playoff selection committee: How will the group compare teams playing different numbers of games across different Power Five conferences?
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Here’s how the top four would look today, followed by the four teams just on the outside:
1. Alabama: For all the worries over how Alabama would replace Tua Tagovailoa, this year's offense is averaging the same points per game (47.2) and a touch more yards per play (7.96 to 7.89) as in 2019.
2. Notre Dame: Ian Book has turned a corner in his last four games, with eight touchdowns without an interception and 18 completions of 20 or more yards. His play has jump-started the Irish offense to balance their strong defense.
3. Ohio State: The Buckeyes haven't lost to Indiana since 1988, dodging a few close calls along the way — including a 52-49 win in 2012 and comebacks from small second-half deficits three times in the past six meetings.
4. Clemson: A struggling running game looks forward to Saturday's meeting with erstwhile rival Florida State, which ranks last in the ACC in yards allowed per carry (5.18) and rushing touchdowns (22).
5. Texas A&M: Owners of a four-game winning streak, A&M hasn't won five consecutive games in a single season since early in 2016 and hasn't won five in a row during conference play since 2010, when the Aggies were in the Big 12.
6. Florida: With 28 touchdowns in six games, Trask is ahead of the pace set by last year's Heisman winner, Joe Burrow, and would almost certainly threaten Burrow's 60 touchdown throws had the Gators been able to play a full season.
7. Cincinnati: The Bearcats' defense has allowed FBS opponents to run for more than 100 yards and pass for more than 100 yards, just not in the same game. In Saturday's 55-17 win against East Carolina, Cincinnati gave up 206 yards on the ground but only 87 yards through the air.
8. Miami (Fla.): Miami continues to inch toward a New Year's Six bowl after beating Virginia Tech 25-24 to move to 7-1, already exceeding the Hurricanes' win total in coach Manny Diaz's first season.
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