The Big LeadThe Big Lead

College Football Playoff Rankings After Week 11

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 09: Tanner Morgan #2 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers throws the ball for a gain in the fourth quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at TCFBank Stadium on November 9, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions 31-26 to remain undefeated.(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

There's a clear top dog in college football. LSU, which arguably should have been No. 1 headed into the Game of the Century of the Year against Alabama, showed a superiority and poise rarely on display at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Anyone paying any attention should be as excited as Coach O about this team and all its objective attractiveness as a protagonist.

After that, though, discerning the College Football Playoff rankings becomes a sketchier proposition. That tends to happen when 50 percent of the top four lose on a single Saturday. But nothing great was every done without taking risk, so let's try anyway.

1. LSU

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 09: Head coach Ed Orgeron of the LSU Tigers reacts after the Tigers recovered a fumble during the first half against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Number one with a bullet. The Tigers usurped SEC West supremacy and made a Nick Saban defense look like a sieve. Joe Burrow's Heisman Trophy campaign could probably survive a Gary Hart-like scandal at this point. As a team, LSU could probably survive losing the conference championship game and still get in. No one in the country comes close to the quality wins Ed Orgeron's side has (at Texas, at Bama, Florida). No team may come close by regular season's end.

2. Ohio State

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 9:  J.K. Dobbins #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes scores on a 7-yard touchdown run in the second quarter as Marcus Lewis #8 of the Maryland Terrapins defends at Ohio Stadium on November 9, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Just another day at the office for the Buckeyes, who could name their score against Maryland and settled on 73-14. Ryan Day's club has yet to be involved in a competitive game and, by eye test, is the most fearsome. The loss of Chase Young won't matter next week against Rutgers (TRIPLE DIGIT WATCH, FOLKS) but could against Penn State and Michigan. Nothing this year has raised any doubts about OSU's greatness and they have a spot as long as it stays that way.

3. Clemson

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 09: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers drops back to pass against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

All of that handwringing over the Tigers entry into the rankings at No. 5 was a pretty silly, right? Now they'll be third, where they belong. Honestly, I'm not sure if I've ever been less interested in the discourse surrounding a topic. The Tigers are in if they win out, and not if they don't.

4. Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 09: DeVonta Smith #6 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half against the LSU Tigers in the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

They are the best one-loss team and that loss came to the No. 1 team in the country. We've all grown tired of the community creating backdoor scenarios for the Tide to make it into the playoff despite not winning the SEC, so it's important to point out that this is basically a placeholder. Barring something unforeseen, the Tide will only be able to add an Auburn victory to their resume. Minnesota, Georgia, Utah, Oregon, and perhaps even Oklahoma have the ability to leapfrog them with marquee wins. Bama does not control its destiny in the slightest so this is a very hollow ranking.

5. Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 09: Minnesota Golden Gophers and fans take the field while hoisting the Governor's Victory Bell after defeating the Penn State Nittany Lions 31-26 to remain undefeated at TCFBank Stadium on November 9, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Cry all you want about how the Gophers haven't played anyone. They passed their first big test of the season in flying colors and have won all their games in a Big Boy conference. Remaining dates with Iowa, Wisconsin, and likely Ohio State will flesh out if P.J. Fleck's energetic guys are pretenders or contenders.

6. Georgia

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 9: D'Andre Swift #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs rushes during the second half of a game against the Missouri Tigers at Sanford Stadium on November 9, 2019 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Bulldogs play a suffocating brand of defense but the offense has been a work in progress all season. Kirby Smart's team is in good position for a win-and-your in game against LSU in Atlanta. There are worse paths.

7. Oregon

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 02:  Quarterback Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks back to pass the ball against the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
Oregon v USC | Leon Bennett/Getty Images

A brutally-physical roster imposes its will on opponents. Choking away perfection against Auburn in Week 1 will likely prove to be fatal to their CFB Playoff hopes, but the Ducks will be a matchup problem if they get in.

8. Oklahoma

NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 9:  Quarterback Jalen Hurts #1 of the Oklahoma Sooners heads out of bounds just shy of the end zone against defensive back Tayvonn Kyle #10 of the Iowa State Cyclones late in the second quarter on November 9, 2019 at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners won 42-41.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The Sooners needed a stop on a two-point play to beat Iowa State and, once again, are porous defensively. There's still some hope in Norman, but it's extremely slim.

The rest, who probably need miracles but we'll include anyway:

No. 9 Utah

No. 10 Penn State

No. 11 Florida

No. 12 Baylor