Week 10 in College Football brought us our first look at the ranking from the College Football Playoff Committee. Beforehand, the ranking had been done by journalists from the AP, but now the “experts” were in charge. They made a few clear differences from what we have seen during the season.
According to the CFP, the number 1 ranked team is Ohio State, while Georgia is at number 2. Michigan is the third best, and Florida State is the fourth.
The rankings were given out for the Top 25, and for the first time this season, we will not be seeing Drake Maye and the North Carolina Tar Heels as they were not ranked in the 25.
So, with these new rankings, let’s look back at what happened in Week 10 of the 2023 season.
Longhorns Hold On
The number 7 ranked Texas Longhorns are still holding on to contention for the College Football playoffs. After their defeat to Oklahoma at Red River, they have won all their games since and will need to win the rest of their games to stay in contention. They will have to do it, at least for 2 more weeks, without quarterback Quinn Ewers, who is still out with an injury. However, Maalik Murphy is doing a good job. Their opponents this week were the number 23-ranked Kansas State Wildcats. Can the Longhorns continue this strong form?
The Longhorns would have the opening possession of the game, but would not be able to do anything
major with this possession and quickly punted the ball to the Wildcats. However, the Longhorns would have a lot more success from their next drive. Taking full advantage of a poor punt from Kansas State, Texas would start this drive from the Wildcats’ 47-yard line. Longhorns running back Jonathon Brooks would advance the offense down to the 37-yard line. From there, Longhorns quarterback Maalik Murphy would find Adonai Mitchell for a 37-yard touchdown pass to give the Longhorns an early lead.
Texas would soon be able to add to this lead. The Murphy lead offense would again quickly find themselves into Kansas-State territory and then would be able to make it down to the Wildcats’14-yard line. The drive would stall here, setting up Longhorns kicker Bert Auburn with a 32-yard field goal attempt. He would be successful with this attempt and the Longhorns lead would be 10 points.
The 10-point lead became 17 points after the next Longhorns drive. Unlike their previous two drives, the Texas offense struggled to make it out of their own territory. It would then be a 4th down attempt from their 46-yard line. From here, Longhorns running back CJ Baxter would rush for 54 yards and find the endzone for the touchdown.
Texas would then make a mistake. On their next drive, the Longhorns would be able to make it out of their territory and down to the Wildcats 36-yard line. Then, Murphy’s pass would be intercepted by the Kansas State defense. Luckily for Texas, the Wildcats were unable to do anything with the ball, and quickly punted the ball back to the Longhorns.
The Longhorns would try again to score on their next drive. Shaking off the interception, the offense would make it down to the Wildcats’12-yard line, where their drive stalled. Texas did decide to go for it on 4th down. But, Savion Red would fumble the ball on the play. He would recover it, but the Longhorns would turnover possession on downs on this play rather than a fumble.Embed from Getty Images
You may be wondering why I have only mentioned the Longhorns drives so far. It is because the Kansas State offense has not been able to do anything. In the first half, the Wildcats’ have had 6 drives, and have gained a total of 22 yards on offense. Every drive that they have done has ended in a punt, and after last week’s Giants-Jets game, I am tired of punts. Fortunately, the Wildcats’ offense finally started up near the end of the first half. From the Longhorns’ 42-yard line, the Wildcats, led by quarterback Will Howard were able to make it down into the Texas redzone for the first time in this game. Then, from the 6-yard line, Howard would find Philip Brooks for a 6-yard touchdown pass to give the Wildcats their first points of the game.
Halftime would follow this, meaning that the Longhorns had a 17-7 lead over the Wildcats at the break.
The second half would not start well for the Wildcats. After their success at the end of the first half, it felt like they had regressed. From their 34-yard line, Howard’s pass would be intercepted by the Longhorns’ defense. Luckily for Kansas State, Texas was unable to do anything with this possession.
On their next drive, the Wildcats would make another mistake. Howard would be sacked and then fumble the ball on the 5-yard line. This would be scooped up by the Longhorns, who would easily find the endzone on the next play of the game. Jonathon Brooks would score the 5-yard rushing touchdown to increase the Longhorns lead. The lead would be made even bigger from the next Texas drive. The Murphy lead offense would stall at the Wildcats’ 31-yard line, setting up Auburn with a 49-yard field goal attempt which he would successfully make.
But then, just like that, the match completely changed. The Wildcats would have the ball next and would be able to drive down to the Longhorns 26-yard line. From there, Howard, shaking off his fumble and interception of the previous two drives, would find Brooks for the second time in this game for a 26-yard touchdown pass.
Then, something weird would happen. Murphy would be intercepted for the second time in this game, deep in his territory. His pass was intercepted by Jacob Parrish, who would fumble the ball, only for it to be recovered by another Kansas State defender. After all this craziness, the Wildcats started their next drive on the Longhorns’ 12-yard line, and with a very good chance to score another touchdown to make this game a one-possession game.
That is what they did. Howard would find Kegan Johnson for the 12-yard touchdown pass. How did Texas respond? Another mistake. At the Longhorns 34-yard line, Brooks would fumble the ball, and it would be recovered by the Wildcats. Then, on the next play of the game, Howard would find Jayce Brown for a 32-yard touchdown pass to tie the game. Kansas State then decided to attempt a two-point conversion. This failed, and the scores remained level, which considering how the Wildcats started this game, is surprising.
The Longhorns would be able to shake off all of the previous mistakes that had lost them their lead and construct a decent drive, which took them down to the Wildcats 16-yard line. However, they stalled here, and Auburn would successfully kick a 34-yard field goal to retake the lead. In reply to this, the Wildcats also had a strong drive that stalled in the opposition red zone. This would set up a 27-yard field goal attempt for Wildcats kicker Chris Tennant. He would be unsuccessful with this. Texas would punt on their next drive, allowing the Wildcats a chance to win the game. What would they do?
Starting from their 40-yard line, Howard and company drove down to the Longhorns’ 27-yard line, before their drive stalled. This setup Tennant with a 45-yard field goal attempt to tie the game. He would be successful with this, meaning that we would be going to overtime in Austin.
I have said this before, but I do love the overtime procedure in College Football. The Longhorns had the opening possession of overtime but struggled to move away from the 25-yard line. This set up Bert Auburn with a 42-yard field goal attempt which he would be successful with. This would mean that the Wildcats needed a touchdown to win the game.
From the Longhorns’ 25-yard line, Howard moved his offense down to the 4-yard line. He would stall here. But, Kansas State decided to go for a 4th down attempt. This would be the last play of the game. Make the touchdown and the Wildcats have a victory that nobody saw coming after the first half. Howards’s pass was incomplete. The Longhorns had held on.
The number 7 ranked Texas Longhorns had defeated the number 23 ranked Kansas State Wildcats 33-30.
This game was a lot closer than I imagined it would be. The victory improves the Longhorns to 8-1 for the season and puts them in pole position in the conference. This victory will also help their quest for a College Football Playoff spot. I do think that if one of the unbeaten teams slips up, Texas or Washington should take the spot. For the Wildcats, what a final quarter performance from them. The defeat does put them 6-3 for the season. Next week, Texas faces last year’s national championship runners-up TCU, while the Wildcats face Baylor.
The Number 2 Ranked Bulldogs?
For the first time this season, the Georgia Bulldogs are not the number-one-ranked team in the country. The Committee disagreed with the AP Poll and ranked the Bulldogs at number 2. Georgia are still undefeated and will hope to continue that form against the number 12-ranked Missouri Tigers, who have been playing some good football this season. So, who would win this game?
The Bulldogs would have the opening drive of the game and would be able to find some points from it. From their 20-yard line, Bulldogs quarterback Carson Beck led his offense down to the Tigers’ 20-yard line. Beck would then be sacked, and the drive would stall at the 15-yard line. From there, Bulldogs quicker Peyton Woodring would successfully attempt a 33-yard field goal to give Georgia the early lead.
In reply to this, the Tigers were also able to put points on the board. In a drive that started at their 25-yard line, Tigers’ quarterback Brady Cook was able to move the Missouri offense down to the Bulldogs’39-yard line. From there, Cook would find Luther Burden III for a 39-yard touchdown pass to take the lead from Georgia.Embed from Getty Images
However, this lead did not last long. Starting from their 30-yard line, the Bulldogs were able to slowly make their way down into the Tigers’ red zone and down to the 6-yard line, Here, Beck would throw the touchdown pass to Dominic Lovett to retake the lead from Missouri. After two punts, Missouri would have possession and would make their way down to the Bulldogs’ 19-yard line. The Tigers would not be able to go any further than this, setting up Missouri kicker Harrison Mevis with a 37-yard field goal attempt. He would be successful with this, and the scores would be tied.
The rest of the half was not great. 4 drives that ended in punts with a total of 13 yards on offense. This meant that as the teams returned to the locker rooms for halftime, the Tigers and the Bulldogs would be tied at 10-10.
Missouri would have the opening possession of the second half, and as the Bulldogs did in the first half, the Tigers were able to put points on the board to extend their lead. The Tigers quickly made it down to the Bulldogs’ red zone. But then, on a 3rd down attempt from the 15-yard line, Cook would be sacked, moving the Tigers offense out of the redzone and to the 24-yard line. This set up Mevis with a 42-yard field goal, which he would successfully make to hand the lead back to the Tigers.
This lead would last for about 3 minutes. In reply to the Tigers’ field goal, the Bulldogs’ offense quickly made it into the Tigers’ territory and then down to their red zone. They were aided by two penalties against the Missouri defense, but these were for minimal yardage. Then, from the Tigers’15-yard line, Kendall Milton would be handed the ball and would find the endzone for a rushing touchdown for the Bulldogs who retook the lead from this play.
On their next drive, Georgia would be able to extend their lead. Starting from their 33-yard line, the Bulldogs offense were able to easily make it down deep into the Tigers’ red zone and then to the 5-yard line. From there, Beck would find Oscar Delp for the touchdown pass to increase the Bulldogs’ lead over the Tigers to 10 points.
However, immediately after the lead was extended, it would be reduced. On the first play of the Tigers; drive, there was a face mask penalty against the Bulldogs. This moved the Tigers up to their 42-yard line. They would struggle to move from here, but on an important 3rd down attempt as the final quarter started, Cook would find Mookie Cooper for an 11-yard pass to keep the drive alive. After this, the Cook-led offense was able to make its way down to the Bulldogs 12-yard line, From here, Tigers’ running back Cody Shrader would record a 12-yard rushing touchdown to keep Missouri in the game. After the touchdown, they decided to attempt a two-point conversion attempt. They would be successful with this, and Georgia’s lead would be cut to 3 points.
The Bulldogs would have the next possession of the game, with the hope of extending their narrow lead. Carson Beck and company drove the ball down the field, aided by a pass interference penalty against the Tigers’ defense, and reached the Missouri 12-yard line. However, the drive would stall here, setting up Woodring with a 30-yard field goal attempt, which he would be successful with. This extended the Bulldogs’ lead to a still uncomfortable 6 points. What would Missouri do in reply?
The Tiger’s drive began at their 30-yard line, and the offense was able to make it to the 50-yard line. But then, Brady Cook made his first mistake of the game, Cook’s pass was intercepted by Nazir Stackhouse, who would return the ball to the Missouri 5-yard line. Luckily for the Tigers, there was a penalty against the Bulldogs on this play, so while they would keep possession, the drive would not start at the Tigers’ 5-yard line, but at their 30-yard line.Embed from Getty Images
This would make a little difference in the result of the drive. From the 30-yard line, the Bulldogs were able to quickly move the ball down to the Tigers’ 30-yard line. The Bulldogs drive would stall here and Woodring would kick the 48-yard field goal to all but seal the game for Georgia. If they started at the 5-yard line, it is more than likely that the Bulldogs would have scored a touchdown, but as only a field goal was scored, the Tigers still have a chance of victory, a slim chance, but a chance none the least. All they had to do was score quickly and then get back the ball.
In reality, that did not happen. The Tigers struggled to get out of their own half, but eventually made it to the 50-yard line, History would then repeat itself as Cook’s pass was intercepted, and the game was all but over. As time ran out, the number 2 ranked Georgia Bulldogs had defeated the number 12 ranked Missouri Tigers 30-21.
This victory keeps the unbeaten season alive and moved Georgia to 9-0 for the season. The College Football Selection Committee decided that they were the second-best team last week (and rightfully so in my eyes). This week, I think that they will return to the top spot. As for Missouri, Brady Cook literally threw the game away for them, as they fall to a still respectable 7-2 for the season. Next week, Georgia welcomes another strong team in Ole Miss to Athens, while the Tigers face Tennessee.
Bedlam in Oklahoma
Last week, the number 9 ranked Oklahoma Sooners recorded their first loss of the season against Kansas. With the Texas Longhorns and a lot of other Big-12 teams winning that week, this opened up the conference. This week, the Sooners would face their inter-state rivals, the number 22-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys. This is the last time that the Bedlam Series as it is known would be played as the Sooners move to the SEC next season. So, would this game be Bedlam or will we all go the bed in boredom?
It would be the Cowboys who would have the opening possession of the game and would waste no time in scoring. In a drive that started from their 25-yard line, Cowboys quarterback Alan Bowman would quickly lead his offense down to the edge of the Sooners’ red zone at the 20-yard line. From there, Cowboys running back Ollie Gordon II would find the endzone and record a 20-yard rushing touchdown to give Oklahoma State the early lead.
The Cowboys’ early lead did not last long. In reply to the Cowboys touchdown, the Sooners offense quickly made it down to their 36-yard line, From here, Sooners running back Gavin Sawchuk found the end zone from a 64-yard run, removing the Cowboys lead as soon as they gained it.
However, the Sooners would then make a massive mistake. From a drive that started at their 2-yard, Oklahoma would struggle to move out of their 20-yard line. Then, Sooners quarterback Dilon Gabriel threw a 49-yard pass to Nic Anderson to move them into the Cowboys territory and down to the 34-yard line. However, then an error would be made. Jovantae Barnes would lose 9 yards on a rushing attempt. He would also lose the ball, as he fumbled it. The ball would then be scooped up by the Cowboys’ defense.Embed from Getty Images
In reply to this, the Cowboys’ offense would drive down to the Sooners 13-yard line. From there, Bowman would run into the endzone for the rushing touchdown to allow Oklahoma State to retake the lead. This lead would be extended on their next drive. The Cowboys would be able to make it down to the Sooners’19-yard line, where their drive would stall. This set up Cowboys’ kicker Alex Hale with a 36-yard field goal attempt, which he would be successful with.
The Sooners struck back immediately. After their earlier fumble, the offense was able to make their way down into the Cowboys’ 6-yard line. From here, Gabriel would find Drake Stoops for the touchdown pass to close the lead to 3 points.
Then, another mistake would happen after the Cowboys drive. Their drive started on their 9-yard line but struggled to move the ball. They were able to make it to the 11-yard line before punting to the Sooners. Then, the Sooners’ returner would fumble the ball but would be able to regain possession of the ball. However, while the Sooners kept possession, they could not gain any points from this drive. They would make it down to the Cowboys’ 33-yard line before the drive stalled. This set up Sooners kicker Zach Schmit with a 51-yard field goal to tie the game. He would miss. Nothing else happened to end the first half, which meant that at halftime, the Cowboys would have a 17-14 lead over the Sooners.
Oklahoma would have the opening possession of the second half, but would not have it for long. On the 3rd play of the drive from their 44-yard line, Gabriel’s pass would be intercepted by the Cowboys’ defense. In response to this, the Bowman lead offense was able to make their way down to the Sooners’16-yard line. They then decided to attempt a 4th down conversion, as they only needed one yard to keep the drive going. Ollie Gordon’s run was unsuccessful, and possession was handed back to the Sooners.
After their offense woes, the Sooners were able to score on their next drive. From the 16-yard line, Gabriel and company were able to drive down to the Cowboys’ 23-yard line, From here Tawee Walker would find the endzone for a 23-yard rushing touchdown to hand the lead back to the Sooners.Embed from Getty Images
Things would get better for the Sooners soon after. At the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Cowboys had made it into the Sooners’ territory and down to the 28-yard line, But then, Olle Gordon’s pass was intercepted by the Oklahoma defense. However, luckily for the Cowboys, the Sooners could not do anything with the ball.
While the Sooners struggled on offense, the Cowboys were returning to their strong form that we have seen all game. Their next drive would be successful. The drive started from their 3-yard line, and Bowman and company were able to drive the ball down the whole field before ending up at the Sooners’ one-yard line. From here, Ollie Gordan would find the endzone with a one-yard run to put the Cowboys back into the lead.
Oklahoma would then make another mistake. On the first play of their drive on their own 20-yard line, Dilon Gabriel fumbled the ball, which would be immediately scooped up by the Cowboys’ defense. In reply to this, the Cowboys were unable to convert the good field position into a touchdown, but Alex Hale did kick a 34-yard field goal to put Oklahoma State 6 points into the lead. How would the Sooners respond?
On their drive, the Sooners would quickly make their way into the Cowboys’ red zone aided by a 46-yard pass from Gabriel to Jalil Farooq. However, the Sooners’ drive would stall here, resulting in a 36-yard field goal attempt to Schmit. He would be successful with this, and the lead was reduced to 3 points. The Cowboys punted on their next drive, meaning that Oklahoma was given the chance to win the game from this drive. Could they do it?
The Sooners would struggle to move the ball on this drive but were able to make it to their 46-yard line for a vital 4th down conversion attempt. They had to find 5 yards, or it would be game over. Gabriel would find Drake Stoops in this play. For a 3-yard pass.
The number 22 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys had defeated the number 9 ranked Oklahoma Sooners 27-24.
For the Sooners, this more or less ends their attempt at trying to make the College Football Playoffs unless a lot of the unbeaten teams lose the rest of the games. The defeat also gives full advantage to the Texas Longhorns in the Big 12. For the Cowboys, this is a good win for them and they improve to 7-2 on the season. Next week, the Sooners will hope to return to winning ways against West Virginia, while the Cowboys face Big-12 new boys UCF.
What Happened to the Other Ranked Teams?
#1 Ohio State @ Rutgers
The new number 1 side in the country, the Ohio State Buckeyes traveled to New Jersey to face the bowl-eligible Rutgers Scarlet Knights. At halftime, due to 3 Jai Patel field goals in the second quarter, the Scarlet Knights were leading this game. But this lead did not last long, with 2 touchdowns from Buckeyes quarterback Kyle McCord to star running back Marvin Harrison Jr giving Ohio State a 35-16 victory. The question is, will the committee think that beating Rutgers is better than Georgia defeating ranked Missouri?
Purdue @ #3 Michigan
The number 3 ranked Michigan Wolverines faced another easy test as they faced the Purdue Boilermakers. Michigan is currently under investigation by the NCAA for alleged sign stealing. We still do not know the result of this investigation, but if we use other sports examples if found guilty, they probably will only get a slap on the wrist (looking at you Houston Astros). The NCAA is probably more brutal than the MLB. On the field, Michigan demolished Purdue 41-13 to keep their undefeated season alive. Bring on Ohio State.
#4 Florida State @ Pittsburgh
The number 4 ranked Florida State Seminoles hoped to continue their undefeated season this week against the Pittsburgh Panthers. After going behind early in the second quarter, the Seminoles dominated the rest of the game, recording a 24-7 victory. This keeps their unbeaten season alive and gives them a spot in the ACC Championship game.
#5 Washington @ #20 USC
On paper, this would have been a game that I would have done an in-depth review about. 2 ranked teams led by two strong and potentially high draft-pick quarterbacks in Michael Penix Jr and Caleb Williams. However, I am tired of hearing about Caleb Williams, and I have written about USC for the last 3 weeks. The number 5 ranked Washington Huskies faced the number 20 ranked USC Trojans this week. This game was entertaining. Going into the final quarter, the scores were still tied. But, a one-yard rushing touchdown from Dilion Johnson gave the Huskies a 52-42 victory to keep their unbeaten season alive. As for USC, this is another loss, and they should not be ranked next week. But, this shouldn’t be surprising as this team struggled to defeat California last week.Embed from Getty Images
California @ #6 Oregon
The number 6 ranked Oregon Ducks faced the California Golden Bears, who nearly defeated Caleb Williams and USC last weekend. This week, Oregon showed them how an actual football team plays. Ducks quarterback Bo Nix threw 4 touchdowns and for 386 yards as the Ducks recorded a 63-19 victory.
#14 LSU @ #8 Alabama
The number 8 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide are on a resurgence and could challenge for a CFP spot because the committee can vote in some odd ways. However, they lost to Texas, so they should not be ranked higher than them. This week, they faced the number 14-ranked LSU Tigers. In a high-scoring affair which is normal for LSU this season, saw the Crimson Tide defeating the Tigers 42-28.
Texas A&M @ #10 Ole Miss
The number 10 ranked Ole Miss Rebels faced the Texas A&M Aggies this week. Going into the 4th quarter, the Rebels had a 10-point lead. But, the Aggies came back with two touchdowns to take the lead. But, a one-yard rushing touchdown from Quinshon Judkins gave Ole Miss the victory. Rebels quarterback Jaxson Dart would throw for 387 yards in their narrow 38-35 victory.
#11 Penn State @ Maryland
The number 11 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions faced the Maryland Terrapins. Most of the scoring same in the 4th quarter, but by then the game was not at all competitive. Penn State Quarterback Drew Allar threw for 4 touchdowns in their 51-15 victory.
Virginia Tech @ #13 Louisville
The number 13 ranked Louisville Cardinals faced the Virginia Tech Hokies. Victory for the Cardinals and second play in the ACC would be all but sealed if they win out. Victory did come for Louisville, with running back Isaac Guerendo scoring three touchdowns in the 34-3 victory.
#15 Notre Dame @ Clemson
The number 15 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish continued their season of somewhat randomly competitive opponents this week against a fallen giant in the Clemson Tigers. After losing to Duke in week one, the Tigers have become irreverent. It seemed like this week, Clemson played like the Clemson of old, defeating the Fighting Irish 31-23. Apparently they were fueled by a comment from a “Tyler in Spartanburg” If that is all it takes to get your team winning, I need to phone in to complain about the Giants a lot more then.
#16 Oregon State @ Colorado
The number 16 ranked Oregon State Beavers faced the Colorado Buffaloes this week. Remember when Colorado was doing well? They’re not now. The Beavers outplayed Coach Prime and his son to record a 26-19 victory.
UConn @ #17 Tennessee
In an odd game, the number 17 ranked Tennessee Volunteers took a break from playing high-calibre opponents to face the one-win UConn Huskies, a non-conference team. Luckily for UConn, Basketball season starts this week, and they are reigning champions. Back to this game, as expected, the Vols outplayed UConn in a 59-3 victory for Tennessee.
Arizona State @ #18 Utah
The number 18 ranked Utah Utes also faced an easy challenge, but unlike Tennessee, it was from their own conference. They faced the Arizona State Sun Devils. Utes quarterback Bryson Barnes threw for 4 touchdowns in the Utes 55-3 victory.Embed from Getty Images
#19 UCLA @ Arizona
The number 19 ranked UCLA Bruins faced the Arizona Wildcats, who have shown that they can compete with strong teams in the PAC-12. The Wildcats dominated this game, with quarterback Noah Fifita throwing 3 touchdowns and for 300 yards in their 27-10 victory over ranked UCLA.
#21 Kansas @ Iowa State
Last week, the number 21 ranked Kansas Jayhawks recorded a victory over the Oklahoma Sooners. This week, they faced the Iowa State Cyclones. Despite a late comeback from the Cyclones, the Jayhawks held on for a 28-21 victory. This victory gives them their first 7-win season since 2008. And with Basketball season coming up, the Jayhawks could be winning a lot in the coming months.
#24 Tulane @ East Carolina
Number 24 ranked Tulane Green Waves faced the East Carolina Pirates, who play in North Carolina just to confuse everyone. It was a close game, with the Waves needing a late field goal in the fourth quarter to defeat a one-win team 13-10.
Army @ #25 Air Force
In a battle of the armed forces teams, the number 25 ranked and unbeaten Air Force Falcons faced the Army Black Knights. We have another unbeaten team lose their record, as the Falcons were completely outplayed. The Army would lead from the start and not look back in a 23-3 demolition.