NCAA Football News

Tim Wolfe Resigns as Missouri President Amid Protests, Boycott by Football Team

A day after saying he would not resign amid racial tensions on campus, Missouri president Tim Wolfe has had a change of heart. 

According to David Morrison of the Columbia Daily Tribune, Wolfe announced his resignation Monday, effective immediately, after days of protests and the threat of a boycott from the Missouri football team.

"My motivation in making this decision comes from love," Wolfe said in a statement, per Morrison. "I love MU and the state of Missouri, where I grew up."

Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch shared the scene from campus:

The university has not said who will take over on an interim basis. Wolfe came under fire in recent days after student Jonathan Butler began a hunger strike on Nov. 2 aimed at getting the school president removed. Butler was motivated by multiple instances of racism on campus he felt were not properly handled by university administration.

“I already feel like campus is an unlivable space,” Butler told Michael E. Miller of the Washington Post. “So it’s worth sacrificing something of this grave amount, because I’m already not wanted here. I’m already not treated like I’m a human.”

Emma Vandelinder of the Missourian posted a timeline that depicts a Missouri campus with ever-increasing racial tensions. Incidents this fall alone included multiple students posting about being called racial slurs on campus and an unknown person painting a swastika in human feces on a bathroom wall.

A student group, Concerned Student 1950, has been protesting the incidents with increased fervor over the past month. In October, the group blocked a car carrying Wolfe on homecoming weekend. There have also been near-constant demonstrations on campus without much action from administration. 

The situation crested over the weekend when the Missouri football team pledged solidarity and was planning to boycott all activities until Wolfe resigned or was removed from his post.

"The athletes of color on the University of Missouri football team truly believe 'injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,'" a statement from the Legion of Black Collegians read. "We will no longer participate in any football-related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students' experience."

Some faculty members joined the cause Monday by boycotting their own classes before news of Wolfe's resignation became public. 

"We, the concerned faculty of the University of Missouri, stand in solidarity with the Mizzou student activists who are advocating for racial justice on our campus and urge all MU faculty to demonstrate their support by walking out on Monday November 9 and Tuesday November 10, 2015 along with other allies such as the Forum on Graduate Rights," a statement from a group called Concerned Faculty read, per Kelly Stevenson of ABC News.

Missouri running back Trevon Walters confirmed the team will resume football activities immediately, per Morrison. The Tigers host BYU on Saturday. 

 

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter

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5-Star Mecole Hardman Jr. Dishes on Alabama Visit and What's Next

Given that he’s one of the most high-profile uncommitted recruits in the 2016 class, 5-star athlete Mecole Hardman Jr. figures to be a hot topic amongst fans and coaches in the months leading up to national signing day.

The nation’s top athlete and the No. 21 player overall in the 2016 cycle made his second official visit over the weekend as he traveled to Tuscaloosa to take in the monster showdown between Alabama and LSU.

It’s safe to say that the prime-time matchup made a lasting impression on the Peach State standout.

“It was nice. It was my first time in Bryant-Denny Stadium,” Hardman told Bleacher Report. “I had a great time seeing Alabama play, especially against a top-notch team like LSU. [Alabama] handled their business and the atmosphere was amazing. I had a really good time.”

Hardman had previously seen the Tide dismantle Georgia in Athens last month, but his trek to Tuscaloosa allowed him to get a feel for head coach Nick Saban and his coaching staff, as well as the campus life in Tuscaloosa.

“I talked to Coach Saban when I got there. I had a long talk with him,” Hardman explained. “I talked with Coach [Billy] Napier and Coach [Kirby] Smart also. I met Coach [Lane] Kiffin also. I just got to speak with a lot of the assistant coaches. When we got there, it was all love from the coaches.”

Given his abilities to excel as a receiver or a defensive back at the next level, many schools are recruiting him to play either side of the ball.

A rather interesting tug-of-war has broken out between the Tide’s offensive and defensive assistants in their quest to land the dynamic Hardman.

“They offered me as a wide receiver, but I don’t know how that’s going to go,” Hardman said. “A lot of schools are recruiting me as an athlete. I don’t know if [Alabama] will change how they recruit me now. I know Coach Smart wants me on the defensive side of the ball and Coach Napier wants me on offense. That could go either way to be honest.”

Hardman has previously stated that he wanted to know where he was going to college by the end of November with plans to reveal his choice on signing day.

However, he’s now unsure if he will be able to reach that conclusion in his mind. A busy visit schedule for the remainder of the month may hinder him from doing so.

The 5’10”, 175-pounder plans to visit Auburn this weekend for its home contest against Georgia. That trip will be an unofficial visit. Official visits to Ole Miss and Michigan loom in the following two weeks.

“Ole Miss, I’ve never been there before. I’ve heard great things about it,” Hardman said. “With it being my first time, I want to spend time with the coaches and get to know them, especially since it’s an official visit. I want to see it from a recruit’s perspective and just see how I could fit in there. With Michigan, I’m definitely looking forward to that one and getting up north. I just want to see the Big House and see a big game with Ohio State coming in. I’m ready to meet Coach [Jim] Harbaugh and talk to him and see what his plans are and just go from there.”

Aside from Alabama, Michigan and Ole Miss, Hardman said Florida, Georgia and Tennessee are among the other programs recruiting him who are coming after him the hardest at the moment.

However, the trip to Tuscaloosa has given him something to think about with regards to his leaderboard.

“[Alabama] has always been in it. As soon as they offered me, they were high on my list,” Hardman said. “After this game, they have definitely moved up in my mind. They have a great program on and off the field. We’ll just have to see how it goes from here.”

With a little less than three months until signing day, Hardman’s visit schedule is pivotal in helping him determine the best place for him. He said there’s one key factor he’s looking for before making that decision. 

“I’m just looking for that feeling. The feeling you get in your gut when you know you’re at the place you feel the most comfortable,” Hardman said. “All of these schools are great and they have a lot to offer. It’s just about where you feel the most comfortable living for the next few years.”

 

Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

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Michigan's Path to the College Football Playoff Is Alive and Well

When Brandon Reilly's route seemingly took him out of bounds before catching Nebraska's game-winning touchdown in its victory over seventh-ranked Michigan State on Saturday, the controversial play was cause for celebration in more than just Lincoln.

If that wasn't apparent as the Cornhuskers' unlikely upset was taking place, it was in the moments following it, when Michigan tight end Jake Butt took to Twitter to share his thoughts on its rival's still-fresh defeat.

"I knew God had our back. Lose on fluke to little bro and that's how they had to go down," Butt posted. "I am the biggest OSU fan now."

While Butt's younger brother would later take credit, or more accurately, blame, for the ill-advised tweet, a similar sentiment was already widespread in Ann Arbor—even if it puts the Michigan faithful in the unique position of rooting for rival Ohio State for the next two weeks.

Because provided the Buckeyes take care of business between now and their Nov. 28 trip to Michigan Stadium, the Wolverines once again control their own destiny in the Big Ten East—and potentially beyond. Reilly's unusual touchdown against the Spartans on Saturday may have resulted in an even more atypical trail in Ann Arbor being formed, with the end game being a potential trip to the College Football Playoff for the Wolverines.

Three weeks ago, following Michigan's own stunning defeat at the hands of Michigan State, any postseason hopes beyond a traditional bowl game seemed highly improbable for Jim Harbaugh's team. But with Nebraska knocking off the Spartans—two weeks before they head to Ohio State for a matchup with the No. 3 Buckeyes—the Wolverines' playoff aspirations have found a sudden unlikely breath of fresh air.

Although in order to make the four-team playoff at the end of the year, Michigan would have to set some new precedents in the process along the way.

Sitting at 17th in last week's debut of this season's College Football Playoff rankings, the Wolverines seemingly had their work cut out for themselves when it came to crashing the second-year postseason format. "Really it came down to evaluating their resumes, what they've done, who they've beaten and how they've played in those games," selection committee chair and Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long explained of the ranking process on ESPN's broadcast of last Tuesday's ranking reveal. 

Working in Michigan's favor, however, is its status as the country's highest ranked two-loss team and its ability to add two crucial resume-boosters between now and the playoff's Dec. 7 selection show.

With five of the 16 teams that were ranked ahead of the Wolverines a week ago having lost over the weekend, Michigan appears poised to climb at least a couple of spots in this week's rankings. That could put the Wolverines on pace with where Ohio State stood at this time a year ago before making a run to college football's final four in the last month of the regular season.

Ranked 14th in the second playoff rankings of the 2014 campaign, the Buckeyes climbed 10 spots in five weeks based primarily on the merits of a win over eighth-ranked Michigan State and a Big Ten title game victory over No. 13 Wisconsin.

Assuming this year's Ohio State team remains undefeated for the next two weeks—knocking the Spartans out of contention for the Big Ten East Division championship in the process—the Wolverines will have an opportunity to add one of college football's most impressive wins to its resume by beating the Buckeyes in their regular-season finale.

And if it does that—in addition to beating Indiana and Penn State in the next two weeks—Michigan would then go on to play in the Big Ten Championship Game, where the Wolverines could add the most crucial piece to its playoff case.

Because an appearance in Indianapolis the night before the final playoff rankings are revealed would not just give Michigan another opportunity at obtaining a Top 10 win over a potentially undefeated Iowa team that ranked ninth in this year's first playoff poll, but as we learned a year ago, it's conference championships that matter most to the selection committee.

"Championships won" are listed as the first tiebreaker in the committee's guidelines when it comes to comparing teams. Not coincidentally, the playoff a year ago was comprised of four outright conference champions in Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State.

It's also not a coincidence that the only Power Five conference that was left out of the inaugural playoff, the Big 12, was the one that declared co-champions, devaluing the resumes of both TCU and Baylor in the process.

Should Ohio State beat Michigan State in two weeks, eliminating the Spartans' head-to-head tiebreaker over Michigan in the process, the Wolverines would have an opportunity to add a pair of potential Top 10 wins and an all-important conference championship to its case. A year ago, the playoff was made up of one undefeated and three one-loss teams, but Michigan could set the precedent for a two-loss squad crashing the playoff with a resume that would include:

  • An outright Big Ten championship
  • Likely at least three wins over ranked opponents, including Northwestern and (potentially) Ohio State and Iowa, with BYU and Penn State still in contention to be ranked by the end of the year
  • top-40 strength of schedule
  • Its only losses coming by a combined 11 points to a pair of ranked teams in Utah and Michigan State

The Wolverines may not even need much more help from teams who are ranked ahead of them—other than Michigan State—losing, although that certainly wouldn't hurt either. If the the playoff selection committee remains steadfast in its stance that outright conference championships are what matter most, Michigan may possess an inside track to the second College Football Playoff that many may not see at the moment.

Making the most of it, especially when it comes to beating the Buckeyes in the final weekend of November, will be easier said than done. But thanks to the Cornhuskers' controversial upset, the path to a Big Ten bid for a playoff spot could find itself running through Ann Arbor, a more unlikely path than the one run by Reilly that put Michigan in this position in the first place.

 

Ben Axelrod is Bleacher Report's Big Ten lead writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BenAxelrod. Unless noted otherwise, all quotes were obtained firsthand. All statistics courtesy of CFBStats.com. Odds provided by Odds Shark. Recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports.

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Illinois AD Mike Thomas Fired: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

The University of Illinois announced the removal of athletics director Mike Thomas on Monday after an investigation into the school's football and women's basketball programs.

“Mike Thomas has done a good job of leading through recent challenges,”  Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson said, per Jeremy Werner of Scout. “Decisions such as these are always difficult, but we have to focus on the best interests of our student-athletes. I believe this decision allows everyone to move forward.”

Thomas' tenure came under fire in recent months after allegations of student-athlete mistreatment, mostly centered on former football coach Tim Beckman. The school fired Beckman after an initial investigation found he forced players to continue playing through serious injuries. In its full report, Illinois said Beckman "pushed players and athletic trainers beyond reasonable limits in systematic fashion," according to Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated.

Hamilton provided more details the Beckman-related findings:

Thomas took over as Illinois' athletics director in 2011. He has been fired "without cause," meaning the school will pay him for the duration of his contract and found no evidence of his wrongdoing. Paul Kowalczyk, who joined the program in 2012, has been named his interim replacement.

“I believe it is a good time to turn the page and put the focus of this organization back on the success and welfare of our student-athletes,” Thomas said.

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports was not surprised by the decision:

Though the program was investigated, there were no findings of impropriety from the school's women's basketball team. A lawsuit filed by former players alleged head coach Matt Bollant intentionally discriminated "against protected persons based upon the color of their skin." Bollant remains employed by the university, and there has been no confirmation of any wrongdoing. 

 

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter

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AP College Football Poll 2015: Week 11 Top 25 Rankings, Key Game Projections

It wasn't just another week of college football in Week 10. A Top Five clash shook things up, and a new No. 1 team was crowned entering Week 11 of the 2015 season.

Saturday's action saw Clemson usurp Ohio State as the nation's top team in at least the Associated Press poll, stemming from the Tigers' convincing home victory over Florida State. The Buckeyes took care of business on their end in a 28-14 win over Minnesota.

Meanwhile, Alabama made a statement in a lopsided win over LSU that guaranteed the SEC won't have an unbeaten team this season, and it shook things up considerably in the College Football Playoff argument.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the latest rankings and look forward to next week.

 

No. 12 Oklahoma at No. 4 Baylor

Baylor's fellow hopeful unbeaten saw its aspirations float away against a team from Oklahoma last week. Now, it's Baylor's turn to avoid a similar fate in a home contest that marks the Bears' toughest of the season.

The Sooners are drastically close to joining Baylor among the ranks of the unbeatens, having been through a number of close calls. That 24-17 drubbing to Texas cannot be forgotten, but Oklahoma still has every opportunity to shake up the Big 12 and win a conference title.

As noted by Jake Trotter of Sports Illustrated, the Sooners have had this game circled:

As for the Bears, they seemed somewhat doomed just a few weeks ago, when quarterback Seth Russell suffered a season-ending injury. But Jarrett Stidham has stepped seamlessly into the role, and Heisman Trophy contender Corey Coleman (20 touchdowns) is still making plays every week.

Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield has thrown 28 touchdowns to just four picks all season, and these Sooners are peaking. But this is still a team that needed a miraculous comeback against Tennessee, and Baylor is still a team eternally ticked off at the lack of respect it gets from the outside.

Prediction: Baylor 44, Oklahoma 37

 

No. 25 Memphis at No. 16 Houston

Now, to the American Athletic Conference clash we've all been waiting for!

OK, perhaps not many of us could have expected Memphis or Houston to be a part of such a high-stakes contest late in the American Athletic Conference season. But the fact of the matter is, even after Memphis' shocking defeat to Navy, this is still a huge bout in terms of the AAC.

It's safe to suggest that both teams have pretty impressive wins that make them worthy of consideration for at least a strong bowl game. But even in the wake of Memphis' untimely defeat, it's not hard to figure out where the difference lies.

Houston dominated an SEC team in Vanderbilt, but, well, that was Vanderbilt. Meanwhile, Memphis handily beat an Ole Miss team that had toppled Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium—the same Alabama that is likely to be in the CFP once again.

Expect the Tigers' boisterous passing attack to lead the way in a tight affair, as Memphis refocuses itself after the tough loss to Navy.

Prediction: Memphis 40, Houston 31

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10 College Football Players Who Are Much Better Than Their Statistics Show

On days like Saturday, it’s easy to find talent in college football. On a day that saw massive upheaval in the nation’s Top 25, with unbeatens like LSU, Michigan State, TCU and Memphis all falling, standouts abounded.

Alabama tailback Derrick Henry bulled his way into the Heisman Trophy race with a 210-yard, three-touchdown effort against LSU. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 297 yards and rushed for 107 more in the Tigers’ breakthrough win over ACC rival Florida State. Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph threw for 352 yards and five touchdowns in the Cowboys’ surprising 49-29 rout of TCU.

Those names are obvious. What about the players whose stats don’t always display their value to their teams? Here are 10 players who are much better than their statistics show. These players were selected because while their stats might not be nation- or even league-leading, their values to their teams are clear.

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Is Any SEC Football Coach on the Hot Seat?

Entering Week 10, the heat on Georgia's Mark Richt was as hot as the center of the sun, Auburn's Gus Malzahn desperately needed to find a way to get to a bowl game in order to keep the heat off in 2016 and the coaching silly season seemed like it was in full gear despite there being a month of games left to play.

On Sunday morning, that cooled a little bit.

Richt's Bulldogs rolled Kentucky 27-3, Auburn dominated No. 19 Texas A&M 26-10 and what seemed like a growing wave of scrutiny subsided.

Is that permanent, though?

With three weeks left in the season, Auburn and Georgia are yet to square off, more heat is on Aggie head coach Kevin Sumlin after his offense was throttled by the Tigers in College Station and there's plenty of time left for coaching questions to kick back up.

Which SEC coaches will be on the hot seat when November comes to a close? Let's examine the possibilities.

 

Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt: Warm, But Won't Be Fired

Richt survived a tumultuous first week of November after getting worked 27-3 by Florida in the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Calls for his head, along with that of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, came from far and wide after Georgia's offense has struggled and quarterback issues have persisted.

Then, on Thursday, more questions surfaced.

Rumors swirled that defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt had come under fire for personality conflicts. It got to a point where Richt had to go full Kevin Bacon from Animal House and let the world know that "all is well" on Twitter:

Let's start with the obvious, that statement from Richt doesn't say anything other than Pruitt is currently his defensive coordinator, and doesn't address potential friction within the staff at all. If there is a possibility for Pruitt to be let go to create a harmonious staff, Schottenheimer must be let go as well.

If Richt fires Pruitt for insubordination and doesn't fire Schottenheimer for incompetence, Richt should also be dismissed. With that said, Richt is too smart for this and knows that he has to find a new offensive coordinator in order to keep the heat off of himself. Pruitt's situation is an independent issue at this point.

Richt will get another shot. Dropping coordinators when the heat is on is the go-to move for coaches who are feeling the heat, and letting go of one or both is almost a certainty at this point.

Even if Georgia loses to Auburn and Georgia Tech, that should be enough for Richt to stick around for 2016 thanks to what should be one of the best recruiting classes in the country.

The Bulldogs already have 5-star quarterback Jacob Eason signed to a financial-aid deal, and he plans on enrolling in January. On top of that, this is one of the best classes of high school talent the state has seen in quite some time. There are 26 players in the Peach State with four or more stars attached to their names, seven of which are already committed to the Bulldogs.

Some might stick around if Georgia makes wholesale staff changes, but many more will decommit and other uncommitted prospects will be forced to get comfortable with the new staff on the fly. Not only would a wholesale staff change hurt Georgia, many of those players could (and would) go to rivals. That would hurt the program long-term for any hypothetical replacement.

Richt has a built-in fall guy (or guys), and Georgia is held captive by this recruiting class, just as it was after the 6-7 campaign in 2010 prior to the arrival of the 2011 "Dream Team." That class won two division titles and nearly earned a berth in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game following the 2012 season. 

Because of that, Richt will get one more shot if he wants it.

 

Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn: Cooling

I wrote last month that Auburn's Gus Malzahn would be back for Year 4 on the Plains regardless of Auburn's postseason future in 2015. 

That's still accurate, and very quietly, he's doing a lot to make 2016 more comfortable down the stretch.

His team absolutely dominated Texas A&M on the road last week with starter-turned-backup Jeremy Johnson getting the nod at quarterback in place of injured redshirt freshman Sean White, a second spark has come in the running game with the emergence of Jovon Robinson alongside Peyton Barber and the defense looks lights out now that "Buck" Carl Lawson has returned from a hip injury.

"I really thought their front was the second-best front we have played all year," Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said last week. "After they got Lawson back and were able to move No. 8 (linebacker Cassanova McKinzy) back, I thought their front was very talented."

The win over Texas A&M moved Auburn to 5-4, and all but assured the Tigers of a bowl game thanks to the presence of Idaho on the schedule on Nov. 21. Plus, it's not like Georgia—which visits Auburn this weekend—looks like a world-beater these days.

Malzahn still has to contend for the SEC West in 2016 in order to keep his job, but the momentum that his Tigers have generated over the last few weeks has created a bigger margin for error next year—especially if the quarterback position solidifies itself prior to toe meeting leather next year versus Clemson in Week 1.

 

Texas A&M Head Coach Kevin Sumlin: Heating Up

If Texas A&M fires Kevin Sumlin without cause, it would owe him the balance of his six-year, $30 million contract he agreed to following the 2013 season, according to Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News.

That will keep him in College Station for the 2016 season, but it's getting closer to a point where he needs to make some staff changes.

No team in the country has been more Jekyll and Hyde this year than the Aggies. The offense looked great for the first month-plus, and then Kyle Allen struggled mightily, lost his job and was replaced by true freshman Kyler Murray. Murray looked great in his first start against South Carolina, topping the 200-yard mark through the air and 100-yard mark on the ground, but was ineffective last week in a loss to Auburn.

The defense, led by coordinator John Chavis, clearly has a fearsome pass rush with ends Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall, but can't stop the run and has regressed since a solid two-game stretch against Alabama and Ole Miss in which it kept the Aggies in games they had no business being in.

The Aggies sit at 6-3 (3-3 SEC), and should at least hit the eight-win plateau with games versus Western Carolina and Vanderbilt left on the schedule in addition to the finale with LSU, but is this season really progress for the program?

Maybe, but not nearly what it looked like it might be in mid-October prior to the Alabama game.

Sumlin and Chavis will certainly be around for 2016, but if the offense continues to be questionable-at-best, don't be surprised if offensive coordinator Jake Spavital comes under fire in order to take some pressure off of Sumlin.

 

Vanderbilt Head Coach Derek Mason: Much Cooler

Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason finished last season 3-9 and 0-8 in conference after stepping in for former head coach James Franklin, who led the program to back-to-back nine-win seasons.

If that record wasn't bad enough, the mismanagement of the program, revolving door of quarterbacks and appearance that Mason was in over his head made it at least an outside possibility that Vandy looked elsewhere following the 2015 season if things didn't improve.

They have.

Sure, quarterback issues still exist with Johnny McCrary and Kyle Shurmur, but Mason struck gold when he named himself defensive coordinator The 'Dores are giving up just 316.1 yards per game (19th in the country), 4.81 yards per play (25th in the country), have the fourth-best third-down defense in the country (25 percent) and eighth-best red-zone touchdown defense (38.71 percent).

The combination of Mason's defensive success, his ability to manage the program better and a team that not only has an SEC win over Missouri, but also has looked incredibly competitive in losses—including last week's 9-7 loss at Florida—will earn him a third year in Nashville.

 

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Statistics are courtesy of cfbstats.com.

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national college football video analyst for Bleacher Report, as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on SiriusXM 83. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

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B/R CFB Committee: Playoff Predictions Heading into Week 11

The second official playoff rankings of the 2015 college football season are set to be released Tuesday, and our experts are breaking down what you'll see.

How will Ohio State, Baylor, LSU, Clemson, Alabama and other contenders stack up in Tuesday's ranking?

Watch Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Barrett Sallee, Michael Felder and Adam Kramer discuss in the video above.

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Michigan vs. Indiana: Complete Game Preview

The No. 15 Michigan Wolverines will travel to challenge the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday, Nov. 14, in Bloomington, Indiana.

Jake Rudock threw for a career-high 337 yards last time out, leading Michigan (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) to a 49-16 dismantling of Rutgers. The Wolverines are still in the chase for the East Division crown, but they can't afford a letdown against the Hoosiers.

Indiana (4-5, 0-5 Big Ten) enters the clash as losers of five consecutive games, most recently falling 35-27 to undefeated Iowa. Jordan Howard racked up 189 total yards and two touchdowns in the loss.

According to Odds Shark, Michigan is an 11.5-point favorite. Depending on your local listing, ABC or ESPN2 will televise the 3:30 p.m. ET matchup.

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NCAA Football Rankings 2015: Week 11 Polls, Top 25 Standings and Analysis

There's a new No. 1 team in at least one Top 25 poll, and it didn't even take a big upset to make the change, as the rankings for Week 11 are producing some late-season shakeups before the final stretch.

It became apparent long before this weekend of action that we would see some considerable movement near the top with some mouthwatering Top 10 matchups between heavyweights on the slate. That's exactly what was produced, but that's not to say things are any easier to work out regarding College Football Playoff spots entering Tuesday's reveal.

With that in mind, let's look at how three of the major polls shook out entering Week 11.

If Saturday was supposed to be Clemson's last real hurdle before unofficially punching its ticket to the CFP, consider them over that hurdle.

The Tigers faced a very tough ask in Week 10, facing the Florida State Seminoles at home in a battle of ACC heavyweights. They won 23-13, getting a crucial fourth-down stop of Seminoles rusher Dalvin Cook when leading by just three points late in the game.

The gutsy victory has the Tigers jumping ahead of Ohio State, also unbeaten but perhaps less impressive throughout the season. Don't be surprised if Clemson cruises to the CFP because of it, as Chase Goodbread of NFL.com noted:

Clemson is still undefeated and doesn't face a sizable test from here on out, but don't consider everyone sold on the Tigers just yet. With that in mind, Doug Gottlieb of CBS Sports offered a take that would suggest Clemson might be overrated:

The biggest shakeup, however, didn't involve either of the teams in the top two spots of the rankings.

Instead, it came in the Alabama Crimson Tide's convincing home victory over the LSU Tigers, previously ranked No. 2 in the first CFP standings of the season. The Heisman Trophy favorite running back wasn't the one who dominated, as Leonard Fournette's season-low 31 rushing yards made way for a monster game from Alabama's Derrick Henry.

Perhaps it's time to consider a rusher other than Fournette for the Heisman, as Matt Zenitz of AL.com noted Henry's success on the ground:

While the Tigers' first loss of the season may not have stunted their CFP hopes, that can't be said of another previously unbeaten to fall. The TCU Horned Frogs' unbeaten season ended at the hands of Oklahoma State, and the 49-29 defeat saw their ranking plummet.

November is a time in the college football season for the contenders to separate from the pretenders, and Saturday's action gave us a strong glimpse of which top teams were in either of those categories. But as we enter Week 11 and beyond, we're just getting started figuring out the answers.

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College Football Picks Week 11: Top 25 Rankings, Schedule, Odds and Predictions

After Week 10 of the college football season saw five undefeated teams in the Associated Press Top 25 poll go down, Week 11 should bring some stability to the rankings.

Per OddsShark.com, 11 ranked teams opened as double-digit favorites, and another five are favored by at least a touchdown.

All Top 25 teams in action play Saturday, while the No. 23 Wisconsin Badgers are the only one off this week. Let's take a look at the rankings, odds, predicted winners and a few teams that might be able to buck the expected trend in Week 11 and pull off an upset:

 

Memphis Will Bounce Back

The previously undefeated Tigers were embarrassed Nov. 7 at home in a 45-20 loss to Navy. Yes, the Midshipmen are 7-1 and have a shot at playing in a "New Year's Six" bowl, but it was supposed to be Memphis in that position.

It was the Tigers offense, which had put up 40-plus points in six of its first eight games, that was supposed to lead the Tigers to an American Athletic Conference title. Instead, Navy ran for 374 yards and five touchdowns, using a triple-option Memphis could not stop.

Don't look for that to happen Week 11 when the No. 16 Houston Cougars come to town. At 9-0, they are now the favorite to win the AAC West division, although Navy may have something to say about that.

Houston's high-powered offense is averaging 44.4 points per game, but Memphis can one-up the Cougars with an average of 44.7. Houston's defense is only allowing about 19 points per game but has shown some signs of weakness.

Cincinnati scored 30 in a Week 10 loss to Houston, while 1-8 SMU put up 28 against the Cougars. Numbers never lie, but it will be something else that leads to a Memphis victory: Houston's catching the Tigers at the wrong time.

Memphis is too good to be embarrassed twice in a row at home. If Navy caught Memphis sleeping, Houston certainty won't. 

Cougars head coach Tom Herman already has addressed that point with his team, per Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle:

Hearing it from a coach and actually making it happen are two different things. The difference will be the play of Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch.

He has shown he should at least be mentioned in the Heisman Trophy talk. The junior has thrown for 3,014 yards, 19 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

Houston struggled with Cincinnati's Gunner Kiel, allowing the quarterback to throw for 523 yards and four touchdowns. Herman said his team has to do better in the future, per ESPN.com:

Hats off to them, that's an NFL quarterback throwing to probably a couple of NFL wide receivers. Obviously we've probably got to play better when faced with that. We were bringing a ton of stuff at them and couldn't get a ton of pressure and when we did we made it count.

Lynch certainly has taken note of Kiel's performance. Look for him to bounce back from a subpar performance against Navy and lead the Tigers to victory.

Memphis wins 31-28.

 

Time for an Arizona Upset

Utah was the darling of non-Power Five conference football midway through the season. After a 6-0 start, the Utes were ranked as high as third, and talk of a possible national championship season was circulating.

USC pretty much ended the discussion in Week 8 with a 42-24 victory over Utah. Still, at 5-1 in the Pac-12, the Utes control their own destiny in terms of winning the South division.

Devontae Booker has carried the team all season with 1,116 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. In victories over Washington and Oregon State since the USC loss, Booker totaled 271 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

He's a star on a very good team. The Arizona Wildcats don't care.

They play host Nov. 14 to the Utes on senior night. 

At 5-5 with no marquee victory on the schedule, Arizona doesn't look on paper like a team ready to pull off an upset. Even so, OddsShark.com opened the Wildcats as just 4.5-point underdogs despite playing host to the No. 10-ranked team in the country.

It may have something to do with the fact Arizona, under head coach Rich Rodriguez, has a knack for pulling off upsets.

In 2014, the Wildcats lost four games but won at No. 17 Utah and against No. 13 Arizona State.

In 2013, they were just 8-5 but upset No. 5 Oregon, 42-17, at home.

The year before, Rodriguez's first in Tuscon, they lost three straight games to ranked teams in the middle of the season. Despite limping to a 4-3 start, they beat No. 9 USC, 39-36, eventually winning a bowl game later in the season.

Jason Scheer of WildcatAuthority.com thinks it's time for Arizona to pick up that signature, upset victory:

Playing in front of a home crowd with bowl eligibility on the line, look for the Wildcats to come out on top and salvage their season. It's just what they do.

Arizona wins 41-35.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football Rankings 2015: Week 11 Standings, Schedule and Predictions

The College Football Playoff race is heating up quickly, with multiple Week 11 games having a direct impact on significant conference races. 

The most high-profile games of the week feature ranked teams from the American Athletic Conference and the Big 12 going head-to-head on Saturday night. 

The updated polls and entire Week 11 schedule are below, followed by a breakdown of the most intriguing matchups of the weekend.

Due to an injury to Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson, no spread has been given for the Purdue/Northwestern game as of Monday morning, according to OddsShark.com. No against the spread pick has been made for this matchup.

 

Notable Games

No. 25 Memphis at No. 16 Houston (-6)

This would have been the game of the week and potentially a fun new environment for ESPN's College GameDay had Memphis taken care of Navy on Saturday. But after Memphis got thumped by the Midshipmen, this matchup lost much of its luster. 

While the national attention may be shifted elsewhere, this game still has significant implications in the American Athletic Conference, and potentially on the New Year's Six bowl selections. 

Despite Memphis' loss to Navy, the Tigers are still alive in the AAC race if they can knock off undefeated Houston. 

Since Houston and Navy still meet up in late November, it's possible for the three teams to finish in a tie, with all three suffering a loss to one of the others. 

If Houston wins, Memphis is effectively eliminated from the ACC race, narrowing the pool of potential teams to earn the automatic Group of Five bid to one of the New Year's Six bowl games. 

The highest-ranked team from the Group of Five conferences earns an invitation to one of the New Year's Six bowls (likely the Fiesta Bowl or Peach Bowl, due to their lack of conference affiliations). With AAC members Memphis, Houston, Temple and Navy all ranked in this week's AP poll, the AAC winner is likely to earn that spot.

Prediction: Houston 48, Memphis 41

 

No. 12 Oklahoma at No. 4 Baylor (-3.5)

Due to Memphis' slip-up, College GameDay will be headed to Baylor for what should be a raucous environment in Waco, Texas.

The Bears are 3-21 all-time against Oklahoma, but all three wins have come since 2011. 

In fact, over the past two seasons, Baylor has owned the Sooners, outscoring Bob Stoops' squad by a combined score of 89-26. 

Baylor enters this game with uncertainty at the quarterback position, however, as freshman Jarrett Stidham enters the biggest game of the Bears season with just one career start under his belt.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I thought Jarrett Stidham played great last night...no run game, dropped balls...didn't bother him

— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) November 6, 2015

Stidham threw for over 400 yards in Baylor's victory over Kansas State on Thursday but led the Bears to a season-low 31 points. 

Oklahoma's offense has been rolling, putting up 50 points in four straight games since its loss to Texas, creating the potential for a high-powered shootout in Waco on Saturday night. 

Prediction: Baylor 52, Oklahoma 45

 

Oregon at No. 7 Stanford (-7)

In recent years, it's been Stanford playing the role of spoiler in this matchup, but Oregon has a chance to return the favor on Saturday night. 

In 2012 and 2013, Stanford ended the Ducks' perfect season with a November upset. But now Stanford finds itself in the position of having to defend its home turf with a potential trip to the College Football Playoff on the line. 

A loss to Oregon would be devastating to the playoff hopes of Stanford, and the entire Pac-12 conference. 

With a two-game lead in the Pac-12 North division, Stanford would remain the heavy favorite to advance to the conference title game and likely the favorite to win the game over Utah, USC or UCLA representing the Pac-12 South. 

Should Stanford, or any other Pac-12 team, win the conference with two losses, the Pac-12 would almost certainly be shut out of the playoffs. 

With Vernon Adams, Oregon is a fringe top 25 team. Without him, they are probably not in the top 50.

— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) November 8, 2015

With a healthy Vernon Adams, Oregon appears to be back on track and capable of the upset. 

The Ducks have racked up over 100 points in their past two games against Arizona State and California, and could pose a threat to a Stanford defense that hasn't been as dominant as in seasons past. 

Prediction: Oregon 41, Stanford 38

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Tennessee Volunteers vs. North Texas Mean Green: Complete Game Preview

Well, it isn't a bye week per se, but the Tennessee Volunteers will get a breather this weekend when North Texas comes to Neyland Stadium for homecoming.

Without question, the Mean Green are one of the worst teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, at 1-8 and having scored just 158 total points all year. Their average margin of defeat is 46-18.

Yikes.

Now, they've got to come to Knoxville to play an SEC team that had been rolling as of late prior to an uninspired 27-24 relief of a win over South Carolina on Saturday. The Vols have way too much talent for this to even be remotely close.

With the standard bumps and bruises prevalent across UT's roster, this may be a week where you see starters such as Joshua Dobbs and Jalen Hurd get a few series and then head to the sideline.

It's a good opportunity to get others like linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Cameron Sutton and Derek Barnett (among others) a week to rest with minimal snaps before the season's final two games against Missouri and Vanderbilt.

Extended breaks likely won't affect the outcome, and the Vols could use getting their youngsters some long looks to see who can help down the stretch. Tennessee could probably play a bunch of second-stringers for the entire game and win this one. 

Let's take a look at everything you need to know for homecoming.

 

Date: Saturday, Nov. 14

Time: Noon ET

Place: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee

TV: SEC Network

Radio: Vol Network, Mean Green Sports Radio

Spread: Vols by 40.5, according to Oddsshark.

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Bowl Predictions 2015: Complete CFP Projections After Week 10

Just when it seemed safe to assume how bowl season would look in college football this season, think again.

It's as topsy-turvy as ever. 

A national championship contender got demolished in Stillwater, Oklahoma. A team with the nation's best running back was kept in check. No one has any idea what's going to happen with the College Football Playoff field.

Let's try to figure that out. Here are your weekly bowl projections after Week 10's action.

 

Why Are We Not Talking About Clemson?

This is a thought that occurred to me on Saturday, after watching LSU/Alabama highlights: Is the world sleeping on the Clemson Tigers?

For a team ranked No. 1 in the country, there's more talk on the other three teams in the College Football Playoff picture than there are on the team that's actually ranked, well, No. 1.

But when you look at the grand scheme of things involving the Tigers, their resume consists of taking care of business and racking up signature wins. Clemson has allowed more than 24 points only once this year, and that was on Oct. 31 at North Carolina State.

Just when it seemed like the code for Clemson's defense had finally been cracked, they go back to Death Valley and hold the Florida State Seminoles to 13 points despite Dalvin Cook rushing for 194 yards.

And on the same weekend when Trevone Boykin and Leonard Fournette essentially lost all chances at the Heisman Trophy, no one is talking about the prospects of Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson being in the Heisman conversation.

Watson has completed an outstanding 69.7 percent of his passes to go with 21 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. He's also run for 493 yards on only 94 carries and four touchdowns. The star sophomore has become one of the most clutch and efficient quarterbacks in the country, per Clemson Football Sports Information Director Tim Bourret:

It's about time Clemson got some more consideration heading into January. The Tigers have three very winnable games left in Syracuse, Wake Forest and South Carolina. They should go into the ACC Championship Game undefeated, and the only tough challenge left would be in said title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels.

This Clemson team is for real and will be a problem for any team going into bowl season.

 

Oklahoma State a Playoff Threat

Think back to Sept. 27.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys should not have beaten the Texas Longhorns on that day. Texas punter Michael Dickson mishandled the snap, got off a 10-yard punt and gave Oklahoma State a chance to win. Kicker Ben Grogan hit the 41-yard field goal with six seconds left, and Oklahoma State survived and improved to 4-0.

Here we are, five weeks later, and Oklahoma State hasn't lost since. More importantly, they pulled off the most impressive win in college football this year, a 49-29 beatdown of the TCU Horned Frogs. The Cowboys picked off Trevone Boykin four times. Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Murphy threw for 352 yards on 24 passes and threw five touchdowns.

Oklahoma State has three games left against the Iowa State Cyclones, a Baylor Bears team in the midst of a drastic quarterback change and an Oklahoma Sooners team that has more questions than answers.

Three winnable games, a Big 12 title in their sights. The Cowboys are a true playoff team.

"There's a long ways to make up ground to get up there," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said, per Cliff Brunt of the Associated Press. "Now, I'm not going to disregard that we're playing teams that are ranked high enough that we could make up some ground. But I just continue to stress for us, we have to practice well tomorrow."

Five weeks ago, TCU and Baylor were in the running for a spot in the College Football Playoff. The season finale between those two was supposed to be for the conference title. If Oklahoma State beats Iowa State and Baylor, that sets up a winner-take-all matchup with Oklahoma, if the Sooners beat TCU and Baylor in back-to-back weeks.

That win over TCU even got ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit thinking the Cowboys deserve to be in the College Football Playoff:

Five weeks ago, Oklahoma State was a fluke ranked team set to lose at any moment. Now, they're three very capable wins away from a Big 12 title and a spot in the Final Four.

The Cowboys are in the driver's seat.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Tre Bryant to Nebraska: Huskers Land 3-Star RB Prospect

The Nebraska Cornhuskers shocked the nation with their 39-38 upset win over the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday, and they kept the momentum rolling on the recruiting trail Sunday.

Running back prospect Tre Bryant announced his decision to join Nebraska’s 2016 class on his Twitter page:

Bryant is a 3-star prospect, per 247Sports’ composite rankings, and the No. 41 running back in the 2016 class. The 5’10”, 195-pound back is also the No. 5 player in the state of Missouri and chose the Cornhuskers over the Kansas State Wildcats, Northwestern Wildcats, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Indiana Hoosiers, Syracuse Orange and Vanderbilt Commodores.

Bryant had committed to Kansas State earlier in the year, but he announced his decision to decommit Wednesday:

The running back took an official visit to Nebraska for Saturday’s win over Michigan State. The atmosphere during the victory over a Top 10 team must have impressed him, because he wasted little time in pledging to the Cornhuskers.

According to 247Sports, Bryant’s 40-yard-dash time is a solid but unspectacular 4.52 seconds. He is a bruising running back who breaks plenty of tackles and picks up difficult yardage through the middle instead of blazing past defenders on the outside.

Bryant is not the only running back in Nebraska’s 2016 class. Aphonso Thomas is another 3-star prospect who has committed to Nebraska, although he may be considering an offer from SMU. The Crystal Ball predictions on his 247Sports profile both predict he will end up with the Mustangs despite his verbal pledge to the Cornhuskers.

Bryant adds plenty of talent to the future Nebraska backfield, but he also serves as insurance in case the Cornhuskers miss out on Thomas.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football Week 11 Odds: Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State Betting Favorites

Having jumped from No. 7 to No. 3 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 rankings, the Alabama Crimson Tide will be looking to keep their momentum this week as one of the notable road favorites on the opening college football Week 11 betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark.

The Crimson Tide proved the oddsmakers right over the weekend, thumping the LSU Tigers 30-16 and covering the 7.5-point spread at the sportsbooks against a school that was above them in the rankings. The Tigers dropped from No. 4 to No. 9 in the AP Top 25 with the loss.

Alabama is now 8-1 straight up and 4-5 against the spread on the season, with its blemish coming back on September 19 when it fell 43-37 to Ole Miss as a nine-point favorite. Since that defeat, the Crimson Tide have gone 6-0 SU while covering the spread three times.

For this week, Alabama opened as a seven-point road favorite against Mississippi State, a school it's beaten seven times in a row straight up dating back to 2008. The Crimson Tide, however, are just 1-3 ATS in their last four games against the Bulldogs, according to the Odds Shark College Football Database, and 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games on the road in the month of November.

Meanwhile, Clemson is now the No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 on the strength of its 23-13 win over Florida State over the weekend, and the Tigers are another ranked road favorite on the Week 11 college football schedule, as they're favored by 26.5 points at Syracuse. The Tigers are a perfect 9-0 SU and 5-4 ATS on the season.

Former No. 1 Ohio State, now at No. 2 in the AP Top 25, opened as a 16-point road favorite against Illinois for the week ahead. The Buckeyes are 9-0 SU but just 3-6 ATS on the season, and they're coming off a 28-14 win over Minnesota in which they failed to cover a 23.5-point spread at home. Ohio State is just 2-6 ATS over its last eight games.

Elsewhere, Notre Dame opened as a 27-point home favorite against Wake Forest for Week 11, while LSU opened as a nine-point home favorite against Arkansas, Baylor opened as a six-point home favorite against Oklahoma and Iowa opened as an 11-point home favorite against Minnesota.

And Michigan State opened as a 16-point home favorite against Maryland for the week ahead, with the Spartans falling to 8-1 SU and 2-7 ATS on the season with a 39-38 loss at Nebraska over the weekend as a four-point favorite. The Spartans are 5-2 SU in their last seven games after losing as a favorite on the betting lines.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Alabama Football: How Crimson Tide's Top Commits Performed This Weekend

The Alabama Crimson Tide served up a statement Saturday evening with a commanding victory over SEC rival LSU.

Head coach Nick Saban's squad is looking strong as the College Football Playoff picture develops. It's a roster fueled by five consecutive top-ranked recruiting classes, as promising blue-chip prospects have become reliable college stars. 

Alabama is well on its way toward solidifying future talent hauls, holding top-five classes in both the 2016 and 2017 cycles. While current Crimson Tide players excelled in the national spotlight Saturday, eventual Alabama playmakers provided impressive glimpses of their potential during recent high school competition. 

A pair of passers particularly shined.

Jalen Hurts, one of three 4-star Texas prospects in Saban's 2016 class, suffered a defeat Friday night but the Channelview High School quarterback was sensational. He tallied seven total touchdowns in a 55-49 loss to La Porte High School, according to Brian Perroni of 247Sports.

The 6'2", 208-pound senior completed 19 passes for 358 yards and three scores. Hurts also did damage as a rusher, gaining 132 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. 

Rated No. 5 nationally among dual-threat quarterbacks in composite rankings, Hurts is one of two top-tier players pledged to Alabama at the position. Jake Fromm, a 4-star Georgia product, committed to the Crimson Tide in October. 

Fromm, who stands 6'3", 220 pounds as a junior at Houston County High School, helped his team secure a No. 1 seed in the state playoffs with three touchdown tosses, according to Michael Lough of The Telegraph. He racked up 387 yards on 26 pass completions, propelling Houston County to a 34-13 win over Northside High School.

Rated No. 9 among 2017 pro-style quarterbacks, Fromm is highly accomplished at the high school level. He's collected 7,618 passing yards and 64 touchdowns since 2013, per MaxPreps

Alabama already has the makings of a dynamic offensive backfield in its 2017 class. Along with Fromm, California running back Najee Harris consistently commands attention.

The 6'2", 220-pound rusher is a 5-star recruit rated No. 1 overall among 2017 running backs. Harris erupted for 268 rushing yards and four scores Saturday, according to The Chronicleleading Antioch High School to a league title. 

His performance featured three touchdowns and 126 yards in the fourth quarter alone. It's the fifth time this season Harris has gained at least 200 rushing yards, per MaxPreps, and he's surpassed 2,000 yards for a second-straight year.

B.J. Emmons, another Crimson Tide running back, also enjoyed a big game this weekend. The Freedom High School (North Carolina) senior, rated No. 3 nationally among 2016 prospects at the position, further padded his impressive prep stats. 

He rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns in a Friday night victory over Patton High School, according to The News HeraldEmmons added two special teams scores, returning a punt and kickoff to the end zone.

Current Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry continues to emerge as the latest Heisman Trophy candidate in Alabama's offensive backfield. Emmons and Harris appear well-equipped to maintain a successful rushing attack in Tuscaloosa for years to come.

 

Tyler Donohue is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Tyler via Twitter: @TDsTake.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football's All-Week 10 First Team: Top Performers at Every Position

If Week 10 was any indication, the month of November is going to be filled with even more amazing college football performances in a season that has already been quite incredible.

This past weekend's stacked card of heavyweight conference bouts featured record-breaking games, downright-absurd offensive stat lines and ferocious defensive performances.

For example, Alabama took control of the SEC West race with several standout performers from all three phases of play. Oklahoma State produced big play after big play on both sides of the ball, and one of the nation's most prolific offenses found a way to exceed its highest standards in a massive win.

As is the case every Sunday afternoon, here is this week's All-American team in college football. These players are picked by their dominance of the weekly statistical leaderboards, with extra attention given to those who stood out in high-profile games—and there were quite a few of those in Week 10.

Plenty of notable names just missed the cut, so feel free to shout out your favorite performances from this past week in the comments below.

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Michigan Football: How Wolverines' Top Commits Performed This Weekend

Future Michigan Wolverines players continue to post impressive efforts in high school action across America. 

Members of the program's 2016 and 2017 recruiting classes came up big for their respective squads in key situations. State title pursuits have entered a pivotal stage and several Wolverines commits proved they're up to the task. 

Indiana quarterback Brandon Peters picked apart opponents throughout a thrilling overtime victory in postseason action. The 6'5", 205-pound Elite 11 finalist, pledged to Michigan since April, spearheaded Avon High School's 37-34 win over defending state champion Cathedral High School.

He completed 18 pass attempts for 236 yards and three touchdowns, according to Paul Shepherd of the Indianapolis Star. Peters, who also considered scholarship offers from LSU, Nebraska and Wisconsin, added a two-yard scoring run. 

Avon claimed its first regional title in a decade when he fired a game-winning 10-yard touchdown strike.

“I was thinking I need to go score for my team. Let's get this win and move on to the next one," Peters told Shepherd.

The 4-star prospect, rated No. 7 nationally among pro-style quarterbacks in 2016 composite rankings, has reached new heights as a senior. He has thrown 35 touchdowns and just five interceptions through 12 games this fall, per MaxPreps, leading Avon to 10 victories.

Peters has completed 60 percent of passes for a career-best 2,803 yards. The performance against Cathedral was his seventh this season that featured at least 230 passing yards. 

Fellow 2016 Wolverines commit Ahmir Mitchell also made an impact as his team achieved a season-long goal. Cedar Creek High School (New Jersey) captured a conference championship Friday night with a 41-6 win over Pleasantville High School, according to the Press of Atlantic City.

Mitchell recorded a 12-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter, helping Cedar Creek set the tone for a commanding performance. Rated No. 9 nationally among "athletes", he's projected to play wide receiver in Ann Arbor but a future at safety remains possible.

A pair of Michigan running back commits also showed off their skills in recent matchups.

Kingston Davis, a 6'1", 225-pound battering ram from Prattville High School in Alabama, set a program record for single-season rushing yards in his final game. He rushed for 180 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-7 victory over Valley High School, according to Ethan Bernal of the Montgomery Advertiser.

Davis gained 1,650 yards on the ground as a senior, establishing a new high mark for Prattville. He rushed for more than 3,000 yards as an upperclassman. 

Kurt Taylor, the top-rated member of Michigan's 2017 class, scored a rushing touchdown for Newton High School (Georgia) during a 42-0 win over Rockdale High School, according to Manny Fils of the Newton Citizen. The junior now has 10 scores on the ground since October started, per MaxPreps.

Taylor, a 5'9", 200-pound playmaker, surpassed 1,000 rushing yards this season entering November.

 

Tyler Donohue is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Tyler via Twitter: @TDsTake.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football Rankings 2015: Hits and Misses from the Week 11 Polls

And then there were six. 

The first week in November was especially unkind to undefeated teams across college football, as five unbeatens—LSU, Memphis, Michigan State, TCU and Toledo—lost. In one way, that makes the playoff picture clearer. It also makes you wonder what will happen if more unbeaten teams fall. Mathematically, that's bound to happen at least once, as Oklahoma State and Baylor play in a couple of weeks. 

In the meantime, it's time to take stock of where teams are ranked in the USA Today Amway Coaches Poll and the Associated Press Top 25 ahead of the playoff committee's rankings on Tuesday. 

Where did pollsters get it right? Where did they swing and miss? We give our two cents in the following slides based not only on the past week's action, but also on what has transpired so far this season.

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