Projected College Football Playoff rankings Top 25 after Week 10: No. 10-9
10. Penn State Nittany Lions
Given what James Franklin’s team had shown over the past two games, Penn State truly needed to come out and show something against a Maryland team that has been searching for answers more than anything recently. Thankfully for the sanity of everyone in Happy Valley, the Nittany Lions were more than able to accomplish that.
Drew Allar had one of his most productive games of the year as he went 25-of-34 for 240 yards and four touchdowns, adding 39 rushing yards as well. The defense also showed up hugely, as per usual, forcing two interceptions and two fumbles on the day while limiting the Terps running backs to four yards on six carries. That’s the recipe for a resounding 51-15 win.
It’s difficult to say whether or not this gives Penn State a chance next weekend against Michigan, but it does at least make it feel like it might not be a blowout.
9. Ole Miss Rebels
Especially with Georgia next up on the schedule for Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss Rebels, there was always the potential to overlook a still highly talented Texas A&M Aggies team coming to Oxford on Saturday. Maybe that was the case, maybe it was an indication of what Ole Miss is this season, but they found themselves near some serious trouble in Week 10.
Ole Miss jumped out to a 28-14 lead midway through the third quarter with Quinshon Judkins’ second rushing score of the day, but the Rebels defense then allowed Max Johnson to start cooking a bit, eventually leading to the Aggies taking a 35-31 advantage with about 4:30 left.
It was Judkins’ third score of the day – along with a missed A&M field goal as time expired – ultimately proved to be the difference. However, for Ole Miss to have a real chance to beat Georgia next week as a Top 10 team, the defense needs to be much better than it was this week.