Projected Top 25 College Football Playoff rankings after Week 11: No. 20-16
20. North Carolina Tar Heels
Duke was without Riley Leonard for this rivalry game against the Tar Heels, but anyone in the world knows that Gene Chizik is the great equalizer. The Blue Devils stayed alive with an onside kick that created a frenetic ending, including a Duke TD and a game-tying UNC field goal in the final minute to go to overtime. After trading field goals in the first OT, Drake Maye put the Heels on his back for the touchdown and two-point conversion. Duke answered with a TD but missed on the two-point try to give UNC an ugly win, but a win nonetheless.
19. Tulane Green Wave
Honestly, it’s only more frustrating to know that undefeated James Madison is senselessly not eligible for a bowl game and the CFP rankings, which is going to put this Tulane team into a New Year’s Six bowl game. The Green Wave edged out a poor Tulas team on Saturday to stay with one loss, but outside of Michael Pratt, this is a B-movie version of the team we saw last year from Tulane.
18. Iowa Hawkeyes
In case you were ever in doubt, the Iowa under hit once again, despite a 22-point offensive explosion from Brian Ferentz’s unit and the lowest total in college football history after the line closed at 27.5. Hats off to this defense, as per usual, for making the Rutgers offense look completely hopeless in the 22-0 win for the Hawkeyes. They move up, but no one in their right mind would give them a chance against any team in the Top 10 (and maybe the Top 15).
17. Arizona Wildcats
Jedd Fisch’s team broke into the Top 25 last week when the committee met after back-to-back upset wins. On Saturday, they almost found themselves on the other side of that against Colorado in Boulder. Shedeur Sanders had Arizona on the ropes in a shootout, but the Wildcats defense put the clamps on at the right time and Noah Fifita continued his rise to stardom with a key late drive to set up the game-winning field goal.
16. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
After having played in Week 0, the Irish were able to get a bye in Week 11 before going into their final two-game stretch against Wake Forest and Notre Dame. Not too shabby to not step foot on the field and move up four spots in the rankings, huh? The Irish definitely benefit from a chaotic week and should be able to finish strong to at least make a push for a New Year’s Six bid.