Projected Top 25 College Football Playoff rankings after Week 11: No. 10-9
10. Louisville Cardinals
The one thing that Louisville absolutely can’t afford to do over the end of the regular season is have another performance like the one they put forth in the stunning loss to Pitt earlier in the year, their lone defeat to this point. And yet, Jeff Brohm’s team almost got caught again by one of the bottom-feeders in the ACC as they hosted lowly Virginia on Thursday night.
Louisville had very few answers for young UVA quarterback Anthony Colandrea as he threw for 300+ and rushed for 89 yards as well. With some miscues offensively from Jack Plummer and Jawhar Jordan too, Louisville found itself down 24-17 in the fourth quarter. However, they deserve credit for clawing back with some explosive plays, including the game-winning 73-yard touchdown run from Isaac Guerendo.
Now with a long week, the Cardinals will go on the road to Miami next week before finishing the year against Kentucky. They are ostensibly still alive for the Playoff, but Week 11 proved that’s anything but a formality to remain intact.
9. Oregon State Beavers
And just like that, Jonathan Smith has a Top 10 team on his hands at Oregon State.
Without question, the Beavers are benefitting from a multitude of teams previously ranked ahead of them falling this week. But credit to this Oregon State group for continuing to pick up wins in the Pac-12 and doing so emphatically against weak competition. That’s what we saw on Saturday as they welcomed Stanford to Corvallis by handing them a 62-17 drubbing.
Damien Martinez was the start of the show out of the Beavs backfield, rushing for just shy of 150 yards and getting into the end zone four times. The defense also showed up in a major way, picking Ashton Daniels off three times to set up the offense advantageously throughout this beatdown. As Oregon State keeps this up, though, they can be true agents of chaos as they host Washington and visit Oregon in their final two games of the regular season.