Projected Top 25 College Football Playoff rankings after Week 12: No. 8-7
8. Alabama Crimson Tide
Not that we expected anything different from Alabama hosting FCS Chattanooga the week before the Iron Bowl, but the Crimson Tide gave the Mocs the absolute work on Saturday in Tuscaloosa.
Just look anywhere in the box score and it was a monster day for Nick Saban’s team. Jalen Milroe might actually be disappointed with only three touchdowns (all passing) to his credit on the day, but Jase McClelland, Roydell Williams, Justice Haynes and Richard Young all found the end zone on the ground. Heck, even backup quarterback Ty Simpson had a 78-yard run. Meanwhile, Chattanooga’s lone touchdown came on a 40-yard run in the second quarter when the Mocs already trailed by 31.
Obviously, there’s not a whole lot to glean from this game given the severe talent gap. Even still, Alabama has now won nine consecutive games and, if they get past rival Auburn – a team that lost in a stunner to New Mexico State on Saturday – next week, all that stands in their way of the Playoff is Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
7. Texas Longhorns
There were two major questions coming into Week 12 for the Texas Longhorns. First, how good and believable was the Iowa State team they were going on the road to face after the Cyclones had been streaking and making noise in the Big 12 of late? Second, how would the offense look after the loss of star running back Jonathan Brooks last week to a torn ACL?
If you just looked at the scoreboard, you might think that Iowa State is damn good and that the Texas offense struggled, especially early. However, the Longhorns moved the ball consistently but couldn’t get out of their own way early with a number of touchdown-negating or extremely costly penalties that really hurt them in a big way. Even still, the defense showed up big in the second half, as did Quinn Ewers and C.J. Baxter, for Texas to pull away and move one step closer to the Big 12 Championship Game.
That spot isn’t locked up thanks to the head-to-head loss to Oklahoma, but the Longhorns should be heading to Arlington and looking for some help to get into the Playoff.