As the season rolls in November, the debate for “best team in college football” will only get more intense. The College Football Playoff Selection Committee is still two weeks away from making its initial thoughts public, so until then, we have other rankings to use as the launching point for discussion. The major polls stuck with Clemson as their No. 1 after Week 9, but our voters in the CBS Sports 127 — a comprehensive ranking of every college football team playing in 2020 — have ushered a change at the top.
Alabama has jumped Clemson for the No. 1 spot after showing total domination in a 41-0 win against Mississippi State on Saturday. Clemson didn’t fall far after its narrow comeback win against Boston College, checking in at No. 2 ahead of Ohio State at No. 3 and Notre Dame at No. 4. The rankings only heighten the excitement for the week ahead with Clemson traveling to Notre Dame along with Georgia and Florida, No. 5 and No. 6 in our rankings this week, set to square off in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week.
One of the biggest results of Week 9 did lead to a shake up in the rankings with Oklahoma State dropping outside the top 10 following its first loss of the season. Texas, the winner in that Big 12 showdown, made one of the biggest jumps, moving up nearly two dozen spots after the road victory. For more on the biggest adjustments for this week, check out the Mover’s Report below.
College football experts from CBS Sports and 247Sports contribute ballots each week, which are averaged together for our rankings. You can see the top 25 below and 26-127 on our rankings page.
- No. 24 Texas (+23): Longhorns back? For Tom Herman, the pressure has been relieved for the week (at least) as this 2020 Texas team was able to buy back into the Big 12 race with the overtime win against Oklahoma State. Now the attention turns to a four-game finish with three of those opponents (West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas State) all equally likely to be wins or losses. If Texas wins out, it would mark one of the biggest turnarounds of the season. If the Longhorns lose all three then we’re right back to the Herman hot seat conversation that was temporarily silenced this weekend.
- No. 19 Auburn (+11): Bo Nix had one of the best performances of his college career and Auburn picked up a huge win at LSU. The Tigers have two losses already and a couple of controversial finishes, but they are racking up wins against SEC West opponents and surging in our rankings.
- No. 20 Boise State (+7): The return of Mountain West football has brought Boise State back onto our radar but also given us a great opponent to judge BYU, which continues its march up the rankings. Next week’s showdown between the Broncos and the Cougars is yet another excellent game on a slate of stellar ones in Week 10.
- No. 12 Oklahoma State (-6): Losing in overtime to Texas doesn’t result in a major adjustment for the Cowboys, but the fall comes with the understanding that it’s much tougher to jump back into the top 10 with a limited number of Big 12 teams carrying high rankings. Our voters aren’t giving up on Oklahoma State as one of the better teams in the country, but even that status probably requires back-to-back wins against Kansas State and Oklahoma to stay in the top 15.
- No. 25 North Carolina (-10): This is a turning point in North Carolina’s season where the Tar Heels must put the mistakes of two road losses away and turn their focus on a strong finish with games against Notre Dame and Miami left on the schedule. Saturday’s three-point loss at Virginia included many of the same frustrations as the three-point loss at Florida State, and it’s a stringing realization that with a few less mistakes this team could be 6-0. Instead, North Carolina is 4-2 and moving backwards fast in our rankings, needing a win in one of those late season games to hang on in the top 25 through the end of the year.
Check out the rest of the CBS Sports 127: Teams ranked 26-127