Welcome to Week 11 of the college football season. We’ll have you covered on all the day’s Top 25 action, with plenty of picks, tips and the best highlights from Saturday’s action.
LSU vs. Alabama — Game lives up to hype
As LSU and Alabama prepare for an epic showdown, Gene Wojciechowski explores the history and pageantry of college football’s games of the century.
Click here for everything you need to know about No. 2 LSU’s victory against No. 3 Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Top 25 games
In order of game time; lines courtesy Caesars Sportsbook
Wyoming at No. 22 Boise State
Time: 10:15 p.m. ET
How to watch: ESPN and ESPN App
Line: Boise State -15
And our best line: Wyoming has won its past two games against ranked opponents. The Cowboys have never won three straight against ranked teams.
What the results mean
No. 1 Ohio State 73, Maryland 14
The Buckeyes handled Maryland easily even without top defender Chase Young, who sat out while the Buckeyes conduct an investigation into a potential NCAA violation. If Young has to sit against Penn State and Michigan as well, it makes those two games more interesting, but the Buckeyes have plenty of depth on defense to help fill that void. Either way, Ohio State has shown very few weaknesses and is still looking like the top team in the country heading down the stretch. — Tom VanHaaren
No. 17 Minnesota 31, No. 4 Penn State 26
Start rowing. P.J. Fleck’s Gophers validated their 8-0 start with an electric performance against Penn State. Minnesota put itself on the CFP radar behind emerging star quarterback Tanner Morgan, playmaking safety Antoine Winfield Jr. and one of the nation’s best wide receiving corps. Sophomore Rashod Bateman set a TCF Bank Stadium record with 203 yards on seven catches, as he consistently got behind a confused Penn State secondary. Morgan showed he could match the moment with 339 pass yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Penn State’s time in the top four will be short-lived, as it looked nothing like a playoff contender or a team that can challenge No. 1 Ohio State in two weeks. The Nittany Lions had been road-tested (Iowa, Michigan State) but struggled from the start on both sides of the ball. Although Sean Clifford’s first-half struggles put PSU in a hole, the Lions’ issues on defense were most baffling. They couldn’t generate much pressure and hemorrhaged yards after entering the game ranked in the top 10 in most major categories. PSU still can win the East Division but showed little Saturday to indicate it can keep pace with the Buckeyes on Nov. 23. Minnesota, meanwhile, is firmly in control of the Big Ten West Division and could be the biggest threat to Ohio State in the league. — Adam Rittenberg
No. 13 Wisconsin 24, No. 18 Iowa 22
The Badgers are still alive in the West Division, but need to win out AND hope Minnesota loses at either Iowa or Northwestern over the next two weeks. ESPN’s FPI gives Minnesota less than a 40% chance to win at Iowa on Nov. 16 and at home against Wisconsin in the regular-season finale on Nov. 30 (36%). It’s still possible for Wisconsin to face Ohio State again in the Big Ten championship game.
The three-loss Hawkeyes will sink in the committee’s top 25 on Tuesday after their offense was held under 100 rushing yards and converted just 1 of 9 third downs. The question is whether Iowa can rebound to play the role of spoiler on Saturday against undefeated Minnesota. ESPN’s FPI gives the Hawkeyes a 61.7% chance to win at home. So far this season, though, Iowa has lost to every ranked team it has faced. — Heather Dinich
Texas 27, No. 16 Kansas State 24
The Wildcats’ chances at a Big 12 title-game berth took a big blow with the road loss to Texas. They’re now two games behind Oklahoma in the loss column and Texas is now a game ahead of the Wildcats with the tiebreaker in hand. K-State started fast, jumping out to a 14-0 lead, but got outplayed in the second half by the Longhorns. It’s a tough loss in an otherwise solid season thus far for new coach Chris Klieman. — Sam Khan Jr.
Virginia Tech 36, No. 19 Wake Forest 17
Perhaps the Demon Deacons were looking ahead to Clemson, or perhaps they just caught a vastly improved Virginia Tech team playing inspired football on Bud Foster appreciation day. Whatever the case, Wake Forest had its poorest performance of the year in a loss to the Hokies, one week after easily handling NC State. Jamie Newman struggled all game, but he wasn’t alone as the defense had a difficult time slowing down dual-threat quarterback Hendon Hooker. It all begs the question — if Virginia Tech can completely shut down Wake Forest, what will happen next week against Brent Venables and his top-five Clemson defense? — Andrea Adelson
No. 20 Cincinnati 48, UConn 3
Cincinnati may have needed a bye week after last week’s track-meet win over ECU. The Bearcats got the next best thing. Quarterback Desmond Ridder got to head to the bench one drive into the second half, and the defense pitched a shutout until the backups gave up a late score. They’ll take a two-game (in the loss column) division lead to St. Pete to face USF next week. The AAC East title is in sight. — Bill Connelly
No. 25 SMU 59, East Carolina 51
SMU’s homecoming crowd certainly got a show, but it was probably more of one than they would have preferred. The Mustangs put up 636 yards but allowed 644, and they needed a late fumble recovery to set up the winning points. Still, they survived a must-win game, and their AAC title hopes remain intact. And after back-to-back track meets, they get a bye week to prepare for another do-or-die game: a trip to Navy. — Bill Connelly
The best of the week
Baby Fleck doot doot doo doo doo doo
This miniature P.J. Fleck is elite.
P.J. Fleck has a tiny doppleganger 😊 pic.twitter.com/sVDAzPMn3s
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) November 9, 2019
I knew Minnesota’s coach was young but this is just ridiculous pic.twitter.com/1jLraEfKT6
— Luke Zimmermann (@lukezim) November 9, 2019
There’s only one person capable of reaching this pass during the TCU-Baylor game, and, alas, Mr. Cowboy isn’t up for the challenge.
CATCH THE DAMN BALL pic.twitter.com/OlsC9tlRbj
— nick pants (@stnap_kcin) November 9, 2019
Florida State’s D.J. Matthews completes a 60-yard reception with a dive for the pylon and a TD as the Seminoles get a win for interim coach Odell Haggins.
D.J. Matthews makes the catch and takes it all the way down the sidelines as he dives over the pylon to give Florida State a late 31-24 lead.
Big Shaq gets you ready for the big game
This LSU hype video narrated by Tigers alum Shaquille O’Neal will get you ready to suit up and hit somebody.
Win your battle. Win your match.
Impose your will. One on one.
Winner Take All. pic.twitter.com/IWnJncYGPs
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) November 7, 2019
Way back in Big D
SMU’s record looks like it did in the 1980s, and SMU’s video team is bringing it all back to when the TV show “Dallas” ruled prime time.