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Cowboys Jump Into Top 10 Of CFP Rankings

Oklahoma State moves up to 10th in this week's College Football Playoff rankings.

Much as we expected, the Oklahoma State Cowboys came right off the practice field from their first practice of the bye week and in preparation for Oklahoma and the Bedlam version of another Big 12 championship game and were able to turn on the big screen televisions in the locker room and in the training table upstairs to see that they are now in the top 10 of the College Football Playoff rankings.

The Pokes are 9-2 with a chance to beat an eighth-ranked Oklahoma team that also moved up one spot in this week's (second to last) version of the rankings. The moves came with Louisville (ranked fifth last week) losing big to Houston last Thursday and the Cardinals fell all the way down to 11th, one spot ahead of the ESPN "now" team Southern Cal. 

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The ESPN crew of Reece Davis, David Pollack, Joey Galloway, Danny Wuerffel and Kirk Herbstreit went through a long debate on where USC, playing really well right now after a quarterback change following two losses in September to Sam Darnold but still 8-3, should be ranked as they may be one of the best teams playing right now.

Oklahoma State plays Oklahoma on Dec. 3 in Norman and the winner will be 10-2 and be the Big 12 champion. Now can they make a bid to be in the CFB Playoff?

The best route is for Alabama and Ohio State to win out. The Crimson Tide is top-ranked and even with a loss would not fall behind a Big 12 challenger. Ohio State hammered OU in Norman in September and even with a loss would be a detriment to a Big 12 candidate as  a result. Ohio State winning would rule out Michigan.

Penn State is No. 7 and plays Michigan State this Saturday, and OSU fans should root for the Spartans in the upset as that would help. Ideally, Ohio State in the Big 10 championship game and beating sixth-ranked Wisconsin would help the cause for the Cowboys.

Washington is ranked fifth and plays Washington State in the Apple Cup on the road in Pullman this weekend. A win by Mike Leach's Cougars would also help, but isn't absolute as Washington could face USC in the Pac-12 championship game and lose to them again. Clemson is ranked fourth and plays South Carolina and is a likely winner and then will play Virginia Tech in the ACC championship game, a loss in either would help but doesn't have to happen.

The Big 12 and Oklahoma State needs one of the four spots to open up. Colorado is ranked ninth and the Buffaloes play Utah this week and a win by the Utes would send Colorado out.

There is still a lot that needs to happen, but all of it is possible. Enough of it happening may not be likely but it is much better than the chances described in Dumb and Dumber. "I'll tell you there is better than a chance, there is a reasonable chance."   

Oklahoma State currently stacks up well with teams in their vicinity of the rankings with wins over past rated teams in either the CFP or the AP and USA Today polls like Pittsburgh, Texas, and West Virginia (still ranked in the CFP). The Cowboys are third in the Big 12 in scoring offense with an average of 40.4 points a game, third in scoring defense allowing an average of 27.2 points a game. They are fifth in total offense with an average of 500.4 yards a game and sixth in total defense allowing an average of 441.4 yards per game. They have quarterback Mason Rudolph, wide receiver James Washington, punter Zach Sinor, and defensive tackle Vincent Taylor that are leading or near the top of individual stats in the Big 12 and the FBS of Division I.

Rank

Team

Record

Outlook

1

Alabama

11-0

Can split its next two games with Auburn & Florida and still make playoffs.

2

Ohio St.

10-1

Beat Michigan at home and Ohio State is in the playoff.

3

Michigan

10-1

Relying on a backup QB to win in Columbus and stay in the Top 4.

4

Clemson

10-1

Can’t afford a loss Saturday vs. S. Carolina, or in the ACC Championship.

5

Wash.

10-1

Will UW vault the Ohio St./Michigan loser if it wins at WSU Friday?

6

Wisc.

9-2

A win against Minnesota and in the B1G title game could get them in the final four.

7

Penn St.

9-2

Still have an outside shot at the playoffs, but must beat Michigan State Saturday.

8

Oklahoma

9-2

Plan is to beat Oklahoma St. and root against Washington, Ohio St. and Wisconsin.

9

Colorado

9-2

Will win Pac-12 South by beating Utah in Boulder.

10

Okla. St.

9-2

A win at Oklahoma will reopen the debate about their controversial first ‘loss’.

11

Louisville

9-2

Beating Kentucky would boost the Cards’ Orange Bowl hopes.

12

USC

8-3

The team no one wants to play right now hosts reeling Notre Dame.

13

Auburn

8-3

Enters the Iron Bowl as a 20-point underdog.

14

Fla. St.

8-3

Can win 4th straight mythical ‘state championship’ by beating Florida.

15

Florida

8-2

Visits Florida State Saturday with a trip to the SEC Championship already booked.

16

Nebraska

8-2

Starting QB Tommy Armstrong Jr. won’t play in regular season finale at Iowa.

17

Tenn.

8-3

’Life Championship’ secured, Vols travel to Vanderbilt

18

WVU

8-2

Mountaineers have two regular season games left: @Iowa St., Baylor

19

Boise St.

10-1

Needs a win at Air Force and a Wyoming loss to make the MWC title game.

20

Houston

9-2

Back into the rankings after a convincing win over Louisville.

21

W. Mich.

11-0

Completes a perfect season with a home win against 9-2 Toledo on Friday.

22

Utah

8-3

If Utah beats Colorado, USC advances to the Pac-12 Championship game.

23

Wash. St.

8-3

Wins the Pac-12 North with an upset of Washington Friday in Pullman.

24

Stanford

8-3

Hosting Rice all but assures the Cardinal of a 9-win season

25

Navy

8-2

Jumps into the top 25


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