Penn State jumps into the top 10

Four of the top 15 teams in the College Football Playoff selection committee's initial rankings fell in Week 10. Those losses left holes in the top 10 for the likes of Penn State and Oklahoma.

Power Rankings voters: Edward Aschoff, Butch Davis, Heather Dinich, Brad Edwards, Chris Fallica, Rod Gilmore, Danny Kanell, Chris Low, Ivan Maisel, Ryan McGee, Adam Rittenberg, Mark Schlabach | How they voted

Previous rankings: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8| Week 9

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0)


Week 9 ranking: 1
Week 10 result: Defeated LSU 10-0

We all knew Alabama's game with LSU would resemble multiple trucks crashing into each other, and the game certainly delivered. Alabama's win featured just 448 total yards and 21 tackles for loss, as Alabama was shut out in the first half for the first time since 2007 (against Florida State). Still, the Tide won ugly in what was always going to be their most physical game of the season.

2. Clemson Tigers (9-0)


Week 9 ranking: 2
Week 10 result: Defeated Syracuse 54-0

The Tigers had a chance for a letdown against a rejuvenated Syracuse team, but that 54-0 win shows the focus of this team. Deshaun Watson left at the half with a shoulder injury, but he should be fine. Clemson will be a heavy favorite from here on out, so avoiding complacency is critical for a return to the College Football Playoff.

3. Michigan Wolverines (9-0)


Week 9 ranking: 3
Week 10 result: Defeated Maryland 59-3

Michigan entered the day as a 30-plus-point favorite over Maryland and left the Big House with a commanding win. Michigan was up 35-0 at the half, and the Wolverines have now outscored their six Big Ten opponents 171-10 in the first half. They're the first FBS team to score a touchdown on every first-half drive of a conference game this season.

4. Washington Huskies (9-0)


Week 9 ranking: 4
Week 10 result: Defeated Cal 66-27

A few days after a lot of bellyaching about not making the top four in the College Football Playoff selection committee's first rankings, the Huskies look just fine now after a 66-27 throttling of Cal. Oh, and the team that had slipped by the Huskies? Well, Texas A&M fell flat in a loss to unranked Mississippi State. Regardless of what happens in this week's set of rankings, all the Huskies have to do is win out. A Pac-12 title and a 13-0 record should do just fine.

5. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-1)


Week 9 ranking: 6
Week 10 result: Defeated Nebraska 62-3

That 17.5-point spread entering Saturday's game against Nebraska seemed a little high, but it should have been higher -- much higher. The Buckeyes lit up the scoreboard for 62 points and pounded the Huskers with 590 yards.

6. Louisville Cardinals (8-1)


Week 9 ranking: 5
Week 10 result: Defeated Boston College 52-7

Cardinals fans might be livid with their playoff ranking, but each week they fall in love with Lamar Jackson all over again. In Louisville's rout of Boston College, Jackson accounted for seven touchdowns (four passing, three rushing), which was his FBS-leading third game this season with seven touchdowns or more. Jackson has 21 more total touchdowns (45) than Lamar University this season.

7. Wisconsin Badgers (7-2)


Week 9 ranking: 8
Week 10 result: Defeated Northwestern 21-7

Still one of the nation's biggest surprises, the Badgers grinded out a tough win at Northwestern and are still in play for a New Year's Six bowl. Better yet, with Nebraska going down, the Badgers are still in line to play for the Big Ten title -- with a better than 82 percent chance to win each of their final three games (according to ESPN's FPI). That could vault this two-loss team into the playoff.

8. Auburn Tigers (7-2)


Week 9 ranking: 9
Week 10 result: Defeated Vanderbilt 23-16

Maybe that No. 9 ranking got to the Tigers' heads? Or maybe not having starting quarterback Sean White in the first half (injury) had something to do with it, but Auburn avoided a major upset with a win over Vanderbilt. White played in the second half, completing 10 of 13 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown to keep Auburn's SEC title hopes alive.

9. Oklahoma Sooners (7-2)


Week 9 ranking: 12
Week 10 result: Defeated Iowa State 34-24

The Sooners got just the right tuneup with a win at Iowa State on Thursday before a brutal final three weeks of the season. Oklahoma will finish the season against Baylor, West Virginia (on the road) and Oklahoma State, who are all ranked.

10. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-2)


Week 9 ranking: 22
Week 10 result: Defeated Iowa 41-14

Don't look now, but the Nittany Lions are very much in the Big Ten championship race, especially after manhandling Iowa behind Saquon Barkley's 211 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. Obviously, they need Michigan to help them out with a couple of losses, but a program teetering on the edge heading into the season now sits at 7-2 with a trip to Indiana up next.

11. Texas A&M Aggies (7-2)


Week 9 ranking: 7
Week 10 result: Lost to Mississippi State 35-28

There was some griping about the Aggies taking the No. 4 spot in the first batch of the College Football Playoff rankings. You can forget about that now, after the Aggies were upset 35-28 at Mississippi State. SEC title and playoff hopes are all but gone, and Trevor Knight's health is an issue after he left the game early with an apparent shoulder injury.

12. Utah Utes (7-2)


Week 9 ranking: 14
Week 10 result: Bye

The Utes were off after their tough loss to Washington, but the good news is that they still control their destiny in the Pac-12 South, which means that there could be a rematch with the Huskies in the Pac-12 championship game.

13. Colorado Buffaloes (7-2)


Week 9 ranking: 20
Week 10 result: Defeated UCLA 20-10

Who would have thought that Colorado would have a say in the Pac-12 race this late in the season? Well, after the Buffs' win over UCLA, Colorado has a one-game lead in the Pac-12 South race over USC and Utah. Even better news for the Buffs is that two (Washington State, Utah) of their final three games are at home.

14. North Carolina Tar Heels (7-2)


Week 9 ranking: 16
Week 10 result: Defeated Georgia Tech 48-20

In the Tar Heels' win over Georgia Tech, running back Elijah Hood tied a career high with three rushing touchdowns and UNC improved to 9-0 in Hood's career when he rushes for multiple touchdowns.

15. West Virginia Mountaineers (7-1)


Week 9 ranking: 15
Week 10 result: Defeated Kansas 48-21

The Mountaineers bounced back from their loss to Oklahoma State by thrashing Kansas. After this, though, things get a lot tougher, as West Virginia tries to keep up with Oklahoma in the Big 12 race. Texas, Oklahoma and Baylor are all a part of West Virginia's November slate.

16. Virginia Tech Hokies (7-2)


Week 9 ranking: 21
Week 10 result: Defeated Duke 24-21

It's been a pretty solid debut for coach Justin Fuente. We even got to see a little Beamer Ball against the Blue Devils, as Adonis Alexander returned a blocked kick 75 yards for a touchdown. The Hokies control their destiny in the ACC Coastal, with winnable games against Georgia Tech and Virginia remaining.

17. LSU Tigers (5-3)


Week 9 ranking: 13
Week 10 result: Lost to Alabama 10-0

The Tigers put up a hellacious defensive fight with No. 1 Alabama but didn't have enough offensive steam or strength to penetrate the Tide. With Arkansas, Florida and Texas A&M still on the schedule, you have to wonder what the psyche of this team will be since the SEC West is pretty much out of reach and the fate of interim coach Ed Orgeron is a complete unknown.

18. Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-2)


Week 9 ranking: 23
Week 10 result: Defeated Kansas State 43-37

The Cowboys scored twice on the road in the final eight minutes to overcome a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit and beat a salty Kansas State team. Quarterback Mason Rudolph continues to light the skies up, as he threw for 457 yards and five touchdowns, including an 82-yarder to James Washington to cut Kansas State's lead to one halfway through the fourth quarter.

19. Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-2)


Week 9 ranking: 11
Week 10 result: Lost to Ohio State 62-3

With Saturday's big loss to Ohio State, the Cornhuskers have dropped two in a row. Hey, there's nothing wrong with losing back-to-back road games to ranked teams. However, this loss officially puts Wisconsin in the driver's seat of the Big Ten West. The Huskers also got a major scare when quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. was taken off on a stretcher after taking a hit along the sideline, but he later returned to the sideline in street clothes.

20. Western Michigan Broncos (9-0)


Week 9 ranking: 17
Week 10 result: Defeated Ball State 52-20

Wide receiver Corey Davis got some national recognition, along with his team, in Western Michigan's win over Ball State for a school-record 11th straight victory. The Broncos continued their unbeaten run through 2016, and Davis caught 12 passes for a MAC-record 272 yards and tied the conference mark for career touchdown receptions (47).

21. Washington State Cougars (7-2)


Week 9 ranking: NR
Week 10 result: Defeated Arizona 69-7

The Cougars rolled Arizona to register their most points ever against a Pac-12 opponent. Washington State has won seven straight games since starting 0-2, the Cougars' longest win streak since 2002. The last time Washington State won eight straight in a single season was 1930.

22. Florida State Seminoles (6-3)


Week 9 ranking: 19
Week 10 result: Defeated NC State 24-20

There's just something about these NC State games for the Seminoles. It took a late Travis Rudolph touchdown to avoid an upset that would have seen the Noles enter four-loss territory to start the month of November.

23. USC Trojans (6-3)


Week 9 ranking: 24
Week 10 result: Defeated Oregon 45-20

First-year coach Clay Helton really has the Trojans rolling now. After a 45-20 win over reeling Oregon, USC has won five in a row, four by at least 21 points. This makes the next game, at Washington, that much more intriguing.

24. Florida Gators (6-2)


Week 9 ranking: 10
Week 10 result: Lost to Arkansas 31-10

This is your fading SEC East leader, folks. The Gators were blasted at Arkansas after 10 drives lasted five plays or fewer or ended with a turnover. Florida entered the Arkansas game allowing the fewest points (11.7) and yards (239.9) per game in the SEC. But on Saturday, the Gators allowed 24 offensive points and 466 yards.

25. Boise State Broncos (8-1)


Week 7 ranking: 25
Week 8 result: Defeated San Jose State 45-31

The Broncos wore those black jerseys well, bouncing back from the loss to Wyoming. It didn't hurt that Boise State running backs Jeremy McNichols and Alexander Mattison combine for 258 yards and three touchdowns.

Out of the rankings: Baylor

Others receiving votes: Arkansas, Baylor, Wyoming, San Diego State, Navy, Temple, Tennessee, Houston, Minnesota