College football Power Rankings for Week 13

ByChris Low ESPN logo
Sunday, November 29, 2020

With Nick Saban watching from home,Alabamacontinued its dominance this season with a 42-13 rout ofAuburnon Saturday to remain atop ESPN's Week 13 college football Power Rankings.

Saban was isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 last week, but Alabama didn't miss a beat without its head coach, and it has now won each of its past four games by at least 29 points.

The only movement among the top four teams this week wasClemson jumping Ohio Stateinto the No. 3 spot. The Buckeyes had their second game in the past three weeks canceled.

1.Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0)

The Crimson Tide remained unbeaten with a 42-13 win at home over Auburn, which had won two of the past three Iron Bowl showdowns coming into the game. Alabama has scored more than 40 points in seven straight games, and Mac Jones torched the Tigers with five touchdown passes. While the Crimson Tide have been a juggernaut on offense, their defense is starting to look like the Tide defense of old -- as it hasn't allowed more than 17 points in the past four games.

Up next: at LSU (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, CBS)

2.Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-0)

The Irish remained unbeaten Friday with a 31-17 road victory against North Carolina to run their FBS-best winning streak to 15 games. Two more regular-season wins against Syracuse and Wake Forest will likely be enough to get the Irish into the College Football Playoff, even if they were to lose a rematch with Clemson in the ACC championship game. Notre Dame's defense was stifling Friday after North Carolina scored a pair of first-quarter touchdowns. The Tar Heels managed just 58 total yards in the second half.

Up next: vs. Syracuse (Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

3.Clemson Tigers (8-1)

Trevor Lawrence is back, and the Tigers are back to blowing out ACC opponents. Lawrence passed for 403 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-17 rout of Pittsburgh on Saturday. It was the Tigers' first game since their 47-40 loss in two overtimes to Notre Dame on Nov. 7, and it was Lawrence's first game since a 47-21 win over Syracuse on Oct. 24. Lawrence looked anything but rusty, as Clemson jumped out to a 31-0 first-quarter lead and rolled up 581 yards of total offense.

Up next: at Virginia Tech (Saturday, TBA)

4.Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0)

A COVID-19 outbreak within Ohio State's program led to the Buckeyes' game on Saturday at Illinois being canceled. Ohio State has paused all team-related activities indefinitely, and the school announced Friday that coach Ryan Day had tested positive and was in isolation. It's the second game Ohio State has had canceled this season. The Buckeyes are now in jeopardy of not being eligible to compete in the Big Ten championship game unless they get to play their final two tilts against Michigan State and Michigan.

Up next: at Michigan State (Saturday, noon ET, ABC)

5.Texas A&M Aggies (6-1)

The Aggies, playing their first game since Nov. 7, beat LSU 20-7 at home on Saturday. While Texas A&M was anything but crisp on offense, the layoff certainly didn't affect the Aggies' defense. They're really starting to settle in on that side of the ball and even scored a defensive touchdown against the Tigers on Buddy Johnson's 15-yard interception return. Texas A&M's only loss this season is to No. 1 Alabama, and the Aggies -- who own a win over Florida -- remain in the College Football Playoff picture even if they don't make it to the SEC championship game.

Up next: at Auburn (Saturday, TBA)

6.Florida Gators (7-1)

The Gators ran their winning streak to five games on Saturday with a 34-10 victory over Kentucky. They have scored 220 points in that five-game stretch, and quarterback Kyle Trask has thrown 20 touchdown passes over that span. He threw three touchdown passes in the win over the Wildcats, all three to tight end Kyle Pitts, who was playing for the first time in three weeks after being injured in the Georgia game. Florida can clinch a berth in the SEC championship game with a triumph over Tennessee this coming Saturday.

Up next: at Tennessee (Saturday, TBA)

7.BYU Cougars (9-0)

The Cougars were off this week, and it remains to be seen if they will find another opponent before their next game against San Diego State on Dec. 12. As Pac-12 contests are canceled, that could be a possibility; but BYU wants to ensure a game will be played and not have a Pac-12 team opt for another Pac-12 foe instead. BYU's closest decision in its past four outings has been 31 points, and the Cougars could use a win over a Power 5 team to strengthen a schedule that was put together from scratch.

Up next: vs. San Diego State (Dec. 12, TBA)

8.Cincinnati Bearcats (8-0)

The Bearcats' game on Saturday against Temple was canceled and declared a no contest by the American Athletic Conference due to COVID-19 issues at both schools. Cincinnati has won nine straight games dating back to last season and will now have a three-week break before taking on Tulsa on the road on Dec. 12. Because of AAC return-to-play protocols, Cincinnati will be unable to play this coming weekend, be it a makeup game with Temple or any other matchup.

Up next: at Tulsa (Dec. 12, TBA)

9.Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (9-0)

The Chanticleers remained unbeaten with a 49-14 blowout win on the road over Texas State on Saturday. It's been an amazing turnaround for Coastal Carolina, which had suffered through three straight losing seasons and lost six of its final eight games last season. The Chants clinched the East Division championship in the Sun Belt Conference and a trip to the league championship game.

Up next: vs. Liberty (Saturday, TBA)

10.Miami Hurricanes (7-1)

The Hurricanes were off for the second straight week, after last week's matchup with Georgia Tech was postponed due to COVID-19 issues within Miami's program and their game against Wake Forest was pushed back to this coming Saturday. Miami coach Manny Diaz announced he tested positive for the coronavirus a week ago. Miami's lone loss remains the 42-17 setback to Clemson on Oct. 10.

Up next: vs. North Carolina (Dec. 12, TBA)

11.Indiana Hoosiers (5-1)

The Hoosiers rebounded from their first loss of the season by defeating Maryland 27-11 on Saturday at home. It marks the first time since 1987 and 1988 that Indiana has won at least five Big Ten games in back-to-back seasons. The win could have been costly for the Hoosiers, however, as quarterback Michael Penix Jr.left the game in the third quarter with a lower right leg injury and didn't return.

Up next: at Wisconsin (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, TBA)

12.Georgia Bulldogs (6-2)

A week ago, it was JT Daniels' debut at quarterback that was the big story in Georgia's win. But on Saturday, it was the Dawgs' running game that paved the way for a 45-16 road victory over South Carolina. Georgia racked up 218 rushing yards by halftime in building a 28-10 lead and never looked back in avenging last season's upset loss at home to the Gamecocks.

Up next: vs. Vanderbilt (Saturday, TBA)

13.Iowa State Cyclones (7-2)

The Cyclones sit alone atop the Big 12 standings after rallying Friday for a 23-20 win on road at Texas. Iowa State has now beaten Oklahoma and Texas this season; from 1991 to 2019, the Cyclones were 4-33 against those two teams. Now theCyclones are all but a lock to play in the Big 12 championship game. They've never won a Big 12 title, and they haven't won a conference title of any kind since 1912, when they were a member of the former Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

Up next: vs. West Virginia (Saturday, TBA)

14.Oklahoma Sooners (6-2)

The Sooners' game on Saturday at West Virginia was postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the Oklahoma program. The Sooners were looking to extend their winning streak to six games after losing back-to-back to Iowa State and Kansas State during the second and third weeks of the campaign. Oklahoma had scored more than 40 points in its previous three games.

Up next: vs. Baylor (Saturday, TBA)

15.USC Trojans (3-0)

The Trojans' game on Saturday at Colorado was canceled because USC did not have enough scholarship players available on the offensive line due to COVID-19 tests and contact tracing. It's the first scheduled game the Trojans have had canceled this season. USC (3-0) and Colorado (2-0) are the only unbeaten teams in the Pac-12's South Division. Colorado replaced its game with USC this weekend with a nonconference contest against San Diego State.

Up next: vs. Washington State (Friday, 9:30 p.m. ET, FS1)

16.Northwestern Wildcats (5-1)

The Wildcats' dream season hit a roadblock on Saturday with a 29-20 upset loss to Michigan State, which had won just once this season coming into the game. Northwestern -- trying to go 6-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 1995, when the Wildcats played in the Rose Bowl -- battled back from a 17-0 second-quarter deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter. But it was all Michigan State from there. Northwestern can still clinch a spot in the Big Ten championship game by winning its final two games against Minnesota and Illinois.

Up next: at Minnesota (Saturday, TBA)

17.LouisianaRagin' Cajuns (8-1)

The Ragin' Cajuns, coming off a two-week break, routed UL Monroe 70-20 on Saturday on the road. Louisiana has won five straight since losing to Coastal Carolina on Oct. 14 and will get a rematch with the Chants in the Sun Belt Conference championship game on Dec. 19. It's the third straight season that Billy Napier's club has played for the league title.

Up next: at Appalachian State (Friday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

18.WisconsinBadgers (2-1)

For the third time this season, the Badgers had a game canceled due to COVID-19 issues. This latest one was their home game on Saturday against Minnesota after the Golden Gophers paused all football-related activities this week due to positive COVID-19 cases in their program. Wisconsin, which lost a week ago to Northwestern, is now down to five regular-season games, which means the Badgers would be ineligible to play in the Big Ten Conference championship game unless the average number of Big Ten games falls below six.

Up next: vs. Indiana (Saturday, TBA)

19.Marshall Thundering Herd (7-0)

The Thundering Herd last played a football game on Nov. 14, when they beat Middle Tennessee 42-14. They were off Saturday after having their game against Charlotte postponed the week before. Marshall is Conference USA's lone unbeaten team and seeking its first unbeaten season since going 13-0 in 1999.

Up next: vs. Rice (Saturday, noon ET, ESPN+)

20.Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-2)

Despite their top two running backs, including star Chuba Hubbard, being out with injuries, the Cowboys rushed for a season-high 317 yards on Saturday in a 50-44 win over Texas Tech. Oklahoma State gave up 639 yards of total offense but still prevailed. The Cowboys remained alive in the race for a spot in the Big 12 championship game, and they will close the regular season with back-to-back road games against TCU and Baylor.

Up next: at TCU (Saturday, TBA)

21.Washington Huskies (3-0)

First, the Huskies scrambled just to find a game this weekend after the Apple Cup showdown with Washington State on Friday was canceled. Then on Saturday, they staged one of the best comebacks of the season in college football to rally past Utah for a 24-21 win after trailing 21-0 at the half. Washington is one of three unbeaten teams in the Pac-12 and the only unbeaten team in the Pac-12's North Division.

Up next: vs. Stanford (Saturday, TBA)

22.Oregon Ducks (3-1)

The Ducks couldn't hold onto a double-digit lead heading into the fourth quarter Friday night and fell 41-38 to rival Oregon State, which had lost 11 of the previous 12 games in the series. Not only does the defeat all but eliminate Oregon in its quest for a College Football Playoff berth, but the entire Pac-12 could now be on the outside looking in depending on how many more games are canceled within the conference.

Up next: at Cal (Saturday, TBA)

23.Tulsa Golden Hurricane (5-1)

The Golden Hurricane's game on Saturday with Houston was postponed because of COVID-19 issues within Houston's program. It's the seventh schedule disruption this season for Tulsa, which has had four games postponed and three games canceled. The Golden Hurricane have won five straight after a season-opening loss to Oklahoma State. They're scheduled to make up a postponed game with Cincinnati on Dec. 12. The two teams could then turn around and play again the following week in the American Athletic Conference championship game.

Up next: at Navy (Saturday, TBA)

24.Iowa Hawkeyes (4-2)

After starting the season with back-to-back losses to Purdue and Northwestern, Iowa is playing its best football. The Hawkeyes won their fourth straight on Friday with a come-from-behind 26-20 victory over Nebraska (clapping and all). Iowa has now won six in a row over Nebraska and has yet to allow more than 24 points in any of its six contests this season.

Up next: at Illinois (Saturday, TBA)

25.Liberty Flames(9-1)

The Flames bounced back from their heartbreaking one-point loss to North Carolina State with a 45-0 romp over UMass on Friday. Quarterback Malik Willis accounted for four touchdowns (three passing and one rushing), giving him 30 for the season. Liberty is trying to win 10 games in a season for the first time since 2008, when the Flames were still competing in the FCS ranks.

Up next: at Coastal Carolina (Saturday, TBA)

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