Ohio State has retaken the No. 1 spot in the CBS Sports 130, jumping ahead of LSU after yet another overwhelming victory in Big Ten play. The Tigers may have the best profile on paper in college football — boasting wins against Alabama, Florida, Auburn and others — but the Buckeyes are making their case as the best team in college football with total dominance on the field, no matter the opponent. With two games left in conference play, Ohio State is beating Big Ten opponents on average by a score of 50.2 to 10.3.
Of course, this change at the top of our comprehensive ranking of every FBS team comes just as Ohio State faces the most important portion of its regular season schedule. Penn State will arrive in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday with hopes of knocking off the Buckeyes and stealing the Big Ten East, then there’s no letdown as the next week’s regular season finale pits Ohio State against rival Michigan in the Big House.
To this point, Ohio State’s argument has been how its beaten opponents, not who it has beaten. By the time Selection Sunday arrives and the College Football Playoff Selection Committee has to choose its top four, Ohio State’s No. 1 ranking here will have finally been put to the test against a group of quality opponents that stacks up much better against LSU.
Elsewhere in the CBS Sports 130 this week, we see a quick adjustment for Minnesota after losing at Iowa (more on that in the Mover’s Report below), Oklahoma State making a move up toward the top 20 and Georgia jumping ahead of Alabama after its win at Auburn.
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 26-130 on our rankings page.
- No. 22 Oklahoma State (+7): Back-to-back one-score wins against Iowa State and TCU reversed course for the Cowboys in a season that looked awfully shaky about a month ago. The 2019 Pokes have rounded into a more complete version of themselves, out of the Big 12 title race but strong enough to be a threat to the Sooners on Nov. 30.
- No.19 Iowa (+5): To this point the Hawkeyes’ strength of profile mostly came down to close losses against quality opponents. Now Iowa has its best win of the season, handing Minnesota its first loss in front of the home crowd. Those losses put a ceiling on how high Iowa can be in the rankings but we have it only behind Auburn among three-loss teams.
- No. 32 USC (+5): Late murmurs of a Chase Garbers return and worry about USC’s form had the late Saturday night betting line down below a touchdown, then Kedon Slovis and the Trojans went out and lit up a defense that was considered among the best in the Pac-12. Don’t sing a swan song yet as USC is still fighting with its (slim) conference title hopes intact.
- No. 11 Minnesota (-6): One week after being one of the biggest movers up, Minnesota checks in with one of the biggest slides down the CBS Sports 130. The fact it took so long for Minnesota to get up into the top 10 should hint at our voters’ feelings about this team before the Penn State win. Now they’re seventh among one-loss teams and even behind two-loss Florida.
- No. 28 Navy (-7): Technically, Navy’s contention for a New Year’s Six bowl hinges more on its AAC title chase rather than nonconference results like Saturday’s blowout loss to Notre Dame. But getting steamrolled by the Irish hurt its stock with our voters and probably will do the same with the committee.
- No. 35 Kansas State (-10): The Wildcats were rewarded for the impressive nature of the Oklahoma win, but back-to-back losses against Texas and West Virginia have K-State with a sub-.500 conference record and that’s just not what we’re looking for in a top-30 team.
Check out the rest of the CBS Sports 130: Teams ranked 26-130