Bob Asmussen's Huddle Up: Week 11

Bob Asmussen's Huddle Up: Week 11

Top four teams

If the playoffs started today, these schools would be in:

1. Alabama — Somehow, Alabama wasn't at the top of the initial College Football Playoff rankings. Are the voters insane? Have they ever actually watched college football? Do they know they are going to anger Nick Saban? The rankings came out before Alabama played a ho-hum game against LSU, so the Crimson Tide will probably drop to No. 3 this week. The most important criteria to H.U. is the eye test. And the Crimson Tide pass it with flying colors. Every time Alabama feels a little bit threatened, it comes out and lays the wood on the next opponent. Ruh-roh, in this case that will be Mississippi State, which welcomes Alabama to town on Saturday. Just a hunch that the Bulldogs fans will be much less than friendly to Team Saban. And he will take out his anger on the hosts.

2. Georgia — Of course, it makes some sense that the Bulldogs are No. 1 in the first CFP rankings. They have one of the most impressive nonconference wins this season, a 20-19 decision against Notre Dame. And they have rolled through the SEC, wiping out pretty much every team they have played. The exception was last week's game against South Carolina, a 24-10 victory. Before we turn too critical, remember that the Gamecocks are 6-3 and on the outer edge of the Top 25. We will learn a lot more about the Bulldogs this week when they visit Auburn. Trust me, the Tigers will be ready for Jake Fromm.

3. Wisconsin — The Badgers weren't treated great in the opening CFP standings, checking in at No. 6. The losses by Ohio State and Penn State won't help Wisconsin. Both of those teams were behind the Badgers. Paul Chryst's team needs to keep winning and root for losses in front of them. Especially by Notre Dame, Clemson and Oklahoma. H.U. has said all along that if Wisconsin is undefeated, it will make the playoffs. Given last week's disaster for the top teams in the East, it is less certain. A soft nonconference schedule and very friendly crossover games (no Penn State, Ohio State or Michigan State) might end up costing the Big Cheeses.

4. Miami — It is so nice to have "The U" back among the best of college football. It wasn't long ago that the Hurricanes dominated the sport, taking the 2002 national title and looking like they would win forever. Not so much. Some bad hires and off-the-field issues dropped Miami out of the national spotlight. Thankfully, Georgia fired Mark Richt, who happily made the move to south Florida. We are starting to believe again. Miami can complete the comeback with a win Saturday against Notre Dame.

Four Heisman candidates

1. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma — This might be turning into a runaway. The Texas Tech transfer had a monster game against bitter rival Oklahoma State, throwing for 598 yards and five touchdowns. OK, he did throw a pick late in the game when the Sooners were driving for a clinching score. But his defense saved him and Oklahoma took control in the Big 12 with a 62-52 victory. For the season, Mayfield has thrown for 3,200 yards and 28 touchdowns. He has five more TDs on the ground. Oklahoma has another big game Saturday at home against TCU.

2. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State — You will notice a Big 12 theme here. The only player in the FBS with more passing yards than Baker, the senior tried to match him Saturday. And almost pulled it off. He threw for 448 yards and five touchdowns. The only minor complaint about his performance: he hit just 52 percent of his passes. Give Oklahoma's defense credit for keeping Rudolph under duress. Rudolph faces another difficult game Saturday at Iowa State.

3. Luke Falk, Washington State — Earlier in the year, he was at the top of the list. Then, he threw five picks in a blowout loss at Cal. After another rough performance against Arizona, Falk bounced back with a three-touchdown, 337-yard game in an upset win against Stanford. The Cougars now control their own destiny in the Pac-12 North. Falk figures to pile up the yards Saturday at Utah.

4. Rashaad Penny, San Diego State — When the senior runs well, the Aztecs roll. The last two games, convincing wins against Hawaii and San Jose State, Penny gained 253 and 234 yards, respectively. In San Diego State's two losses, he was held to 53 and 69. Penny takes the weekend off before Nevada visits on Nov. 18. The 200-yard streak might hit three games.

Four Coaches on the hot seat

1. Mike Riley, Nebraska — The polite folks in the Cornhusker State have seen enough. They are ready to move on. Many want to see former quarterback Scott Frost, now in charge at Central Florida, come home and save the place. New AD Bill Moos will be given whatever he needs money-wise to lure the next coach. Four home losses this season, including Saturday's overtime game against Northwestern, doomed Riley.

2. Butch Jones, Tennessee — Yes, the Vols beat Southern Miss. But they are still 4-5 and facing a bowl-less season unless they take two of three against improved Missouri, LSU and Vanderbilt. The problem for Jones is that the fans expected so much more going into the season. A lesser bowl bid won't be enough.

3. David Beaty, Kansas — Not only did the Jayhawks lose in the battle of the Big 12 basement, they got destroyed. Baylor won 38-9. The final three games are against Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Beaty will be packing up after the finale.

4. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M — For a few minutes, it looked like he would survive. His team was 5-2 after a close win at Florida and played OK against Alabama. But consecutive losses to Mississippi State and Auburn have Aggies fans looking around again. Saturday's game against New Mexico won't do him much good. He needs to win against Mississippi and LSU to give the big shots at A&M a reason to keep him.

FOUR Games to watch this weekend

1. Notre Dame at Miami — They have played just four times since 1990, with Notre Dame winning every one. But the Catholics vs. Convicts era during the 1980s was special. The low point for Notre Dame came in 1985, when it lost 58-7 to the Huricanes. This one figures to be much closer.

2. Georgia at Auburn — The Tigers need the win if they want to stay in the SEC West race. The Bulldogs are a lock to win the East. This is their only difficult game left in the regular season. A win means a showdown with Alabama in the SEC title game.

3. TCU at Oklahoma — Get used to this matchup. There's a good chance the teams will play a rematch for the Big 12 title. Can Oklahoma play another great game after the emotional victory in Bedlam?

4. Michigan State at Ohio State — Speaking of teams coming off of wildly different games. The Spartans pulled a huge home upset against Penn State. And the Buckeyes got wiped off the field at Iowa. Good luck predicting how this game will go?