Only three weeks remain until the conference championships and the eventual end of the 2023 college football season.
With coach Jim Harbaugh and his Michigan Wolverines dominating the headlines, the question heading into Saturday was: How will his suspension affect the team? Considering the team went undefeated at the beginning of the season without him on the sidelines, the expectation was an inspired and motivated performance against one of their biggest rivals.
This is heating up as we start to gain a clearer sense of which four teams will make the college football playoffs. Here is what we learned after Week 11 was all said and done.
What Did We Learn In Week 11?
The Penn State vs. Michigan game went exactly as we predicted it would: a motivated, physical Wolverines team dominating an offensively deficient Nittany Lions team. The Wolverines did not need Coach Harbaugh on the sidelines, and they didn't need quarterback JJ McCarthy to make any real plays to win that game. For Coach Franklin, this is as good as it is going to get for his team this season, unless they somehow win the Big Ten title.
For those who thought Georgia would struggle after their game last week against Missouri, well, guess again. They absolutely handled Ole Miss, who has one of the top-scoring offenses in the SEC. It is clear that Georgia should be the No. 1 team in the nation, not Ohio State. The playoff rankings should be interesting.
Speaking of Ohio State, they made quick work of Michigan State. Kyle McCord is certainly getting into an offensive groove as of late. Then again, when you have Marvin Harrison Jr. on your team, it makes life very easy for a quarterback.
Washington finally got their signature win of the season against Utah (notice, we did not say Oregon). At this point, there should be no question that they are the best team in the PAC-12 Conference.
Yes, Florida State beat Miami to remain undefeated. Yet, from what we watched, did that look like the No. 4 team in the nation? The Seminoles need to tighten up as we reach the final stretch of the season.
It is now time to take Alabama seriously again. Jalen Milroe had easily the best game of his career. The Crimson Tide defense did what they did best and made life miserable of Kentucky quarterback Devin Leary. At 9-1 and the SEC West clinched, will the playoff committee consider putting them in the top 4?
Clemson may have found its groove back. Playing against Georgia Tech is never an easy assignment, but Cade Klubnik and co. made it look that way. Two straight wins is a good way of heading into the right direction.
The West Virginia/Oklahoma game could be defined by these words: too much Dillon Gabriel. If you have spare time, check out the numbers he registered against the Mountaineers. It is the type you see in video games.
Speaking of insane performances, how often do you see a quarterback register over 200 rushing yards? Well, LSU's Jayden Daniels accomplished this feat in their impressive win over Florida. Back to Daniels, his numbers in that game were insane: 372 passing yards, 234 rushing yards, and 5 total touchdowns. Wow!
Texas has a knack of making games closer than they should be. Nonetheless, they pulled out a big win against TCU to improve their record to 9-1. At this point, they are a shoe-in to play in this year's Big 12 Championship.
Right now, all Coach Prime and his Colorado Buffaloes can do is look forward to 2024. After an incredible start to the season, their loss to Arizona was a reminder that they are still far away from being legit contenders.
Oklahoma State's performance against UCF was a reminder why you should never put your money on them. When things are seemingly trending upward, they have this knack of ruining it with a lackluster performance that puts them out of contention. This loss, unfortunately, may have cost them a spot in this year's Big 12 title game.
Don't look now, but Missouri is 8-2 and put together a fantastic performance against Tennessee. Unfortunately for them, Georgia is in their division and undefeated.
Finally, Oregon delivered the final death blow in what has been a disappointing season for USC. For star quarterback Caleb Williams, the question pending is whether or not he should shut it down for the remainder of the season.
Week 11 Top Performers
- Gold Standard Level -
QB Jayden Daniels - LSU
QB Dillon Gabriel - Oklahoma
QB Jalen Milroe - Alabama
RB Cody Schrader - Missouri
RB Damien Martinez - Oregon State
WR Marvin Harrison Jr. - Ohio State
QB Jordan Mccloud - James Madison
LB Andrew Chatfield - Oregon State
QB Kyle Mccord - Ohio State
WR Drake Stoops - Oklahoma
QB Bo Nix - Oregon
RB RJ Harvey - UCF
WR Reggie Brown - James Madison
QB Dequan Finn - Toledo
LB Francisco Mauigoa - Miami
LB Kalen Deloach - Florida State
QB John Paddock - Illinois
LB Wesley Bissainthe - Miami
QB Brendan Sorsby - Indiana
RB Frank Gore - Southern Miss
DB Terrion Arnold - Alabama
QB Hayden Wolff - Western Michigan
- Offense -
RB Blake Corum - Michigan
WR Isaiah Williams - Illinois
QB Spencer Rattler - South Carolina
QB John Rhys Plumlee - UCF
QB Kirk Francis - Tulsa
WR Brian Thomas jr. - LSU
QB Hudson Card - Purdue
TE Dan Villari - Syracuse
WR Troy Franklin - Oregon
RB Kendall Milton - Georgia
QB Carson Beck - Georgia
WR Tez Johnson - Oregon
QB Drake Maye - North Carolina
QB Michael Penix Jr. - Washington
RB Reggie Love III - Illinois
WR Rome Odunze - Washington
QB Cade Klubnik - Clemson
QB Joey Aguilar - Appalachian State
WR Elijah Sarratt - James Madison
QB Will Howard - Kansas State
WR Donaven Mcculley - Indiana
RB Bhayshul Tuten - Virginia Tech
WR Peny Boone - Toledo
RB Makhi Hughes - Tulane
RB Jalen Buckley - Western Michigan
WR Kamdyn Benjamin - Tulsa
RB Jaylan Knighton - SMU
WR Malik Washington - Virginia
QB Jayden Maiava - UNLV
QB Anthony Colandrea - Virginia
- Defense -
DB Dadrion Taylor-demerson - Texas Tech
DE Cody Stufflebean - Kansas State
LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr. - Clemson
S Khalil Barnes - Clemson
LB Harold Perkins Jr. - LSU
LB Tre Freeman - Duke
DL Myles Murphy - North Carolina
LB Bam Martin-scott - South Carolina
DE John Mccartan - Oregon State
LB Oluwaseyi Omotosho - Oregon State
DL Tony Bradford jr. - Texas Tech
DL Ashton Gillotte - Louisville
LB Kendre' Gant - Louisiana
LB Antonio Watts - Louisville
LB Jordan Brown - North Texas
LB Elijah Shelton - UNLV