For complete results from the weekend in college football, check out Sports on Earth's scoreboard.
1. Miami and Oklahoma earn their place in this week's top four.
The list of clear-cut playoff contenders shrunk in Week 11, as there are only six Power Five teams left that have one or zero losses. Notre Dame and TCU have been crossed off that list.
Miami has been searching for respect all season, and it's finally going to get it. A week after beating Virginia Tech by 18 in a prime-time home game, the No. 7 Hurricanes embarrassed No. 3 Notre Dame 41-8 in another prime-time home game, this one the biggest Miami game in over a decade.
Notre Dame hoped to physically control the game with its offensive line and open the door for more big plays on the ground; instead, the speedy Miami defense was consistently disruptive and overwhelmed the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame finished with only 261 total yards -- 109 on the ground on 36 rushes -- and committed four turnovers, bringing forth four sightings of Miami's now-famous turnover chain.
Brandon Wimbush struggled at quarterback and lost some snaps to backup Notre Dame QB Ian Book, who didn't have much success, either. Miami got 146 rushing yards from Travis Homer and solid play from QB Malik Rosier, who didn't have to do too much. Miami led 27-0 at halftime, scoring 17 points in the first half off of Notre Dame turnovers -- including a 65-yard pick-six by Trajan Bandy off of Book with only 22 seconds left in the second quarter. From there, Miami coasted, picking up a marquee nonconference win on a day when it also clinched its long-awaited first-ever ACC Coastal title because of Virginia's loss to Louisville.
No. 5 Oklahoma's 38-20 win over No. 6 TCU played out in a somewhat similar manner. The Horned Frogs entered the game owning the Big 12's best defense, ranking fifth nationally in yards per play allowed, but they were no match for Baker Mayfield, Rodney Anderson and the Oklahoma offense.
The Sooners stormed out to a 38-14 halftime lead and didn't need any second-half points to win with ease. Mayfield threw for nearly 300 yards in the first half and 333 yards and three TDs total, taking another huge step toward winning the Heisman Trophy. He also rushed for 50 yards. The most impressive performance of the night for Oklahoma came from Anderson, who ran 23 times for 151 yards and two TDs caught five passes for 139 yards and two TDs, giving him 290 yards from scrimmage.
TCU is still in the race for the Big 12 title at 5-2 in conference play -- a rematch with Oklahoma in a few weeks is possible -- but the nature of the losses by the Horned Frogs and Fighting Irish, combined with the two-loss records, likely knocks them out of the playoff picture. On the other hand, Oklahoma and Miami added signature wins to their resumes. The one-loss Sooners and undefeated Hurricanes are safe bets to be in the selection committee's newest top four on Tuesday, thanks in part to Auburn's win over Georgia but mostly because they looked every bit like top-four teams on Saturday night.
2. Auburn puts itself into the SEC title and playoff conversation.
There's still a brutal road left for Auburn to actually win the SEC championship and make the playoff. It would require beating Alabama in the Iron Bowl in two weeks, then beating Georgia again in Atlanta with the SEC title on the line. On Saturday, however, Auburn at least forced everyone to take such a scenario seriously.
The No. 10 Tigers demolished No. 1 Georgia 40-17, ruining the Bulldogs' undefeated season in the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. The Auburn win erased Georgia's margin for error in the playoff chase, although the Bulldogs are still very much alive at 9-1, having already clinched the SEC East. Auburn set up a winner-take-all Iron Bowl against Alabama with the SEC West on the line. After the Tigers' performance on Saturday, they have to be given a realistic chance to win. Against a previously dominant Georgia defense, Auburn got 214 passing yards and three TDs in an efficient performance from Jarrett Stidham, and it got 233 yards from scrimmage from RB Kerryon Johnson. It also dominated the line of scrimmage against a struggling Georgia offensive line, and it capitalized on two Bulldogs mistakes on punt returns.
With two close losses at Clemson and LSU and blowout wins over Georgia and Mississippi State, Auburn is a strong bet to be the top-ranked two-loss team in the committee's rankings, with a case to be as high as No. 6.
3. Alabama and Oklahoma State provide drama in top-25 games.
There were three top-10 matchups and four other top-25 matchups in Week 11. Of those seven games, only two were decided by fewer than 18 points: No. 2 Alabama edged No. 16 Mississippi State 31-24, and No. 15 Oklahoma State topped No. 21 Iowa State 49-42.
Dealing with injuries on defense, Alabama struggled much of the night in Starkville. Although the Bulldogs averaged only 3.5 yards per rush, they had success on the ground early, and they controlled the clock with long, time-consuming drives that shortened the game and kept the Crimson Tide from controlling the flow. Alabama ran only eight plays in the first quarter. The score was tied 14-14 at halftime, and Mississippi State took a 24-17 lead into the fourth quarter thanks to a pair of lengthy scoring drives. Grinding the clock stopped working in the fourth quarter, however.
Bama QB Jalen Hurts played a brilliant final 15 minutes, directing an 82-yard TD drive -- featuring a 14-yard Damien Harris score -- to tie. After a missed field goal off the post, Alabama got the ball back thanks to a quick three-and-out, and Hurts beat a blitz with a strike to Calvin Ridley for 31 yards. He then found DeVonta Smith for a 26-yard go-ahead touchdown. Mississippi State actually had two Hail Mary chances -- there was a pass interference penalty on the first -- but both fell incomplete, allowing Alabama to escape unscathed and perhaps replace Georgia atop the playoff rankings on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, Oklahoma State survived a dreaded trip to Jack Trice Stadium. The Cowboys fell behind 14-0 early, but they got stellar play from QB Mason Rudolph (25 of 31, 376 yards, three TDs) and RB Justice Hill (134 yards, three TDs) and came up with enough defensive plays to win. Despite having to replace QB Kyle Kempt with Zeb Noland, Iowa State piled up 491 yards, with strong efforts from RB David Montgomery and WR Allen Lazard. On Iowa State's final drive to try to tie the game, Montgomery made an impressive play to convert a fourth-and-13 on a pass short of the sticks, but Noland was intercepted in the end zone a few plays later, giving Oklahoma State a win to keep it in the Big 12 title game chase.
4. Ohio State and Wisconsin assert themselves atop the Big Ten.
The idea of Ohio State as a playoff contender never truly dies. Two weeks ago, the Buckeyes stormed back from a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Penn State and re-emerge as a playoff frontrunner. Last week, they inexplicably lost 55-24 at Iowa, seemingly destroying all playoff hopes. This week, they returned home to embarrass No. 12 Michigan State 48-3 and jump into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten East.
The Buckeyes trounced the Spartans on the ground in particular, led by Mike Weber (162 yards) and J.K. Dobbins (124 yards), and their defense gave up next to nothing. Despite two decisive losses to the Hawkeyes and Oklahoma, Ohio State is 8-2 with opportunities for impressive wins against Michigan and Wisconsin left. The playoff remains unlikely, but it's not impossible after Saturday.
The Big Ten's best playoff candidate continues to be Wisconsin. Despite throwing two pick-sixes to star Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson, the No. 8 Badgers pulled away from the No. 20 Hawkeyes 38-14 because Iowa's offense couldn't go anywhere. All of its points came on defense, and it finished with 41 passing yards and 25 rushing yards … again, a week after scoring 55 points against Ohio State. Wisconsin's defense played brilliantly, and Jonathan Taylor rushed for 157 yards.
Before Ohio State visits Michigan to end the regular season, undefeated Wisconsin -- which is 10-0 for the first time -- will host the Wolverines in the biggest game of a lackluster Week 12 schedule next Saturday. All signs are pointing to a Badgers-Buckeyes showdown in Indianapolis on Dec. 2.
5. The Pac-12's playoff hopes may have ended before Saturday.
Saturday was somewhat disappointing, given how many big games were blowouts, but it was still an entertaining slate with so many marquee matchups. The Pac-12's biggest game, however, happened late Friday night: Stanford upset No. 9 Washington 30-22.
Last year, the Huskies crushed the Cardinal by 38 on a Friday night in September, announcing themselves as playoff contender. This year, Stanford edged Washington to perhaps put an end to the Pac-12's ability to get into the playoff. On a bad ankle, Heisman candidate Bryce Love rushed 30 times for 166 yards and three TDs, and the Cardinal dominated the middle of the game to thrust themselves back into the Pac-12 North race while pushing the Huskies out of the playoff race. Stanford (7-3 overall), Washington and Washington State all have two conference losses. USC locked up the Pac-12 South already by beating Colorado on Saturday to move to 9-2 overall and 7-1 in league play.
USC, Washington and Washington State give the Pac-12 three teams with two losses overall, and no one in that group has the resume to make a leap into the playoff picture look possible. USC, ranked No. 11 last week, is in the best position and has emerged as the Pac-12 favorite, but the next few weeks on the West Coast appear to be a competition for a conference title and major bowl bid rather than a playoff spot.