College football rankings: Alabama, LSU set for top-four showdown in new CBS Sports 129

It’s going to be a long wait for Nov. 3, but everything is in place for what should be one of the most highly anticipated games of the entire season. As Alabama and LSU head into their off week, their combined record of 15-1 and their current rankings — both in the top four of our CBS Sports 129, a comprehensive ranking of every FBS team — give it all of the hype that usually leads us down the road into “Game of the Century” hyperbole. 

Ohio State’s loss, which sent the Buckeyes falling from No. 2 in the CBS Sports 129 to No. 11, has Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame at the top of the rankings, but LSU’s second-straight win in Death Valley has all but reversed the ground lost in its defeat at Florida. The next game up for both Alabama and LSU is the game, and the everything (SEC West, College Football Playoff) is on the table.

Washington State was one of the big winners in this weeks balloting (more that below) as the top of the rankings didn’t see too much in the form of major changes beyond Ohio State’s loss and the Cougars’ big win. NC State dropped seven spots after losing at Clemson but held on to its spot in the top 25 at No. 20, just ahead of a Utah team that’s picking up steam and winning over the CBS Sports 129 voters more and more with every win. 

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 26-129 on our rankings page.

Biggest movers 

  • Washington State (+16): The CBS Sports 129 voters were pretty high on Oregon, so it’s not a surprise to see the Cougars making a big move up after hanging on for a huge win. The Pac-12 North race is in full swing now, and Washington State is the only team that still has yet to take a division loss. 
  • Virginia (+12): The Wahoos are in the mix as a contender in the ACC Coastal Division after following up a win against Miami with a road victory at Duke. Our experts continued their improved ranking again this week, moving UVA from No. 47 up to No. 35.  
  • Utah (+9): We’ve been a little slow to the take with Utah’s midseason surge, but if the quality of play from recent weeks continues it will be tough to deny the corner that Kyle Whittingham’s group has turned. After checking in at No. 30 last week, a convincing win against USC has them cracking the top 25 at No. 21. 
  • Cincinnati (-10): The undefeated start to the 2018 season came crashing down at Temple in overtime, and our voters were quick to bump the Bearcats down a tier heading into Week 9. Now at No. 31, Cincinnati still has opportunity to gain ground lost with games against South Florida and UCF left on the schedule.  
  • Mississippi State (-11): The struggles of Mississippi State’s offense is no longer a blip or a glitch but probably just a feature of the 2018 Bulldogs. I was among the experts holding on hope that Nick Fitzgerald would turn a corner, but another tough showing at LSU has them down at No. 33. 
  • Colorado (-12): It’s just a very different team without Laviska Shenault available. After a couple of losses, the Buffs are now all the way down at No. 41. 

Check out the rest of the CBS Sports 129: Teams ranked 26-129

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