College football is home to some of the most passionate fan bases in all of sports. This kind of deep-rooted emotion comes out either in excitement or heartbreak. A few contenders have been knocked out, but not every team’s destiny is determined just yet, so not every fanbase is up in arms. Let’s take a look at who is.
The No. 17 Oklahoma Sooners said goodbye to their playoff hopes after losing to in-state rival No. 15 Oklahoma State 27-24 in the annual Bedlam rivalry game. Oklahoma showed promise in their first half of the season– similar to 2022 – but have turned into one of the least convincing seven-win teams.
Mike Gundy, head coach of Oklahoma State, is well respected in college football but had never seemed to crack the Sooners as a player or a coach. As a quarterback at OSU, Gundy was winless, and is 4-15 at Bedlam as a coach. Running back Ollie Gordon III saddled up and carried the Cowboys to victory, rushing for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Gordon is averaging seven yards a carry on the season, which is sixth-best in the nation.
Meanwhile, down in Louisville, Kentucky, Jeff Brohm returned to his alma mater to be their head coach. In Brohm’s first season with the coaching headset on, the Cardinals have put up high-efficiency performances that match up with the likes of No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 Florida State.
With a premier upset win against No. 20 Notre Dame, and victories against five Power 5 teams with winning records, the Cardinals are a scary one-loss team. Only Ohio State has more wins against winning teams. Outside of a lopsided 37-20 loss to a 2-7 Pitt team, the Cardinals' resume is flawless. However, their one blemish is enough to tank their ranking down as the worst one-loss team at No. 11.
Through week 10, the James Madison Dukes have strung an undefeated season together in their second season in FBS I football. The hot topic of discussion is despite their dominance over the Sun Belt Conference, they are not allowed to be ranked and are not eligible for the Sun Belt title game.
This is due to them being in their second and last season in the alignment transition period in top-level college football. JMU has since contacted the NCAA asking for a change. The NCAA has been notoriously rigid, so the odds of a change are low.
Rutgers is successfully pulling themselves out of laughing stock territory with a 6-3 record via head coach Greg Schiano’s abilities. They are now bowl-eligible for the first time since 2014. In their Nov. 4 matchup against Ohio State, they held a 9-7 lead going into the half and in the fourth quarter, Rutgers was down but still played it close 21-16. However, the Buckeyes ran away with the game, scoring two more times and winning 35-16. If the Scarlet Knights were in another conference such as the SEC, they would at the bare minimum be ranked.
But as of now, many fan bases such as No. 9 Ole Miss are still alive and well. For the Rebels, they’re tasked with taking down No. 1 Georgia. If head coach Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss can pull this off, it will go down in history as an instant classic. They are still in contention this deep into the season, and while the odds are not in their favor, there’s no reason to count the Lane Train out now. I can’t imagine the Rebels fan base being very upset about that.