Gerry Broome/Associated Press
Notre Dame’s critical road victory over North Carolina on Friday afternoon kicked off a busy Week 13 in college football.
But as the Irish improved to 9-0, Oregon suffered its first letdown with a 41-38 loss to rival Oregon State. Elsewhere on Friday, Iowa State notched a key Big 12 triumph, while Iowa edged Nebraska to earn its fourth straight win.
Ten ranked programs will be in action Saturday, and the most notable game is the Iron Bowl between top-ranked Alabama and No. 22 Auburn. Trevor Lawrence is expected to make his much-anticipated return as No. 3 Clemson hosts Pitt.
The ranking below reflects the College Football Playoff poll.
Top 25 Review
1. Alabama (7-1) vs. No. 22 Auburn
2. Notre Dame (9-0) W 31-17 at No. 19 North Carolina
3. Clemson (7-1) vs. Pitt
4. Ohio State (4-0) IDLE
5. Texas A&M (5-1) vs. LSU
6. Florida (6-1) vs. Kentucky
7. Cincinnati (8-0) IDLE
8. Northwestern (5-0) at Michigan State
9. Georgia (5-2) at South Carolina
10. Miami (7-1) IDLE
11. Oklahoma (6-2) IDLE
12. Indiana (4-1) vs. Maryland
13. Iowa State (7-2) W 23-20 at No. 17 Texas
14. BYU (9-0) IDLE
15. Oregon (3-1) L 41-38 at Oregon State
16. Wisconsin (2-1) IDLE
17. Texas (5-3) L 23-20 vs. No. 13 Iowa State
18. USC (3-0) IDLE
19. North Carolina (6-3) L 31-17 vs. No. 2 Notre Dame
20. Coastal Carolina (8-0) at Texas State
21. Marshall (7-0) IDLE
22. Auburn (5-2) at No. 1 Alabama
23. Oklahoma State (5-2) vs. Texas Tech
24. Iowa (4-2) W 26-20 vs. Nebraska
25. Tulsa (5-1) IDLE
Irish Win, Ducks Lose on Friday
Thanks to a 14-point triumph at North Carolina, Notre Dame has nearly secured a place in the ACC Championship Game.
Senior quarterback Ian Book accounted for 327 yards in the victory, and Kyren Williams rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns. But the defense propelled the Irish, who limited UNC to just 298 yards and blanked the Heels in the second half.
“They’re really, really good,” UNC coach Mack Brown told reporters of the Irish. “When they stepped up in the second half on defense, they really stepped up.”
Notre Dame boasts a 9-0 record and needs to defeat either Syracuse or Wake Forest to clinch a spot in the conference title game. Given that Notre Dame will be officially part of the ACC in 2020 alone, it’s a unique accomplishment.
More importantly, though, the Irish remain on the optimal path toward the College Football Playoff.
Oregon, on the other hand, is officially out.
Amanda Loman/Associated Press
While the initial CFP rankings suggested the Pac-12 probably couldn’t climb the poll quickly enough anyway, Oregon didn’t survive its trip to Oregon State unblemished.
The Ducks, who entered at 3-0, held a 31-19 lead entering the fourth quarter. But after Oregon State finished off a 16-play drive with a touchdown, Oregon quarterback Tyler Shough threw an interception. And Oregon State star running back Jermar Jefferson put the Beavers in front two plays later.
Oregon responded with a go-ahead touchdown, but Oregon State soon responded. In the final minute of regulation, Chance Nolan powered in a one-yard score for a 41-38 OSU lead.
As a result, the Pac-12’s only remaining unbeaten teams are Washington, USC and Colorado. While the latter were supposed to square off Saturday, the game is not happening because of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing on USC’s roster.
It’s fair to say neither the Big 12 nor Pac-12 will send a representative to the playoff in 2020.
Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.