After each week of the college football season, a fresh set of rankings drop, highlighting the Top 25 teams in the nation. There are two major polls used in the college football, the AP Poll voted on by members of the media, and the Coaches Poll voted on by, well you can probably figure that one out. Now that we have reached November, the College Football Playoff rankings are out and take over as the top billed ranking in college football for the rest of the season.
In less than two weeks we will know which four teams will be playing in the College Football Playoff for this season, but there is still a bit a business to take care of before then. Starting this week, a slate for of rivalry games make for an entertaining holiday weekend with much at stake for everyone involved. Let’s take a look at how all the teams stand heading into Week 14.
College Football Playoff
Dropped from rankings: SMU 25
After two weeks at No. 2, the Ohio State Buckeyes returned to the top spot in the latest College Football Playoff rankings after their victory on Saturday over fellow ranked side the Penn State Nittany Lions. The win secured Ohio State the Big Ten East crown and a spot in the Big Ten Championship game against either No. 8 Minnesota No. 12 Wisconsin.
With Ohio State climbing to No. 1 it means previous top overall side Louisiana State had to drop but it was only a single slot down to No. 2. The Tigers put on an impressive performance against an inferior Arkansas squad to wrap up the SEC West and remain in solid position to make the playoff.
Rounding out the Top 4 are still Clemson and Georgia, both holding steady at No. 3 and No. 4 respectively. At No. 5 sits Alabama, who will still need some help if they hope to make the playoff come December but for now they are doing their part by simply winning games.
Oregon was upset in a shocking fashion by Arizona State on Saturday night, plummeting the Ducks down the rankings to No. 14 and out of the playoff picture. This leaves Utah as the singular PAC-12 playoff hope as the Utes move up one spot to No. 6. Utah still needs a win over Colorado on Saturday night to book a spot in the PAC-12 title game.
Other beneficiaries of Oregon’s undoing are Big 12 sides Oklahoma and Baylor. Both the Sooners and Bears sit in the Top 10 and know they will be facing off in Dallas next week in the Big 12 Championship. Should the winner of that game still only have one loss, they will have a strong playoff case.
As previously mentioned, Penn State fell to Ohio State on Saturday, sending the Nittany Lions down two spots, out of the playoff picture but very much in strong position to qualify for a New Year’s Six bowl game.
After you get past the Top 10, there is no much movement to discuss in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings. American Conference sides Memphis and Cincinnati remain only a spot apart before their big showdown on Friday afternoon. Should Memphis win that game, the Tigers and Bearcats will meet again the following week with a potential New Year’s Six spot on the line.
Southern Methodist was the only side to drop from this week’s rankings, replaced by Virginia Tech who come in at No. 24.
Others receiving votes: Iowa State 74, Virginia 38, Texas A&M 27, Air Force 22, SMU 9, Arizona State 4, North Dakota State 1, Louisiana 1
Dropped from rankings: SMU 21, Texas A&M 24
No major upsets means no significant shakeup in the polls this week with the Top 5 of the AP Poll all remaining the same from the previous week. Our first moves come at No. 6 where lone PAC-12 playoff hopeful Utah resides, moving up one spot.
Behind the Utes, Oklahoma, Florida, Minnesota, Michigan, and Baylor all jumped either one spot or a pair of spots due to losses by Oregon and Penn State on Saturday. Penn State’s fall was mitigated given its opponent was No. 2 Ohio State, but the Ducks took an eight spot tumble after being shocked by Arizona State. Penn State and Oregon now reside at No. 12 and No. 14 respectively, with Wisconsin occupying the space in between.
Memphis and Cincinnati flip flopped spots after the week that was and remain separated by the slimmest of margins just days before they are set to face-off in what could be the first of two meetings in as many weeks.
Further down the poll, Oklahoma State and Appalachian State took advantage of teams ahead of them dropping games to move up while Virginia Tech did the same and jumped two spots. The Hokies will head into their rivalry game with Virginia as the only non-Clemson ACC team to be ranked.
Dropping from the poll this week was Southern Methodist and Texas A&M, replaced by Navy and Southern California.
For a closer look on how media members voted individually, check the image below.
Others receiving votes: Air Force 74, Iowa State 55, Virginia 32, Texas A&M 26, SMU 18, Louisiana 18, Wake Forest 5, San Diego State 4, Hawai’i 2, Indiana 2, Temple 1
Dropped from rankings: SMU 21, Texas A&M 24, San Diego State 25
This time of year, the polls will start to mimic one another as teams sort themselves out and the contenders separate from the pretenders. That’s the case here when you compare the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll. The top nine sides all match up perfectly before the first change comes at No. 10 where the coaches placed Baylor compared to Michigan on the AP side.
Oregon and Penn State were the biggest losers with the coaches as well with the Ducks dropping seven spots and the Nittany Lions and identical three spots compared to the AP voters. Everyone previously below the Ducks and Nittany Lions, from Oklahoma to Michigan, all climbed.
The only other movement after getting past Oregon at No. 13 is Oklahoma State rising two spots to No. 21. Leaving the Coaches Poll this week is the trio of Southern Methodist, Texas A&M, and San Diego State. Three teams going out meant three teams had to go in and the this week’s newly ranked sides are Virginia Tech, Navy, and Southern California.
Top 25 Schedule: Week 14
Let’s take a quick peek at who the Top 25 teams will be playing in Week 14.
Note: Team rankings are based on the College Football Playoff standings.
Hopefully your holiday weekend plans have some time blocked out for college football because we have a loaded Top 25 schedule on tap beginning Friday. Southern California is the only Top 25 side without a game this weekend, meaning the remaining 24 ranked sides will all be in action.
This is the annual “Rivalry Week” around college football with some marquee games on the docket, starting in Ann Arbor where No. 1 Ohio State will look to keeps its winning streak intact against No. 13 Michigan. It’s been eight years since the Wolverines knocked off the Buckeyes and the stakes are very high.
Heading down south to the SEC, bitter rivals No. 5 Alabama and No. 15 Auburn go head-to-head in their annual Iron Bowl meeting. Alabama sits just outside the playoff picture but they know this is a must win game if they have any hopes of playing for a national championship.
Memphis plays host to Cincinnati in what might as well be a preview of the American Conference title game next week. Should Memphis prevail, it will set up a rematch with the Bearcats back in Memphis in a week’s time.
Both the Big Ten West and ACC Coastal divisions will be decided in showdowns between bitter rivals this weekend. First on Friday, No. 24 Virginia Tech looks to extend its winning streak to 16 games over in-state rival Virginia with the winner meeting Clemson next week. Then on Saturday, No. 8 Minnesota looks to continue its fairytale season by booking a meeting with Ohio State should the Gophers overcome rival No. 12 Wisconsin.
A slew of traditional state rivalries make up a large chunk of this week’s college football slate. No. 3 Clemson/South Carolina, No. 4 Georgia/Georgia State, No. 7 Oklahoma/No. 21 Oklahoma State, No. 11 Florida/Florida State, and No. 14 Oregon/Oregon State are all games to keep an eye on.
Each and every week throughout the college football season we will be checking in with the latest rankings and Top 25 schedule so make sure you are checking back to keep up to date on the latest from the college football world.