With the return of the clocks, our attention shifts to the last few games of college football. The new top 25 rankings, which will be announced on Sunday, will take into account a number of noteworthy developments in the conference championship races and College Football Playoff after Week 10.
Four games between ranked teams took place, marking the first time since Week 4 that every team in the AP Top 25 faced an FBS opponent. None of those four games captured the public’s interest quite like Alabama’s thrilling 42-28 victory over LSU played in front of a live audience. Jalen Milroe was instrumental in the victory, which put the Crimson Tide in the lead in the SEC West.
However, the initial release of the CFP Rankings will also have an impact on the new AP Top 25 rankings. On a few teams, the AP voters and the CFP Selection Committee disagreed, and it will be interesting to see if those differences are reflected in the new AP Top 25 on Sunday.
Although Ohio State was ranked first by the committee, Georgia has been ranked first by the AP the entire season. Perhaps if the Buckeyes had dominated at Rutgers, people might have changed their minds, but given that the Bulldogs defeated a ranked Missouri team in a back-and-forth game, we anticipate that AP voters won’t be swayed by the CFP Rankings when choosing the No. 1 team.
While the fact that Notre Dame was ranked higher in the AP Top 25 than the CFP Rankings does not bode well given the Fighting Irish’s defeat at Clemson, the pollsters can take some solace in their foresight given that USC suffered another defeat characterized by the Trojans’ inability to generate stops on defense against Washington.
One area where the AP voters might have been mistaken was that Oklahoma State was included in the committee’s initial rankings but was not included in last week’s poll. After Mike Gundy’s team defeated Oklahoma, expect the AP voters to correct their mistake and rank Oklahoma State in the top two-loss teams in the nation—possibly even in the top 15.