College Football Rankings: AP’s Top 25 Rivalry Week Poll
As the dust settles around Saturday’s final games, let’s look ahead to the next AP College Football Top 25 Rankings
We’ve got one more regular season game left as we head into Rivalry Week, and there’s still a ton of action in the conference and in the process of deciding the College Football Playoff rankings.
Note: This is not our ranking of the best teams, but our prediction of how the top 25 voters would place them in the official rankings
What we work with: Last week’s AP Top 25 poll
25. South Carolina. A win over Tennessee is a big boost in itself, but putting up 63 points is more than an unranked team vs. a top-5 AP opponent is something else. The Gamecocks had 18 TDs in SEC games starting Saturday; they added nine in this game alone.
24. Texas. After defeating Kansas 55-14, the Longhorns are firmly in third place in the Big 12 and will hope that K-State drops out of next week’s final while beating Baylor themselves to get to the Big 12 title game.
23. Oregon State. A good performance for the Beavers, who moved to 8-3 on the year after a comfortable win over Arizona State and a back-to-back final against Oregon looming next Saturday.
22. To be miss The Rebels dropped a stunning blow on the road to Arkansas, their third loss in their last four games and the second time they’ve allowed more than 40 points, with some observers wondering if Lane Kiffin has opted out and is eyeing the Auburn job.
21. North Carolina. A home loss to Georgia Tech and no second-half points dashes the Tar Heels’ slim hopes for the College Football Playoff, but they are still the Coastal Champions and will play Clemson for the ACC title.
20. Coastal Carolina. Saturday’s game at UVA was canceled after the tragic shooting that left three Virginia players dead, but the top 25 AP poll should keep the Chanticleers ranked this week.
19. Cincinnati. The Bearcats move into a tie for first place in the AAC with Tulane after a clean sweep of Temple by 20 points, and now the two teams meet in the regular season finale, a game that means more after UCF’s stunning loss to Navy this weekend.
18. Tulane. The Green Wave opened with a 21-0 lead and scored five points in a 59-24 blowout of SMU, bolstering their case for the AAC title, a nice showing before the Cincinnati game.
17. State of Florida. The Seminoles have won eight games on the season for the first time since 2016 and scored more than 40 points in three of their last four, and now face a reeling Florida that just lost to Vanderbilt.
16. UCLA. Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s brilliant, gutsy effort in the Crosstown Rivalry produced 1,150 yards and 93 points, but it didn’t end in the Bruins’ favor when DTR made a costly pick late in regulation with a chance to win.
15. Kansas State. The second straight win puts the Wildcats in second place in the Big 12 title chase and they appear to be the best shot to keep TCU out of the College Football Playoff.
14. Mother of God. Make it five straight for the Irish, who have rebounded nicely from early-season struggles, thrashing BC 44-0 and looking ahead to a big matchup against rival USC to close out.
13. Washington. The Huskies scored 54 points in an easy sweep of Colorado, their fifth straight win since a 2-game skid midway through the season.
12. Utah. Cam Rising led a wild comeback with 14 unanswered points in the third quarter, but three quarterback interceptions and no touchdown passes were too much for the Utes to recover from in Oregon.
11. Pension status. The outlook for a 10-win season and a good bowl game is bright for the Nittany Lions after they beat Rutgers 55-10, and the battle for the Land Grant Trophy should end against Michigan State.
10. Oregon. Nix was far from 100 percent as he deals with an injury, and the Ducks had three turnovers and overcame a poor rushing game, but did enough to avoid a third loss at home against Utah.
9. Alabama. A walk for the Crimson Tide at home against Austin Peay on Cupcake Week when Jace McClellan ran for 156 yards and 2 TDs and now comes the Iron Bowl against an Auburn team under new leadership in Cadillac Williams, who is 2-1 and 6 points as interim coach got rid of the number 3-0.
8. Tennessee. That sketchy Vols defense failed a road test against South Carolina this week, falling to two losses and likely putting an end to their once-secure College Football Playoff credentials. Plus, a defender Hendon Hooker is dealing with a new injury. This one was ugly.
7. Clemson. A 30-point win over struggling Miami doesn’t move the needle much, but beating other teams helps, so the Tigers are still in the College Football Playoff hunt if they can stay within one loss and win the ACC Championship Game.
6. LSU. Jayden Daniels was 22 of 29 passing and Noah Cain had three TDs in a big win over UAB. The SEC championship game against Georgia is still to come, but the Tigers need a win next week at A&M as well as help from around the country to stay in the playoff race.
5. U.S.C. With a blowout win at UCLA, the Trojans — shaky defense and all — clinched a spot in the Pac-12 title game and are very much in the College Football Playoff conversation after Caleb Williams’ record-breaking 502 career passing yards. Suddenly confident Notre Dame is next.
4. PKU. Another crazy comeback for the Horned Frogs, who were down 8 at Baylor and missed the extra point, but scored the game-winning field goal to stay out of the Final Four. But there’s still plenty of football to come, with Iowa State and the Big 12 title game to come.
3. Michigan. An injury scare for leading rusher Blake Korumwho didn’t play most of the second half and it showed as the Wolverines’ offense was sharp all day, but JJ McCarthy did enough, despite some missed shots late, to move into shooting range with games and an undefeated record will head to Columbus next week.
2. Ohio State. Some defensive questions for the Buckeyes, who had few answers to Maryland’s dynamic aerial attack, but they held on with a strong ground game and a late defensive touchdown to go up 11-0 for the game.
1. Georgia. It was closer than many thought, but the Bulldogs served up Kentucky on the road in the contest to stay perfect before the Tech game and the SEC Championship after that.
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