Tomorrow's Top 25 Today: Michigan to make top-10 debut after big win in college football rankings
Projecting the new college football rankings from the AP poll after a crazy Week 7
So I don't know if you've heard, but everything is a mess right now in college football.
Well, other than Alabama, and even the Tide have some issues with its star quarterback and a sprained knee.
But every other scenario, at least as it pertains to the top 10 of the AP Top 25 poll or the College Football Playoff picture, seems to be on the table right now after a weekend that saw four top-10 teams lose and two more -- No. 9 Texas and No. 10 UCF -- escape by less than a touchdown against conference foes.
The transitive property of wins has gotten especially messy, thanks to results like Tennessee's win over Auburn and Michigan State's victory at Penn State. Basically all of the profiles and resumes in college football should be written in pencil for the next month or so, because the carnage we saw in Week 7 is likely to continue well through the end of the month.
This carnage is good news for some, like UCF (more on that below) and Notre Dame, along with any other team that is lucky enough to still hold an undefeated record. Avoiding losses is the name of the game these days, and doing so will be rewarded with brisk moves up in the new college football rankings.
Here's how we think the new AP Top 25 poll will look on Sunday:
1. Alabama (Last week -- 1): The status of Tua Tagovailoa's knee is going to be a topic of conversation that is sure to get under Nick Saban's skin, though it should be noted that he says the gifted sophomore could have returned to the game against Missouri and practiced all week. Even without Tua, Jalen Hurts proved again he's more than capable in guiding the Tide to a win, leaving them as the last undefeated team in the SEC.
2. Ohio State (3): Dwayne Haskins' passing numbers are starting to get ridiculous. Look for Haskins' Heisman Trophy talk to continue to pick up steam after he dropped 412 yards on 33-for-44 passing in a 30-14 win against Minnesota.
3. Clemson (4): The Tigers were off in Week 7.
4. Notre Dame (5): If you're getting 2012-type vibes with the way Notre Dame is surviving some of these close games, there's a reason for that. This team, also led by its veterans on defense, is 7-0 for the first time since that year.
5. Georgia (2): The Bulldogs' poll status was helped by the carnage elsewhere in the top 10, keeping a team that should still be considered the favorite in the SEC East right on the edge (if not in) the top five.
6. Texas (9): The Longhorns got pushed by Baylor, saw Sam Ehlinger get knocked out of the game with an injury and nearly got upset in a letdown spot following the breakthrough win against Oklahoma. But just by surviving in a 23-17 win, Texas will move up.
7. LSU (13): Just because LSU beat Georgia does not mean that its guaranteed the Tigers will jump the Bulldogs in the AP poll. Look no further than last week, when LSU was ranked ahead of Florida after losing in Gainesville. The important number here is not the national ranking, but the one loss that keeps LSU in the SEC West and College Football Playoff race.
8. UCF (10): Saturday was the first time that it started to look like there is a path for UCF to make the College Football Playoff. Last year, the Knights started the season too far off the radar to make up ground in conference play. Now, they're past one of their toughest tests of the regular season and making moves in the top 10 with a win over Memphis.
9. Michigan (12): Everyone had Michigan firmly in a wait-and-see position as the Wolverines bowled over opponents for most of the last month, but Saturday's win against Wisconsin was the wake-up call that Jim Harbaugh has a team that's ready to compete with Ohio State for a Big Ten championship.
10. Oklahoma (11): The Sooners were off in Week 7.
11. Florida (14): Look for the Gators to make a slight move up after trailing early and rallying back against Vanderbilt. It was a feisty game that didn't make for the best look, but it keeps Florida among the ranks of the 1-loss teams heading into its annual rivalry game against Georgia in two weeks.
12. Oregon (17): The Ducks have the head-to-head advantage in the Pac-12 North that could propel Mario Cristobal to the Pac-12 Championship Game if they can run the table in conference play.
13. West Virginia (6): Going into Ames at night is no fun for any Big 12 title contender, and the timing of this loss for West Virginia is just as damning as some of the other giants that have been slain by the Cyclones over the years. This time, though, it's not the late-season, knock you away from your goals loss as much as the mid-season, eliminate wiggle room the standings with more tough conference games left loss.
14. Kentucky (18): The Wildcats were off in Week 7.
15. NC State (20): The Wolfpack were off in Week 7.
16. Washington (7): There shouldn't be too much of a penalty for the Huskies for losing in a classic game at Oregon, but the Auburn loss looks more and more tough to explain away every week.
17. Penn State (8): Crazy to think that this Penn State is probably going to finish third or fourth in the Big Ten East standings, but these close, heartbreaking losses are totally changing the ceiling for one of the more talented rosters in the country.
18. Texas A&M (22): The Aggies spent the last two weeks learning how to win close games in different ways, getting victories in both of its cross-division games against Kentucky and South Carolina. Right now, this team's only losses are to undefeated, top-five teams so look for a move up for Jimbo Fisher's bunch.
19. Wisconsin (15): A lot of teams have lost in the Big House, but this defeat has revealed some issues that were previously overlooked heading into the season, including the limitations of Alex Hornibrook and whether or not this Badgers defense is playing up to the standard of the last couple years.
20. USF (23): We'll see how closely voters were following Friday night's USF-Tulsa game, because there wasn't a ton from that performance to give confidence in the Bulls being one of the 25 best teams still country. But Charlie Strong's group is still undefeated, and that's worth recognizing with a national ranking.
21. Mississippi State (24): The Bulldogs were off in Week 7.
22. Cincinnati (25): The Bearcats were off in Week 7.
23. Iowa (NR): The Hawkeyes kicked down the doors in Bloomington and ran all over Indiana. With just one loss on the slate, look for Iowa to be back in the rankings.
24. Appalachian State (NR): The Mountaineers not only won a crucial game for the Sun Belt title race but did so emphatically, riding a really strong defense to a 35-9 win at Arkansas State.
25. Colorado (19): The Buffs took it on the chin at USC, losing the head-to-head battle 31-20 in Los Angeles that will hurt them in the Pac-12 South title race. But as a one-loss team, it's possible that the shake ups across the country keep Colorado hanging on in enough ballots to remain in the top 25.
Projected to drop out: Miami (16), Auburn (21)
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