The Associated Press released their Top 25 Poll for Week 14’s college football rankings Sunday, revealing a bit of displacement within the Top 10 as four of the most powerful teams in the nation fell, including previously undefeated and #3 Boise State. Three teams entered the Top 10, including a resurgent Arkansas, which hadn’t seen the Top 10 since Week 4. But three teams kept their records unblemished as they won their contests and laid claim to the Top 3 in the AP college football rankings.
The #1 Oregon Ducks took out the #20 Arizona Wildcats to maintain their hold on the top spot for the seventh consecutive week. The #2 Auburn Tigers took on #9 Alabama Crimson Tide in their annual Iron Bowl confrontation, got behind by 24 points early, but battled back to win, as befits a team that has national championship aspirations. Because of their defeat of the defending national champions (along with Boise State’s loss), Auburn also picked up 10 more first place votes (for a total of 23; Oregon held 36) and narrowed the gap between themselves and Oregon in overall points from 37 to 19.
TCU moved into the third spot on the AP Top 25 with a sound crushing of New Mexico, 66-17, as Boise State fell in Overtime to a #19 Nevada Wolf Pack squad that still sees little respect from the Associated Press panelists. Nevada moved up just five positions to #14. Boise State dropped six spaces to #9, producing an inexplicable gap of five places between the Broncos and Wolf Pack. At the same time, the previous #6 LSU Tigers lost for the second time to #12 Arkansas and fell to #11. Nevada has lost only one game (albeit to then unranked Hawaii).
The Wisconsin Badgers took the Big 10 title and a trip to the Rose Bowl with an unadulterated stomping of Northwestern, 70-23. They also took the #4 spot, moving up one.
The Stanford Cardinal continued their winning ways, convincingly beating a tough Oregon State team and moved into the #5 spot, jumping two spots in the college football rankings.
Also jumping two positions, the Ohio State Buckeyes slid into the #6 space. The Buckeyes 37-7 dominance of arch-rival Michigan has the Wolverines nation clamoring for head coach Rich Rodriguez’ firing.
Michigan’s intra-state rival, Michigan State, knocked off Penn State to move up four and take the #7 position. The Spartans entrance into the AP Top 25 gave the Big 10 three football squads in the Top 10, the most of any conference (the SEC had three in Week 13, but LSU and Alabama lost and dropped) in Week 14.
The Arkansas Razorback’s jumped from #12 to #8 after knocking off SEC rival LSU.
The #9 position, formerly held by Alabama, was given to the unfortunate Boise State Broncos.
Oklahoma’s victory over the #1 team in the nation for total offense, Oklahoma State, knocked the Cowboys out of the Top 10. The Sooners simply took their place, moving into the #10 position from the #14 slot.
Alabama saw the biggest drop in the AP Top 25 Poll, sliding 8 notches to the #17 spot. The team experiencing the best upward mobility was Nevada, moving up five to #14.
Three teams dropped out of the college football rankings for Week 14: #20 Arizona, #21 North Carolina State, and #24 Iowa. They were replaced by a re-entering West Virginia (who knocked off arch rival Pitt in the 103rd Backyard Brawl) at #23 and first-time appearances by Northern Illinois and Hawaii at #24 and #25. (Hawaii’s appearance in the AP Top 25 also lends credence to Nevada’s claims for a better ranking.)
Next weekend will see the end of the 2010 college football season (the Army-Navy game notwithstanding). The BCS bowls are all still match-ups of uncertainty as teams that haven’t already done so end their seasons, including several conference championship games. In short, Week 14 may not be the last weekend of that sees major movement in the college football rankings.
AP Top 25 College Football Rankings — Week 14 (November 28)
6. Ohio State
7. Michigan State
9. Boise State
12. Virginia Tech
16. Oklahoma State
18. South Carolina
19. Texas A&M
20. Florida State
22. Mississippi State
23. West Virginia
24. Northern Illinois
For comparison, see the AP Top 25 college football rankings for Week 13.
“2010 NCAA Football Rankings — AP Top 25 Week 14 (Nov. 28),” ESPN.go.com