Now or never for Mountaineers
Ohio State and Louisville moved up behind No. 1 Alabama in The Associated Press college football poll after the most surprising Saturday of the season gave the rankings a major makeover.
Three of the top four (Michigan, Clemson and Washington), five of the top 10 and seven teams overall in last week’s rankings lost to unranked opponents.
On Sunday, Alabama was a unanimous No. 1 for the first time this season, receiving all 61 votes. Ohio State is No. 2, a season best for the Buckeyes, and Louisville is No. 3, matching its best ranking ever.
No. 4 Michigan and No. 5 Clemson each dropped two spots and No. 7 Washington fell three after losing for the first time. Wisconsin moved up a spot to No. 6.
The only teams that held onto the spots in the Top 25 that they had last week were the only unbeatens left in the FBS: the top-ranked Crimson Tide and No. 14 Western Michigan. The Crimson Tide have been No. 1 since the preseason.
The Crimson Tide is the first unanimous No. 1 since Ohio State on Sept. 8, 2015.
No. 12 Colorado and No. 13 Oklahoma State each moved up four spots.
— Colorado has its highest ranking since it was No. 12 on Dec. 1, 2002.
No. 9 Penn State, No. 16 LSU, No. 17 Florida State and No. 20 Washington State all moved up three spots.
— Washington State has its best ranking since the Cougars finished the 2003 season at No. 9.
A couple of Southeastern Conference teams took the biggest falls.
— No. 23 Texas A&M fell 13 spots after the Aggies lost for the second straight week. A&M started 6-0 but has now lost three of four and three consecutive SEC games.
— No. 18 Auburn dropped 10 spots after losing 13-7 at Georgia. The Tigers’ loss eliminated them from the SEC West race and helped Alabama clinch.
— No. 15 Southern California is back in the rankings for the first time since the preseason after handing Washington its first loss. The Trojans started the season 1-3 but have won six straight behind redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Darnold.
— No. 24 San Diego State is in the rankings for the second time this season.
— No. 25 Troy is ranked for the first time in school history. The Trojans (8-1) won a matchup of unbeaten Sun Belt Conference teams on Saturday against Appalachian State and their only loss was by six points at Clemson.
— Virginia Tech and North Carolina dropped out after losing to unranked Atlantic Coast Conference rivals.
— Baylor is out of the rankings for the first time this season.
SEC — 5
Big Ten — 5
Pac-12 — 5
ACC — 3
Big 12 — 3
Mountain West — 2
MAC — 1
Sun Belt — 1
RANKED VS. RANKED
No. 8 Oklahoma at No. 10 West Virginia. Big 12 championship implications.
No. 20 Washington State at No. 12 Colorado. First-place in the Pac-12 North vs. first-place in the Pac-12 South. Who would have guessed that?
No. 21 Florida at No. 15 LSU. The Gators can clinch the SEC East with a victory.