The AP Top 25 for Week 7 was released Monday afternoon. Here are some takeaways about the movement in the newest edition of the poll.
The top five in the latest release of the AP Top 25 remained unchanged, something that shouldn’t be surprising considering they won by a combined 213 points in Week 6. Alabama maintained its strong hold on the No. 1 spot with 56 first-place votes, but Clemson (2), Ohio State (2) and Michigan (1) all got support for the top ranking as well.
Plenty of other spots changed hands, though. Texas A&M moved up to No. 6 after handing Tennessee its defeat, taking the place of Houston, which fell seven spots to No. 13. And a pair of ACC teams made big moves, with FSU jumping to No. 14 from No. 23 after beating then-No. 10 Miami and Virginia Tech shifting eight spots to No. 17 after crushing North Carolina.
Here are some other instant AP Top 25 takeaways from the newest edition of the poll.
Western Michigan moved into the poll at No. 24 for its first AP Top 25 ranking in school history, adding another accomplishment to coach P.J. Fleck’s revamping of the program.
Fleck, for good reason, is one of the hottest coaching names in the country and will get plenty of interest from bigger schools after the season. After going 1-11 in his first year, the Broncos finished 8-5 in each of the last two and are 6-0 this season with wins over two Big Ten teams. What’s most impressive, though? Western Michigan is the only team in the country that still has not turned the ball over.
Fleck’s motto is “Row the Boat,” which signals teamwork and pushing forward together. The Broncos have bought into his system and are being rewarded for it. If they can run the table, they’ll have a shot at representing the Group of Five in a New Year’s Six bowl game.
Big (Top) Ten
The Big Ten has four teams in the top 10 for the first time since 1960 after Wisconsin and Nebraska joined No. 2 Ohio State and No. 4 Michigan in that group this week.
Wisconsin, which had a bye after falling to Michigan, 14-7, on Oct. 1 in game that went down to the wire at the Big House, jumped back into the top 10 at No. 8. Nebraska also had a bye and moved up two spots to No. 10 for its first top-10 ranking since 2011.
The Buckeyes and Badgers will do battle under the lights in Madison on Saturday.
The Big Ten has been making its case as the best conference in the country all season. Yes, even better than the SEC, which kept three teams in the top 10 when Tennessee remained at No. 9 despite its 45-38 overtime loss to Texas A&M after rallying from a 21-point deficit.
Houston had a problem
The biggest shock of the weekend was Houston’s loss to Navy after many believed the Cougars would compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff. They dipped seven spots in the poll, but there’s still a good chance for them to make up some ground and get into the discussion for a second straight New Year’s Six bowl.
Houston hosts No. 7 Louisville in a Thursday night matchup on Nov. 17. A victory in that contest, coupled with the earlier win over Oklahoma, could help the Cougars represent the Group of Five in a major bowl game ahead of potential undefeated teams Boise State and Western Michigan.
They’ll have to run the table, though, while also dealing with rumors that coach Tom Herman will be out the door for a “better” job following the season.
Welcome to the party
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn’s seat doesn’t seem as hot now. The Tigers have won three straight games after beating Mississippi State, 38-14, to jump into the poll at No. 23, their first ranking all season. They now have a bye week to enjoy that spot.
Navy’s stunning victory over Houston was good enough for the Midshipmen to make the poll at No. 25, joining the Cougars, No. 15 Boise State and Western Michigan as Group of Five schools in the AP Top 25.
Out this week are Stanford, North Carolina and Colorado. The Cardinal fell from No. 15 after a 42-16 home loss to Washington State, making it back-to-back blowouts at the hands of the Pac-12’s Washington representatives. The Tar Heels’ 34-3 loss to Virginia Tech sent it sinking out of the poll from No. 17, and Colorado lost its No. 21 spot after falling to USC, 21-17.
Three ranked matchups highlight the college football slate this coming weekend:
- No. 1 Alabama at No. 9 Tennessee
- No. 2 Ohio State at No. 8 Wisconsin
- No. 12 Ole Miss at No. 22 Arkansas
Potential upset matchups include No. 10 Nebraska at Indiana, North Carolina at No. 16 Miami and No. 22 West Virginia at Texas Tech.