AP Top 25: Takeaways From Week 13 Poll

    The AP Top 25 for Week 13 was released Sunday afternoon. Here are some takeaways about the movement in the newest edition of the poll.

    November 20, 2016

    The AP Top 25 for Week 13 was released Sunday afternoon. Here are some takeaways about the movement in the newest edition of the poll.

    Last week’s craziness saw the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 teams in the AP Top 25 lose in the same week for the first time since 1985. There wasn’t nearly as much chaos this past weekend, but Thursday night’s stunner certainly had quite an impact on the poll.

    Houston dominated Louisville literally from the start, as it recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff and scored a touchdown on its first play from scrimmage. The Cougars won, 36-10, ending Louisville’s chances of reaching the College Football Playoff. The Cardinals dropped eight spots in this week’s poll, while Houston went from unranked to No. 18.

    Here are some other instant AP Top 25 takeaways from the newest edition of the poll.

    B1G Week Upcoming

    The Big Ten has three of the top five teams and four of the top eight in this week’s poll, solidifying itself as the top conference in the country. Wisconsin moved up to No. 5 while Penn State also jumped one spot to No. 8. The Badgers and Nittany Lions could be facing each other in the Big Ten championship game depending on how next week plays out.

    And all eyes will be focused on Columbus for the most anticipated result. Second-ranked Ohio State hosts No. 3 Michigan in one of the most storied rivalries in college football history, with the winner increasing its chances to reach the College Football Playoff. The Buckeyes would benefit most with a victory, as they’d likely receive a berth despite not playing in the Big Ten title game. Penn State would go to Indianapolis instead.

    Should the Wolverines win, they’d still have to face Wisconsin for the conference championship, where the Badgers will be trying for their own invitation to the CFP. It’s safe to say there’s no other conference in the country with more riding on this week’s results than the Big Ten.

    Hello, Pac-12

    First, Stanford had its shot at the College Football Playoff. Then it was Washington. Both lost, and only the Huskies have a legitimate chance to get a bid. But suddenly, the Pac-12 is making some noise in the top half of the rankings.

    Washington is ranked No. 6 just two weeks after losing to USC, which has gone from unranked to No. 15 to No. 12 since upsetting the Huskies. The Trojans are the highest-ranked team in the poll with at least three losses sitting above seven others, including Pac-12 rivals No. 21 Utah and No. 23 Washington State.

    Perhaps no team has been more surprising than Colorado, though. The Buffaloes are 9-2 and ranked No. 9 while in control of their own destiny in the Pac-12 North. A win over Utah would send them to the conference title game against the winner of the Washington-Washington State Apple Cup showdown. A loss could send USC to the championship game.

    Group of Five’s Last Hope?

    Western Michigan might be the last team with a hope of representing the Group of Five in the Cotton Bowl. The No. 14 Broncos need to beat Toledo on Friday and then win the MAC championship game, which likely would assure it a trip to Dallas.

    As of now, No. 20 Boise State – ranked ahead of Western Michigan in the last College Football Playoff rankings – can’t win the Mountain West unless Wyoming loses. Houston is out of the running in the American Athletic Conference, and the only way a Group of Five team receives an automatic bid to a New Year’s Six bowl game is if it wins its conference.

    San Diego State and Troy were in last week’s poll at No. 24 and No. 25 respectively, but both fell out this week after losses. The Aztecs lost to Wyoming, 34-33, and could’ve helped Boise State’s conference title hopes had it won that contest.

    Looking ahead

    Big games with major implications are on deck over the Thanksgiving weekend:

    • No. 25 LSU at No. 22 Texas A&M (Thursday)
    • No. 6 Washington at No. 23 Washington State in the Apple Cup
    • No. 3 Michigan at No. 2 Ohio State
    • No. 16 Auburn at No. 1 Alabama in the Iron Bowl
    • No. 21 Utah at No. 9 Colorado
    • No. 13 Florida at No. 15 Florida State

    The biggest matchup with a potential upset is Toledo at No. 14 Western Michigan on Friday. The winner takes the MAC West title and moves on to the conference title game, and the Rockets will be looking to ruin the Broncos’ 11-0 season.

    MORE: Projected Top 25 College Football Playoff Rankings


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