Just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in. A week after the Big 12 was ridiculously left for dead in the College Football Playoff discussion, the conference now finds itself with three teams ranked in the top 10 and four teams overall in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The Big 12 is tied with the Big 10 for most teams in the top 10, and the Big 12 has the highest percentage of teams ranked in the top 25 of any conference with 40 percent of its teams ranked. Not only that, but Iowa State and Texas Tech are both receiving votes with the Cyclones effectively sitting at number 28. This conference has depth, and it feels like the national media are beginning to
accept realize it.
Alabama is now the unanimous number one team in the country followed by Penn State, Georgia and TCU to round out the top four. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State re-entered the top 10 at numbers 9 and 10, respectively. The Cowboys jumped the USC Trojans after setting a school record for total offense against Baylor while the Trojans needed a stop on a two-point conversion attempt to escape Utah at home.
With the Pac-12 conference’s last two unbeaten teams suffering losses this week, they do not have any teams ranked in the top 10. This marks the first time that a Power 5 conference has been left out of the top 10 in either poll this season. So this week is their turn to be the conference that has been eliminated from the playoff.
Then there is Clemson. I’m surprised, but I’m not surprised that they only dropped five spots to number seven in the poll. They are the defending national champions and are in an elite class with Alabama and Ohio State. Those teams are just simply not punished like everybody else for losses because of what they have accomplished recently and the talent on the roster. Oklahoma State dropped 9 spots after their loss to TCU, who is now at number 4 in the rankings, and the Cowboys were within a touchdown late in the fourth quarter of that game. Oklahoma also dropped nine spots after losing to an unranked, middle-of-the-pack Iowa State team at home. Clemson’s loss was also to an unranked team at Syracuse; however, they only fell five spots. In all three scenarios you can see how the tier system of college football works with the media. Where would Oklahoma State be if they lost to an unranked team?
Clemson is getting credit because of the nice wins they racked up early in the season, but the quality of those wins also took a hit this weekend. Auburn fell to LSU, and they will probably get beat up some more in the SEC. Louisville lost again, but to lowly Boston College this time. All the resume arguments do not appear to matter for Clemson though. As long as they do not lose more than once, they will get the benefit of the doubt. That is one of the perks of appearing in two straight championship games and winning one.
Week 8 AP Poll:
- Penn State
- Ohio State
- Oklahoma State
- Notre Dame
- Virginia Tech
- Washington State
- South Florida
- NC State
- Michigan State
- West Virginia
Others Receiving Votes: San Diego St. 56, Texas A&M 46, Iowa St. 16, Virginia 10, Kentucky 8, Utah 4, Mississippi St. 3, South Carolina 2, Iowa 2, Navy 2, Texas Tech 2, Georgia Tech 1, Marshall 1, Florida St. 1