AP Top 25 risers and fallers: Auburn tumbles out of Top 10
As we head into the second week of October, we are beginning to get an idea of the ACC and SEC picture, but the Big 12 outlook is still muddled.
With two weeks until the Big Ten begins play and a month until Pac-12 teams enter the fray, now is the time for the other conferences to stake their claim for a spot in the playoffs.
Let’s take a look at the AP Top 25 and see which college football teams helped and hurt their poll standings most.
Rising: Oklahoma State
Last week's ranking: 17th. This week: 10th.
The Cowboys answered a lot of questions with their destruction of a hapless Kansas team Saturday.
The 47-7 win saw Oklahoma State jump out to a 31-0 lead in the first half, as quarterback Shane Illingworth threw the first three touchdowns of his career. He completed nearly 74% of his passes against Kansas, and was aided by Chuba Hubbard’s 145 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Oklahoma State will have a week off before it travels to Baylor, where the Cowboys will look to remain the only unbeaten team in the Big 12.
Last week's ranking: Seventh. This week: 13th.
Many — myself included — expected the Tigers to give Georgia a good fight. Instead, they rolled over and played dead against the Bulldogs, who destroyed them, 27-6, in a game that wasn’t even as close as the score indicates.
Georgia led 10-0 after the first quarter and pushed it to 24-0 before Auburn’s first score, late in the half.
Auburn quarterback Bo Nix completed just 21 of his 40 passes for 177 yards, and his interception in the third quarter ended the second-longest streak in the nation without throwing a pick.
Defensively, Auburn allowed Georgia to rack up nearly 450 yards of offense.
Auburn will attempt to regroup with a home tilt against Arkansas on Saturday, and the Tigers will need a strong showing to get back into the conversation as one of the better teams in the nation.
Last week's ranking: 21st. This week: 14th.
After a poor showing in their opening game, the Volunteers made a statement with a 35-14 win against Missouri on Saturday.
Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano had a solid day passing, but it was the 232 yards on the ground that led Tennessee to its first win of the season.
The eighth consecutive win for the Vols is the longest active streak among Power Five teams, and it saw them vastly improve on third down conversions and red zone efficiency over their previous game.
The defense still needs to improve, as it allowed nearly 350 yards and forced only one turnover against a pedestrian Missouri squad.
This weekend’s game against Georgia will be a massive test.
Falling: Texas A&M
Last week's ranking: 13th. This week: 21st.
Texas A&M hung with Alabama for about 16 minutes, and it looked like the Aggies might give the Tide a game.
By halftime, it was all but over, as the Tide scored three unanswered touchdowns en route to a 52-24 rout.
Jimbo Fisher’s defense allowed 544 yards and Mac Jones threw for 435. While Kellen Mond had a solid game for A&M, he got no help from a rushing attack that averaged just 3.8 yards per carry. Big plays killed the Aggies’ changes, as Alabama scored passing touchdowns of 87, 78, and 63 yards.
A&M will host Florida this weekend, and the Gators have also had success throwing the ball.
Last week's ranking: 22nd. This week: 15th.
The Cougars were tied, 7-7, after one quarter Saturday, but scored 38 unanswered points to defeat Louisiana Tech, 45-14.
Zach Wilson was terrific. The quarterback threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns, and found pay dirt three more times on eight carries.
At 3-0, BYU has no ranked teams left on its schedule, other than Army, but that game was postponed and may not end up being played. If the Cougars can continue to win and impress voters, they will likely be the highest ranked team outside of the Power Five at the end of the season.