Alabama jumps Florida State for the top spot in the Week 15 AP poll
While the Seminoles actually received more first-place votes than the Tide, Alabama finished with 1,426 points to Florida State's 1,423. The Week 15 poll is as follows, with first place votes in parentheses.
1. Alabama (25)
2. Florida State (29)
3. Oregon (5)
6. Ohio State
9. Kansas State
12. Georgia Tech
17. Arizona State
22. Boise State
• So maybe the AP voters are coming around after all. While Florida State has yet to reach No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings despite its undefeated record, the Seminoles have remained unblemished and atop the AP poll. That is until their rickety, messy performance against a Florida team with a lame-duck coach and a true freshman starting quarterback. Jameis Winston's atrocious passing performance (12-of-24, two touchdowns and four interceptions) may have finally swayed some hard-headed voters about the importance of winning every game. Florida State is undefeated and, as it stands, worthy of a spot in the top five. But the 'Noles haven't resembled the best team in the nation for some time.
• The Baylor-TCU debate will drag on until the unveiling of the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night, but Horned Frogs moved ahead of the Bears after two diametrically different performances this weekend. The Horned Frogs took on a gradually improving Texas team and shredded them, 48-10. Baylor battled a downtrodden Texas Tech in the JerryWorld echo chamber and escaped with a 48-46 win and was one two-point conversion away from facing overtime. Baylor has the opportunity to erase its unsightly defensive performance next week when it faces Kansas State, but the Bears' unpredictability cost them a spot in this week's poll. This debate won't be over until both teams finish their seasons next week. TCU battles Iowa State while Baylor battles the No. 9 Wildcats.
• Remember all the jokes about the Big Ten? The worst major conference in college football? Well, the Big Ten finishes Rivalry Week with three teams among the AP's top 11 teams. Only the Big 12, with three of the top nine, boasts a more impressive slate. Ohio State, now reduced to its third-string quarterback after redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett broke his ankle against Michigan, looks like the most improved team in the nation since its ghastly Week 2 loss to Virginia Tech at home. Wisconsin has rode likely Heisman Trophy nominee Melvin Gordon (and it's all-world offensive line) to the Big Ten championship game and a string of high-scoring wins against Nebraska and Wisconsin. Michigan State, after falling to Ohio State in primetime on Nov. 8, has won its remaining three games by at least 22 points. It's not the SEC West or the Pac-12, but the Big Ten may have received too much ribbing after its difficult start to the season. Few teams will want to meet the aforementioned three teams (or Minnesota, for that matter) in their bowl game.