The Associated Press released its top 25 poll after Week 4 on Sunday. Utah made the biggest move, jumping from 18th to No.10 after a 62–20 win over Oregon in Eugene. The Ducks fell out of the poll completely after the loss, breaking their run of 98 straight poll appearances, which was the second longest active streak in the nation.
Here are three thoughts on this week's poll:
1. Familiar faces make their debut in the top 25
Welcome back, Florida and Michigan. The Gators and Wolverines, both with first-year head coaches, are in the top 25 for the first time this week. The Wolverines picked up a quality win over BYU and were bolstered by Utah’s blowout win over Oregon, which made their Week 1 loss in Salt Lake City look much better. Florida is undefeated after playing in some extremely close games, including a pair of conference wins in the past two weeks. Mississippi State, West Virginia and Cal also moved themselves into the top 25 this week. All five new poll entrants still face long odds to win their respective conferences, let alone make a playoff push, but they’re lurking as possible spoilers for teams with higher aspirations.
2. TCU and Baylor may be getting a little nervous
Following last year's College Football Playoff snub, TCU and Baylor are once again on the early playoff bubble, currently ranked at No. 4 and 5, respectively. However, Notre Dame and UCLA are hot on their tails in the next two spots. Could the Big 12 get snubbed again? TCU’s defense looks like it may not hold up during conference play. The Horned Frogs, Bears and Oklahoma are also capable of handing each other a loss. Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish will be buoyed by a strong schedule—though like their Big 12 rivals, could suffer from the lack of a conference title game—while UCLA has revealed itself as a favorite in the Pac-12. There’s plenty of time left in the season, but the Big 12 is far from guaranteed a playoff spot.
3. Utah jumps up, but maybe not high enough
The Utes didn’t just upset Oregon on Saturday, they pasted the Ducks, dealing Oregon its worst home loss since 1977. Utah left absolutely no doubt as to who was the better team, especially evidenced by a trick punt return the Utes executed while already ahead by 35. The jump to No. 10 is impressive, but is it high enough? No. 2 Michigan State only beat Oregon by three points while at home. Utah’s win is clearly better, and Michigan’s entry into the top 25 improves the Utes' nonconference wins. The No. 10 ranking is not going to kill the Utes right now, but it may not be a completely accurate representation of the team’s resume.
Here is the full top 25:
1. Ohio State
3. Ole Miss
6. Notre Dame
11. Florida State
14. Texas A&M
20. Oklahoma State
23. West Virginia