The AP Top 25 Poll after Week 7 of the college football season has been released, and Alabama has cemented itself as the best team in the country. The Crimson Tide came away with 60 of 61 possible first-place votes, and appear destined for the playoff after a throttling of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Michigan, Ohio State and Clemson rounded out the top four, with the Wolverines moving up to No. 3 and the Tigers falling back to No. 4 after a close call against North Carolina State. Here are three thoughts on the latest poll:
1.The Michigan-Ohio State showdown is looming
With Michigan State faltering after high hopes to enter the season, Michigan and Ohio State have proven themselves to be the class of the Big Ten. Both the Wolverines and Buckeyes should still be in the top four once they meet on Nov. 26, and a spot in the playoff could be on the line during that matchup. The Buckeyes’ toughest remaining test on their schedule will be a home game against Nebraska. The Wolverines have an easier slate, with a road game against Iowa looming as their only real threat. Both Ohio State and Michigan will have to avoid having their seasons spoiled by the Spartans, but for now, it looks like the two Big Ten titans are on a collision course for what should be an incredible game to cap their regular seasons.
2. Here comes the Mountaineers
Though the Big 12 has struggled as a whole, the conference still has two of the nation’s remaining undefeated teams: Baylor and West Virginia. Dana Holgorsen is doing an impressive job with the Mountaineers, particularly considering he entered the season essentially coaching for his job. Holgorsen’s current contract ends after next season, and he’s working for an athletic director who didn’t hire him. Instead of buckling under the pressure, West Virginia instead has a chance for a special season, but they’ll have to avoid any slip-ups along the way to a final week matchup against Baylor. Ironically, in the offense-heavy Big 12, it could be the Mountaineers’ defense that vaults them into playoff contention.
3. How high can Boise State climb?
Boise State is No. 14 in the latest poll, ahead of blue bloods like Oklahoma and Florida and early season darlings such as Tennessee and Miami. But can the Broncos climb much higher? The Power Five seems to have a stranglehold on the playoff, especially after Houston’s loss to Navy. Boise State has a favorable schedule for the rest of the season and could very well go undefeated, but it could be difficult for the Broncos to climb much higher if they don’t beat any quality opponents. After only two years of the playoff, Boise State could serve as an interesting test case on what to do with an undefeated Mountain West team if the Broncos do indeed run the table.
Full AP Top 25 Poll
2. Ohio State
6. Texas A&M
12. West Virginia
13. Florida State
14. Boise State
20. Western Michigan
22. North Carolina
23. Ole Miss