In the Week 14 AP Poll, there wasn’t any substantially great movement, as this was essentially the calm before the Rivalry Week storm. Ole Miss fell from No. 8 to No. 18 after being shut out 30-0 by Arkansas. The Top 5 had a minor change, with Florida State at No. 1, followed by Alabama, Oregon, Mississippi State and Baylor, which finally jumped TCU (who is now at No. 6).
The full Top 25 is below (with first-place votes in parentheses), with three thoughts to follow.
1. Florida State (37)
2. Alabama (21)
3. Oregon (2)
4. Mississippi State
16. Georgia Tech
18. Ole Miss
• Nobody is really sure what to do with Florida State, whether it’s the Coaches Poll, the AP Poll or the College Football Playoff committee. But all the ‘Noles keep doing is winning. If they were dominating their schedule, they might get the Marshall treatment, being told their opponents are no good, but by playing everyone close, they are still perceived as not having enough control throughout the game. None of that particularly matters: beat Florida, win the ACC title game, and Florida State can prove whatever it wants to prove against other teams in the Top 4.
• UCLA is on the rise. The Bruins sit at No. 9 headed into their game against Stanford, and if they can win that one, they’ll win the Pac-12 South with a chance at a rematch against Oregon. With a little chaos in Week 14 (and the conference title games), it’s not completely out of the question that UCLA would push for a spot in the playoff, although the Bruins would need some other things to go their way.
• That margin between Baylor and TCU is still so close. TCU’s game against Texas isn’t a gimme, and Baylor has a chance to really make a statement against Kansas State, although beating the Wildcats is a tough enough task on its own. Baylor had been fighting an uphill battle to finally get above TCU. Now that they’ve done that (and we’ll see what the committee thinks as well), if the Bears look good and beat Kansas State, there’s a good chance they could get into the playoff.