The AP Top 25 poll has been released after Week 6, moving Utah has moved into the top four while dropping Michigan State to No. 7. Florida entered the top 10, and Michigan jumped up to No. 12. The new No. 2 team in the country is Baylor, its highest-ever ranking in the AP poll.
Here are three thoughts on the latest poll:
1. Michigan may not be ranked high enough
The Wolverines impressed Saturday with a 38–0 pasting of Northwestern, their third straight shutout. Michigan is looking more and more like the best team in the Big Ten, and its No. 12 ranking may not do the team justice. Michigan State and Ohio State’s struggles have seemingly grown as the season has gone on, while Harbaugh’s Wolverines have looked better each week after a season-opening loss to Utah, which now sits at No. 4. Michigan will of course have its chance to prove that it’s the best team in the conference with upcoming matchups against the Spartans and Buckeyes. Michigan and Michigan State will square off this week in the Big House, a game that could have playoff consequences no one imagined before the season.
2. Florida is setting itself up for a playoff run
The Gators flew under the radar with an easy win over Missouri in Week 6. Florida now sits comfortably at No. 8 in the poll, ahead of Alabama, Ole Miss and every other SEC team except LSU. The Gators look to be the clear favorites in the SEC East, especially after preseason favorite Georgia fell further behind Saturday with its second consecutive loss. An appearance in the conference championship game could even set Florida up for a chance at the playoff. Can the Gators reach those heights? We may find out soon; their next two games come against LSU and Georgia. If Florida wins one of those two, its schedule is set up to enter a season-ending showdown with Florida State with only one loss. More and more, Florida looks like it will be a factor in the postseason conversation.
3. The Pac-12 and SEC continue to surprise—and not always in a good way
Entering this season, the Pac-12 and SEC looked like the top two conferences in the country. Since then, the SEC has gone from a record 10 teams in the poll to five and is the furthest from a playoff spot among the Power Five conferences as things stand now (though the playoff selection committee will not release its first rankings until Nov. 3). The Pac-12 has Utah in the top four, but USC, Arizona State and Oregon have dropped out completely with poor performances. Both conferences still have plenty of quality teams, but the unreliability of preseason polls has been most evident amongst the Pac-12 and SEC. Of course, the conferences still have plenty of talent near the top primed for playoff pushes. The Utes look like the Pac-12’s best bet while the SEC still needs some sorting at the top.
Here is the full top 25:
1. Ohio State
7. Michigan State
9. Texas A&M
11. Florida State
13. Ole Miss
14. Notre Dame
16. Oklahoma State
21. Boise State