Tomorrow’s Top 25 Today: Michigan Replaces Ohio State at # 2 in New College Football Ranking – archyde

A refresher in the top 5, a clearer picture of the college football playoffs, and more underscores what we expect from the new AP Top 25 when the college football rankings update after an epic rivalry week. Without debate, Week 13 was one of the best weekends in college football of 2021, with Saturday’s full-day drama marathon serving as a fitting conclusion to one of the most anticipated seasons in the history of the sport.

No result will resonate more than Michigan’s 42-27 win over Ohio State, which saw a streak of bad luck in the series that dates back to 2011, and Jim Harbaugh his first win in the series as head coach after five straight losses to the Buckeyes bestowed. The Wolverines will fight for second place after the win, and the Buckeyes are sure to take a fall after a second loss. We expect Michigan to actually emerge as the first team behind a unanimous # 1 Georgia in the AP Top 25 poll when the new rankings are released on Sunday.

Michigan’s move to # 2 was opened as it took Alabama four hours of overtime to get past Auburn in an Iron Bowl that continued the rivalry drama until Saturday afternoon. Bryce Young’s 97-yard touchdown drive adds to his own Heisman Trophy argument, but the narrow win didn’t do much to anchor an argument for the Crimson Tide to return to second place.

That rivalry theme dragged into an all-time edition of Bedlam with Oklahoma State and Oklahoma trading haymaking before the Cowboys presented Lincoln Riley with his first loss in the rivalry until Saturday night. This win not only contradicts the consistency of the Oklahoma win in the series, but also prevents the Sooners from battling for a Big 12 championship – the perfect one-two when it comes to hatred of rivalries.

Getting “The Game,” Iron Bowl and Bedlam in sequence with exciting results and college football playoffs is as good as it gets for a fan of the sport, and voters, like us, will enjoy one of the last few opportunities to get themselves participate in these college football playoff rankings debates.

In our opinion, the new AP Top 25 will look like this on Sunday:

1. Georgia (last week – 1): The return of George Pickens was the most notable headline after a 45-0 win over Georgia Tech. Pickens has only booked one reception, but his presence changes the prospects for the SEC championship game against Alabama and ultimately for the Bulldogs, the college football playoff.

2. Michigan (6): The wire-to-wire nature of Michigan’s win is ultimately what drives the prediction that the Wolverines will jump to the top of the line among teams in defeat.

3. Alabama (3): Extended overtimes actually helped the post-game review of Alabama’s 24-22 win at Auburn, as they offered Young and the Tide offensive opportunities to achieve successes that were not expected by most of the regulations. Voters may remember how below average the performance was at the start of the game, but the final book reads better for those who haven’t seen every snapshot.

4. Cincinnati (4): A more one-sided result than 35-13 could have ousted the Bearcats after their victory at ECU on Friday in front of Alabama. AP voters have shown Cincinnati positive treatment throughout the season, so it will be interesting to see if they give Luke Fickell’s team a chance to recapture second place.

5. Notre-Dame (5): The Fighting Irish are in a great position for the playoff debate. They are 11-1 and have won convincingly, the only defeat being against an unbeaten team. You can sit on the couch the next weekend and root for the mayhem it brings to the CFP for the third time in four years.

6. State of Oklahoma (7): The college football playoffs are real for the cowboys who now have the chance to emerge as the Power Five champions in conference championship weekend defeat if they beat Baylor for the second time in Dallas this season.

7. State of Ohio (2): The landing site for the Buckeyes could be anywhere between # 7 and # 11, depending on two important factors: how high AP voters rate Michigan and whether snow conditions should affect those voters’ response to the loss. Since we’re projecting the Wolverines at number 2, we’ll be at the high end of that forecast, but it’s also possible to check a point before Michigan State.

8. Be Miss (8): So much for all that talk about hating your rival is not healthy. The rebels looked extremely motivated to hand over a 31-21 loss to Mississippi State and cowbell-wearing fans in Starkville, Mississippi, Thursday night.

9. Baylor (9): All Baylor needed was a win to keep chasing the Big 12 Championship Game, but Texas Tech almost played spoilers before a game-binding field goal attempt was missed in the 27-24 Bears win.

10. Oregon (11): It was late in the game when the Oregon State offense really got underway, so there shouldn’t be too much panic on the Ducks stock after the 38:29 win over Oregon State. Next up is a rematch with Utah for the Pac-12 title and a place in the New Year’s Six.

11. State of Michigan (12): Massive personnel problems due to injuries and flu were not enough to prevent the Spartan team from reaching the 10-victory mark in the regular season for the first time since 2015.

Do You Need More College Football In Your Life? Listen below and subscribe to the Cover 3 podcast where we break down all of Week 13’s action on Saturday.

12. Oklahoma (10): There could be a more dramatic drop in the ranking than we forecast here, but the “good loss” factor could prevent the Sooners from falling behind the top-ranked teams with three losses in the top 25.

13. BYU (13): USC rolled off 18 unanswered points and even held the lead early into the fourth quarter, but the Cougars responded with a late score and key stops to take the win, down to 5-0 against the Pac-12 and 10-2 overall to improve.

14. Utah (16): All eyes are on next week’s Pac-12 championship game and voters can’t take much away from a 28-13 win over Colorado on Friday.

15. Iowa (17): There’s not much room for upward movement, but the Hawkeyes should be feeling as good by week 13 as they have been for weeks. A win against Nebraska on the road and a win in Minnesota against Wisconsin catapulted Iowa into the Big Ten Championship Game, and that division title combined with just two losses in the season could make a small jump in the rankings.

16. Houston (19): The Cougars ended their regular season with a 28-point win at UConn on Saturday, leaving Dana Holgorsen’s team with an 11-1 record ahead of next week’s AAC championship game against 12-0 Cincinnati.

17. Pittsburgh (20): The first 10-win season of Pat Narduzzi’s tenure is just eye candy for a campaign that ultimately hangs its hat on what happens next week against Wake Forest. The Panthers had won the ACC Coastal prior to their 31-14 victory at Syracuse, but that result holds the confidence high for a team that has won eight of nine since their staggering loss to Western Michigan earlier this year.

18. Wachwald (21): The final score of 41:10 against Boston College was impressive enough that a rebound could be warranted if it were early in the season. Individual results usually don’t have that much impact on dramatic fluctuations in the rankings this late in the season when the favorite ranked team wins.

19. State of San Diego (22): Friday’s early kick on CBS against Boise State was a big stage for Brady Hoke’s Aztecs to crack their ticket to the title game at Mountain West.

20. Louisiana (23): Next week is the Sun Belt Championship Game. It was understandable to see a closer game than expected against Louisiana-Monroe, but the 21:16 win was a little close to consolation.

21. NC State (24): One of the best editions of the NC State and North Carolina rivalry has cemented the Wolfpack’s place as a top 25 team, even if they miss the ACC Championship Game. Trying to remove a nine point lead in less than 30 seconds and beating the tar heels was an endorsement in this year’s team and in Dave Doeren’s program.

22. Arkansas (25): Three wins in the rivalry trophy in 2021 won’t earn Arkansas any extra points in the AP Top 25, but those wins are small bits of Sam Pittman’s pitch on the recruitment path. The Razorbacks never lagged behind in their 34-17 win over Missouri, falling on a five-game losing streak in the series.

23. Clemson (NR): The CFP selection committee’s ranking last Tuesday was the first evidence the Tigers were about to break through, but their 30-0 win over South Carolina did more to add to the case for Clemson as the top 25 caliber team underpin.

24. Texas A&M (14): The head-to-head loss to Arkansas earlier in the year was offset by the strength of the Alabama win until Saturday night, when a lost lead at LSU left the Aggies and Razorbacks with the same record in conference play (4-4 ). and a total of (8-4).

Minnesota (NR): This is a bit of a bump as Saturday’s win over Wisconsin marked Minnesota’s first ranked win of the season, but the Badgers’ first loss since early October could have enough resonance to make it into the top 25.

Expected Dropout: UTSA (15), Wisconsin (18)

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