For awhile Saturday night, it looked like the top three consensus teams in the major polls might all lose.
FWAA-NFF No. 2 Georgia had already fallen at No. 10 Auburn 40-17, and No. 7 Miami (FL) was well on its way to a 41-8 blowout over No. 3 Notre Dame. The only question at the time was whether or not No. 1 Alabama could come from behind in the fourth quarter trailing at Mississippi State 24-17.
Of course, the Tide ultimately did rally for a 31-24 win, but the losses by the other two teams in the Super 16’s top three have reshaped the poll once again. Alabama picked up three of Georgia’s No. 1 votes for a total of 44 while comfortably retaining the No. 1 spot. But it was Miami that benefitted the most from a huge night in South Florida picking up the other four votes while vaulting all the way to No. 2.
Georgia and Notre Dame ultimately settled in at the Nos. 7 and 9 positions allowing several other teams to climb the rankings. Clemson eased up one spot to No. 3 while Oklahoma leapfrogged No. 5 Wisconsin to settle in at No. 4 from No. 6 which was filled by Auburn, the highest-ranked two-loss team in the poll.
No. 8 TCU’s loss to Oklahoma dropped the Horned Frogs to No. 12, and Ohio State took advantage of the opening to rejoin the Top 10 with a huge win over Michigan State while keeping their faint playoff hopes alive. The Buckeyes settled into that No. 8 slot between Georgia and Notre Dame while Oklahoma State also jumped three spots from No. 13 to take the final spot in the Top 10.
USC clinched the Pac-12 South Saturday night and vaulted from No. 16 to No. 11 to rekindle talk of a possible playoff bid should other leading teams falter in the weeks to come. Penn State, meanwhile, actually dropped a spot to No. 13 behind TCU illustrating the long odds the Nittany Lions have of getting back into any title conversation.
UCF is the only Group of 5 team ranked in the Super 16, and for the second straight week, the Knights hang on to the No. 14 position. Behind them, Washington State rejoins the poll in the No. 15 slot one spot ahead of their-instate rivals from Washington who dropped to No. 16 after a Friday night loss at Stanford.
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