AP Top 25: Alabama back on top
Alabama’s convincing Iron Bowl victory on Saturday was enough to earn the nod over Florida State in this week’s AP Top 25 poll. Undefeated Florida State (12-0) garnered 29 first place votes to Alabama’s 25, but the Crimson Tide edged out the top spot by a three-point margin.
No. 1 Alabama (11-1) will battle No. 14 Missouri (10-2) in the SEC Championship game on Saturday, Dec. 6. No. 2 Florida State looks to defend its ACC title against No. 12 Georgia Tech (10-2), who is coming off an improbably victory that knocked Georgia (9-3) down seven spots to No. 15.
No. 3 Oregon received five first place votes, an improvement from two after its dominant Civil War victory. Oregon (11-1) now sits comfortably in third after previously No. 4 Mississippi State lost to No. 18 Ole Miss by two touchdowns. Mississippi State (10-2) fell to No. 10 while Ole Miss (9-3) jumped to No. 13.
Oregon will take on No. 8 Arizona in the Pac-12 Championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Friday, Dec. 5.
TCU (10-1) leap-frogged Baylor (10-1) for the No. 4 spot a week after Baylor passed TCU for the No. 5 spot. No. 5 Baylor will play its Big-12 regular season finale against No. 9 Kansas State (9-2), who improved two spots as a result of its 51-13 rout of in-state rival Kansas.
Ohio State (11-1) and Michigan State (10-2) also benefited from Mississippi State’s loss, moving into No. 6 and No. 7 respectively. With the loss of J.T. Barrett, No. 6 Ohio State’s resilience will be tested in Saturday’s Big Ten Championship game against No. 11 Wisconsin, who moved up three spots following its 34-24 home win over Minnesota.
Five Pac-12 teams finished in the Top 25 as Utah re-entered the ranks at No. 24. UCLA (9-3) slid to No. 16 after taking a beating at home from Stanford (7-5). Arizona State (9-3) finished No. 17 due to its road loss against to Arizona.
No. 25 Nebraska and No. 23 LSU also entered the Top 25 while Marshall, Colorado State and Minnesota dropped out.
Follow Kenny Jacoby on Twitter @kennyjacoby