Written Joe Boozell at NCAA.com
Just win, baby.
That’s the lesson we can glean from the Week 10 AP Poll. Hardly revolutionary, but true nonetheless.
Three top-10 teams from last week’s rankings lost on Saturday, and as a result, two new schools joined the elite of the elite. Meanwhile, Clemson and Louisville, despite winning ugly…. well, won. And that’s what matters. This late into the college football season, style points don’t mean as much as they did early in the year. Survive and advance. That’s the objective.
Louisville needed late heroics from Lamar Jackson in order to beat an underwhelming Virginia squad, while Clemson allowed Dalvin Cook to run wild but still found a way to defeat Florida State. Neither team budged in the Week 10 rankings, and that’s a boon to the ACC’s playoff hopes. Barring a monumental collapse from the Cardinals and the Tigers, the ACC should be represented in the College Football Playoff.
Speaking of which, with the first Playoff rankings set to be released on Tuesday, it’s time to start thinking about potential scenarios. Plenty happened in Week 9; four previous unbeatens lost, all of whom likely needed to run the table in order to have realistic national title hopes. Two of those schools were from the Big 12: West Virginia and Baylor. Their semifinal dreams aren’t doomed, but they’ll need quite a few dominoes to fall their way near the top in order to have a chance to play for the championship.
And without looking, can you guess who the top-ranked team in the Big 12 is?
Why hello, Oklahoma. The Sooners jumped four spots after beating Kansas on Saturday night, and Baker Mayfield seems to have found his footing after a rocky start. OU’s two losses don’t look as defensible as they once did; Ohio State almost fell to Northwestern in Week 9 after a loss to Penn State in Week 8, and Houston appears to be unraveling.
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