After a wild week in college football, the Associated Press Top 25 has a drastically new look this week, with several major college football playoff contenders suffering losses. In one of the most memorable weeks in college football history, Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA Bruins and Texas A & M all suffered losses, greatly impacting the outlook for the inaugural college football playoff. This season the Rose Bowl in Pasadena will hold one of the two college football semifinal games.
Here’s a look at the top contenders to potentially play in the Rose Bowl after the major upsets of the past week:
Florida State: The defending national champions take over the top spot in the AP poll and if they can go undefeated, should be a shoo-in for the national semifinals. Although the Seminoles have been undefeated, they haven’t been as impressive as a year ago. Two weeks ago the FSU gave up 41 points to North Carolina State, the second time they’ve given up over thirty points this season. The big test for Florida State will come on October 18 when they host undefeated Notre Dame.
Auburn: With Alabama losing the Auburn Tigers are now the highest ranked SEC team and currently in the driver’s seat to compete for the National title. This past week Auburn steamrolled the LSU Tigers in one of the more impressive performances of the college football season thus far. In a brutal upcoming schedule the Tigers have five remaining teams currently tanked in the top fifteen on their schedule. If they can somehow navigate their schedule they’ll be a leading candidate to potentially play in the Rose Bowl.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs have made an impressive rise to the top of the AP Poll with consecutive wins over top ten teams, LSU and Texas A & M. The Bulldogs can cement their ranking with a defeat of Auburn this coming Saturday. In addition to Auburn the Bulldogs still play Alabama and Ole Miss, both ranked in the top ten. In quarterback Dak Prescott the Bulldogs have one of the most exciting players in all of college football.
Mississippi: In a remarkable turn of events, Mississippi joints Mississippi State in the AP top 5 after an impressive home victory over Alabama. In their first test of the season, Ole Miss came back from a halftime deficit to defeat Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. They’ll be tested immediately this coming weekend when they travel to College Station to face the Texas A & M Aggies.
Baylor: With Oklahoma losing the Baylor Bears are now the highest ranked Big 12 team, with a real shot to go undefeated. The Bears will get immediately tested this weekend when they host 9th ranked TCU. The Horned Frogs are coming off of an impressive victory over Oklahoma. Baylor has one of the most dynamic offenses in all of college football under quarterback Bryce Petty.
Notre Dame: The Irish aren’t blowing teams out, but they are collecting victories over solid opponents, most recently their defeat of Stanford this weekend. Notre Dame has two remaining ranked teams on their schedule, Florida State and Arizona State, as well as the season finale versus USC. If the Irish can manage to go undefeated they’ll have a strong case for the college football playoffs.
Arizona Wildcats: The most surprising team on the list, and the team that made the biggest rise in the polls, is Arizona. The undefeated Wildcats knocked off second ranked Oregon in Eugene this past weekend, vaulting them from unranked to number ten in the country. Arizona has upcoming games versus UCLA, USC and Arizona State on their schedule. Although it’s unlikely, if the Wildcats can go undefeated they’ll have a strong case for one of the two national semifinal games.
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