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Breaking Down AP College Football Top 25 Rankings for Week 10

Uh, oh. We have entered Week 10, and this marker means we have entered the realm of the College Football Playoff Committee’s rankings. On November 1, the committee revealed its first iteration of rankings to the public. So, it’s about to get confusing. While the Associated Press holds the monopoly on rankings through the first ten weeks, the introduction of the College Football Playoffs muddies that water.

A team might be ranked high, and play great ball, but if they aren’t ranked within the top four of the College Football Playoffs’ rankings, then they will miss their chance to compete for the national title. Yes, I know, it’s confusing and frustrating. But, the good news is that the playoff system is expanding from four teams to twelve teams… in two years.

Now that I have laid down a questionable foundation of the ranking system, allow me to move on to the rankings for this week! My most humble apologies on behalf of the Associated Press and the Playoff Committee, as I will now break down the AP rankings for Week ten. Make sure to check out last week’s breakdown, and let’s begin!

Breaking Down AP College Football Top 25 Rankings for Week 10
Credit: Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel

Breaking Down the AP College Football Top 25 Rankings

1. Georgia

Well, what’s new? Oh, that’s right, nothing has changed in regard to their spot. But, they will get their biggest test of the year as they will fight the second-ranked Vols this weekend. My prayers go out to the cities of Athens and Nashville.

2. Tennessee

Oh. My. God. Tennessee is still climbing the rankings and they are set to clash with the mighty Georgia Bulldogs this week. I expect police departments for both cities to be on high alert and the national guard to be on standby. This clash of the titans will probably decide both of their fates to make the playoffs as well.

3. Ohio State

The Ohio State Buckeyes are officially at the third spot. As previously mentioned, the game between the first and second seeds will more than likely affect how Ohio State moves up this ladder. I’m willing to bet they will replace the losers of said contest.

4. Michigan

The Wolverines have been involved in tunnel altercations for two weeks in a row now. They are slated to take on Rutgers next, and should anything extracurricular happen, I can imagine them falling out of favor in the rankings. Big Blue will have to defeat Ohio State if they want to make the final cut for the playoffs.

5. Clemson

The Tigers have probably eclipsed the hardest part of their season. Barring some upset, they will most likely coast the rest of the year undefeated. Let’s just hope they don’t fall asleep at the wheel and miss their shot to land themselves in the playoffs. But with the way the other four teams look, I can’t imagine the Tigers would even compete.

6. Alabama

The Crimson Tide are set to face off against the LSU Tigers, so an upset alert should be warned. However, I still feel confident in this team to make a strong push for post-season aspirations. They’ll need to close out with wins and hope for their peers’ downfalls. If there’s one thing Nick Saban hates- it’s losing.

7. TCU

Truthfully, I don’t understand how the Horned Frogs are behind Alabama and Clemson. The Tigers have some victories that were too close for comfort. And the Crimson Tide have a loss to their name. , However, this Big 12 private school is undefeated. Once again, The Associated Press shows its bias towards Clemson and the SEC in general.

8. Oregon

Well, they’re here. The PAC-12, as a whole, has been up and down, but the Ducks have stayed at the top for pretty much the entire season. They have two more big games coming up, but they should win those contests. However, that’s why you play the game because no outcome is guaranteed.

9. USC

The Trojans have shown great poise in the first year of the Lincoln Riley era and might become the dominant team of the conference in the future. Their last two weeks of the season will be the last rough patch they must pass. However, the next two weeks ahead of them seem like shoo-in victories for the Trojans.

10. UCLA

The Bruins are back. Yes, I’ve been saying this for a while now, but Chip Kelly has got himself a program in Los Angeles. They will most likely coast out the year with wins, but there is only one game that they might lose in the home stretch. That of course is their penultimate matchup against USC.

11. Ole Miss

The Rebels have righted their wrong by beating the Texas A&M Aggies. Additionally, they have a bye week this weekend to get some rest. However, their next game is against Alabama. Depending on the outcome of the Crimson Tide’s matchup against LSU, this could be an important game for both the Rebels and the Crimson Tide.

12. Utah

The Utes confuse me. Their season will come to a head when they face the mighty Oregon Ducks in three weeks. The two games leading up to that should be relatively easy wins for the Utes. But if there’s one thing about this season, it’s to not get your hopes up.

13. Kansas State

There was a time this year when both Kansas Big 12 schools were ranked. The Jayhawks might have fallen from grace, but the Wildcats are here to stay. The Wildcats have hung in the polls for a while now and are not wanting to leave. Let’s see what the rest of the season holds for them.

14. Illinois

“Illinois, where the grass is green!” Okay, maybe that song is about Oklahoma, but you’ll have to pardon my enthusiasm. As exciting as it is to see a Big 10 team not named Penn State this high in the rankings, I can’t imagine they’ll move up beyond the top ten.

15. LSU

Jayden Daniels is balling out this year and the Tigers are riding high once again. They have a tough matchup against Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide, but let’s see what the Tigers are made of. Cheers to this weekend’s slate for making the SEC the best conference in college football.

16. Penn State

Uh oh, looks like we have to call the national guard again. Penn State has fallen out of the top fifteen. But, as unnatural as it might be, perhaps this is evolution. Maybe I’ve been looking at it all wrong. Maybe nature is, in fact, healing, and we shouldn’t call an airstrike on this change.

17. North Carolina

Surprisingly, the Tar Heels are the second-highest-ranked ACC team in the AP poll. A shocking four teams with two losses are ahead of them. Once again, this should be no surprise as I regularly question the AP’s ability to rank appropriately.

18. Oklahoma State

Look, the Cowboys have finally grown up and become the dominate program in the state of Oklahoma. But, if they keep slipping, then the Sooners might have a chance to kick them while they’re down.

19. Tulane

The Green Wave has ridden the surf along to this spot in the rankings. However, they will have to battle UCF and Cincinnati if they want to keep a spot amongst the best. Pending those victories, they will most likely stay near the bottom of the rankings.

20. Wake Forest

Well, their moment of glory has left as quickly as it came. Once upon a time, this team was knocking on the top ten’s doorsteps. But alas, the mighty must fall and all good things must come to an end.

21. North Carolina State

The Wolfpack don’t seem to quit, do they? They rise and fall in the rankings but they can’t seem to fall out of the top twenty-five. Good for them. I, for one, love seeing new teams in the rankings and I congratulate the Wolfpack for hanging in the rankings for as long as they have this season.

22. Syracuse

Ever since their climatic bout against the Tigers, the Orange have fallen down the totem poll. However, they did create a quarterback controversy for Dabo, so maybe they did win in some way. Nonetheless, they have shown they hang close even with the top dog of the Clemson Tigers.

23. Liberty

Listen, this is the point of the year when anyone with a good record can squeeze into the rankings. Am I upset? No, I just didn’t expect Liberty to be this good. Shame on me for sleeping on them, and props to the Associated Press for giving a good ranking for once.

24. Oregon State

The Beavers have been quietly gnawing away at the rest of the PAC-12. After having a strong resume on the season, they have finally slipped into a spot on the AP’s rankings. Dam(pun intended).

25. UCF

Yikes. Now that UCF is back in the rankings, we’re going to have to hear the Black Knights gloat about it. Listen, I’m all for shakeups in the college ecosystem, but I can’t stand fanbases that don’t know when to quit. This fanbase ranks with the Longhorns fans for my most hated. Let’s see if they can walk the walk for as much as they talk.

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