A new number one in rankings that eventually only offer a different alternative and viewing point, not an actual decision. Alabama overtake Florida State despite the Seminoles remaining undefeated, while TCU take advantage of Mississippi State losing to enter the hypothetical playoff group, earning a number four ranking.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (25 First Place Votes), 11-1: Came from behind to beat Auburn 55-44, winning the Iron Bowl and the SEC West, lifting them up one spot.
2. Florida State Seminoles (29), 12-0: Punished for playing badly in the 24-19 over Florida, falling a post.
3. Oregon Ducks (5), 11-1: Had no problem in the ‘Civil War’, beating Oregon State 47-19, getting ready for the Pac-12 championship game.
4. TCU Horned Frogs, 10-1: A two-spot rise for the Horned Frogs thanks to Mississippi State losing and their impressive 48-10 win on the road against Texas.
5. Baylor Bears, 10-1: Nearly let an easy game against Texas Tech slip away from them, but remain at number 5 following their 48-46 win.
6. Ohio State Buckeyes, 11-1: Lost their starting quarterback but still won against Michigan 42-28, rising one spot.
7. Michigan State Spartans, 10-2: Impressively beat Penn State on the road 34-10, rising three spots.
8. Arizona Wildcats, 10-2: A big 42-35 win over Arizona State didn’t just raise them four spots, but also puts them in the conference championship game.
9. Kansas State Wildcats, 9-2: Remain in the hunt for at least a shared Big 12 title, beating Kansas 51-13 and climbing two spots.
10. Mississippi State, 10-2: Lost in the Egg Bowl 31-17 to Ole Miss and fell six spots.
11. Wisconsin Badgers, 10-2: A three spot rise for the Badgers, beating Minnesota 34-24 to make it into the Big Ten championship game.
12. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 10-2: Stunned Georgia in Athens with a 30-24 overtime win, rising four spots.
13. Ole Miss Rebels, 9-3: A five spot climb for the Rebels, finishing the regular season with a very satisfying win that ruined the year for Mississippi State, beating the Bulldogs 31-17.
14. Missouri Tigers, 10-2: Somehow make it into the SEC championship game for a second straight year, beating Arkansas 21-14 to claim the division.
15. Georgia Bulldogs, 9-3: Their game against Georgia Tech didn’t mean anything, and still highlighted their issue in games they should be winning easily, falling seven spots.
16. UCLA Bruins, 9-3: Could have won the Pac-12 south but lost at home 31-10 to Stanford, falling seven spots in the polls.
17. Arizona State Sun Devils, 9-3: Another team that had their destiny in their own hands, but lost 42-35 to rivals Arizona, falling four spots.
18. Oklahoma Sooners, 8-3: Didn’t play, still rose a couple of spots.
19. Clemson Tigers, 9-3: Beat South Carolina for the first time since 2008 (35-17), rising four spots.
20. Auburn Tigers, 8-4: Lost 44-55 to Alabama in the Iron Bowl, marking a 4-4 SEC season, falling five spots further down the road.
21. Louisville Cardinals, 9-3: Had a narrow escape against Kentucky, but their 44-40 win helped them rise three spots.
22. Boise State Broncos, 10-2: Another double-digit winning season for the Broncos following a 50-19 victory against Utah State, climbing three spots.
23. LSU Tigers, 8-4: Back in the rankings following their 23-17 win against Texas A&M.
24. Utah Utes, 8-4: Barely made it past Colorado, was still enough to put them back in the top 25.
25. Nebraska Cornhuskers, 9-3: Bo Pelini won on his final game as a head coach with the school, coming away with a 37-34 victory over Iowa to put them back in the rankings.