AP Poll | No.4 TCU Drops Texas From Top 25

AP Poll | No.4 TCU Drops Texas from Top 25
TCU beats Texas Longhorns | Image by CBS Sports

The No.4 TCU Horned Frogs survived a defensive battle with the Texas Longhorns Saturday night to clinch a spot in the Big 12 championship game and keep their place in the AP Top 25.

No.1 Georgia led an unchanged top five in the poll released Sunday, while there was significant shuffling in the rest of the Top 25 after eight ranked teams lost — including two big upsets in the Pac-12.

For the second straight week, the Bulldogs received all but one of the 63 first-place votes, while No.2 Ohio State received the other first-place vote.

No.3 Michigan and No.5 Tennessee joined No.4 TCU in holding their spots after victories Saturday.

No.6 LSU and No.7 USC each moved up a spot, with LSU clinching a place in the SEC championship against No.1 Georgia on December 3.

No.8 Alabama and No.9 Clemson made it back into the top 10 due to upset home losses by Oregon (to Washington) and UCLA (to Arizona). No.10 Utah caps the top 10.

Texas’ loss to TCU knocked them out of the Top 25, leaving No.19 Kansas State as the next highest-ranked team from the conference.

Kansas State went to Waco Saturday and surprisingly routed the defending conference champion, Baylor, 31-3. The loss ended a Baylor three-game win streak that had put it back in contention for a Big 12 title game berth.

The win puts Kansas State in sole possession of the second place in the conference. With wins in its next two games (at West Virginia and vs. Kansas), it will play TCU in the Big 12 title game on December 3 in Arlington.

No.24 Oklahoma State is the third and final Big 12 team in the Top 25, returning to the poll after snapping a two-game losing streak by beating Iowa State 20-14.

There’s still an outside chance that 7-3 Oklahoma State can make the Big 12 championship game, but a win this Saturday against arch-rival Oklahoma (5-5) would be imperative.

Oklahoma State was one of four teams that were ranked after being unranked the previous week. Of the four teams that moved into the rankings this week, No.23 Coastal Carolina is the only one making its season debut.

Coastal Carolina has now reached the Top 25 in the past three seasons. No.22 Cincinnati is back in the poll, giving the American Athletic Conference a season-high three ranked teams, along with No.17 Central Florida and No.21 Tulane.

No.25 Oregon State is also back after breaking a nine-year poll drought two weeks ago, but immediately losing a close game at Washington and dropping out. Oregon State moved back in after beating California Saturday.

Joining Texas, falling out of the Top 25, is Illinois, which suffered a second straight home loss. Along with NC State, which is unranked for the first time this season after an upset at home by Boston College.

Liberty’s time in the Top 25 lasted two weeks, following a win at Arkansas with a loss at UConn to fall out.

This weekend’s slate of games only features two ranked vs. ranked matchups, both in the Pac-12. But both games lost some luster after upsets over the weekend.

No.7 USC’s trip to the Rose Bowl to face No.16 UCLA is essentially a playoff game. As the lone team in the conference with only one loss, USC can clinch a spot in the conference title game and keep its College Football Playoff hopes alive with a win.

UCLA may be reeling after its upset home loss to unranked Arizona squandered away its long-shot chances at making the playoff. Still, they will surely enjoy spoiling their crosstown rival’s chances.

No.10 Utah’s matchup at No.12 Oregon lost a bit of juice after Oregon’s home loss to No.15 Washington in dramatic fashion. Still, the stakes are high regarding Pac-12 championship game purposes.

Utah needs to win to keep its Pac-12 title hopes alive, while Oregon must win and defeat rival Oregon State on the road next week to make the Pac-12 title game.

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