Let’s take a look at the last AP Top 25 poll of October:
All things considered it was a fairly tame week, as the top five teams stayed the same. But Georgia notched a huge win over Florida on Saturday and rose one spot to No. 6.
While the Bulldogs didn’t make up a ton of ground in the poll, it was still a significant win. No. 4 LSU has to play Alabama next week. Even though the Tigers beat the Bulldogs, Georgia’s win over Florida may mean it would jump a two-loss LSU in the event that it falls to Alabama. That’s not a foregone conclusion, of course. But it’s something to keep in mind. LSU still might stay ahead of Georgia if it loses, but the Florida win gives the Bulldogs a fighting shot.
Washington State was another team that rose. The Cougars are up to No. 10 after taking care of Stanford. Washington State is likely the Pac-12’s only shot at sending a team to the College Football Playoff.
Gardner Minshew has been a revelation under center. He threw for 438 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday and now has a 26:6 touchdown to interception ratio on the year. While the Cougars have a lot of ground to make up to leap into the top four, they’re a scary group right now. The offense is absolutely lethal, with playmakers everywhere you look.
Ohio State rejoined the top 10 after a bye week as a result of a few teams ahead of the Buckeyes losing. One of them was Florida, which dropped four spots to No. 13. That feels a little harsh after losing to Georgia, but not much separates teams eight through 15 or so. Texas, which is the 15th team, had a really tough loss to Oklahoma State. The Longhorns were the Big 12’s most likely Playoff team coming into the week. As it always seems to turn out, that distinction now belongs to Oklahoma. Again, falling nine spots for losing to a good Oklahoma State team may seem excessive, but the competition is real in that part of the poll.
Moving on down the rankings, a bunch of new teams joined the AP Top 25 this week. Seven, to be exact, which is the most in one week since 1989.
It’s quite impressive that No. 17 Houston and No. 18 Utah State went from unranked to inside the top 20 in a week, but that’s how good both of those schools have been lately. The Cougars put 57(!) points on then-No. 21 South Florida on Saturday, while Utah State put up 61 on New Mexico. It’s safe to say both of those offenses are in midseason form. Fresno State, another Group of Five school, is ranked 20th. It’s the time of year where Power Five teams are beating each other up week after week. Programs like Houston, Utah State and Fresno State deserve to be recognized, and it’s nice to see them get their due.
The top of the poll may not have had as much activity as weeks prior, but next week should be interesting with LSU and Alabama squaring off. The first College Football Playoff rankings reveal also happens on Tuesday. How much will they resemble the AP’s? It will be fascinating to find out.