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Florida State and Mississippi State remain 1-2 in this week’s XN Sports Top 25 College Football Rankings.
Auburn fumbled away its chances to stay at No. 3, and its college football playoff hopes as well, in a home loss to Texas A&M.
TCU, Arizona State, Baylor, and Ohio State all had statement wins on Saturday and moved up in the polls while Kansas State, Notre Dame, and Michigan State are sliding, both down the poll and out of playoff contention.
Welcome to the poll Georgia Tech, Colorado State, and Missouri and goodbye Oklahoma, Utah, and West Virginia.
The latest college football playoff poll has TCU in the coveted fourth spot, but XN has the Horned Frogs behind Alabama and Baylor as the Bears hold a head-to-head win and the Crimson Tide also have just one loss and get the nod over both Big 12 teams, although slightly.
25. Georgia Tech (8-2) – A game behind Duke in the ACC Coastal Division, Georgia Tech needs to knock off Clemson and then gets some help since it lost to the Blue Devils earlier this season. Last Game: Beat North Carolina State, 56-23. Next Game: Saturday vs. Clemson.
24. Colorado State (9-1) – Coach Jim McElwain has done a great job restoring the Rams program to the lofty status it once enjoyed. Colorado State had three consecutive 3-9 seasons before McElwain came from Alabama in December of 2011 and now Colorado State is off to its best start since 1994. Last Game: Beat Hawaii, 49-22. Next Game: Nov. 22 vs. New Mexico.
23. Missouri (7-2) – The Tigers need this one, especially if Georgia beats Auburn. Missouri has a one-game lead on Georgia in the SEC East but the Bulldogs whipped the Tigers head-to-head. Last Game: Beat Kentucky, 20-10. Next Game: Saturday at Texas A&M.
22. Wisconsin (7-2) – The Badgers have won four straight games, all by double digits, since a loss to Northwestern and they control their own destiny in the chase for the Big Ten West Division title. Last Game: Beat Purdue, 34-16. Next Game: Saturday vs. Nebraska.
21. Clemson (7-2) – The Tigers will have to do what they do best and stop Georgia Tech from doing what it does best to win. Georgia Tech averages 335.6 yards rushing per game while Clemson allows only 90.9 yards rushing. Whoever wins that battle will likely be the team that keeps its ACC title hopes alive. Last Game: Beat Wake Forest, 34-20. Next Game: Saturday at Georgia Tech.
20. Arizona (7-2) – The Wildcats still have a shot at the Pac-12 South, but they don’t have an easy road ahead. Washington, Utah, and Arizona State are on the schedule to close out the season for the Wildcats, who have lost two of three. Last Game: Beat Colorado, 38-20. Next Game: Saturday vs. Washington.
19. LSU (7-3) – The Tigers had a three-point lead with 50 seconds to play but couldn’t hold on and lost to the Crimson Tide in overtime to see their playoff hopes officially end if they weren’t gone already. Last Game: Lost to Alabama, 20-13 (OT). Next Game: Saturday at Arkansas.
18. Marshall (9-0) – The Thundering Herd should be fired up for this week’s matchup with the Owls. Marshall will be going for win number 10 on the season and for revenge. Rice won the last meeting, 41-24 on Dec. 7 in the Conference USA title game. Last Game: Beat Southern Miss, 63-17. Next Game: Saturday vs. Rice.
17. Duke (8-1) – The Blue Devils finish the regular season with three home games starting Saturday against the Hokies. If Duke wins out it will win the ACC Coastal Division for the second straight season and likely get a shot at Florida State in the ACC title game. Last Game: Beat Syracuse, 27-10. Next Game: Saturday vs. Virginia Tech.
16. Georgia (7-2) – The Bulldogs need to beat Auburn and then have Missouri lose one of its final three games to claim the SEC East title. Georgia should get a boost this week with the return of Todd Gurley from a four-game suspension for accepting money for autographs. Last Game: Beat Kentucky, 63-31. Next Game: Saturday vs. Auburn.
15. Notre Dame (7-2) – QB Everett Golson is turning the ball over with alarming regularity. He has 17 turnovers this season (six lost fumbles and 11 INTs), there are 87 FBS TEAMS with 17 or fewer turnovers this season. Last Game: Lost to Arizona State, 55-31. Next Game: Saturday vs. Northwestern.
14. Michigan State (7-2) – The Spartans gave up 568 yards to the Buckeyes and were ousted from the playoff race with their first Big Ten loss since 2012. Last Game: Lost to Ohio State, 49-37. Next Game: Saturday at Maryland.
13. Kansas State (7-2) – Tied with Baylor and TCU at the top of the Big 12 standings (5-1), the Wildcats are now relegated to playoff spoilers with Saturday’s loss to TCU, which snapped a five-game win streak. Last Game: Lost to TCU, 41-20. Next Game: Nov. 20 at West Virginia.
12. UCLA (8-2) – The Bruins played perhaps their best game of the season to dispatch Washington and are on track for a second straight 10-win season. If UCLA wins out and Arizona State loses one of its last three games then the Bruins would head to the Pac-12 title game. Last Game: Beat Washington, 44-30. Next Game: Nov. 22 vs. USC.
11. Ole Miss (8-2) – After back-to-back losses by a combined seven points, the Rebels cruised to an easy win. After a bye, games against Arkansas and Mississippi State loom and the Rebels still may have an outside shot at their postseason goals depending on how other games play out. Last Game: Beat Presbyterian, 48-0. Next Game: Nov. 22 at Arkansas.
10. Nebraska (8-1) – Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Minnesota are all tied at the top of the Big Ten West Division at 4-1. The Cornhuskers can keep their playoff hopes alive and gain an edge in the division race if they can come up with an important road win. Last Game: Beat Purdue, 35-14. Next Game: Saturday at Wisconsin.
9. Auburn (7-2) – Auburn fumbled twice in Texas A&M territory late in the fourth quarter and with it likely fumbled away its chance at a playoff berth. It won’t be easy to rebound the week between the hedges with the Bulldogs still harboring hopes of an SEC East title. Last Game: Lost to Texas A&M, 41-38. Next Game: Saturday at Georgia.
8. Ohio State (8-1) – Ohio State had been pointing to Saturday’s showdown in East Lansing since losing to Michigan State in the Big Ten title game last season and the Buckeyes got exactly what they wanted, revenge. The Buckeyes still need a few things to break right for them to make the playoffs and they have to win four more games but the win over the Spartans was a big step in the right direction. Last Game: Beat Michigan State, 49-37. Next Game: Saturday at Minnesota.
7. Arizona State (8-1) – The Sun Devils scored the last 21 points of the game to hold off a furious Notre Dame comeback and secure a huge non-conference win. Arizona State is in first place in the PAC-12 South and is three wins away from a likely showdown with Oregon for the conference title and possible a playoff berth Last Game: Beat Notre Dame, 55-31. Next Game: Saturday at Oregon State.
6. TCU (8-1) – TCU dominated Kansas State and should be able to run the table with Kansas, Texas, and Iowa State left on the schedule. TCU is in a three-way tie at the top of the Big 12 with Kansas State and Baylor, who play each other to end the regular season. If the Horned Frogs win out they have a great shot at a playoff berth. Last Game: Beat Kansas State, 41-20. Next Game: Saturday at Kansas.
5. Baylor (8-1) – The Bears won in Norman for the first time and they did it emphatically with a 45-14 thumping of the Sooners. Baylor had 544 yards of offense and scored the final 42 points of the game to put themselves right back in the chase for a Big 12 title and playoff spot. Last Game: Beat Oklahoma. 45-14. Next Game: Nov. 22 vs. Oklahoma State.
4. Alabama (8-1) – The Crimson Tide won their fourth straight to set up a huge showdown with Mississippi State on Saturday. A loss to the Bulldogs and Alabama will be on the outside looking in for both the SEC West and the playoffs but a win and it will be two games away from both. Last Game: Beat LSU, 20-13 (OT). Next Game: Saturday vs. Mississippi State.
3. Oregon (9-1) – Oregon led Utah 30-27 with 12:27 to play in the game before scoring the final 21 points of the game to pull away. Heisman candidate QB Marcus Mariota threw for three TDs and ran for another as the Ducks moved a step closer to the Pac-12 North Division title and a playoff berth. Last Game: Beat Utah, 51-27. Next Game: Nov. 22 at Colorado.
2. Mississippi State (9-0) – The Bulldogs remain in control of their own destiny in the SEC and in the hunt for a playoff berth. Mississippi State has won 12 straight games but has lost its last six to Alabama dating to 2007. A win over the Crimson Tide would leave only Vanderbilt and Ole Miss left on the schedule and likely lock up one of the four playoff spots for the Bulldogs. Last Game: Beat Tennessee-Martin, 45-16. Next Game: Saturday at Alabama.
1. Florida State (9-0) – Florida State overcame another slow start to hold off Virginia for its 25th straight win. The Seminoles overcame a pair of interceptions from James Winston, who ran for a TD and threw for a score. Miami isn’t as good as Florida State but this is a rivalry game and the Hurricanes are coming off a bye so it would be a good time for the Seminoles and Winston to get off to a fast start. Last Game: Beat Virginia, 34-20. Next Game: Saturday at Miami (FL).
Dropped out: West Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah
Close but not quite: USC, Texas A&M, Minnesota
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