College football's perennial title contenders maintained their positioning on top of the latest edition of the AP poll, but many other squads still raised their stock heading into Week 10.
The Top Four stayed static, but only three other schools stayed still in the rankings. By suffering a devastating overtime defeat, Missouri paved the way for others to make a dent in the Top 25. Virginia Tech's free-fall from No. 14 to unranked also allowed several schools to advance a spot or two.
But these teams made the most noise by each climbing multiple spots following strong showings on Saturday.
|College Football Week 10 AP Poll|
No. 8 Auburn (Last Week: 11)
Florida Atlantic never stood a chance against Auburn.
Auburn quickly asserted its dominance by generating three rushing touchdowns during the first quarter. The Tigers entered halftime with a 38-7 lead before finishing their 45-10 victory on cruise control.
Auburn ran the ball at will all afternoon, gaining 422 team rushing yards between 10 different rushers. Four runners, led by Cameron Artis-Payne, offered a touchdown during the onslaught. Meanwhile, Florida Atlantic amassed 247 total yards.
The victory improved Auburn's record to 7-1 and was its third straight game scoring at least 45 points. Its only loss of the season came at the hands of LSU, who rose to No. 11 this week after decimating Furman.
While Auburn is still searching for answers in the passing game, it may not matter if it continues to pound the ball down opponents' throats with 315.4 rushing yards per game.
No. 13 Oklahoma (Last Week: 17)
While Oklahoma has played solid football this season, the school needed a signature victory to cement its status as a premier squad.
Cooling off the red-hot Red Raiders provided just that for the Sooners.
Texas Tech soared up the leaderboard each week during a 7-0 start, but it finally met its match at Memorial Stadium against Oklahoma. Freshman Davis Webb kept the offensive juggernaut rolling with 385 passing yards, but Oklahoma reared up the offense to fend off the attack.
Weeks after snatching the starting quarterback gig with 413 passing yards and four touchdowns against Tulsa, Blake Bell averaged 162 passing yards through the next four games. While he still came nowhere close to that illustrious 400 mark, he completed 14 of 22 passes for 249 passing yards and two touchdowns to top Texas Tech.
In addition to 153 receiving yards and two touchdowns (including a 76-yard score) from Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma won the turnover battle, 3-1, to help etch out a 38-30 victory.
No. 14 South Carolina (Last Week: 20)
South Carolina entered the fourth quarter trailing 17-0 to a Missouri squad about to further solidify its legitimacy as a major player. A third loss would possibly boot the Gamecocks outside the Top 25 and label a once-promising season a disappointment.
Sometimes the ending can shatter the story's body. Playing in Dylan Thompson's place, a banged-up Connor Shaw rallied South Carolina to 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, setting the game into overtime. It took two overtime periods and a devastating missed field goal from Missouri kicker Andrew Baggett, but South Carolina escaped with a highly improbable victory.
Shaw, who was listed as doubtful with an injured knee, saved the day with 201 yards and three touchdowns after replacing Thompson during the third quarter. The game had all the makings of an episode of Friday Night Lights, but it was an all-too-real nightmare for Missouri.
Instead of now fighting to stay alive in the Top 25, South Carolina spring-boarded to No. 14 while gaining ground on its SEC East foe.
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