Amway College Football Poll 2017: Week 14 Top 25 Rankings Announced

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2017

Pittsburgh offensive lineman Brian O'Neill (70) celebrates with fans in the student section after defeating Miami in an NCAA college football game, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh upset number 2 ranked Miami, 24-14. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

The college football world took another turn over the holiday weekend, with a number of big upsets and key results atop the rankings.

Below is a look at the Week 15 Amway Coaches Poll and break down the sport's recent results.

           

Rankings

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 25:  Clelin Ferrell #99 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after a play against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Im
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

1. Clemson (11-1)

2. Oklahoma (11-1)

3. Wisconsin (12-0)

4. Auburn (10-2)

5. Alabama (11-1)

6. Georgia (11-1)

T7. Miami (10-1)

T7. Ohio State (10-2)

9. USC (10-2)

10. Penn State (10-2)

11. UCF (11-0)

12. TCU (10-2)

13. Washington (10-2)

14. Memphis (10-1)

15. Stanford (9-3)

16. LSU (9-3)

17. Notre Dame (9-3)

18. Oklahoma State (9-3)

19. Michigan State (9-3)

20. Northwestern (9-3)

21. Virginia Tech (9-3)

22. Washington State (9-3)

23. South Florida (9-2)

24. Mississippi State (8-4)

25. San Diego State (10-2)

               

Analysis

Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Another week, another pair of top-ranked teams falling. Surely we all expected this, right?

Well, it's hard to expect an Alabama loss given the run Nick Saban's team has been on in recent years. After all, Saban's Crimson Tide have never missed the College Football Playoff in its three-year existence.

That streak is in major jeopardy, however, after the team lost to Auburn 26-14 on Saturday in the Iron Bowl. The loss will keep Alabama out of the SEC title game and essentially leaves its postseason fate in the hands of the team's above them in the rankings. 

"We're going to learn from this," quarterback Jalen Hurts said after the game, per the Associated Press. "It's humbling. The unfortunate thing about that (playoff) is it's not in our hands. You win out and you win games, you know you're in. We'll see what happens."

So down went No. 1. But the No. 2 team in the nation, Miami, wasn't immune to an upset either, shockingly losing to Pittsburgh 24-14 on Friday. 

Still, the loss may be less damaging for Miami. The Hurricanes had already clinched a berth in the ACC title game, and a win over Clemson on Saturday will give them a strong case to present to the playoff committee.

"I still think there's an awful lot to play for," Miami head coach Mark Richt said, according to the AP. "We have no idea what's going to happen in the big picture, how many teams lost a game on a Friday and came back and got in the Top Four? How many teams lost one game and won a conference championship and got right back in it? Who knows? So we don't know."

It's hard to imagine the playoff committee leaving out the ACC champion. Clemson would have wins over Auburn, Louisville, Virginia Tech, NC State, South Carolina and Miami if it wins the ACC. The Hurricanes would have wins over Virginia Tech and Notre Dame and possibly Clemson. 

Likewise, Oklahoma and Wisconsin are virtually guaranteed playoff berths with conference titles. It would be surprising if the committee left out either a one-loss Georgia, should it win the SEC title, or an Auburn squad that is arguably the hottest team in the country and would boast two victories over Georgia and additional wins over Alabama and Mississippi State. 

Plus, the Tigers' two losses came at Clemson and at LSU by 12 points. The playoff has never featured a two-loss team, but Auburn has the sort of resume to end that trend. So for Alabama to get back into the playoff picture, it'll likely need either TCU to win the Big 12 or Ohio State to win the Big Ten—both of which are two-loss teams.

It's easier to imagine Alabama getting the nod over the Horned Frogs. Ohio State would have strong wins over Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan on its resume and losses to a great Oklahoma team and a solid Iowa squad. TCU, on the other hand, would have wins over Oklahoma State and Oklahoma (in the Big 12 title game) but losses to that same Oklahoma team from Nov. 11 and Iowa State. And the Sooners could make a strong case that, even if they lose the Big 12 title game Saturday, they should remain ahead of TCU in the committee's rankings.

Ohio State vs. Alabama would be a fascinating debate for the committee. It's harder to imagine it putting either a two-loss TCU with a conference title or a two-loss Oklahoma team without a title in the playoff over the Crimson Tide. And we haven't even talked about the possibility of USC playing its way back into playoff contention with a Pac-12 title win over Stanford.

Add it all up, and next weekend's conference title games hold the fate of about 10 teams in their hands. It's gonna be wild.

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