AP College Football Poll 2018: Week 14 Top 25 Rankings Announced

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2018

Ohio State running back Mike Weber, left, celebrates his touchdown against Michigan with teammate quarterback Dwayne Haskins during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State beat Michigan 62-39. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

The regular season for the major conferences has come to a close, with College Football Playoff berths still up for grabs heading into the conference title games.

Week 13's games, meanwhile, majorly altered the Week 14 Associated Press poll. Below, we'll take a look at the latest rankings and analyze the college football landscape. 

                       

Rankings

1. Alabama

2. Clemson

3. Notre Dame

4. Georgia

5. Oklahoma

6. Ohio State

7. UCF

8. Michigan

9. Texas

10. Washington

11. Florida

12. Washington State

13. LSU

14. Penn State

15. West Virginia

16. Kentucky

17. Utah 

18. Syracuse

19. Boise State

20. Mississippi State

21. Northwestern

22. Texas A&M

23. Army

24. Iowa State

25. Fresno State

                    

Analysis

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The AP poll was always likely to look fairly different this week given a slew of huge matchups across college football.

Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Georgia and Oklahoma all held serve. Other teams weren't so lucky. 

Perhaps no game this season had a bigger effect on the College Football Playoff picture than Ohio State's demolition of rival Michigan, 62-39. While the win kept the Buckeyes firmly in the playoff hunt, the loss ended the Wolverines' postseason hopes. 

It also moved Jim Harbaugh to 0-4 against Ohio State.

"I don't know why he would take any heat after this loss; he took a lot last year and even this year when we were winning. We have a chance for an [11-win season]," quarterback Shea Patterson said after the loss, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "I know that's not our ultimate expectation, but we have a chance to win 11 games and I think that's a successful season."

Washington State's playoff hopes also ended on Friday after a 28-15 loss to rival Washington in the Apple Cup, the Cougars' sixth straight loss to the Huskies.

"We had a lot riding on this game," quarterback Gardner Minshew said, per the AP (h/t ESPN.com). "Big goals that we have set for ourselves kind of depended on the outcome of this game and we just felt like we let each other down and wanted to win for each other but couldn't do it."

The third team to drop out of the playoff conversation was LSU, as the Tigers lost in seven overtimes to Texas A&M, 74-72, in the game of the year. The Tigers were already long shots to reach the postseason, given their two losses heading into Saturday night, but their wild loss to the Aggies sealed their fate.

So, where does the playoff picture stand now with the conference championship games on tap next weekend?

Notre Dame is in after finishing its undefeated season. Alabama and Clemson can probably each lose next week, too, and still qualify for the playoff. That leaves one spot remaining. 

If Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC title game, it's hard to imagine the committee leaving the Bulldogs out. If they lose, however, things get interesting, especially if both Oklahoma and Ohio State win their respective conferences. Will the committee side with the Sooners or the Buckeyes?

And what happens if Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State all lose? What would the committee do in that scenario? Will UCF even earn a passing glance in any scenario?

Georgia beating Alabama would make things pretty easy on the committee. But college football has a way of curating controversy. Next week will be fascinating. 

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