AP College Football Poll 2019: Complete Week 12 Rankings Revealed

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2019

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron embraces quarterback Joe Burrow (9) after defeating Alabama 46-41 in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

The 2019 College Football Playoff picture saw a major shake-up Saturday from Penn State's upset loss to Minnesota and LSU's triumph over rival Alabama. 

The latest Associated Press Top 25 poll has the Tigers with their strongest hold over the No. 1 spot yet, with Ohio State sitting second after an impressive win over Maryland. Clemson, Alabama and Georgia round out the new-look Top Five.

Here's a look at how things played out:

1. LSU

2. Ohio State

3. Clemson

4. Alabama

5. Georgia

6. Oregon

7. Minnesota

8. Utah

9. Penn State

10. Oklahoma

11. Florida

12. Baylor

13. Auburn

14. Michigan

15. Wisconsin

16. Notre Dame

17. Cincinnati

18. Memphis

19. Boise State

20. SMU

21. Navy

22. Texas

23. Iowa

24. Indiana

25. Oklahoma State

LSU took a 33-13 lead into halftime and held on for a 46-41 victory in Tuscaloosa. Joe Burrow cemented himself as the clear-cut Heisman favorite with 457 total yards (393 passing, 64 rushing), while running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire undoubtedly opened the eyes of scouts with 180 total yards and four touchdowns.

Tua Tagovailoa threw for 418 yards and four touchdowns against an interception in a valiant effort that saw him visibly limping throughout. However, the once-vaunted Alabama defense was powerless against LSU as the Tide attempted to mount their comeback in the fourth quarter.

"We're not done yet," Burrow told reporters after the game. "It's Game 9. We've got three more regular-season ones and the SEC championship. This was never our goal. We've got bigger goals than this."

The Big Ten chance of getting two teams in the CFP essentially ended Saturday, as Penn State's miscues and defensive struggles cost the Nittany Lions a 31-26 game at Minnesota. Sean Clifford threw three interceptions, including one deep in Minnesota territory in the fourth quarter. It was Clifford's second pick of the game that cost Penn State points. The Lions also turned the ball over on downs inside the Gophers red zone in an uncharacteristically sloppy effort.

Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan carved up the Penn State secondary, completing 18 of his 20 passes for 339 yards and three touchdowns. The Gophers, ranked 13th by the AP coming into this week and 17th by the CFP committee, earned respect after taking criticism for beating up on a weak schedule.

"It shows the culture. It shows the character. It shows their charisma. It shows their ability to overcome, and it shows what they've learned," Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck told reporters.

There are now only five unbeaten teams from a Power Five conference, with either Minnesota or Ohio State guaranteed to lose if they win out and meet in the Big Ten Championship Game. That makes the top one-loss ranking perhaps the most coveted spot remaining. 

Penn State still has an outside chance at getting in the playoff if the Lions can beat Ohio State in two weeks and then win the Big Ten. Winning out for Georgia would put the Bulldogs in the familiar space of meeting the SEC West champion for what amounts to a guaranteed playoff berth. Oregon's schedule looks like a cakewalk until a Pac-12 championship matchup with Utah, and the Ducks' only loss was by one score to Auburn.

Then there is looming Alabama, which is a Top Four team on talent but won't get a chance to play for a conference title unless LSU loses twice in its final three games. The committee ranked Ohio State ahead of Alabama coming into this week, so the Buckeyes may have the largest cushion if they lose to Penn State and can't compete for a conference title. 

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