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AP, Coaches Poll Reaction: Texas is Back (in the top 4)

Step right up and take a ride on the PollerCoaster

NCAA Football: Texas at Alabama
Tell us where Texas is ranked, coach.
Austin American-Statesman-USA TODAY NETWORK

I was so invested in the Cy-Hawk game yesterday I hardly had time to flip around to other games, even during commercial breaks. My quarter breaks and halftime is typically spent corralling my three rambunctious kids and pleading with them to please take it easy on mommy while daddy gets far too invested in a football game.

I usually set my DVR to record any games which catch my eye and I’m unable to watch, but I’m not always able to go back to immediately catch up on what I missed. Thank goodness for Twitter (I’m not calling it X, Elon) feeding me a steady stream of highlights throughout the night and giving me a heads up when something exciting is going down on some other channel. And there was plenty of excitement yesterday, with upsets and near misses galore. With the release of the newest AP poll today, let’s take a look at the fallout from a heck of a week around college football.

Some thoughts:

  • Surprising absolutely nobody, Texas’ was rewarded by their big win in Tuscaloosa with a leap into the top 10. The Longhorns and Crimson Tide almost switched exact positions with each other with Texas jumping to #4 and Bama dropping to #10. Texas had a a good handle on that game from the outset and left plenty of points on the field during the first half. Alabama fought the entire way but this was a Longhorn team that finally put everything together. For now, at least, it looks like Texas is back.
  • No movement for the Georgia Bulldogs and Michigan Wolverines at #1 and #2, respectively. However, the Florida State Seminoles took over Alabama’s spot. Can’t give Texas absolutely everything I suppose.
  • The positions of USC and Ohio State could make for some light controversy. USC demolished Nevada while it took the Buckeyes a little longer than you’d like to pull away from Youngstown State. The Trojans’ margin of victory was larger and they didn’t seem to struggle in the least, and the Penguins are in the FCS. There’s always a bit of resistance to dropping teams even after wins, especially at the highest level of the poll, but Ohio State’s slow start to the year isn’t endearing them to many voters.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 Utah at Baylor Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • Moving down the poll, the first surprise that jumps out to me is Utah staying at #12. They got all they could handle from Baylor and their backup quarterback, only taking the lead with under 2:00 left to play. The Bears’ strategy of going into stupid mode allowed for an easy interception and absolutely putrid tackling led to Utah’s go-ahead touchdown. My best guess as to their staying at the 12th spot is that there were no shakeups big enough to knock them out, while everyone above them just played too well to overtake with a win.
  • Wisconsin’s loss to Washington State dropped them out of the top 25, with the Oklahoma Sooners taking their place at #19. Interestingly, the Colorado Buffaloes leapfrogged the Sooners, moving up to #18 after trouncing Nebraska. Colorado’s two wins have both been convincing, and despite Oklahoma’s 73-0 win over Arkansas State in week 1, their 28-11 win over SMU wasn’t enough to stop Ralphie running over them in the poll.
NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
  • Speaking of those Washington State Cougars, they were rewarded with #23, entering the poll for the first time this year, as are the #22 Miami Hurricanes after they beat Texas A&M. I don’t know what it is about the Aggies, they have everything going for them in today’s game: top-shelf facilities, highly ranked recruiting classes, engaged fanbase, and a strong NIL operation. But for some reason they can’t seem to put it all together. Is the culture rotten in the state of College Station, or is the team just snakebit?
  • And finally our beloved Iowa Hawkeyes return to #25 in the AP poll after taking a week off. After their exit last week they were the first team out and given the shakeups ahead of them it’s natural to slot them back in at their old spot. Sitting at #25 means Iowa has no room for error if they want to stay ranked, so they’ll need to handle Western Michigan without any heartburn. It’d help if a few teams ahead of them fell out to allow them to move up farther before their whiteout showdown with Penn State in Happy Valley. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Take care of Western Michigan first, Hawkeyes. I don’t want a repeat of 2007.