Penn State’s loss to Michigan Saturday afternoon was crushing not because of the Nittany Lions’ conference chances but because of a hard-fought contest ending on a whimper.
With the loss, Penn State’s College Football Playoff poll chances went out the window, and the Nittany Lions’ tenuous standing in the AP and USA TODAY Coaches Poll collapsed, falling out of both polls completely.
POLL ALERT: Alabama jumps Cincinnati to No. 2 behind Georgia in AP Top 25; Sooners slip 8 spots to No. 12 after 1st loss.
— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) November 14, 2021
Despite Georgia (1,550 points, 62 first-place votes) allowing an opposing team to its best start of the season, the Bulldogs still cruised to a 41-17 win over Tennessee Saturday afternoon to maintain its stranglehold on the top spot in the AP Poll.
Alabama (1,449 points) jumped Cincinnati (1,420 points) after a 59-3 win over New Mexico State to rise to No. 2 in the poll while Cincy’s 45-28 win kept the fall to just one spot. Oklahoma’s (870 points) 27-14 loss to Baylor (882 points) sent the Sooners toppling down the standings to No. 12 while Oregon (1,353 points) and Ohio State (1,341 points) rose to No. 4 and 5, respectively, off of wins of their own.
Notre Dame (1,175 points), Michigan State (1,161 points), Michigan (1,134 points), Oklahoma State (1,106 points) and Ole Miss (943 points) each rose at least one spot on the heels of wins of their own to round out the Top 10.
The loaded upper-tier of Big Ten teams in the Top 10 continued, but with Oregon retaining its spot inside the Top 4, the Big Ten, at least in the AP Poll, is still on the outside looking in. However, with crucial games still to be played between OSU, Michigan and Michigan State, unless complete chaos ensues, there’s a good chance the Big Ten is represented in the playoff — especially with the ACC eliminated and Oklahoma State needing some help in the Big 12.
Iowa (491 points) and Wisconsin (467 points) checked in at No. 18 and 19, riding wins over the weekend to small rises in the poll.
Penn State (31 points) slipped out of the Top 25, now ranking as the fourth-highest vote getter among the teams in the “Others receiving votes” category, while Purdue’s (four points) loss to Ohio State dropped the Boilermakers out of the Top 25 too.
. @BUFootball threw a monkey wrench into Oklahoma's Playoff plans and moved up five spots in the latest USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll after its 27-14 Big 12 victory.
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) November 14, 2021
The Coaches Poll isn’t much different from the AP Poll, as far as the Top 10 goes, besides the flip-flop of Ohio State (1,363 points) and Oregon (1,320 points) at No. 4 and 5, and Michigan (1,153 points) and Michigan State (1,139 points) at No. 7 and 8, respectively.
Georgia (1,550 points and 62 first-place votes) remains locked in as the top-ranked team in the nation, while Alabama (1,464 points), Cincinnati (1,401 points), Ohio State and Oregon round out the Top 5.
Notre Dame (1,181 points), Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma State (1,102 points and Ole Miss (948 points) complete a very similar Top 10 — with the exception of the much-debated Ohio State-Oregon and Michigan-Michigan State seedings.
Which is another example of when head-to-head results with the same record are and aren’t prioritized when looking at the big picture in seeding. In different situations, with Oregon clinging to a top spot because of a head-to-head win over OSU, and Michigan bypassing Michigan State despite a head-to-head loss a couple of weeks ago.
Which, before Saturday’s loss to Michigan, had also been a talking point for Penn State in the CFP Poll too.
With Ohio State in the Top 4 in the Coaches Poll, that’ll likely transition to the CFP poll as well. Michigan and Michigan State continue to lurk in the shadows, with both yet to play OSU. So, there is plenty of room for chaos in the Big Ten.
Iowa (637 points) and Wisconsin (407 points) checked in at No. 14 and 20, respectively.
Penn State (20 points) and Purdue (seven points) remained in the voters’ consideration, but with losses to Michigan and Ohio State, respectively, both remained firmly in the “Others receiving votes” category.