It finally happened: we got a topsy-turvy day of college football.
No. 3 Clemson went down. No. 4 Washington followed suit. So did No. 2 Michigan. No. 6 Louisville gave fans a big scare. (And those were just the championship contenders.)
Here’s our best guess at what The Associated Press voters will go with after a Saturday that was wild across the board:
Dropped out: North Carolina (previously No. 15), Virginia Tech (No. 17), Baylor (No. 25)
25. Iowa (6-4)
(Entering week: Unranked) Fans stormed the field at Kinnick Stadium after the Hawkeyes nailed a game-winning 33-yard field to beat No. 2 Michigan. It was eerily reminiscent of Iowa’s 31-yard game-winner over undefeated, No. 3 Penn State in 2008, and might be enough to take the Hawkeyes from zero votes to the Top 25’s final spot.
24. Pittsburgh (6-4)
(Entering week: Unranked) This team has played tough football all year — Pitt lost close ones to North Carolina, Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech — and now has wins over a pair of highly-ranked teams (Penn State and Clemson).
23. Boise State (9-1)
(Entering week: No. 24) The blue-turf Broncos keep chugging along on the outskirts of the Top 25. There’s still plenty at stake for BSU: Namely, beating out Western Michigan for the non-Power 5 spot in the New Year’s Six.
22. Washington State (8-2)
(Entering week: No. 23) The Cougars extended their winning streak to 8 games with a blowout win over California. After beginning the season 0-2 (including a loss to Eastern Washington), the Cougars are now the only undefeated team in Pac-12 play.
21. Florida (7-2)
(Entering week: No. 22) The defense gave up a bunch of yards late, but Florida was never in serious danger of losing to South Carolina at The Swamp. A return trip to Atlanta depends on the outcome of next week’s showdown in Baton Rouge.
20. Nebraska (8-2)
(Entering week: No. 21) Coming off an ugly performance in Columbus, the Huskers won a crucial Big Ten West game against Minnesota. Quarterback Tommy Armstrong’s quick return from a severe concussion kept Nebraska’s conference title hopes on the rails.
19. Florida State (7-3)
(Entering week: No. 20) A blowout victory against Boston College on Friday allowed the Seminoles to watch Saturday unfold from the comfort of their own couches. FSU travels to Syracuse this coming weekend.
18. LSU (6-3)
(Entering week: No. 19) There was no “Bama Effect” for the Tigers in Fayetteville. Leonard Fournette’s big day helped LSU beat Arkansas by four touchdowns.
17. Oklahoma State (8-2)
(Entering week: No. 17) Both OSU and rival Oklahoma got off to terrible starts this September, but both kept long winning streaks alive Saturday. Their end-of-season showdown is looming larger than T. Boone Pickens’ wallet.
16. Texas A&M (7-3)
(Entering week: No. 10) A 15-point home lead disappeared for the Aggies and a new SEC star — Ole Miss true freshman quarterback Shea Patterson — was born in a 29-28 Rebels win.
15. Auburn (7-3)
(Entering week: No. 8) Turns out last week’s sloppy game against Vanderbilt wasn’t an aberration. The Tigers failed to move the ball against Georgia, failing to score in the final three quarters.
14. Colorado (8-2)
(Entering week: No. 16) The Buffaloes will have a huge hand in deciding the Pac-12 championship, as they play both Washington State and Utah over the final two weeks.
13. Western Michigan (10-0)
(Entering week: No. 14) The Broncos took care of Kent State in some good, old-fashioned MACtion on Tuesday. They need to win home games against Buffalo and Toledo to complete an undefeated regular season.
12. Southern Cal (7-3)
(Entering week: Unranked) Southern Cal scored the weekend’s most impressive upset, shutting down a Washington team that previously had been unstoppable. The Trojans now have won six straight, and finally should get some love from AP voters.
11. Utah (8-2)
(Entering week: No. 13) The Utes took care of Arizona State on Thursday night. They’re still in the thick of the Pac-12 South race — a Thanksgiving weekend game against Colorado could decide the division — with an outside chance at a playoff berth.
10. Penn State (8-2)
(Entering week: No. 12) A tight contest at Indiana turned into a 14-point win thanks to 17 unanswered Nittany Lions points in the final minutes. PSU is still alive in the Big Ten East.
9. West Virginia (8-1)
(Entering week: No. 11) Dana Holgorsen lost his cool late, but his team held off Texas for a 4-point win in Austin. The Mountaineers will host Oklahoma next week in a game that will have a direct effect on the Big 12 championship.
8. Oklahoma (8-2)
(Entering week: No. 9) Cast aside in September, the Sooners are now rolling toward a potential College Football Playoff bid. A big win over Baylor on Saturday was OU’s seventh win in a row.
7. Wisconsin (8-2)
(Entering week: No. 7) A blowout win against Illinois was over early; the Badgers built a 31-3 first-half lead, and remain the odds-on favorite to represent the Big Ten West in Indianapolis.
6. Washington (9-1)
(Entering week: No. 4) There’s no shame in losing to USC, which is one of the hottest teams in the country, but Huskies fans are rightfully worried about Washington’s sudden inability to score points.
5. Louisville (9-1)
(Entering week: No. 5) While the Cardinals ripped off several late touchdowns for a 44-12 win over Wake Forest, they looked vulnerable for much of the game. A head-to-head loss to Clemson likely will keep Louisville behind the Tigers in both the AP poll and the playoff rankings.
4. Clemson (9-1)
(Entering week: No. 3) The Tigers finally flew too close to the sun. Clemson fell, 43-42, to Pittsburgh after several close calls earlier this autumn. This isn’t doomsday, though; there’s still a very real chance Deshaun Watson and Co. get back the playoff if they win out.
3. Michigan (9-1)
(Entering week: No. 2) A late interception doomed Michigan, which subsequently allowed Iowa to move the ball into field-goal position for a 14-13 Hawkeyes win. Due to the craziness elsewhere, Big Blue shouldn’t fall far.
2. Ohio State (9-1)
(Entering week: No. 6) Urban Meyer’s team needed only one half to dismiss Maryland in College Park. The visiting Buckeyes got out to a 6-touchdown lead in the first two quarters and coasted to a second straight blowout win.
1. Alabama (10-0)
(Entering week: No. 1) Some wondered whether Mississippi State might pull off two consecutive top-5 upsets, but Alabama was having none of it. Nick Saban’s team didn’t let up on the gas in a 51-3 victory.