Rivalry Week in college football produced its share of chaos with four teams in the top 10 falling and numerous other upsets shaking up the Top 25 in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll. But when the dust settled, a fairly clear top four has emerged heading into conference championship week.
Georgia handled its business against Georgia Tech and easily retains the No. 1 spot this week, claiming 60 of 63 first-place votes. Michigan moves up to No. 2 after its impressive takedown of Ohio State. The Wolverines have a strong case for No. 1 and were in fact voted first on three ballots.
No. 3 TCU also moves up a spot after completing an undefeated regular season, and No. 4 Southern California impressed again in the prime-time spotlight against Notre Dame. Ohio State slips to No. 5, followed by Alabama. No. 7 Penn State, No. 8 Tennessee, No. 9 Washington and No. 10 Kansas State all move up three spots replacing the weekend’s highest-profile upset victims.
TOP 25:Complete USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll
HIGHS AND LOWS:Winners and losers from Week 13 in college football
Follow every game: Live NCAA College Football Scores
MISERY INDEX:Day’s position feels tenuous after Ohio State’s loss to Michigan
REPORT CARD:Final grades start with end of Cincinnati, Clemson home streaks
The voters were kindest to Clemson, which falls just three places to No. 11 after losing to South Carolina. LSU tumbles seven positions to No. 13 following the loss to Texas A&M but will still play for the SEC championship next week. Oregon arguably had the most costly defeat of the group, dropping six places to No. 15 after the loss to Oregon State that knocked the Ducks out of the Pac-12 championship game. The Beavers, meanwhile, make a six-spot jump to No. 16 thanks to that win.
South Carolina rejoins the poll at No. 20 on the heels of the Clemson victory, the second top-10 upset sprung by the Gamecocks in as many weeks. Central Florida reenters at No. 23, staving off South Florida to earn a date with No. 18 Tulane in the American Athletic Conference final. No. 25 Mississippi State edges Mississippi out of the poll after winning the Egg Bowl.
Cincinnati and Coastal Carolina are the week’s other dropouts.