We can get into the the probability of the Canes getting to the ACC championship game at a later date. We have to look at the shakeup that surged through college football after the 47-40 Clemson Tigers defeat by the hands of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. A loss for the number one team in the nation wasn’t the only highflying matchup over the weekend. The Florida Gators took care of a flailing Georgia Bulldogs team, the USC Trojans survived a tight one against the Arizona State Sun Devils, Liberty University nailed a 51-yard field goal in the final seconds to beat the Virginia Tech Hokies 38-35, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys outscored Kansas State 20-6 in the second half to keep their Big 12 Championship hopes alive. Speaking of staying alive, we can't forget D’Eriq King’s 430 yard and 5 TD Friday night performance that started all of the action this weekend.
With teams like the BYU Cougars, Ohio State Buckeyes, and Cincinnati Bearcats continuing to flex their muscles on the scoreboards, the headlines in the top ten and beyond were addressed in both polls.
The AP Top 25
15.Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
20. USC Trojans
25. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
Other teams receiving votes: North Carolina 85; Army 54; Tulsa 47; Utah 33; Washington 21; Arizona State 11; Purdue 8; Wake Forest 6; Boise State 5; Appalachian State 5; California 3; Maryland 3; Nevada 1
The Coaches Poll
17.Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
20. USC Trojans
Other teams receiving votes: North Carolina 174; UL Lafayette 81; Utah 45; Purdue 43; Appalachian State 25; Arkansas 23; Missouri 18; Wake Forest 15; Boston College 15; Memphis 12; Kentucky 12; Tulsa 11; Maryland 10; Tennessee 6; Nevada 5; Michigan 5; San Jose State 4; Kansas State 4; Boise State 4; Virginia Tech 2.
Despite D.J. Uiagalelei’s 439 yard passing performance, Clemson couldn’t survive Kyren Williams’s late-game TD and Notre Dame. The win sets the stage for the Fighting Irish to get a crack at the Tigers again in the ACC championship game. Even if the Irish were to lose that matchup, which will feature Trevor Lawrence, they may finish with a top 5 standing when the season ends. Notre Dame surged to number two in both polls and the Tigers currently reside at number 4 in the nation.
In another battle of top ten teams, the Florida Gators win over Georgia launched notched them into the top 5 in both polls. The Gators now have control over the SEC East, setting up a showdown with Alabama in the SEC championship game. Quarterback Kyle Trask also became the first player in SEC history to pass for four TDs in five straight games.
Also in the SEC, the Aggies destroyed the South Carolina Gamecocks 48-3. Even though A&M beat the Gators 41-38 in October, they're ranked behind them at 6 in the Coaches Poll. The AP Top 25 took notice of that victory last month, and have them ranked ahead of the Gators.
Even without big time wide receiver star receiver Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State pulled out the win against the Kansas State Wildcats. The victory cemented them at in the top 15 in both polls. The Cowboys remain a legitimate playoff contender in the Big 12.
Texas also continued their Big 12 chase after defeating West Virginia 17-13. The Longhorns are now 4-2 in Big 12 play and ranked 24th in the country in the Coaches Poll and 21 in the AP Top 25.
In the Big Ten, Ohio State continued to do Ohio State things against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Justin Fields passed for 5 TDs in their 49-27 victory. The Northwestern Wildcats are 3-0 after beating the Nebraska Cornhuskers 21-13. They sit atop the West Division and are currently ranked 23. Also, the Indiana Hoosiers plowed through the disappointing Michigan Wolverines 38-21, which allowed them to enter the top ten for the first time this season.
The PAC-12 had a lot going on this week. It’s debut weekend should’ve featured teams looking for top-25 consideration in the California Golden Bears and the Washington Huskies. The Utah Utes and the Arizona Wildcats also didn't take the field. Even though USC beat Arizona State 28-27, it’s time to start considering if a team from the conference can even make a playoff push with the late start in their season.
Under Hugh Freeze, the Liberty Flames are now 7-0 and ranked after beating Virginia Tech. Speaking of Tech, the Canes will take their top ten ranking to Blacksburg next week when they take on the Hokies.