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Poll Watch: The AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll after Week 14 of College Football

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Championship Week had plenty of action that shocked the polls. The last week of college football before the bowl season, gave us tons to talk about.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 04 SEC Championship Game - Georgia v Alabama Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Championship Week had no letdowns—except if you’re a Notre Dame fan. Alabama shook off a month of lackluster performances to claim yet another SEC title and took down the unanimous AP No. 1. They destroyed Georgia 41-24 in the SEC Championship Game and claimed its seventh SEC title in the last 10 years. They also handed Georgia its first loss of the season.

In another hot ticket game on Saturday, Michigan won its first Big Ten title since 2004 (43rd in school history). They also locked up a spot in the College Football Playoff with the victory. The Wolverines dismantled Iowa 42-3 in the Big Ten Championship Game and resolved who was the best team in the conference.

Speaking of locking up a CFP playoff spots, Cincinnati is now positioned to make history and be the first Group of Five team to make a College Football Playoff. They beat Houston, 35-20, and completed its second straight unbeaten title-winning season. In the flops of yesterday, Baylor took down Oklahoma State, 21-16. The game hit it’s climax when Baylor ferociously had a goal line stand to win its first-ever Big 12 Championship Game, as well as its first conference championship since 2014.

And in the other major conference championship game, Pittsburgh won their first-ever ACC title as they shredded Wake Forest, 45-21. Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett, has some signature moments, including a questionable fake slide TD run, to help carry the Panthers to the trophy.

With all of the action taking place over the last 24 hours, let's see how the polls reacted.

College Football Playoff Rankings

2021 Big 12 Championship - Oklahoma State v Baylor

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

2. Michigan Wolverines

3. Georgia Bulldogs

4. Cincinnati Bearcats

5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

6. Ohio State Buckeyes

7. Baylor Bears

8. Ole Miss Rebels

9. Oklahoma State Cowboys

10. Michigan State Spartans

11. Utah Utes

12. Pittsburgh Panthers

13. BYU Cougars

14. Oregon Ducks

15. Iowa Hawkeyes

16. Oklahoma Sooners

17. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

18. NC State Wolfpack

19. Clemson Tigers

20. Houston Cougars

21. Arkansas Razorbacks

22. Kentucky Wildcats

23. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns

24. San Diego State Aztecs

25. Texas A&M Aggies


Coaches Poll

2021 American Conference Championship - Houston v Cincinnati Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

2. Michigan Wolverines

3. Georgia Bulldogs

4. Cincinnati Bearcats

5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

6. Baylor Bears

7. Ohio State Buckeyes

8. Ole Miss Rebels

9. Oklahoma State Cowboys

10. Michigan State Spartans

11. Utah Utes

12. Pittsburgh Panthers

13. Oklahoma Sooners

14. BYU Cougars

15. Oregon Ducks

16. Iowa Hawkeyes

17. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns

18. NC State Wolfpack

19. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

20. Kentucky Wildcats

21. Houston Cougars

22. Clemson Tigers

23. Texas A&M Aggies

24. Arkansas Razorbacks

25. USTA Roadrunners

Other teams receiving votes: Wisconsin 105; Utah State 85; San Diego State 62; Minnesota 17; Air Force 15; Penn State 5; Fresno State 5; UCLA 3; Mississippi State 2; Coastal Carolina 2; Appalachian State 2; Purdue 1.


The AP Top 25

Michigan v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

2. Michigan Wolverines

3. Georgia Bulldogs

4. Cincinnati Bearcats

5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

6. Baylor Bears

7. Ohio State Buckeyes

8. Ole Miss Rebels

9. Oklahoma State Cowboys

10. Utah Utes

11. Michigan State Spartans

12. BYU Cougars

13. Pittsburgh Panthers

14. Oklahoma Sooners

15. Oregon Ducks

16. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns

17. Iowa Hawkeyes

18. NC State Wolfpack

19. Clemson Tigers

20. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

21. Houston Cougars

22. Arkansas Razorbacks

23. Texas A&M Aggies

24. USTA Roadrunners

25. Kentucky Wildcats

Other teams receiving votes: Utah State 109, Wisconsin 66, San Diego State 63, Minnesota 38, Purdue 36, Appalachian State 9, Army 7, Mississippi State 4, Penn State 4, Northern Illinois 1


Analysis

2021 ACC Championship - Pittsburgh v Wake Forest Photo by Logan Whitton/Getty Images

If Alabama and Georgia end up rematching in the playoffs, Bama will be doing it without star wide receiver John Metchie III. It’s reported that he suffered a torn ACL in yesterday’s win. But let’s get to the game and wondering why the Dawgs had no answer for the Crimson Tide’s passing attack. This season, no Georgia opponent scored more than 17 points against them. Bama had 24 points in the second quarter alone and ended up with 41 total points against Georgia’s alleged historic defense.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Bryce Young was on fire and Georgia had no answer for Jameson Williams. The Ohio State transfer WR showed off his elite speed on a 67-yard touchdown catch early in the second quarter. Williams finished with 10 catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns. The above-mentioned John Metchie III, also caught 6 passes for 97 yards and had a touchdown before his injury. Bryce Young finished with 26 of 44, for 421 yards, and 3 touchdowns. He was also named the SEC Championship game MVP, an accomplishment he gained after setting the championship record for passing yards that former Bama QB Mac Jones held for just a year. Alabama will be taking on Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl and Georgia will be taking on Michigan in the Orange Bowl.

In the Big Ten, it didn't take long for the Wolverines to put it together. On the second possession of the championship game, Blake Corum had a 67-yard touchdown run. They followed that scoring drive with a 75-yard touchdown pass on the third drive of the game and took a 14-0 lead. Cade McNamara threw for 169 yards and a touchdown, however the prettiest pass of the game came from freshman running back Donovan Edwards. He hit Roman Wilson in stride for a 75-yard touchdown. The Wolverines’ running backs also did damage. Blake Corum had 74 yards and Hassan Haskins had 17 carries for 56 yards and two touchdowns. Haskins also set a new single-season record touchdown (20) for the Wolverines. A last note about the game goes to the Wolverines’ defense. They held the Hawkeyes to just 279 yards of offense and 3.9 yards per play. Aidan Hutchinson became the first defensive player to ever earn the Big Ten Championship Game MVP and co-defensive star, David Ojabo, also helped keep the Hawkeyes out of the end zone for the entire game. Michigan is ranked No.2 in all there polls this week and Iowa dropped to No. 17 in the AP.

The AAC Champions was a good time for Bearcats fans. Quarterback Desmond Ridder and running back Jerome Ford had a total of five touchdowns. Their scoring and efficiency was more impressive when you look at how little Cincinnati had the ball. The Bearcats ran 45 plays and Houston ran 73 but they outgained the Cougars 400-336 in yardage. Cincinnati had an amazing third quarter. They went on a 21-0 run. Houston put up a good fight the entire game but it was this 15-minute stretch that basically decided the game and helped pave the way for the Bearcats to make the CFP.

Let’s dive into what the CFP is getting in Cincinnati. Since the start of 2020, the Bearcats are 22-1 with the only loss coming by 3 points to Georgia in the Peach Bowl. This season, their conference slate was without a real challenger but they had a great non conference and away victory over Notre Dame. They are now the first team outside of the Power Five in the CFP, have a QB that has never lost at home, and are ranked 4th in the AP and CFP Rankings.

The Big 12 offered up the major upset of the day. Let’s go back to the scene at the goal line. Oklahoma State had actually strung together a 17-play, 89-yard drive to march all the way down to the 2-yard line. With 1:19 remaining at the start the stand, the Bears’ defense hunkered down for three consecutive stops. On the fourth down play, Oklahoma State running back Dezmon Jackson tried to get to the corner but his stretch wasn’t enough to break the plane.

The game wasn’t all about the final seconds. Baylor’s defense dominated and Oklahoma State’s quarterback Spencer Sanders threw a Big 12 title game-record four interceptions. Baylor had a 21-6 lead at the half, but had a failed fourth-down conversion in the third quarter that led to a Dominic Jackson TD for the Cowboys’ first touchdown of the game. The score also cut the lead to a one-score game. However, Oklahoma State couldn't score another TD in the game and Baylor survived two missed field goals to win.

In for starter Gerry Bohanon, backup quarterback Blake Shapen set a Big 12 championship game record by completing 17 consecutive passes. He finished 23-of-28, for 180 yards, and three touchdowns. He was also named the game’s MVP. Baylor became the first team other than Oklahoma to win the Big 12 title since 2014. Baylor is now ranked No. 6 in the AP.

And in the ACC, with both Pittsburgh and Wake Forest entering Saturday’s game averaging more than 40 points per game, we thought we would be in for a show. And with the score soaring to 21-14 in the first 15 minutes, it looked like they game was on pace for a show. But the Panthers defense took over. Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman was under constant pressure in the pocket and the Panthers put 31 unanswered points up on the scoreboard over the next few quarters. Panthers QB Kenny Pickett really shined and also broke Dan Marino’s records at Pitt for career passing touchdowns and Deshaun Watson’s ACC single-season passing TD record. We’ll have wait and see if he breaks Lamar Jackson’s single-season total touchdowns record in the bowl game. For now, Pitt is ranked No. 17 in the AP and Wake Forest dropped to No. 20.