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The Captain's Log

Week 14 AP top 25 polls released

Rivalry weekend leads to resounding changes
Football stadium from Unsplash

After a rivalry weekend that left lots of interesting postseason possibilities on the table, the weekly Associated Press (AP) polls were released. These polls determine the teams that have a chance to make the College Football Playoff as well as teams that are trying to play in a highly anticipated bowl game.

The two biggest changes appeared in the top four. Following a clutch victory in the Apple Cup against Washington State, the Washington Huskies completed their undefeated season and look poised to make the College Football Playoff. However, the Huskies will still have to defeat newly-ranked number six Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship on Friday if they want to secure their spot in the playoff.

The Florida State Seminoles are another team that has found itself in a similar spot. Following a 24-15 victory over the Florida Gators, the Seminoles will try to keep their playoff spot by defeating the No. 15 ranked Louisville Cardinals in the ACC Championship on Saturday. A loss for either the Huskies or the Seminoles would likely end their quest for a spot in the playoff.

The Ohio State Buckeyes were a team that had their bid end this past weekend. Their defeat to Michigan had the Buckeyes drop from being number two to number six. This loss leaves the Buckeyes in position to only play in a bowl game, with most projections showing them heading to the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, but at this stage it is highly unlikely that the Buckeyes will be able to make the College Football playoff.

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The top eight of the 2023 AP Polls made history as it marked the first time since 2008 that the top eight teams stayed there for five straight weeks. The last time this happened was from Weeks 11-15 of the 2008 campaign when Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, USC, Penn State, Utah, and Texas Tech held their spots in the top eight for five consecutive weeks.

Although it appears certain as to who will be in the playoff and who will be playing in a bowl game, nothing is guaranteed. All of the Power Five conference title games next weekend (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, and SEC) will feature teams ranked in the top 20. The Pac-12 championship game will feature two teams ranked in the top five while the SEC championship game will feature two teams ranked in the top ten. These games will be fun to watch as it will determine who wins their respective conferences as well as who will play for an opportunity to win the National Championship in January.

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