Blowouts in marquee games in the Big Ten and Pac-12 will jostle the top of this week’s USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll, likely sending two teams formerly in the College Football Playoff out of the top 10.
Ohio State’s 56-7 win against Michigan State ends any chance the Spartans had of winning the Big Ten and gives the Buckeyes a strong case for rising to No. 2 in this week’s poll, which will be released around noon ET on Sunday.
Well out of hand as early as the first quarter, the brutal loss will send Michigan State tumbling from No. 8 into the teens as voters reconsider the Spartans’ résumé and overall strength of schedule.
Utah handed Oregon a 38-7 defeat, ending weeks of debate over the Ducks’ place in the playoff race. That’s good news for Ohio State, which lost to Oregon in non-conference play, and great news for Cincinnati, which can now dream of becoming the first Group of Five team to reach the semifinals.
Like the Spartans, the Ducks are likely to fall from No. 5 out of the top 10 entirely.
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Here’s how the top of the Coaches Poll should look with two Saturdays to go in the regular season:
1. Georgia (11-0)
Charleston Southern never stood a chance. Neither does Georgia Tech, which is limping into next Saturday’s rivalry game after a 55-0 loss to Notre Dame. The Bulldogs’ win against the Football Championship Subdivision opponent included a 1-yard touchdown run from defensive tackle Jordan Davis, giving him another highlight to add to his Heisman Trophy reel.
2. Alabama (10-1)
The idea that Ohio State could leap ahead of Alabama and into the second spot definitely holds water, since it’s hard not to be wildly impressed by the Buckeyes’ destruction of…