Normal for the course.
Almost all of the top 10 held out to form except for Oregon, which fell for the second time this season and is likely out of college football playoff contention. Washington, who has the same 8-2 record as the Ducks, who the Huskies beat at Autzen Stadium, did the honors and jumped into the top 20 at No. 16 on my Associated Press ballot. Oregon fell to No. 11.
Top-three Georgia, Ohio State and Michigan all had impressive wins to stay where they are, and the undefeated TCU stayed the course with a dynamic defensive performance in a 17-10 win. against Texas who did not seem close.
The Horned Frogs relied on two critical plays with an untouched 75-yard run from Kendre Miller and a 31-yard touchdown reception by Quentin Johnston. That alone was enough to hold off the Longhorns, who were horrible on offense, couldn’t clear Bijan Robinson for more than 29 yards against TCU linebackers and converted just one of 13 chances on third down.
The abysmal effort — despite the heroic play of the Texas defense, which was magnificent — cost Steve Sarkisian’s team dearly and knocked him out of my ballot. The Longhorns (6-4) clearly need to do better against Kansas and Baylor if they want to maintain their chance of reaching the Big 12 title game and being a ranked team. Texas must win and hope that West Virginia or Kansas can eliminate Kansas State, which loses any tiebreaker with Texas.
With that loss, Texas soccer teams have now suffered four or more losses in 12 of the past 13 seasons, barring the 7-3 mark in 2020 when the pandemic shortened the season. Otherwise, it’s possible that streak is 13 futile seasons in a row since Mack Brown took the Longhorns to the 2009 National Championship game against Alabama.
TCU’s strong night clinched a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game and kept its CFP ambitions alive. Oregon’s loss helped those chances, but the Horned Frogs need to keep winning against Baylor on the road and Iowa State at home to avoid letting the selection committee look for reasons to omit them.
I’m not sure North Carolina has the chops to take down Clemson in the ACC Championship Game, but good for Brown and Heisman, contending quarterback Drake Maye for a fantastic season. I have the Tar Heels at No. 13, but they’re knocking on the door to the Top 10.
UCLA, Ole Miss and Tulane all took knocks and rushing falls, while newcomers to my list are Florida State, UTSA, Florida and Minnesota.
Voting by Kirk Bohls
2. Ohio State
12. Penn State
13. North Carolina
14. Central Florida
16. Notre Dame
17. Kansas State
18. Ole Miss
22. State of Florida