The 2022 College Football season has been nothing short of wild and spectacular, and the final week of the regular season was no different. With the majority of this past Saturday's games between rival opponents, the emotions were just as high as the stakes. We saw the Michigan Wolverines finish their run of the regular season gauntlet with their second straight win over the Ohio State Buckeyes. We saw the USC Trojans and TCU Horned Frogs keep their playoff hopes alive while the Tigers of both LSU and Clemson squandered theirs away. And we saw the Oregon State Beavers and Mississippi State Bulldogs take down their favored in-state rivals. And then, just like that, all of the conference championship games are set with a whole lot of the line. But just like we have done all season, let's take a look at some of the biggest takeaways from this week's AP Top 25 Poll.
Movin' On Up!: The Biggest Jumps in the Top 25
No. 16 Oregon State Beavers (Up 6 Spots)
The Oregon State Beavers wrapped up an impressive season with a win over the Ducks, and a bowl would get them their 10th win.
No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions (Up 3 Spots)
The Nittany Lions' only two losses have been to Michigan and Ohio State, but aside from that, they have been one of the more dominant teams all season.
No. 9 Washington Huskies (Up 3 Spots)
The Huskies fell short of a Pac-12 title game appearance, but a 10-win season and a potential New Year's Six bowl are not so bad.
Steepest Falls for Previously Ranked Teams
No. 24 North Carolina Tar Heels (Down 6 Spots)
After going 9-1 to start the season, the Tar Heels have lost two in a row as they luckily stumbled into the ACC title game.
No. 19 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Down 6 Spots)
Notre Dame should join the ACC. They did win four games against ACC opponents, including two wins over the two teams in the ACC title game.
No. 11 LSU Tigers (Down 5 Spots)
LSU had no business being ranked where they were in any poll, but regardless, this was a huge choke job on their part.
No. 15 Oregon Ducks (Down 5 Spots)
Losing to your rival sucks, and losing to your rival when that loss eliminates you from making the Pac-12 title game? Heartbreaking.
No. 5 Ohio State (Down 3 Spots)
It almost feels bad to put the Buckeyes in this grouping, as Clemson also dropped in this week. However, it's hard not to consider Ohio State's late-season drop anything but a steep fall. Perhaps the College Football Playoff Committee will be kinder than they were last year.
New Faces in the Top 25
No. 20 South Carolina Gamecocks
The Gamecocks are one of the hottest teams in college football after beating Clemson and Tennessee in back-to-back weeks.
No. 23 UTSA Roadrunners
22 wins and counting for the Road Runners over the last two seasons. One of the best Group of Five teams.
No. 25 Mississippi State Bulldogs
The Bulldogs were up and down this season but finished strong with an Egg Bowl win over Ole Miss.
AP Poll Dropouts
Ole Miss Rebels (Previously #20)
A very disappointing yet fitting end to a disappointing season.
Cincinnati Bearcats (Previously #21)
The Bearcats ended their time in the AAC with a loss and lost their head coach. What does the Big 12 have in store for them?
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (Previously #23)
AP Ranked and then whooped by James Madison? Yeah, that is going to bounce you from the rankings.
The Big Storylines Centering on Conference Championships
- The Purdue Boilermakers come out of the Big Ten Wild, Wild West to try and end the Michigan Wolverines' hopes for back-to-back Big Ten titles.
- The Georgia Bulldogs are a lock for the playoff but a win over the LSU Tigers in the SEC title game is still on the vision board.
- The USC Trojans' playoff hopes have just one more obstacle, and that's a rematch in the Pac-12 title game to the Utah Utes, the only team to beat USC this year.
- The Clemson Tigers and North Carolina Tar Heels both look to stop the bleeding as they each enter the ACC title game coming off a loss.
- The TCU Horned Frogs look to keep their undefeated season alive in the Big 12 title game against the Kansas State Wildcats. But you know what they say--it's hard to beat a team twice.
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