Washington (Not ranked)
This is the first time that the Huskies have not been ranked since Sept. 2016. The Huskies dropped a very winnable game at Berkeley and the third loss of the season was enough for the committee to knock the Dawgs out of the rankings. The 10 points scored by Washington was their lowest output since last year’s loss at Arizona State. Luckily the Huskies still control their own destiny in the Pac-12 North after Oregon’s own upset loss to Arizona.
No. 9 Kentucky
The Wildcats keep on winning, and now at 7-1 in the SEC, they are still on the hunt for the College Football Playoff. Running back Benny Snell Jr. has averaged over a touchdown per game and will likely hit 1,000 yards in his next game. Kentucky’s biggest test of the season will come this weekend with No. 6 Georgia coming to town, and the two teams atop the SEC East will battle it out.
No. 15 Utah
Since dropping a pair of games to both the Washington schools, the Utes have yet to lose a game. They have reeled off four straight and their offense ramped up to score at least 40 points in each of those games. They have a relatively friendly schedule for the rest of the season, so they remain the team to beat in the Pac-12 South.
No. 19 Syracuse
The Orange entered the Top 25 for the first time in 17 years, and they didn’t just barely squeak in. The committee was not afraid to reward Syracuse for its 6-2 start with one of those losses barely coming in a heartbreaker at No. 2 Clemson. Being two games behind the aforementioned Tigers makes their ACC title hopes meager, but they do have a meeting with No. 4 Notre Dame in a few weeks that could be a high profile game.
No. 12 UCF
UCF has not lost a game in its past two seasons, but still remain outside the top 10. The playoff committee is only supposed to look at this year’s body-of-work, but it can’t be completely forgotten that this team proved itself in last year’s Peach Bowl against Auburn. Having undefeated UCF at No. 12 is an indication that the committee still does not feel UCF is among the elite. The Knights still have four games and likely an American Conference Championship, and if they can win out, the playoff committee could be faced with a very difficult decision.
No. 17 Texas
The Longhorns’ rank plummeted after losing to Oklahoma State, which could seem a little harsh considering it was a three-point loss on the road to a decent OSU squad. Nonetheless, with its second loss of the season, Texas’ playoff hopes are likely squashed. The defense has struggled away from home, giving up 34 points when outside of Austin.
Oregon (Not ranked)
Just two weeks ago Oregon was a winner, now it’s dropped two straight and finds itself out of the Top 25. The Ducks got 44 points run up on them in their loss to Arizona, and quarterback Justin Herbert’s health is in question after being admitted into concussion protocol. His inability to play could severely hurt the Ducks moving forward.
Reach reporter Josh Eddy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @JoshTreEddy