AP Top 25 Risers and Fallers: Wisconsin creeps up

Profile Picture: Jason Ence

November 18th, 2020

With many of last week’s college football games cancelled because of COVID-19 issues, there was not much movement in this week’s AP Top 25 poll.

Of the teams ranked last week, only 11 saw any change to the number in front of their name.

Let’s take a look at who improved and who fell in this week’s poll.

Rising: Northwestern

Last week's ranking: No. 23. This week: No. 19.

This week’s game between Northwestern and Wisconsin is suddenly a marquee matchup and will likely decide the winner of the Big Ten West.

The Wildcats are 4-0, after a 27-20 win over Purdue. It is the first time they have gone unbeaten in their first four games in 24 years.

Quarterback Peyton Ramsey has settled in, and he threw for three touchdowns against the Boilermakers to double his total for the season.

The glaring for Northwester is its rushing attack, which got shut down by Purdue. The Wildcats gained only 80 yards on 40 carries, but they entered the game with an average of more than 200 per game.

Wisconsin allowed just 47 rushing yards against Michigan last week. If the Wildcats can establish the run and limit turnovers, they could pull off the upset and crash the top 10 next week.

Falling: SMU

Last week's ranking: No. 19. This week: unranked.

It was a bad week for SMU.

The Mustangs blew a three-touchdown lead to Tulsa in a 28-24 loss, and their second defeat on the season has them out of the rankings and in danger of missing out on the AAC Championship Game.

They led 24-7 at the half, but Tulsa scored three touchdowns after the break to seal the deal.

Rising: Wisconsin

Last week's ranking: No. 13. This week: No. 10.

Wisconsin jumped into the top 10, after 49-11 spanking of Michigan on Saturday. The Badgers showed no rust, after three weeks away, as they racked up 468 yards of offense — including 341 on the ground — and held Michigan to just 219 total yards.

It was a humiliating defeat for Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.

Wisconsin committed no turnovers and just one penalty, which is just stunning for a team that has missed game reps.

Quarterback Graham Mertz looked terrific, built on his opening-game performance, and now has seven touchdown passes through two games.

Falling: Miami (Ranked 12th, LW 9th)

Last week's ranking: No. 9. This week: No. 12.

The Hurricanes dropped three spots in the rankings this week — after a win.

The drop came because voters moved Wisconsin and Indiana ahead, but also because they needed a second-half comeback to defeat Virginia Tech by just one point.

Miami trailed, 24-13, with six minutes remaining in the third quarter, but scored two touchdowns in the final 17 minutes to pull out the victory.

Head coach Manny Diaz informed the media after the game that it was nearly cancelled because of COVID-19 issues, which led to 13 players missing the game. It also led a postponement against Georgia Tech, so Miami will now not play again until December, which means the Hurricanes may continue to slide in the poll. 

RISING: Tulsa (Ranked 25th, LW Unranked)

Last week's ranking: unranked. This week: No. 25.

For the first time in nearly a decade, the Golden Hurricane is ranked. Tulsa stormed back to take down SMU and is in second place in the AAC standings.

Tulsa are unbeaten in conference play and is set up for a massive showdown with unbeaten Cincinnati on Dec. 4.

Tulsa’s only loss on the season was a 16-7 defeat to Oklahoma State to open the season, and the Golden Hurricane has taken out two ranked foes (Central Florida and SMU).

If Tulsa can defeat Cincinnati and do it again in the AAC Championship Game, it has a legit shot at a New Year’s Six bowl game.

Who will rise and fall next week? Bet your opinion at BetAmerica!