AP Top 25 college football poll reaction

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After a wild weekend of college football games, the AP Top 25 college poll has been released. There's some movement in the rankings. Here's what each ranked team has in store:

Previous ranking: 1

Week 7: A win of 30-13 vs. No. 11 Kentucky

Next: Florida, October 30, at 3:30 p.m. ET

X factor: Georgia's defense has been incredible strong this season, led by Jordan Davis, defensive lineman. But what about Stetson Bennett, backup quarterback? Bennet, who was playing in the place of JT Daniss, threw for 250 yard and three touchdowns against Kentucky in a 30-13 win. Bennett hasn’t thrown an intercept in his three previous games, all against ranked opponents.

You need to know that the Bulldogs have a week off before facing Florida at home. The Gators had 474 yards against Georgia's defense a year ago. But this year, the Bulldogs have allowed only 144.9 passing yards per match, which is first in the FBS. -- Matt Eisenberg

Previous ranking: 3

Week 7: UCF wins 56-21

Next: at Navy (Oct. 23, 12 ET)

Jerome Ford is running back. Cincinnati's offense is much stronger when Ford gets going. This was evident in Saturday's victory over UCF. Ford now has 338 rushing yard and six touchdowns in his last two games after quiet performances against Indiana, Notre Dame and Notre Dame. This production relieves pressure from quarterback Desmond Ridder, the downfield passing game and allows Cincinnati to manage the pace and rest its defense.

You need to know this: The Bearcats won't receive much support from the AAC in their playoff profiles, so Luke Fickell's group must continue to dominate. A good start is two games with over 50 points. Cincinnati's defense is still the engine of the Bearcats, but an efficient and balanced offense will make it more difficult to attack their CFP candidacy. They will now travel to Navy (1-5), which is a lost offense, but is also capable of creating headaches in the face for its opponents. -- Adam Rittenberg

Previous ranking: 4

Week 7: 52-31 win over TCU

Next: Kansas (Oct. 23).

Caleb Williams is the QB with the X factor. This is a obvious choice. But after dominating TCU in the first half (18-of-24, 295 yards, four TDs passing) what will he do against Kansas?

You need to know that Williams was the first true Oklahoma freshman to play quarterback since Cale Gundy, the current OU assistant coach, in 1990. Gundy, who has been with Oklahoma since 1999, is the Sooners' inside receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator. -- Dave Wilson

Previous ranking: 5

Week 7: 49-9 win over Mississippi State

Next: vs. Tennessee (Oct. 23, 7 pm. ET

X factor: OLB Will Anderson Jr. called out his teammates to some degree in a Monday media conference -- he stated that "football must be the most important thing" multiple times, and then supported it by sacking Will Rogers of Mississippi State four times and winning a dominating 49-9 victory in Starkville.

You need to know that the Tide still have control over their destiny in both national and SEC title races. They could be in the lead by as much as double digits in any game up to the SEC championship. If they beat Georgia, they are clearly in. Next is a visit by up-tempo Tennessee. Bill Connelly

Previous ranking: 6

Week 7: No game

Next: Indiana (Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. ET

X factor: Quarterback C.J. Stroud is showing confidence and says he feels fully recovered from the shoulder injury. Ohio State will be tough to beat if he keeps making progress. When they're on point, few teams can match Ohio State.

You need to know this: The offense has been playing well, but the defense has begun to make progress. The group went through a midseason coordinator change and appears to still be working through some issues. Younger players are beginning to take the lead, such as Denzel Burke, a freshman cornerback, who has an interception, and 16 tackles this season. Ohio State will become a better team if the group continues to improve each week. They were 408 yards behind in Week 1. -- Tom VanHaaren

Previous ranking: 8

Week 7: No game

Next: vs. Northwestern (Oct.23)

X factor: Michigan's running backs Blake Corum (running back) and Hassan Haskins (running back). With eight running back touchdowns, the Wolverines rank ninth in total rushing touchdowns. They are the only running back tandem to have more rushing touchdowns combined.

You need to know this: Michigan's players talk about having a level of confidence and a new type of player leadership. Cade McNamara, the quarterback, said that other Michigan teams would have lost to Nebraska after they beat them on the road. This season, the players are taking on more responsibility and pushing their coaches to achieve this great start. -- Tom VanHaaren

Previous ranking: 7

Week 7: No game

Next: vs. Illinois (Oct. 23, 12 ET)

X factor: Penn State's offense was not the same without Sean Clifford, the injured quarterback. Clifford's injury status remains uncertain and coach James Franklin has not updated a timeline. The offense will have to come up with creative ways to get Ta'Quan Roberson the needed reps.

You need to know that Penn State lost by three points to Iowa despite having Clifford as its quarterback. Backup Roberson saw 30 plays, and the offense had 56 yards with no touchdowns. Compare that to the 33 plays Clifford ran prior to his injury, when the offense recorded 193 yards and two touchdowns. The offense will need Clifford to return to the field if Penn State wants to remain competitive for the remainder of the season. -- Tom VanHaaren

Last week: 12

Week 7: 32-24 win over No. 25 Texas

Next: Iowa State (Oct. 23).

LB Malcolm Rodriguez is the X factor. The senior linebacker/battering ram will be serving Breece Hall duties against Iowa State. Rodriguez is one of the best linebackers in the country with 59 tackles and double-digit scores in three games. He will be facing one of the best running backs in the country, who ran for 197 yards against Kansas State.

You should know this: Texas entered the match against OSU with a 44.5 point average and 51.9% conversion rate on its third-down attempts. The Cowboys limited the Longhorns' total yards to 317 yards and 24 points, and they converted only 4 of 14 third-down attempts. Dave Wilson

Previous ranking: 10

Week 7: Win 20-15 vs. Indiana

Next: vs. Michigan (Oct.30)

X factor: Linebacker Cal Haladay. Michigan State's story is all about the transfers, but it wouldn't be 7-1 without the contributions of the holdover players. Haladay, a true freshman in 2020, played in four games but did not record any tackles. He has since been a crucial part of an improved Spartans defense. In a win against Indiana, Haladay had seven tackles and an intercept return for a touchdown. Haladay ranks fourth in tackles with 48 and has participated in many Spartans takeaways. With Quavaris Crouch and Angelo Grose, he forms a strong group of linebackers.

You need to know this: Michigan State has won two of its four previous victories (Nebraska and Indiana) so the open week is a great time. The Spartans have more time to prepare for their biggest game against Michigan, which could be a matchup of top-10 undefeated players. This week, Northwestern hosts Michigan. After his worst performance of the season, Michigan State quarterback Payton Thone will have a chance to get back on track before facing an improved Wolverines defense under Aidan Hutchinson. -- Adam Rittenberg

Previous ranking: 9

Week 7: 24-17 win against Cal

Next: UCLA, Oct. 23, 3:00 p.m. ET

X factor: Travis Dye, RB. Dye is now the Ducks' cheerleader, with senior quarterback Anthony Brown in trouble and running back CJ Vernon out of the season due to a leg injury. Dye did it Friday, rushing for 88 yards and scoring a touchdown. All this without gloves. Dye stated that he does not wear gloves because he isn't like his peers in the position.

You need to know that Oregon will face UCLA next week at the Rose Bowl. UCLA has, like the rest, been difficult to evaluate. The Bruins are still in contention for Pac-12 South, at 4-2. But Oregon should be preferred on the road. It can't afford another close game, let alone a second defeat. -- Paolo Uggetti

Previous ranking: 2

Week 7 result: 24-7 loss vs. Purdue

Next: at Wisconsin (Oct. 30 noon ET).

TE Sam LaPorta is the X-factor. The flaws in Iowa's passing game include the fact that the tight end is still the most productive and targeted pass-catcher on the team. LaPorta is still delivering, with five receptions and 61 yards against Purdue. LaPorta has accumulated 10 more receptions this season and gained 98 yards more than any other Iowa player.

You need to understand that a loss does not erase all of Iowa's achievements in the first half, nor does it remove the Hawkeyes completely from the Big Ten race. Coach Kirk Ferentz said that Iowa would have to "stew" and "sit on" their worst performance in a long time. Iowa must have more options and be consistent in its passing game. Saturday's team's inexperience at the line of scrimmage was evident. Iowa must also find ways to win against opponents who don't make too many turnovers. -- Adam Rittenberg

Previous ranking: 13

Week 7 result: 31-26 win vs. Tennessee

Next: vs. LSU (Oct. 23, at 3:30 p.m. ET

X factor: This is always Matt Corral as quarterback, but it was even more evident during Saturday's chaotic 31-26 victory over Tennessee in Knoxville. He was just 5 yards shy of becoming the first SEC quarterback to simultaneously rush and pass for 200 yard in the same game since Johnny Manziel.

You need to know this: Lane Kiffin and the Rebels won two of the most exciting games ever seen -- the 52-51 win against Arkansas, followed by the Knoxville win at the end -- Lane Kiffin returns home with his Rebels to face an LSU team who just celebrated its wild win over Florida. The Rebels' season is unlikely to slow down soon. -- Bill Connelly

Previous ranking: 14

Week 7: No game

Next: vs. USC (Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. ET

X factor: Running back Kyren Williams ranks No. With 370 yards through six games, Kyren Williams is No. 87 in total rushing yardage and No. 184 in rushing yards per try among all running backs. The coaches must find a way for Williams to produce more offensively if Notre Dame is to be more consistent.

The offensive line is a major factor in Williams' failure to succeed. The offensive line has struggled through the first six matches and has been inconsistent. After some shuffle around, the line showed improvement in the last few games, particularly against Virginia Tech. If Notre Dame is to have consistent offense performances, Williams and its offensive line must improve. -- Tom VanHaaren

Previous ranking: 15

Week 7: No game

Next: Appalachian State (Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. ET

Grayson McCall is the X-factor. McCall has been solid for the Chanticleers this season with 1,478 yards, 14 touchdowns, and one interception. McCall is coming off his best season, throwing for 365 yards against Arkansas State and tied a career-high with four touchdowns.

You need to know that Coastal Carolina has scored at least 50 points in three consecutive games. However, it has lost its last two Appalachian State meetings. Isaiah Likely ran for 232 yards and scored four touchdowns in his last game, Oct. 7. -- Andrea Adelson

Previous week: 11

Week 7 result: 30-13 loss vs. No. 1 Georgia

Next: Mississippi State (Oct.30)

X factor: RB Chris Rodriguez Jr. Georgia's defense was so strong that the 5-foot-11 junior was limited to just 7 yards on seven carries. He had 768 yards on ground in his first six games and eclipsed 125 yards rushing four times.

You need to know this: Although the undefeated streak came to an abrupt halt, Kentucky could still finish the regular season with just one loss. The Wildcats of Mark Stoops have a bye week, before they face Mississippi State on the road or Tennessee at home. -- Matt Eisenberg

Previous week: 16

Week 7: No game

Next: Army (Oct. 23, 12 ET)

LB Luke Masterson is the X-factor. Masterson is leading the Deacs in tackles this season with 39, including 5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. He will be an important player against the Army triple option.

Wake Forest still has two nonconference games on its schedule. Army is the first. The Demon Deacons will be 7-0 for their first win in school history. -- Andrea Adelson

Previous week: 21

Week 7: Missouri wins 35-14

Next: vs. South Carolina (Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. ET

X factor: Running back Devon Achane. Coach Jimbo Fisher needs to find ways to give Achane more touches. Achane had a career high 16 carries for 124 yard and two touchdowns against Missouri. He was a great complement to Isaiah Spiller in the run game. Achane also had an impressive 27-yard reception and should be targeted more over the next few weeks. Texas A&M needs to rely more on its top players for assistance if it is not able to have a consistently excellent quarterback.

You need to know that Texas A&M avoided any disappointment at Missouri. The Aggies will be back home to face South Carolina in a game they are heavily favored. This is before an important open week. Haynes King, the top A&M quarterback, is unlikely to be returning anytime soon. Therefore, Zach Calzada's continued development and the offense will be crucial before a final stretch that features Auburn (home), Ole Miss(road) and LSU. The Aggies' defense has the strength to win. -- Adam Rittenberg

Previous ranking: 22

Week 7: Boston College wins 33-7

Next: Miami (Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. ET

X factor: QB Devin Leary. Leary was at his best in the 33-7 victory over Boston College. He threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns while completing 66.7%. When NC State is most in need of his veteran leadership, he shines.

You need to know that the Wolfpack will travel to Miami to face struggling Miami. This Miami team they lost to last season in a thrilling game in which they trailed by 10 points in the fourth quarter. NC State is much better than Miami in the ACC, so a win would help the Wolfpack keep up with Wake Forest in the Atlantic Division standings. -- Andrea Adelson

Unranked Week Previous

Week 7: vs. 38–23 win vs. 17 Arkansas

Next: vs. Ole Miss (30 Oct.)

Bo Nix, Quarterback, is the X-factor. The Tigers are very hard to beat when he's at his best. He was a great player against Arkansas. He completed 21 of 26 passes to 10 targets for 292 yards and two touchdowns, and iced a 38-23 victory with a 23 yard touchdown run.

You need to know this: Bryan Harsin's Tigers have won seven games including visits to Arkansas, Penn State, LSU, and Arkansas. They now get a well-deserved week off before heading to a five-game stretch with at least three ranked teams. Although the slate isn't easy, the 5-2 Tigers proved that they are capable of hanging with anyone. Bill Connelly

Unranked Week Previous

Week 7: 38-24 win over No. 19 BYU

Next: vs. Texas (Oct.30)

X factor: Nickelback Jalen Pitre. The Bears' offense won a 38-24 victory over BYU Saturday. However, defense has been a stabilizing force all year. Pitre (10 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss), is the anchor.

You need to know this: While the Bears have a bye week, they are still one game behind Oklahoma State and Oklahoma State in their Big 12 title pursuit. They will be welcoming OU to Waco on November 13. They're well-rounded and have a lot of energy on both ends of the ball. Bill Connelly

Previous week: 23

Week 7: No game

Next: Tulane vs. ET (Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. ET

X factor: Tanner Mordecai. On average, the junior quarterback throws 4.3 touchdown passes per match. Tulane's defense allows for an average of 40.2 points per game.

You need to know that Sonny Dykes, the winningest Division I coach at Texas universities since the beginning of 2019, has won 23 games. ESPN's Football Power Index projects that the Mustangs will be favorites in three out of their next four games. This gives Houston an edge over the Mustangs Oct. 30, before Cincinnati on Nov. 20. Dave Wilson

Previous week: 24

Week 7: San Jose State wins 19-13

Next: at Air Force (Oct. 23, 7 pm. ET

X factor: Kicker Matt Araiza. Araiza made four punts over 50 yards in a game with only four field goals. He also hit a 53-yard field goal, his longest ever. He is the best offensive weapon for the team, aside from Greg Bell's running back Greg Bell.

You need to know this: The Aztecs will attempt to be perfect when they travel to Falcon Stadium, Colorado next week to face 5-1 Air Force. This should be another low scoring matchup between two of the most talented teams in the Mountain West as well as two of the finest defenses in the country. -- Paolo Uggetti

Unranked Week Previous

Week 7 result: 28-7 win vs. Virginia Tech

Next: vs. Clemson (Oct. 23, at 3:30 p.m. ET

QB Kenny Pickett is the X-factor. Pickett has thrown 11 touchdowns and one interception in his last three games as he continues to push for more national attention in his Heisman Trophy race. Pickett was not perfect against Virginia Tech. He did enough to help the Panthers win easily.

You need to know this: Next up is a big game that could have implications for the ACC championship. Pitt hosts Clemson. Clemson has held a stronghold on the ACC for six years. However, ESPN's FPI has Pitt as the favourite to win the ACC. A victory here would be a big step towards that goal. -- Andrea Adelson

Unranked Week Previous

Week 7: 45-0 win over Rice

Next: Louisiana Tech (Oct. 23, 7 pm. ET

X factor: RB Sincere McCormick. McCormick recorded a 117 yard performance against Rice, his fifth 100-yard game for the season. He didn't reach the end zone but he led a Roadrunners running team that ran 261 yards.

You need to know that Louisiana Tech is not the same team that won 2019 Independence Bowl. However, Austin Kendall and Bulldogs can still challenge the Roadrunners defense which recently gave up 46 points to Western Kentucky. UTSA will host UTEP at home on Tuesday, after an open week that follows the Louisiana Tech tilt. -- Matt Eisenberg

Unranked Week Previous

Week 8: 24-7 win over No. 2 Iowa

Next: vs. Wisconsin (Oct. 23, 3, p.m. ET

X factor: QB Aidan O'Connell. The 6-foot-3 senior was able to surpass his 371 yard performance against Minnesota with a throw for 375 yards and two touchdowns, despite Iowa's strong defense. Purdue only turned the ball over once, while Iowa's QB Spencer Petras made four interceptions.

Here's what you need to know: Iowa gave up 24 points in Purdue's game. This was also the highest score the Boilermakers have scored since the 49-0 win over UConn in Week 2. Matchups against Ohio State (Nov. 6), and Michigan State (Nov. 13, respectively, are preceded by games against Wisconsin and Nebraska. -- Matt Eisenberg

Arkansas (No. 17), Arizona State (18), BYU (19), Florida (20), Texas (25)