AP Top 25 college football poll reaction: What's next for each ranked team?

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 10: Missouri wins 43-6

Next: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. at Tennessee ET

Jermaine Burrell's injury history has hampered his development this season. After a groin injury, he finally returned to play and had a great day against Missouri with three catches for an impressive 76 yards and one touchdown. Arian Smith, who hadn’t played since Sept. 11 UAB game, was also back and caught an extra 35 yard touchdown. Stetson Bennett, quarterback, said that Arian Smith might be the fastest player in football. He got to the spot and won the play-off. I trusted him. Marcus Rosemy Jacksaint (ankle), had two catches of 18 yards.

You need to know that Georgia's defense leads the FBS, allowing only 6.6 points per game. This could make it more difficult against the Volunteers' high-flying offense. The Volunteers are ranked third in scoring (38.1 points) and fourth overall in total offense (457.7 yard). Hendon Hooker, Quarterback, completed 15 of 20 passes for 361 yards and four touchdowns in a 45–42 win over No. On Saturday, 18 Kentucky will be on the road. Georgia has won four consecutive games, each by at most 23 points. It has also won nine of the 11 previous series. --Mark Schlabach

Previous ranking: 2

Week 10: Tulsa wins 28-20

Next: Friday, 6 p.m. at South Florida ET

X factor: RB Jerome Ford. The Bearcats' leading rusher, RB Jerome Ford, left the game with what appeared to have been a lower left leg injury. He didn't return. Coach Luke Fickell hopes to get Ford back as soon as possible, because the Bearcats are dependent on his running game.

The Bearcats' unblemished record is not enough to make them play their best football. The outside noise of having to win is starting to wear on the team, but it is important that the Bearcats play better down the stretch. The regular season will close with a road game against South Florida on Friday, followed by a home match against SMU and a trip through East Carolina. Chris Low

Previous ranking: 3

Week 10 result: 20-14 win vs. LSU

Next: New Mexico State vs. Arizona (Saturday, 12 noon ET).

X factor: LSU's offensive line is still a problem. They gave up four sacks. These same problems that plagued the unit throughout the season -- too many penalties and too many negative plays -- were again evident against the Tigers. They need to be fixed.

You need to know: Darrian Dalcourt, the starting center, went down against LSU with a serious injury. He didn't return. Chris Owens had to switch from tackle to center, throwing out any chemistry among the team. Alex Scarborough

Previous ranking: 4

Week 10: No game

Next: Saturday, noon ET at Baylor

LB Nik Bonitto is the X-factor. Baylor's AbramSmith, who ran for 125 yards against TCU had seven rushing touchdowns. Bonitto stated last week that he was embarrassed by the Sooners' defense this season and promised to help the younger players turn the tide.

You need to know that Lincoln Riley is now 5-0 against Baylor and that the College Football Playoff rankings could spark a fire under the Sooners. Caleb Williams finished 23 of 30 passes against Texas Tech and had a 255.2 passing efficiency rating. This was the highest score among all quarterbacks who attempted at most 30 passes. -- Dave Wilson

Previous ranking: 7

Week 10: 26-16 win against Washington

Next: Vs. Washington State (Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET

Travis Dye is the X factor. Dye is the one to call when you are unsure. After CJ Verdell, the starting pitcher for Oregon, was injured this year, Oregon has made it its unspoken mantra. Dye has done everything possible to fill that void. He ran for 211 yards and scored a touchdown on Saturday while Oregon passed only 98 yards. Dye was the Ducks' quarterback, which would be an understatement.

You need to know this: Next weekend, the Ducks host a Washington State team who has been fighting back since losing half their coaching staff due to a vaccine mandate. No game is easy for a team that has been under so much pressure like Oregon at this stage of the season. -- Paolo Uggetti

Previous ranking: 6

Week 10 result: 26-17 win vs. Nebraska

Next: vs. Purdue (Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET

X factor: QB C.J. Stroud. It is difficult to criticize a quarterback who throws for 400 yards. The quarterback at Ohio State is no exception. He had two key interceptions, a strip-sack touchdown that the Buckeyes were successful to recover, and missed chances to win an even bigger victory against Nebraska. Ryan Day, Ohio State's coach, said that there were many lessons to learn, but that he did some great things and made some smart decisions. It was all part of the learning process.

You need to know this: As they try to make the playoffs, the Buckeyes will continue to face questions about their inconsistencies against top-ranked teams. Next up is Purdue, and Ohio State will not need to be reminded about how the Boilermakers can ruin a few seasons. -- Andrea Adelson

Previous ranking: 8

Week 10 result: 34-6 win vs. Navy

Next: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at Virginia ET

X factor: Quarterback Jack Coan's season at Notre Dame has been rocky. Although he has had to deal with injuries and inconsistent play, he was able put together a solid performance against Navy. It would be a huge help to get Coan in a rhythm and perform consistently down the stretch.

You should know that Notre Dame has only lost to a ranked Cincinnati team. The Irish still have Georgia Tech, Stanford, and Virginia left on their schedule. There won't be any marquee matches to impress the College Football Playoff selection panel, but one loss may be enough to finish the season. It all depends on how the remainder of the season goes. It seems reasonable to expect Notre Dame to be sitting at 11-1 after the season. -- Tom VanHaaren

Previous ranking: 5

Week 10 result: 40-29 loss vs. Purdue

Next: vs. Maryland (Saturday at 4 p.m. ET

X factor: Runningback Kenneth Walker III is a Heisman contender, but despite 146 yards of receiving and a touchdown, he was mostly corralled against Purdue. If the Spartans want to win the season, they will need him to be at his best.

You need to know this: While Michigan State's loss to Purdue was a setback, there are still chances of the Big Ten title and who knows what else. In the final three games, the Spartans will have to face Penn State, Ohio State, and Maryland. The Spartans will have to overcome some challenges, but with Michigan State's play, it is possible. When the Spartans take on the Buckeyes, the problem will be in Michigan State's secondary. Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud averages over 324 yards per match, while Michigan State gave up 536 yards to Aidan O'Connell, Purdue quarterback. -- Tom VanHaaren

Previous ranking: 9

Week 10: Win vs. Indiana 29-7

Next: Saturday, noon ET at Penn State

Cade McNamara is the QB with the X factor. The offense will need to use the passing game to move the ball if Michigan is to beat Ohio State and Penn State. Although the offense relied heavily on the run game, McNamara was able to get Michigan into the game against Michigan State through throwing the ball. Jim Harbaugh stated that McNamara was recovering from an injury he suffered against Michigan State. Michigan must have McNamara completely healthy in order to complete this season.

You should know this: Michigan has lost one game, but has Ohio State and Penn State as its two remaining games. The Michigan program would benefit from wins in these two games, and not just because of its record. Harbaugh has not beaten Ohio State, and has been criticized for losing to Michigan State twice in a row. Michigan's progress and on the right track would be demonstrated if it wins. This is a huge task and, while it's not impossible, Michigan will have to win the entire season. -- Tom VanHaaren

Previous week: 11

Week 10 result: 24-3 win vs. West Virginia

Next: vs. TCU, Saturday 8 p.m. ET

X factor: Saturday's Cowboys pass rush was dynamite. Defensive end Brock Martin led the charge. In just 32 passes, the Pokes took down West Virginia quarterbacks eight-for-32 and completely controlled a 24-3 road victory.

You need to know that OSU is the only Big 12 champion. With a conference record of 5-1, the Cowboys are in second place. They'll be favorites in their two remaining games before meeting with Oklahoma on Nov. 27. Bill Connelly

Previous week: 13

Week 10: Win vs. Auburn 20-3

Next: Saturday, 7 p.m. at Ole Miss ET

X factor: A&M's secondary has been amazing in 2021 -- A&M limited Auburn QB Bo Nix's passing to just 20-for-40 for 153 yards in Saturday's 20-3 victory -- and nickelback Antonio Johnson may be the Aggies' most reliable tackler and best cover man.

The basics: At 4-2 in SEC play, and 7-2 overall, both the SEC West- and CFP races are alive and well for the Aggies. They'll still need a lot of help. If they win, Alabama will be upset. Georgia could then play them in the SEC championship. -- Bill Connelly

Previous ranking: 15

Week 10 result: 27-14 win vs. Liberty

Next: Texas A&M (Saturday at 7 p.m. ET

X factor: Matt Corral, QB, has been struggling for some time but continues to produce. He was 20 for 27 passing and gained 324 yards in a victory over Liberty that was 27-14. This win was much more comfortable than the spread predicted.

You need to know this: Since Hugh Freeze's 2015 10-3 victory, the Rebels had never won more than six games per season. They won their seventh game against Freeze's Flames Saturday. It's possible to get to double digits. Bill Connelly

Previous week: 10

Week 10 result: 58-55 loss vs. North Carolina

Next: NC State vs. ET (Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. ET

X factor: Sam Hartman is a key part of Wake Forest's success. The game against North Carolina showed how important he is in big situations. Hartman was responsible for 398 yards, five touchdowns and 78 yards on the ground.

Wake Forest has lost its chance of reaching the College Football Playoff. However, there are still many things to be done as Clemson and NC State remain on the schedule. With all the chaos this season, it's possible that the Demon Deacons will win the conference. Perhaps a one-loss ACC champion has a chance in the end. -- Tom VanHaaren

Previous ranking: 17

Week 10: 59-14 win over Idaho State

Next: Georgia Southern (Nov. 20 at 4 p.m. ET

X factor: WR Puka Nacua. For the fourth consecutive season, the sophomore wideout surpassed 100 receiving yards in Saturday's game. Although he only has two touchdowns this season, he averages nearly 20 yards per catch.

You should know that BYU will have a bye week next week before wrapping up its season with the Clay Helton 2-step. In two weeks, the Cougars will face Georgia Southern, who just appointed Helton as their head coach, before wrapping up the season with USC's former team, Helton. -- Paolo Uggetti

Previous week: 16

Week 10: 44-23 win vs. UTEP

Next: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. vs. Southern Miss ET

X factor: RB Sincere McCormick. McCormick was awarded All-America honors and was a semifinalist in the Doak Walker award, but there's still an underlying feeling that the country hasn’t fully appreciated his talent. McCormick is a great NFL talent and college fans should watch him before his time at UTSA ends.

You need to know this: The Roadrunners have a remarkable 9-0 record that should not be overlooked by the College Football Playoff selection board. This team is of top-25 quality and one the only four unbeaten in college football. This week's game against Southern Miss should be relatively easy. On Nov. 20, a crucial game against UAB will await. It is likely to decide the Conference USA West. Kyle Bonagura

Last week: 12

Week 10 result: 20-3 loss vs. Texas A&M

Next: Mississippi State vs. Georgia (Saturday, 12 noon ET).

Auburn's X-factor: Auburn is following Bo Nix's lead. Nix was excellent in wins over Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. But he struggled tremendously in Saturday's 20-3 defeat at Texas A&M (20-for-41 with 2 turnovers).

The SEC West is a tough league. The Tigers need to put the disappointment of last week's loss behind them and get ready for Mike Leach's unique Mississippi State Bulldogs. They ranked 17th in last weeks playoff rankings, before losing at Arkansas. -- Bill Connelly

Previous week: 20

Week 10: South Florida wins 54-42

Next: Saturday, 12 noon ET at Temple

Clayton Tune is the X-factor. Tune has thrown 12 touchdowns in his last four games and no interceptions. Tune is now completing 70% of his passes this season, which is a 10% increase over last year.

You need to know this: If the Cougars defeat Temple on Saturday, they will be guaranteed a place in the AAC championship match for the first-time since 2015. Houston has a 92.7% chance to win ESPN's FPI. Dave Wilson

Previous week: 14

Week 10 result: 30-28 loss vs. TCU

Next: Oklahoma vs. Canada (Saturday, 12 noon ET).

QB Gerry Bohanon is the X-factor. After a blistering start, the junior quarterback had no interceptions on his first 152 pass attempts. However, he has now thrown five passes in his last 78. If the Bears are to win Saturday's shootout against Oklahoma, they can't afford these mistakes.

You need to know this: TCU's Chandler Morris ran up 531 yards against the Bears, putting them in a crisis of confidence. Baylor, which allowed just 209 yards per game going into the game, will have to make a quick turnaround. Dave Wilson

Previous ranking: 19

Week 10: Win with Northwestern 17-12

Next: Vs. Minnesota (Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET

X factor: Tyler Goodson, RB, hadn't run for more than 100 yards since mid-September when Iowa beat Kent State. But Goodson ran for 141 yards with a touchdown on Saturday in Northwestern's 17-12 victory. Goodson currently has 961 yards of total offense.

You need to know that Iowa lost its grace following its 23-20 victory over Penn State. It was outscored 51-14 by Purdue and Wisconsin in consecutive losses. Next week, the Hawkeyes host Minnesota in a crucial home match. -- Matt Eisenberg

Unranked Week Previous

Week 10 result: 52-3 win vs. Rutgers

Next: vs. Northwestern (Saturday noon ET).

X factor: Braelon Alley's rise to running back has brought stability and increased production to Wisconsin's offense following a slow start. He ran for 129 yards and scored a touchdown, his fifth consecutive 100-yard rushing performance. Allen will be even more important if Chez Mellusi (leg), is absent for any extended period.

You need to know this: Wisconsin has improved its season and is entering the stretch run with confidence. The Badgers will face Nebraska and Northwestern teams in the next two weeks before they visit Minnesota for a game that could determine the Big Ten West Division. The last six meetings between Wisconsin and Northwestern were split. -- Adam Rittenberg

Unranked Week Previous

Week 10 result: 28-14 win vs. Florida State

Next: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at Wake Forest ET

X factor: QB Devin Leary. The strength of the ACC's quarterback play this season has meant that Leary's leadership of the Wolfpack is often overlooked at a national level. Leary, who has completed 66% of his passes, with 2,161 yards passing and 21 touchdowns, has proven why he is such an impact-maker after a disappointing 2020.

You need to know this: Saturday's Atlantic Division will be decided in Winston-Salem when NC State plays Wake Forest. At 5-0, the Demon Deacons are at the top of the division; NC State is at 4-1. Wake Forest has won the last three meetings; however, the Wolfpack won an exciting 45-42 match a year ago. -- Andrea Adelson

Previous ranking: 21

Week 10: Georgia Southern wins 28-8

Next: Saturday, February 2, 2012 at 2 p.m. ET

X factor: RB Shermari Jones. Jones was more important than ever without QB Grayson McCall or RB Reese White in the Georgia Southern game. Jones finished just short of his fourth 100-yard rush game, but his 96 yards on 20 runs was a major boost in a crucial win.

The basics: South Alabama, Texas State, and Georgia State are still on the schedule. The Chanticleers expect to be in the lead but a 7-1 Sun Belt record may not be enough to win the East. Appalachian State would need to lose, as it has South Alabama and Troy, along with Georgia Southern. Kyle Bonagura

Previous ranking: 22

Week 10: Maryland wins 31-14

Next: Michigan vs. Canada (Saturday, 12 noon ET).

X factor: Jahan Dotson is proving why he's one the Big Ten's best wide receivers. He dominated Maryland with 242 yards and three touchdowns from 11 receptions. In his two previous games, Dotson has 22 receptions for 369 yards and 2 touchdowns. In an offense that struggles to run it, Dotson is still quarterback Sean Clifford’s number one target.

You need to know that Penn State will be the spoiler for the remainder of the season. This week, Michigan is visiting Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions won consecutive games against the Wolverines, and have won three of the last four meetings. While Penn State's weaknesses are obvious, particularly in the offensive and run game, there are also clear strengths such as Clifford or an outstanding red zone defense. However, the Lions can still win to finish 9-3. -- Adam Rittenberg

Previous week: 24

Week 10: Georgia State wins 21-17

Next: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. at Troy ET

X factor: Chris Smith was ineffective against Georgia State so Montrell Johnson led Louisiana to victory with two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Johnson has rushed for more than 90 yards in each of his four previous games.

You need to know that the Troy team has won three of its four previous games. Next week, Levi Lewis and Ragin' Cajuns will face Troy. They will then face Liberty, who will have another week to prepare. -- Matt Eisenberg

Unranked Week Previous

Week 10: 52-29 win against Duke

Next: North Carolina vs. ET (Thursday, at 7:30 p.m. ET

X factor: Kenny Pickett is Pitt's engine. But wide receiver Jordan Addison continues his impressive play. Addison led the Panthers' with seven receptions for 171 yard and a touchdown. This was his second consecutive game of over 140 receiving yards, and his fifth 100-yard performance this season. This season, Addison's 11 touchdown receptions are the most by a Pitt player since Larry Fitzgerald in 2003's 22. He also ran for a touchdown.

You need to know this: Pitt begins its most crucial stretch of the season Thursday night at home against North Carolina. In 2019, the Panthers ended a six-game losing streak against UNC. Pitt will play Virginia after North Carolina in a game which is likely to determine the ACC Coastal Division. -- Adam Rittenberg

Dropped out: Kentucky (18), SMU (23) and Fresno State (25)