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Josh Furlong's AP Top 25: A ho-hum week after COVID-19 continues its reign on games

By Josh Furlong, KSL.com | Posted - Nov. 15, 2020 at 10:01 a.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — COVID-19 continues to decimate the college ranks as six games that featured at least one team in the Associated Press Top 25 were either canceled or postponed.

That, mixed with a handful of teams (six) on a bye week, and Week 11 left only 13 games that featured a ranked team. And of those games, everything went as planned: the top team got the win.

That is everybody but SMU — the lone loss from the AP Top 25 this week.

Outside of a blowout loss to Cincinnati, SMU has been mostly dominant this season. But on Saturday, a surging Tulsa got the better of the Mustangs. SMU took a 24-7 lead to close out the first half, but the Golden Hurricane held the Mustangs scoreless in the second half and scored three touchdowns, including the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter with 2:11 left in regulation, to claim the upset victory.

With two losses on the season, SMU drops out of my Top 25 and Tulsa is on the door knocking as one of the teams waiting to find a spot.

Some other notes related to my ballot this week:

The Swamp grows

The Florida Gators put on a show against an outmatched Arkansas team to move to 5-1 on the season. Quarterback Kyle Trask showed once again why he's a Heisman Trophy contender as he finished the night passing for 356 yards and six touchdowns on 23-of-29 passing. The Gators are one of the hottest teams in the country and appear to be surging at the right time. As a result, I've jumped Florida over Texas A&M this week.

Wisconsin ends Michigan

The Jim Harbaugh era is as good as dead. His previous antics now are a distant memory, and the Wolverines are in serious trouble. Wisconsin manhandled Michigan in all facets of the game in a 49-11 win for the Badgers' second win of a roller coaster season. Michigan's goal-line attempt near the end of the first half was a microcosm of its season: a lot of flash but left with nothing in the end.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin showed its dominance and is in prime position to challenge for a deep run in the Big Ten. And while I'm at it, I moved them above the darling Indiana — tough call, but I think Wisconsin will only continue to rise. The Badgers don't have to play Ohio State until a potential Big Ten Championship, so expect the momentum to continue.

BYU-Cincinnati Challenge

BYU and Cincinnati have been two of the most dominant teams outside of the Power Five this season, but this week proved it will be tough for them to stand still in the rankings (or move up for that matter). A team like Wisconsin, who has only played two games, looks to be one of the most consistent teams in America. Yes, it's still early, but I'm not sure Wisconsin stays below these two teams for much longer.

I still want to see more, but with BYU and Cincy only playing two more games this season, it's going to be difficult for them to stay the darlings of college football. That's no knock to either team, just a tough draw.

Hoosiers Hype

Look, nobody predicted Indiana to be 4-0 to start the season, but 2020 continues to be a crazy year. The things is, though, the Hoosiers are talented and real. They're not just smoke and mirrors hoping to hang with the big boys. They have talent, most notably on defense, and can hang with many around them in the rankings.

Their real test comes next week as they have to run through Ohio State, but what a fun season. I moved Wisconsin above Indiana this week, but that's because I think Wisconsin has weapons on both sides of the ball.

Dropping Out: North Carolina (6-3), SMU (7-2)

Checking In: Louisiana (7-1), Nevada (4-0)

In Consideration: Boise State (3-1), Colorado (2-0), Maryland (2-1), San Jose State (4-0), Tulsa (4-1), Washington (1-0)

If you have a question about any of the teams I ranked (or missed), hit me up on Twitter @JFurKSL and I'll do my best to explain my reasoning. If you can't see the ballot below, click here.

Josh Furlong

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