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Football: Week 7 Student Media Poll picks from 'The Post'

Each week, the Sports editorial team selects its Top 25 Division I college football teams for the Student Media Poll.

The SMP is a nationwide poll featuring 122 student journalists from all Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. There are voters from 69 different schools across 34 states.

The Post Sports will break down its ballots each week. Here are the top five, those it kicked out of the Top 25 and those it added:

Molly Burchard, Asst. Sports Editor

Top 5

  1. Ohio State 
  2. Georgia 
  3. Tennessee
  4. Clemson 
  5. Michigan 

Week 7 of college football featured many upsets and crazy games, but the No.1 team in my poll stays the same: Ohio State. The Buckeyes had a bye week, but I still believe they're the top team in the country right now. 

Georgia kept its spot at No. 2, but Tennessee jumped up from No. 5 to No. 3 after its super exciting game against Alabama. I was nervous about ranking Tennessee in the Top 5 last week, but its upset over Alabama validated my decision and moved it up in the rankings. 

Clemson is still holding on to spot No.4, and Michigan reentered my Top 5 after it put a smackdown on Penn State. Maybe Michigan was just having a really good day, but this is the first time I've really seen them excel against another ranked team. 

Who I added

Illinois, Oklahoma 

Many Top 15 teams lost in Week 7, so they filled up the bottom half of my poll. Therefore, only two new teams entered my poll this week. 

I added Oklahoma back at No. 25 after it beat Kansas 52-42 at home. The win proved to me that Oklahoma can still compete and beat other Top 25 teams, something I was unsure of after its big losses to TCU and Texas. 

Illinois also debuted in my poll at No. 20. It hasn't lost since the second week of the season and currently stands at first in the Big 10 West. Illinois just earned its third straight Big 10 win, beating Minnesota 26-14 Saturday. Minnesota has spent its own time in the Top 25 this season, so Illinois' win over it was all I needed to add the Fighting Illini to my poll. 

Who I dropped 

James Madison, North Carolina State

Even though NC State lost to Syracuse on Saturday, I didn't mean to drop it out of my poll completely. I have to admit, leaving the Wolfpack off was an accident. Had I left it on my poll, NC State probably would have dropped from No. 16 to around No. 22. 

Also, James Madison's loss to Georgia Southern Saturday knocked it out of my Top 25. James Madison was already teetering on the edge, so the loss meant it had to go. 

Ashley Beach, sports writer 

Top 5 

  1. Georgia 
  2. Ohio State 
  3. Clemson
  4. Michigan 
  5. Alabama 

There's been a shakeup in my Top 5. Alabama's loss to Tennessee solidified my choice to move it down the list. The only thing keeping me from moving Ohio State to first place is the fact that Georgia is playing more competitive opponents. 

Clemson and Michigan rely on each other when it comes to their spots. They're equal to each other. If one does well, it will be above the other. 

Who I added 

Syracuse, Illinois, Texas

I have been behind the curve on adding Syracuse to my poll. Syracuse has been performing well this season, and its 24-9 win over North Carolina State is no exception. The Orange are perfect so far this season, so I entered them into my poll at No. 15. 

Texas and Illinois are sleeper teams this year. Every now and again they pop back into the news, but otherwise, they're just there. However, I think both are worthy of being included in my poll. I ranked Texas and Illinois at No. 21 and No. 20, respectively. 

Who I dropped 

BYU, Washington, LSU

All three of these teams have fallen off. I do not think any of them were worthy of a vote this week, even though LSU beat Florida. I needed to make room for teams who were performing well, so that's why they were removed from my poll.

Will Cunningham, Sports Editor

Top 5

  1. Ohio State
  2. Georgia
  3. Tennessee
  4. Michigan
  5. Clemson

After the best college football weekend of the year, there is only one thing to say: it feels like '98. Tennessee moves into the Top 5 after a thrilling 52-49 win over Alabama, cementing its place at the top of the SEC, at least for this season. Tennessee's fans also threw a goal post into the Tennessee River, which is honestly enough to get the Volunteers into the Top 5 on their own.

Elsewhere in the Top 5, Georgia takes Alabama's spot at No. 2 after a dominant win over Vanderbilt, and Michigan jumps Clemson for the No. 4 spot after blowing out Penn State in Week 7.

Who I added

Kentucky, Arkansas, Tulane, North Carolina

Kentucky is back in the Top 25 after an impressive win over Mississippi State. Will Levis was back for the Wildcats this week, and threw for 230 yards and a touchdown. With Levis on the field, Kentucky is one of the better teams in the SEC, and they proved it once again this week.

Arkansas also notched an impressive win, knocking off BYU in Provo. After a pair of tough losses to Alabama and Texas A&M, the Hogs put up 52 points on BYU to recover their place in the Top 25.

After a 45-31 win over USF, Tulane is now 6-1 and 3-0 in the American, and with losses by James Madison and Coastal Carolina, Tulane is now one of the leading contenders for the Group of 5's New Year's Six bowl berth.

I don't think North Carolina is very good, and its defense is dreadful, but after a 38-35 win over Duke, the Tar Heels are 6-1, 3-0 in the ACC, and have a stranglehold on the ACC Coastal. The only other team in that division with a winning conference record is Georgia Tech, who is currently playing under an interim coach, so prepare to see North Carolina in the ACC championship game.

Who I dropped

Mississippi State, James Madison, Baylor, Coastal Carolina

Just when you thought Mike Leach was adapting and becoming a slightly more balanced coach, Mississippi State gave its running backs just seven carries in its 27-17 loss to Kentucky. The Bulldogs had a great opportunity to pick up a statement win, and they fell woefully short.

Baylor also suffered a disappointing loss, this one to a struggling West Virginia team. It is the third loss of the season for the Bears, and while the first two were to ranked opponents, this one is not a good result, and they have been knocked out of the Top 25. I would be surprised if they returned this season.

Coastal Carolina and James Madison are in exactly the same boat. They both entered the week undefeated, and they both suffered tough losses in the Sun Belt. The Chanticleers and Dukes were the last undefeated Group of 5 teams remaining, and they both fell victim to playing in the toughest G5 conference.




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