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:
Will Cunningham, Sports Editor
Georgia takes over the top spot in my poll after absolutely flattening Tennessee. The final score may have only been 27-13, but make no mistake, the Volunteers were absolutely no match for the Dawgs Saturday, and were extremely lucky to only lose by 14. Tennessee may still make the playoff if things break right, but Saturday proved that they do not belong with the best of the best in college football, at least not yet.
Ohio State and Michigan were virtually inseparable, as they both struggled with mediocre to bad Big Ten opponents Saturday. Ohio State has been ahead all season, so I decided to keep it that way.
I have two newcomers to the Top 5 at Nos. 4 and 5. TCU is one of only four remaining undefeated teams in Football Bowl Subdivision, and I believe that warrants a top four ranking.
LSU knocked off Alabama this weekend, and even though they have two losses, the Tigers control their own destiny for a spot in the SEC championship game. In addition, they are one of the best-coached teams in FBS.
Who I added
Kansas, UCF, Liberty
The Jayhawks are back! After Kansas occupied a spot in my poll from Week 2 until Week 7, Kansas makes its triumphant return after crushing Oklahoma State 37-16 to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2008. It looked like the Jayhawks’ season might be over after starting quarterback Jalon Daniels was lost to injury, but backup Jason Bean has performed admirably, and Lance Leipold should really be the only candidate for Coach of the Year.
UCF makes its debut in my poll after a 35-28 win over Memphis, but this is more about UCF’s body of work over the course of the season. The Knights are 7-2 with wins over Cincinnati and Georgia Tech. They are just a Tulane slip-up away from a good chance at the Group of 5’s New Year’s Six Bowl slot.
The final team I added to my poll this week is Liberty, who continued an excellent season with a 21-19 win over Arkansas to improve to 8-1. The Flames’ only loss was by one point to Wake Forest in Week 3, and head coach Hugh Freeze is going to be a top candidate for some big jobs this offseason despite signing a huge extension at Liberty just a few weeks ago.
Who I dropped
Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Syracuse
One week after suffering arguably the worst loss of the Mike Gundy era, a 49-0 blowout at the hands of Kansas State, Oklahoma State was once again beaten soundly, 37-16 by Kansas. Even in a year when they are both good, losing to both Kansas programs in the same season is never good, and the Cowboys, who climbed as high as No. 8 in my poll this season, are now out of the Top 25.
I have been too high on Arkansas all year, and I was finally punished for it as Arkansas picked up its fourth loss of the season this week against Liberty. Not much needs to be said about how bad a loss this is, even to a good Liberty team. I will check back in on Arkansas next season.
The dream has come crashing down for Syracuse, who have now lost three games in a row after winning its first six. The latest loss came at the hands of Pitt, and it is the worst of the three. The Orange will likely pick up at least one more win, but even seven wins would be disappointing after how well it started the season.
Molly Burchard, Asst. Sports Editor
After a dominant win over Tennessee, Georgia deserves the No. 1 spot in my poll. It truly looked like the best team in the nation, stifling one of the most explosive offenses in college football and holding it to just 13 points.
Ohio State struggled against Northwestern, barely putting up 21 points against the worst team in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes still got the win though, so I didn’t penalize them too much. They only dropped one spot in my poll this week.
Michigan also played a struggling Big Ten team in Rutgers, but looked somewhat better in its 52-17 win. However, I still believe Ohio State is the better team which is why Michigan is below it at No. 3
TCU moved into my Top 5 this week because it is the only team other than Georgia, Ohio State and Michigan that remains undefeated. It had a couple of big wins over the past three weeks, including ones over Oklahoma State and Kansas State.
Finally, even though Tennessee got smacked by Georgia Saturday, I believe it's still a Top 5 team. The Vols just had an off day, and I believe they will be back to normal form in the coming weeks.
Who I added
Kansas, UCF, Notre Dame
After a shaky few weeks, Kansas bounced back with a 37-16 win over Oklahoma State. Like Will said, the win made Kansas bowl eligible, and showed that it can still compete against (former) Top 25 teams.
UCF caught people’s attention in Week 9 when it upset Cincinnati, and continued its recent success with a 35-28 win over Memphis. Because of this, I added UCF to my Week 10 poll.
Finally, after starting the season 0-2, Notre Dame is making a comeback. It has won every game but one since then, and its most recent wins were upsets against Syracuse and Clemson.
Who I dropped
Oklahoma State, Wake Forest, Syracuse
Oklahoma State, Wake Forest and Syracuse have all lost back-to-back games over the past two weeks. Oklahoma State has lost three of its past four games, Wake Forest was upset by Louisville then NC State and Syracuse has lost three straight. Its most recent loss was to Pitt, who has been mediocre all season.
Ashley Beach, sports writer
Alas, there’s been a major shift in my Top 5. Georgia reclaimed the top spot after it defeated Tennessee over the weekend.
Despite my love for the Vols, I have to hand it to the Bulldogs. They managed to stifle a team that has been explosive over the past few months. The Bulldogs proved that they’re the reigning national champions for a reason.
Ohio State may have had a horrible game against Northwestern, but it was the first time it had to face less than ideal weather this season. Wind is not a friend to a passing offense like Ohio State. Ohio State also played without TreVeyon Henderson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, the latter who has been out the majority of the season, so its offense really took a hit overall.
Michigan is still undefeated and probably won’t face a true challenge until The Game later this month. It did get to slide up a spot or two from where it usually stands in my Top 5, though.
New to the Top 5 is TCU. It is one of the last undefeated teams this season. I didn’t think that TCU would break into the top 10 as early into the season as it did, but here we are. TCU is first in the Big 12.
Who I added
Liberty, UCF, Florida State and Washington
Florida State and Washington have made their return to my Top 25. It’s been a minute since they’ve been on my ballot, but it is nice to see them back. Florida State collected a big win over Miami to reclaim its spot and Washington shimmied in with a small win over Oregon State.
Newcomers Liberty and UCF have earned their spot for a plethora of reasons. Both have established their dominance in their respective conferences and they’re on path to bowls.
Who I dropped
Wake Forest, Syracuse, Oklahoma State and Mississippi State
This week was a cleanse. It was time for all of these teams to go. None of them were up to par with the standards to be included in the Top 25. They’re all big-name teams, but they’re not having big-time performances.