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
Whew, it was a rough week for the Top 5. After watching Michigan almost lose to Illinois, I was convinced it would drop in my poll. Luckily for it though, almost every other team in the Top 5 struggled as well Saturday.
Georgia only beat unranked Kentucky by 10, Ohio State was losing to Maryland for the majority of the first half, TCU only won by one point and Tennessee gave up 63 points to South Carolina, losing quarterback Hendon Hooker in the process to a torn ACL.
Because they all struggled, my Top 5 got to keep their spots with the exception of Tennessee. I dropped the Volunteers to ninth in my poll, and LSU took their spot at No. 5. The Tigers are coming off a 41-10 victory over Alabama-Birmingham and will be competing with Georgia for the SEC Championship.
Who I added
Oregon State, Ohio
As the season winds down and we pretty much know who belongs in the Top 25, fewer teams will be added to my poll. However, I added a couple more this week, the first being a lot less controversial than the second.
Oregon State debuts at No. 22 in my poll for keeping up with the best of the PAC-12 this season. It is 5-3 in conference play alongside UCLA, and it’s right behind 6-2 Washington and Utah. The Beavers are having their best season since 2012, and look far removed from the program that only won three games from 2017-2018.
Another team that has shown great improvement this season is Ohio. Having covered it all season, Ohio is the team I know the most about. It may have lost both of its games this season against Power Five teams, but Ohio has become a stellar team since the start of its midweek games. If it played Penn State and Iowa State now, Ohio may still lose, but it would probably fare much better than it did in Week 2 and 3. Don’t even get me started on how well quarterback Kurtis Rourke has done this season.
Who I dropped
Ole Miss, UCF
Three losses in four games means it is time for Ole Miss to drop out of my poll. It has been holding on to a spot since Week 2 but hasn’t fared well in conference play, going 4-3. Its most recent loss to Arkansas was the worst of the bunch and was enough to convince me it was time for Ole Miss to go.
Also heading out of my poll is UCF. It had a chance to solidify its spot with a win over Navy, but it lost 17-14 instead. Navy did not complete a single pass during the game, but UCF failed to stop its run game.
Ashley Beach, sports writer
Georgia is well, Georgia. The reigning national champions have proved time and time again that they’re on the hunt for another. Even though it scored a season-low 16 points against Kentucky, Georgia is still the best team in the FBS.
Ohio State, Michigan, and TCU are still undefeated which is why they fall in order. Noticeably missing from my top five is Tennessee. I took Tennessee out because of its abysmal 63-38 loss to unranked South Carolina. LSU, on the other hand, smacked unranked UAB.
Who I added
Oregon State, Oklahoma State, Ohio
It's an orange and black wave this week. Oregon State has been dominant over the past few weeks, and that is why I added it to my poll for the first time. I welcomed Oklahoma State back into my poll after it had two nice weeks since I bumped it out in Week 10.
Ohio made a splash after it became bowl eligible and defeated Mid-American Conference opponent Ball State. Now, Ohio is in the MAC East Championship game, and it is undefeated at home. Ohio’s got my vote and not just because it’s the team I cover.
Who I dropped
Liberty, Texas, Kentucky
All three of these teams were barely hanging on in my poll. Liberty is the best independent team right now, but it doesn’t stack against the other ranked teams. Its slight win over Virginia Tech last week wasn’t impressive.
Texas and Kentucky have been on and off my poll all season. One weekend they’re hot and the next they’re freezing cold. It's time they both left for good.
Will Cunningham, Sports Editor
All five of these teams won close games against teams they probably should’ve beaten somewhat comfortably, and as a result, they all stayed put.
USC is right on the outside of the Top 5, and a win over Notre Dame next weekend would almost certainly get it in.
Who I added
Oregon State, Troy
Oregon State probably should have been in my poll last week. After a dominant win over Arizona State, it definitely deserves a spot in the Top 25. The Beavers are now 8-3, and their losses have been to USC, Utah and Washington, with two of the three coming on the road. Head coach Jonathan Smith has done a great job continuing Oregon State’s progress after making a bowl and finishing with a winning record for the first time since 2013 last year.
Last week, I said it was really close between Troy and South Alabama for a spot in my poll, and after I went with South Alabama a week ago, Troy now joins it in the Top 25. These two teams are competing for the Sun Belt East and are both 9-2 on the season. After beating South Alabama earlier in the season, all Troy needs to do in Week 13 is beat Arkansas State to earn a spot in the Sun Belt title game.
Who I dropped
Ole Miss, Duke
Ole Miss drops from my poll for the first time this season after being wiped off the field by Arkansas in a game that was not as close as the 42-27 margin would suggest. The Rebels are 8-3, but three of those losses have come in the last four games, and they really need a win in the Egg Bowl to save face this season.
Duke entered my Top 25 after a 24-7 win over Virginia Tech in Week 11 moved it to 7-3 on the year. The Blue Devils immediately followed that with a loss to Pitt, and while this has still been an impressive first year for Mike Elko, this past week was a big missed opportunity to pick up an eighth win and give Duke a shot at double digit wins with a bowl game.