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College Football Poll Watch: The Sooners are Back, the B1G is Top-Heavy and Houston has Problems


Houston, Miami and Tennessee were all in the AP top 10 heading into last weekend. Two of the three were favored in their games, yet all three came out on the losing side of their respective contests.

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The results of those three games shook up the most recent AP Top 25 and Amway Coaches Polls and changed the complexion of several conference races — not to mention the College Football Playoff conversation.

Houston, you have a problem (actually three of them)

In losing to Navy, the Houston Cougars lost much more than one football game. They lost control of their own destiny. Before Saturday, Tom Herman's squad was in the driver's seat to secure the one spot in the New Year's Six Bowls reserved for the highest ranked Group of Five conference champion should it not qualify for the four-team playoff. In all likelihood, Houston could have even secured that spot if the Cougars would up losing to Louisville later this season. Now, the stunning loss at Navy means Houston doesn't even lead its own division in the AAC. The Cougars need to hope Navy loses twice in conference to even have a chance to play in their own conference championship game.

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In addition to Navy, Houston also must root against undefeated Boise State and Western Michigan. Both teams are ranked in both major polls — and they'll likely both be favored in all of their remaining games. When you factor in a probable Houston loss to Louisville and either Boise State or Western Michigan running the table, all signs point to the Cougars wrapping up their year in a less-than-desirable bowl than what they had their sights set on after beating Oklahoma to start the season.

Speaking of Oklahoma... Sooners are back!

Two consecutive wins over two conference rivals have the Sooners back in the top 25 in both major polls and squarely in the hunt for their second consecutive Big 12 title. Given that both losses came to highly-ranked teams so early in the season, it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility, depending on where a handful of chips fall, that the Sooners back into the College Football Playoff as the first two-loss team since its inception.

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B1G on top. Trouble ahead?

You can take that a couple of different ways. For one, the Big Ten is dominating the top 10 of both major polls with four teams in each. That said, the rest of the conference isn't exactly pulling its weight, as there isn't a single team from the nation's oldest conference found in either poll from No. 11 on down. It's a top-heavy mess that could result in a nightmare scenario for the conference.

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Follow me on this: Let's say Wisconsin loses to Ohio State but beats Nebraska. Ohio State also beats Nebraska, giving both teams in the West two conference losses. Wisconsin would go to the Big Ten Championship Game via the head-to-head win over the Cornhuskers. Then, to end the season, Michigan defeats Ohio State, setting up a Wisconsin-Michigan rematch for the conference title. And then Wisconsin wins that. Guess what? The Big Ten will be watching the College Football Playoff from home in that scenario.

Arkansas and Ole Miss are out of place in both polls

Arkansas' only two losses are to the No. 1 and No. 6 teams in the country. Ole Miss has a loss to the No. 1 team in the country and Florida State. They both have wins over ranked opponents. Personally, I feel No. 22 Arkansas has the better resume, but I could be nit-picking. Luckily, we'll get to see this settled on the field Saturday when the No. 12/13 Rebels travel to Fayetteville.

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— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on,, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.