Nov 5, 2016 8:41 PM
AP TOP 25 TAKEAWAYS: A&M takes detour; Navy's masterpiece
The Associated Press
Mississippi State's upset of Texas A&M just a few days after the first College Football Playoff rankings was a good reminder: When it comes to the selection committee's top 25, "controversies" often don't last long.
The Aggies were a surprising fourth ahead of unbeaten Washington in the first CFP rankings, but they won't be in that spot any more.
Fans will have to find something new to complain about on Tuesday — which probably won't be too tough.
Week 10 featured one early upset in Starkville with playoff race ramifications and another Notre Dame loss to Navy, increasing Fighting Irish frustrations.
Thoughts, takedowns and takeaways from the post-playoff ranking Saturday of the season.
1. Here's how fast and drastically things can change in college football: Texas A&M entered Saturday in the playoff discussion. The Aggies head into next week's home game against Mississippi having lost two straight SEC games and in danger of seeing a 6-0 start turn into a disappointing season.
2. The run defense, which has been an issue for the Aggies in recent years, has regressed in recent weeks. It is one thing to give up 287 yards rusing to Alabama. It is quite another to allow Mississippi State to go for 365.
3. The biggest issue for the Aggies going forward is the health of Trevor Knight's shoulder. The quarterback did not finish the game against Mississippi State.
4. The team that benefited most from Mississippi State's upset was No. 11 Auburn. The Tigers, who slipped past Vanderbilt, did not control their path to the SEC championship because of an earlier loss to A&M. Now all the Tigers need to do to win the West is win out.
5. Notre Dame once won 43 straight games against Navy. Now Navy has won four of the last 10 meetings.
6. Before we talk about how bad things are for Notre Dame, how about some much-deserved praise for the Midshipmen and coach Ken Niumatalolo?
7. Niumatalolo, who is Mormon, very publicly considered the BYU opening last season, but decided to stay put. He could not be a better fit at Navy, but it would be fascinating to see him in a job where he had access to elite talent.
8. Trying to protect a one-point lead with 7:28 left in the game, Navy drained every last second with a 14-play that was a masterpiece worth of The Louvre .
9. Now about Notre Dame. The Irish are 3-6 and would have to beat Army, No. 23 Virginia Tech and USC to get bowl eligible. Good luck with that.
10. The unraveling of Baylor's season seems to have started . Players know they are playing for coaches who won't be around next season.
11. If you are a Baylor assistant coach, tying yourself to former coach Art Briles might not be the best career move.
12. Weekly Charlie Strong stock report: Trending up.
13. The conventional wisdom in Austin is Texas leadership would prefer to keep Strong and even seven victories might be enough. That would be two wins better than last year. The Longhorns are now 5-4. Remaining games: No. 14 West Virginia at home next week, at Kansas and TCU at home.
14. Weekly Lamar Jackson march to the Heisman Trophy update: No change. The award is still Jackson's to lose.
15. At this point we should just talk about which other players can earn an invite to New York for the Heisman handout. D'Onta Freeman of Texas popped up on the radar last week and only continued to surge against Texas Tech.
16. Watch for Washington State quarterback Luke Falk to start getting some more attention.
17. Yes, the Cougars lost to an FCS team and Boise State to start the season, but much like Auburn, this is a different team now and one that deserves better than No. 25 in the AP and CFP rakings.
17. Deshaun Watson only needed to play a half against Syracuse. No. 3 Clemson said he was held out of the second because of a sore shoulder but he could have played. Which makes complete sense, but downplaying injuries is as much a part of college football as bands at halftime. It is a situation worth monitoring in Death Valley.
18. Michigan State lost to Illinois, which has to qualify as rock bottom for the Spartans in this nightmare season.
19. But wait! Rutgers at Michigan State next week. Both 2-7 and 0-6 in the Big Ten.
20. Speaking of dumpster-fire seasons: Arizona (2-7, 0-6 Pac-12) is in danger of going winless in conference for the first time since joining in 1978.
21. Could make a good case for Wisconsin's Paul Chryst being the Big Ten coach of the year. He has pieced together an offense, leaned hard on a salty defense and helped the Badgers pushed both Ohio State and Michigan.
22. Then again, Jim Harbaugh makes a pretty good case for that award, too.
23. Jim McElwain's first 22 games as Florida coach, 16-6. Will Muschamp's first 22 games as Florida coach, 15-7.
24. It will be difficult to keep Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham off the AP All-America team .
25. Tommy Tuberville's time in Cincinnati could be winding down. The Bearcats dropped to 4-5 and are going to have a heck of time getting bowl eligible. At 62, Tuberville seems like a candidate to "retire."
Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP