AP Top 25: SEC teams set up month of intrigue in league


While Mississippi State and Florida State continue to enjoy lofty perches at one-two in the latest AP Top 25 poll, Ole Miss' loss to LSU had a devastating effect for the Rebels.

Ole Miss' fourth-quarter follies cost the team four spots in the AP Top 25; meanwhile, the Rebels dropped six spots in the latest CFB 24/7 Top 25 Power Rankings. Ole Miss' opponent Saturday, LSU, moved up eight spots in the AP poll.

What this week's AP poll and CFB 24/7 Top 25 Power Rankings reveal is a potential glimpse into what to expect when the College Football Playoff selection committee releases its first rankings on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, so be ready, people!).

In the next month and a half or so, much of the collective focus of the college football fandom will be on the SEC West, where the SEC's top College Football Playoff contenders currently reside. Top-rated Mississippi State still must play Alabama and Ole Miss. No. 3-rated Alabama still must play LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn. No. 4-rated Auburn has Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama remaining to play. For Ole Miss, is the dream over for a run at the national title? The Rebels still must play Auburn and Mississippi State.

What transpires in those games could open the door for non-SEC powerhouses Oregon, Notre Dame, Michigan State, TCU and Kansas State to make a move. Either that, or the SEC will own multiple spots in the first-ever, four-team College Football Playoff, despite the fact that there are supposedly five power conferences.

So, set a smartphone reminder for Sunday, Dec. 7 It's going to be a monumental day in American sport. In addition to being Week 14 in the NFL as well as the date for the 2014 MLS Cup, it is also the big day for the College Football Playoff selection committee. There'll be lots of pressure on the 13-person selection committee to not have football fans pining for the days of the gone-but-not-forgotten BCS.

The entire order of the AP poll:

Others receiving votes: Colorado State 29, USC 22, Wisconsin 14, Stanford 9, Louisville 8, Missouri 7, North Dakota State 3, Oklahoma State 2

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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