Florida State, Alabama, Oregon Stay in Playoff Hunt…Fourth-ranked Mississippi State Falls Out
Florida State is the 16th team to post back-to-back undefeated seasons since 1950 -- but it wasn't easy.
The top-ranked Seminoles, who are No. 3 in the College Football Playoff standings, escaped unranked Florida 24-19 in Will Muschamp's final game as the Gators' coach. His Gators almost sent him out on a high note.
Florida State's Dalvin Cook ran for a career-high 144 yards as the 'Noles survived QB Jameis (JAYM'-ihs) Winston's struggles. Winston threw a career-high four interceptions, including three in the first quarter. He finished 12 of 24 for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
The defending national champion Seminoles have won 28 games in a row, and completed consecutive undefeated regular seasons for the first time in school history.
In other AP Top-25 football:
— No. 2 Alabama, which sits atop the College Football Playoff standings, won the highest-scoring Iron Bowl with a come-from-behind 55-44 victory over No. 15 Auburn. Heisman Trophy hopeful Amari Cooper tied his own school record with 224 yards receiving and caught three touchdown passes. The Crimson Tide already clinched a spot in the SEC championship game next Saturday against Missouri.
— No 3 Oregon routed Oregon State 47-19. Marcus Mariota (mar-ee-OH'-tah) threw for 367 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 39 yards and two more scores in the 118th Civil War game. The 12-1 Ducks are headed to the Pac-12 Championship game against Arizona next Saturday. The Ducks are No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings.
— Fourth-ranked Mississippi State fell to No. 18 Mississippi in the Egg Bowl, 31-17. Jaylen Walton ran for a 91-yard touchdown and running back Jordan Wilkins threw a 31-yard touchdown pass. Bo Wallace threw for 296 yards despite completing just 13 of 30 passes. The loss by Mississippi State, which was ranked fourth in the College Football Playoff standings, means the Bulldogs most likely will fall out of the playoff picture.
— Bryce Petty threw for 210 yards and two touchdowns before getting knocked out of the game with a concussion and playoff hopeful fifth-ranked Baylor held off Texas Tech, 48-46. Shock Linwood ran for 158 yards and two touchdowns for the 10-1 Bears, who are guaranteed at least a share of their second consecutive conference title if they win at home over No. 11 Kansas State next Saturday.
— Ohio State won the game but lost a quarterback for next week's Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin. Ezekiel Elliott scored on a 44-yard run on fourth-and-1 with just under five minutes left to help lift the No. 7 Buckeyes over Michigan 42-28. Ohio State improved to 11-1 and 8-0 in the Big Ten. Freshman quarterback T.J. Barrett threw for a touchdown and ran for two before the Heisman Trophy contender broke his right ankle in the fourth quarter. He will undergo surgery Sunday and will not play in next week's Big Ten title game or a bowl. Michigan finishes 5-7 in what is likely the final game for coach Brady Hoke, who is 31-20 in four seasons.
—Harrison Butker kicked a career-long 53-yard field goal on the final play of regulation, and D.J. White picked off a pass in overtime to preserve No. 16 Georgia Tech's 30-24 victory over No. 8 Georgia. Zach Laskey put Georgia Tech ahead with his third touchdown run of the game in overtime. Georgia fumbled twice at the Georgia Tech 1, ruining almost certain touchdown drives. The Bulldogs Damian Swann swiped the ball from a Georgia Tech player and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown.
— R.J. Shelton returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and Jeremy Langford ran for 118 yards and two scores in 10th-ranked Michigan State's 34-10 victory over Penn State.
— Jake Waters threw for 294 yards and four touchdowns, two of them to record-setting wide receiver Tyler Lockett, and No. 11 Kansas State routed Kansas 51-13 to move into a tie atop the Big 12 standings. Lockett caught nine passes for 119 yards, passing his father Kevin Lockett for the K-State record in career catches.
— Melvin Gordon ran for 151 yards and accounted for two scores, and 14th-ranked Wisconsin overcame a two-touchdown deficit to beat No. 22 Minnesota 34-24. That gives the Badgers a spot in the Big Ten championship game against Ohio State.
— Artavis Scott had two long touchdown catches and Wayne Gallman ran for 191 yards to lead No. 23 Clemson over South Carolina 35-17. Scott turned two inside flip passes into touchdowns of 53 and 70 yards. Clemson improved to 9-3 with their first win over the Gamecocks in six tries.
— Brandon Radcliff ran for a 4-yard touchdown with 2:47 remaining to help No. 24 Louisville earn a 44-40 victory over Kentucky on Saturday. Safety Gerod Holliman sealed the win with his NCAA record-tying 14th interception of the season. The game between the rivals got physical before kickoff. Louisville coach Bobby Petrino grabbed the jacket of Wildcats assistant Daniel Berezowitz during one pregame scuffle.
— The 25th-ranked Boise State Broncos clinched the Mountain West Conference Mountain Division by routing Utah State 50-19. Running back Jay Ajayi (uh-JY'-hee) carried 27 times for 229 yards and five touchdowns. Boise State plays Fresno State next Saturday for the Mountain West title.