BOULDER, Colo. – Central Washington’s surprising departure from the D1A competition led to a vacated #5 ranking and room at the top for teams to swoop into.
CWU would have fallen a few spots this week anyway after getting pounded 20-50 by #3 St. Mary’s in Ellensburg, Wash. The game was relatively close until the final stages. SMC kept pounding away and CWU couldn’t keep up in the end. You can watch the replay here.
Kutztown leaped into the #6 spot after an instant classic defeating Penn State to knock the Nittany Lions out of playoff contention.
Texas A&M earned a nice bump after beating Texas 45-5 in the ARC Championship. Likewise, Texas Tech jumped to #14 after their 87-7 shellacking of a depleted Oklahoma Sooners team in the ARC 3rd/5th place game.
Ohio State and Illinois had a knock-down drag-out battle in the BTU semifinals but the Buckeyes edged the Illini 43-40. OSU and Wisconsin (who handled Indiana without much problem in the other BTU semi, resulting in their #13 ranking this week), are now set to play in the first-ever Big Ten Championship on Saturday.
Wyoming found its way into the Top 20 due to CWU’s departure. They will play Colorado State on Wednesday April 10 to make up for the snowed out game on March 9. That will be a crucial game for both teams whose postseason hopes are still alive.