College Football Top 25 Rankings: The SEC on the Comeback Trail While UCF Still Gets Snubbed

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri drops, but not out of the Top 10, while the coaches and Harris Poll voters continue to cause us to question why they even bother to rank teams

Another week, another shakeup in the Top 25 rankings, but this one is a bit more subdued that last week, at least as far as the SEC is concerned. First, because it doesn't count despite making the most sense of them all, here's the AP poll.

Rank Team Record Votes Previous
1 Alabama (55) 8-0 1,495 1
2 Oregon (3) 8-0 1,432 2
3 Florida State (2) 7-0 1,390 3
4 Ohio State 8-0 1,317 4
5 Baylor 7-0 1,223 6
6 Stanford 7-1 1,189 8
7 Miami (FL) 7-0 1,149 7
8 Auburn 7-1 1,022 11
9 Clemson 7-1 1,007 9
10 Missouri 7-1 873 5
11 LSU 7-2 818 13
12 Texas A&M 6-2 811 14
13 Oklahoma 7-1 791 17
14 South Carolina 6-2 701 20
15 Texas Tech 7-1 579 10
16 Fresno State 7-0 510 15
17 UCLA 5-2 489 12
18 Oklahoma State 6-1 483 19
19 UCF 6-1 464 21
20 Louisville 7-1 417 18
21 Northern Illinois 8-0 290 23
22 Wisconsin 5-2 262 22
23 Michigan 6-1 199 24
24 Michigan State 7-1 166 NR
25 Arizona State 5-2 133 NR
Others Receiving Votes: Notre Dame 132, Georgia 24, Texas 22, Brigham Young 22, Mississippi 21, Virginia Tech 20, Oregon State 17, Florida 14, Washington 6, Minnesota 4, Ball State 4, Duke 2, Arizona 2

And just like that, the SEC is down to one Top 5 team. But Auburn moves into the Top 10 and Missouri does not fall out, so the SEC keeps three teams there. And the conference has a deep bench; three of the first four teams outside the Top 10 are SEC teams, meaning any team dropping out of the Top 10 could be replaced by an SEC team. The three already there ties the ACC for the most teams in the Top 10, which is the clearest sign yet that we have torn the space-time continuum and are living in an alternate universe.

South Carolina at No. 14 remains the last SEC team in the poll. Georgia is 27th, but way behind in points, with Ole Miss and Florida also in the mix. It's going to take awhile for those teams to work their way back into the rankings, though Georgia could get close with an impressive win against Florida if some of the teams in the 21-25 neighborhood drop out.

Elsewhere, UCF has finally passed Louisville, which is what should have happened last week. And Michigan is still ranked, because WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! (For the record, I don't think there's any reason not to rank Michigan, but the Wolverines might be one of the worst ranked teams of all time. Except for 2007 Hawaii.)

To the coaches' poll, compiled by your friendly neighborhoods sports information directors, and thus far more important to the BCS than a poll with fewer conflicts of interest.

RANK TEAM RECORD POINTS FIRST PLACE VOTES PREVIOUS RANK CHANGE HI/LOW
1 Alabama
Crimson Tide
8-0 1542 56 1 1/1
2 Oregon
Ducks
8-0 1483 6 2 3/2
3 Florida State
Seminoles
7-0 1419 0 3 12/3
4 Ohio State
Buckeyes
8-0 1375 0 4 4/2
5 Baylor
Bears
7-0 1293 0 5 22/5
6 Miami
Hurricanes
7-0 1190 0 6 24/6
7 Stanford
Cardinal
7-1 1182 0 8 1 13/4
8 Clemson
Tigers
7-1 1064 0 10 2 10/4
9 Oklahoma
Sooners
7-1 933 0 12 3 18/9
10 Missouri
Tigers
7-1 834 0 7 3 14/7
11 Auburn
Tigers
7-1 804 0 17 6 17/11
12 Oklahoma State
Cowboys
6-1 803 0 13 1 20/11
13 LSU
Tigers
7-2 802 0 13 13/6
14 Texas A&M
Aggies
6-2 758 0 15 1 15/6
15 Texas Tech
Red Raiders
7-1 673 0 9 6 25/9
16 South Carolina
Gamecocks
6-2 627 0 20 4 20/6
17 Louisville
Cardinals
7-1 579 0 16 1 17/6
18 Fresno State
Bulldogs
7-0 542 0 18 25/18
19 UCLA
Bruins
5-2 432 0 11 8 21/10
20 Northern Illinois
Huskies
8-0 373 0 22 2 23/20
21 Michigan
Wolverines
6-1 309 0 23 2 24/12
22 Central Florida
Knights
6-1 300 0 25 3 25/22
23 Wisconsin
Badgers
5-2 253 0 24 1 24/18
24 Michigan State
Spartans
7-1 237 0 NR 24/24
25 Notre Dame
Fighting Irish
6-2 83 0 NR 25/11

Here, the SEC has just two Top 10 teams, though Auburn does zip up the poll to No. 11 from No. 17 because the win against FAU was JUST THAT GOOD. (Why pollsters decide to move some of these teams to the right positions when they do astounds me.) LSU, A&M and South Carolina move up more slowly here, which meh. Texas Tech is going to lose again, so that will help South Carolina at least.

But UCF remains five spots behind Louisville -- a team it defeated at Louisville last week, with its only loss coming to No. 16 South Carolina. What's more amazing is that UCF is only that close because it gained a net four spots against Louisville since last week. DO YOU PEOPLE EVEN READ THE BOX SCORES ANYMORE?

This poll, as mentioned, does have BCS implications. Most of the SEC teams remain in BCS contention here, though South Carolina needs to get to at least 14th in the overall standings to be considered. Would-be BCS buster Fresno State stays put after an unimpressive win over San Diego State, while Northern Illinois moves up two places. One or both could finally break into the Top 16 and be above Louisville and UCF tonight, enough to put them into the BCS for now. Of course, that's something we'll have to watch from now until the end of the season.

Oh, and Notre Dame is back. AWAKEN THE ECHOES AND VERIFY THE IDENTITY OF THE GIRLFRIENDS!

The other poll that counts is the Harris Poll, a group of voters selected so that the BCS could say it has two polls. Because two is better than one, right?

Rank Team Record Points
1 Alabama (94) 8-0 2590
2 Oregon (10) 8-0 2492
3 Florida State 7-0 2386
4 Ohio State 8-0 2301
5 Baylor 7-0 2130
6 Stanford 8-0 2035
7 Miami (FL) 7-0 1977
8 Clemson 7-1 1767
9 Missouri 7-1 1510
10 Oklahoma 7-1 1475
11 Auburn 6-1 1453
12 LSU 7-2 1408
13 Texas A&M 6-2 1364
14 Texas Tech 7-1 1093
15 Oklahoma State 6-1 1081
16 Louisville 7-1 1056
17 South Carolina 6-2 1043
18 Fresno State 7-0 965
19 UCLA 5-2 683
20 Northern Illinois 8-0 650
21 Michigan 6-1 528
22 Central Florida 6-1 502
23 Michigan State 7-1 391
24 Wisconsin 5-2 350
25 Arizona State 5-2 135
Other teams receiving votes: Notre Dame 91; Virginia Tech 79; Oregon State 62; Georgia 50; Texas 40; Houston 38; BYU 19; Florida 13; Minnesota 9; Mississippi 9; Nebraska 8; Ball State 7; Duke 5; Arizona 3; Washington 2. Dropped out of Top 25: Virginia Tech, Nebraska

Here again, we have Auburn outside the Top 10 and South Carolina all the way down at 17th; it'll be interesting to see where both of them wind up when the computers spit out their numbers. And in this particular poll, UCF is six spots below Louisville. Six! These people have no college football job other than watching the games. And yet they seem to ignore them.

Fresno State is also at 18 here, and Northern Illinois clocks in at No. 20. The computer rankings will decide where they end up with regards to Louisville and UCF, but it seems like the BCS busters should root for the Knights to wrap things up, because the voters probably still won't realize that an American Athletic Conference champion UCF probably deserves a higher ranking than, you know, a team it beat that is not the AAC title-holder. Or maybe the computers will save them.

Now we're looking for the computers to restore sanity. The playoffs can't get here soon enough.

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