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College Football Rankings: SEC Still Has Three of Top 5 in Polls; Gamecocks Set Record

The loss to Florida State didn't hurt Auburn much, but its cross-state rival wasn't as lucky. Most of the SEC's other teams move up in the rankings

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Scott Halleran

Florida State might have the national title, but the SEC still dominates the college football polls. The conference claimed three of the Top 5 spots in the human surveys, with South Carolina setting a new program high with a No. 4 finish. In all, half of the league's teams are considered among the Top 25.

Here's the quicklike version:

USA Today Associated Press
Rank Team Change Rank Team Change
2 Auburn -- 2 Auburn --
4 South Carolina +4 4 South Carolina +4
5 Missouri +4 5 Missouri +4
8 Alabama -5 7 Alabama -4
14 LSU -- 14 LSU --
18 Texas A&M +3 18 Texas A&M +2
23 Vanderbilt *NR 24 Vanderbilt +5/NR

Pollsters obviously were impressed with Auburn's near-win against Florida State, and obviously weren't impressed with LSU's win against Iowa. Those are the only two teams that remained static.

South Carolina jumped to No. 4, which is kind of understandable when you look at it. After the bowls are done, the Gamecocks have wins over the AP No. 5, No. 8, No. 10, No. 22 and No. 24 teams in the country. On the other hand, they have losses to two unranked teams.

Missouri moves up four to No. 5, with wins against the No. 17, No. 18 and No. 24 teams and its losses coming to the No. 2 and No. 4 teams. South Carolina had a better group of wins, Missouri had the better losses, and the Gamecocks had the head-to-head. So we end up there.

Alabama plunges out of the Top 5 after the disappointing showing -- if you can call that a showing -- in the Sugar Bowl. Texas A&M moves up a few places after almost losing to Duke, then rebounding, while Vanderbilt gets a boost from finishing with nine wins. Just don't tell anyone that most of them are relatively unimpressive. Helping the case was that three of the Commodores' four losses came against ranked teams, including two against teams in the Top 5. Ole Miss also got seven points in the coaches poll

Other notables: Michigan State was your No. 3 team. Oklahoma finished ahead of Alabama in both polls at No. 6; the difference was where Clemson ended up (ahead of Bama with the coaches, behind with the AP). Ohio State finishes tied for No. 10 in the coaches poll and at No. 12 in the AP survey. Notre Dame is No. 24 among the coaches, but up at No. 20 among the AP voters. The two also split on the last team in, with USA Today choosing Nebraska and the AP taking Washington.

Oh, and UCF ends the season ahead of Louisville, in both surveys. All's well that ends well, I suppose.