There was one spot that was guaranteed to be different in the rankings this week, after No. 1 Mississippi State lost to Alabama. The question is whether stasis would dictate that a Florida State team that's made a habit of falling behind in the first half and coming back in the second would take the top spot. Stasis wins!
|1||Florida State (43)
||2||Florida State (39)
|4||Mississippi State||1||Mississippi State||1|
|7||Ohio State||8||Ohio State||7|
|8||Ole Miss||10||Ole Miss||10|
|24||Southern Cal||NR||Southern Cal||NR|
The rankings have largely settled into place at this point in the season -- the Top 8 are the same, and Marshall, Southern Cal and Duke are also consensus teams at their respective spots, but even outside of those teams, there aren't any huge differences of opinion. What you get is something like Arizona State-Wisconsin-Arizona-Auburn-Georgia Tech instead of Arizona-Arizona State-Wisconsin-Georgia Tech-Auburn, which basically the same five teams in the same five slots but in slightly different orders.
For our and Mississippi State's purposes, the significance of the rankings is whether the Bulldogs will remain in the Top 4 when the college football playoff rankings are released Tuesday. Reading the tea leaves in these polls isn't encouraging. Last week, Alabama was No. 3 or No. 4 in the polls while TCU clocked in at No. 5 -- and the Horned Frogs ended up fourth in the selection committee's ranking. If the close shave against Kansas didn't change the pollsters' minds about TCU, what's to say it will change the committee's?
Alabama's win over Mississippi State allowed it to lock up the No. 2 spot, while Florida State picked up 31 first-place votes in the AP poll and 19 among the coaches after yet another come-from-behind win. At this rate, they'll be the consensus No. 1 team when they fall behind Florida 47-0 and then eke out the 49-47 win. (I'm just kidding. They could play for five weeks and Florida wouldn't score 47 points. It'll be more like 16-0.)
Georgia zips up the polls and would be the biggest winner if it weren't for
Melvin Gordon Wisconsin crushing Nebraska. In any case, the Dawgs' rise means that the SEC keeps four teams in the Top 10. The SEC stays at a half-dozen teams in the polls; Missouri rides into the survey based on its win at Texas A&M, replacing LSU, which dropped out after the loss at Arkansas.
Marshall continues its climb up the rankings; the Thundering Herd will hope to get in the playoff committee's Top 25 this week to get the inside track on the Group of 5's spot in the playoff bowls. Colorado State isn't too far behind, but also doesn't control its own fate right now in the Mountain West Mountain (which is an actual division's name). If Boise State loses to Wyoming or Utah State, Colorado State's placement could matter more, particularly if the selection committee starts to follow suit.