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College Football Rankings: Alabama Gains First-Place Votes as Mississippi State Storms Into Polls

But the number of SEC West teams in the Top 10 is down by one and there's still a peculiar gap between South Carolina and Georgia

Derick E.Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was fun for the SEC West while it lasted. One of the original reasons to believe that having five division teams in the Top 10 wouldn't continue was because they would beat up on each other -- but then Mississippi State came along and decided that it wanted to start dropping LSU all by its lonesome. And shot up into the polls in one of the few examples where voters didn't allow consistency to be the hobgoblin of little minds.

AP Coaches
1 Florida State (34)
Florida State (36)
2 Oregon (12)
Alabama (11)
3 Alabama (6)
Oklahoma (12)
4 Oklahoma (4)
Oregon (3)
5 Auburn Auburn
6 Texas A&M (4)
7 Baylor Texas A&M
8 Notre Dame Notre Dame
9 Michigan State Michigan State
10 Ole Miss UCLA
11 UCLA Ole Miss
12 Georgia Arizona State
13 South Carolina Georgia
14 Mississippi State Stanford
15 Arizona State South Carolina
16 Stanford Mississippi State
17 LSU Wisconsin
19 Wisconsin Nebraska
20 BYU Ohio State
21 Nebraska BYU
22 Ohio State USC
23 East Carolina Duke
24 Oklahoma State East Carolina
25 Kansas State Kansas State

For a composite Top 25 college football ranking, visit

Yes, the Bulldogs bowed at No. 14 in the AP poll and No. 16 in the coaches survey, two spots above the team they defeated. Which makes the continued insistence on ranking Georgia one spot ahead of South Carolina for the AP and two spots ahead of the Gamecocks among the coaches all the more curious. If you were going to punish South Carolina for only beating Vanderbilt by 14 points -- which is understandable -- then why did South Carolina move up on place in both polls? Add into that the fact that Georgia's biggest pelt -- in fact, their only pelt other than Troy -- fell out of the Top 25 while the Gamecocks' second-biggest win entered the surveys this week, and it's all very odd.

Permit me that moment of possible homerism there because I hate what I'm about to say: Why did Clemson fall out of the Top 25 this week? The Tigers were ranked No. 22 in the AP and No. 24 in the coaches survey last week, took the supposed best team in the nation to overtime -- Jameis Winston or no Jameis Winston -- and fell out of the rankings. You can argue that a 1-2 team doesn't deserve to be ranked in the Top 25, but it doesn't deserve it any less than a team that got smashed by Georgia and then beat S.C. State.

In any case, the SEC West does still have four teams in the AP Top 10 and three teams in the coaches poll, with Ole Miss moving up one place to No. 11 in the latter. Given that Ole Miss hosts Memphis and none of the Top 10 teams play each other next week, the Rebels are likely going to need a non-SEC upset to become the fourth team in that class among the coaches.

One interesting note is that Florida State and Oregon both did lose some No. 1 votes because of lackluster showings against Clemson and, in Oregon's case, Washington State. That largely benefited SEC teams. A combined eight top votes drained away from FSU and the Ducks, and six of those went either to Alabama or Texas A&M -- with five switching to the Crimson Tide. Alabama picked up an impressive 10 first-place voters in the coaches poll, while Oklahoma gets eight more than last week because -- well, your guess is as good as mine. FSU and Oregon lost a combined 17 first-place voters there, so my guess is that somebody forgot to vote last week. This is how we used to pick a national champion, folks.

Overall, the SEC remains at eight teams in the rankings, with Mississippi State essentially taking the place of Missouri, which dropped out of the polls altogether. This tends to happen to teams that lose to Indiana at home. The Bulldogs' win also dropped LSU hard, with the Bayou Bengals plummeting down nine spots in the AP ballots and 10 among the coaches.