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College Football Rankings: Oregon and Alabama Split No. 2 Honors; LSU Moves Into Top 10

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The SEC West is looking very good right now, while the SEC East is Georgia, space, space, Missouri and South Carolina

Scott Cunningham

If it's Sunday, it's college football poll time. The Associated Press and the USA TODAY coaches polls are both out, and there is some change in Alabama's standing in one of them. Overall, the moves are still relatively minor for the SEC teams, since no one did anything like lose at home to Virginia Tech by two touchdowns.

AP Coaches
1 Florida State (38) Florida State (51)
2 Oregon (16) Alabama (1)
3 Alabama (1) Oklahoma (3)
4 Oklahoma (2) Oregon (6)
5 Auburn Auburn
6 Georgia (1) Georgia (1)
7 Texas A&M (2) Baylor
8 Baylor Texas A&M
9 USC LSU
10 LSU USC
11 Notre Dame Notre Dame
12 UCLA UCLA
13 Michigan State Michigan State
14 Ole Miss Arizona State
15 Stanford Ole Miss
16 Arizona State Stanford
17 Virginia Tech Wisconsin
18 Wisconsin Ohio State
19 Kansas State Virginia Tech
20 Missouri Kansas State
21 Louisville Nebraska
22 Ohio State Missouri
23 Clemson South Carolina
24 South Carolina Clemson
25 BYU North Carolina
  • The Oregon-Alabama thing will all come out in the wash, particularly if both teams remain in the Top 4. The AP seems to be putting more stock into snap judgments this year than the coaches poll, and neither approach is necessarily wrong this early in the season. If the coaches poll is still doing things like disregarding strength of opponents and ranking Ohio State over Virginia Tech without anything in the interim to prove that the Buckeyes just had a bad night, it will bother me more. (Which is not to say that the latter doesn't bother me quite a bit right now, just that it's hard to get too excited about polls one way or the other after Week 2.)
  • One thing I do like about the AP poll right now is that it's less willing to cut Florida State any slack for what have been a couple of lackluster performances. It's fine to keep the Seminoles in first place for now, but somebody needs to be pointing out that FSU almost lost to Oklahoma State and struggled against The Citadel. Florida State lost 11 first-place votes in the AP this week, compared to six in the coaches -- despite the fact that there are more voters in the latter survey.
  • Auburn is your only non-Bama SEC team in the Top 5, though Georgia is the only non-Bama SEC team getting first-place voters. Those strike me as a bit quirky right now; if you're a resume voter, you might want to take into account that Georgia has played a grand total of one team. The coaches poll might be a continuation of a projection vote; the Dawgs had a first-place ballot in that poll, so that makes sense. The AP one confuses me a bit more. If you really want to go full resume based on one game, why not Oregon? That's not to say that Georgia is definitively not the No. 1 right now, but if you bumped them up to the top spot last week based on beating Clemson and then kept them there despite their having not played a game this week, that seems odd.
  • Texas A&M also got first-place votes in the AP poll, and okay. The win against South Carolina was impressive, but the Gamecocks are moving down the polls in a dramatic way, and the other win is against Lamar, which went 5-5 last year in FCS play. A&M moved up both polls this week after crushing Lamar, which is fine, but I'm not quite ready to put them in the national-title game just yet, either on projection-based or resume grounds.
  • LSU moves into the Top 10 in both polls, in large part because of other teams collapsing out of it, but you get there how you get there. There are several land mines on the schedule between now and Alabama, but if the Tigers can navigate through the obstacles with one loss or undefeated, I would imagine that game would get a fair amount of attention.
  • Ole Miss has now cracked the Top 15 in both polls. That means there are five SEC West teams in the Top 15 to one SEC East team. If you had any thoughts that the East might be catching up to the West a bit, kindly discard them, at least in the perception arena and at least for the moment.
  • Missouri remains in the polls after a pretty convincing win at Toledo. South Carolina slips in both polls after a less convincing win at home against East Carolina. That's a troubling sign for the Gamecocks' chances to remain ranked, because even a close loss against Georgia is now likely to knock them out of the polls. They probably needed to move up in the 17-20 range to make sure they were still ranked if they manage to keep it reasonable against the Dawgs.