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College Football Rankings: SEC Down to Five Ranked Teams as Georgia Falls Out of Polls

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But there are plenty of questionable decisions all over the coaches poll

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

We're still a few weeks away from the College Football Playoff selection committee releasing its first set of rankings, which means the polls are still going to drive the discussion about the college football season. And, alas, we have yet another example of one of the polls going completely haywire. You get one guess which one it is!

Associated Press Change Points USA Today Change Points
1 Ohio St. Buckeyes (27) -- 1,411 Ohio St. Buckeyes (47)
-- 1,547
2 Baylor Bears (13) +1 1,390 Baylor Bears (8)
+2 1,463
3 TCU Horned Frogs (3) -1 1,354 TCU Horned Frogs (5)
-1 1,441
4 Utah Utes (16) +1 1,350 Michigan St. Spartans (1)
-1 1,358
5 Clemson Tigers (1) +1 1,260 LSU Tigers (1)
-- 1,288
6 LSU Tigers +1 1,231 Clemson Tigers -- 1,245
7 Michigan St. Spartans -3 1,139 Utah Utes (1)
-- 1,239
8 Florida Gators +3 1,075 Florida St. Seminoles -- 1,080
9 Texas A&M Aggies (1) -- 1,046 Alabama Crimson Tide +1 1,052
10 Alabama Crimson Tide -2 1,034 Texas A&M Aggies +1 1,028
11 Florida St. Seminoles +1 937 Florida Gators +1 1,001
12 Michigan Wolverines +6 894 Ole Miss Rebels +1 837
13 Ole Miss Rebels +1 803 Notre Dame Fighting Irish +2 786
14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish +1 766 Michigan Wolverines +7 760
15 Stanford Cardinal +1 662 Oklahoma St. Cowboys +4 689
16 Oklahoma St. Cowboys +5 614 Stanford Cardinal +2 677
17 Iowa Hawkeyes +5 520 Iowa Hawkeyes +6 525
18 UCLA Bruins +2 487 UCLA Bruins +2 466
19 Oklahoma Sooners -9 342 Oklahoma Sooners -10 432
20 Northwestern Wildcats -7 317 Boise St. Broncos +4 321
21 Boise St. Broncos +4 260 Northwestern Wildcats -7 242
22 Toledo Rockets +2 237 Memphis Tigers +3 185
23 Cal Golden Bears -- 204 Cal Golden Bears -1 174
24 Houston Cougars +3 121 Duke Blue Devils +3 154
25 Duke Blue Devils +2 114 Toledo Rockets +4 149
ORV Temple 96, Memphis 59, Arizona St. 27, Mississippi St. 19, Georgia 16, Texas Tech 10, BYU 8, Southern Cal 5, W. Kentucky 5, Kentucky 4, Penn St. 4, Navy 3, North Carolina 1 Houston 75; Temple 71; Georgia 61; Arizona State 33; Mississippi State 21; Wisconsin 20; Kentucky 13; Kansas State 11; Penn State 6; Southern California 4; Texas 4; Texas Tech 4; West Virginia 3; North Carolina 3; Navy 2; Washington 2; Tennessee 1; Illinois 1; Arizona 1.

If you want to see the difference between what happens when voters can at least hypothetically watch more games and what happens when they can't, look no further than the distribution of first-place votes in the two polls. (There's more than that, but we'll get to the other things shortly.) As Ohio State has continued to struggle, the Buckeyes have hemorrhaged first-place votes in the AP poll, where Ohio State lost 11 more supporters this week and is now receiving 44.3 percent of No. 1 ballots. In the USA Today survey, the Buckeyes lost three first-place votes this time and still pull in 74.6 percent of votes for the top spot.

What that suggests -- and this is no slam dunk theory, but it seems to be borne out by the evidence -- is that the coaches are going to stick by their preseason projections no matter what. Having Ohio State remain at No. 1 is not indefensible, given that the Buckeyes are still undefeated and most of the other contenders seem to be struggling. And the Buckeyes did beat Maryland by 21 points, though MaryLOLand. But having them at the top by an overwhelming margin seems to be checking to make sure they won, and then keeping them in first as long as they do.

There's also one other major thing that the coaches are getting wrong right now: Why is Utah behind Michigan State at this point? Both have played Oregon. Michigan State beat the Ducks by three points at home; the Utes eviscerated Oregon by 42 points on the road. Utah beat Michigan -- which has now shut out three straight games -- and also dealt Cal its only loss of the season so far. The Spartans' other Power 5 wins are at Rutgers by seven and against Purdue by three. There is literally no rational basis other than preseason expectations to have Michigan State ranked ahead of Utah right now. None. But, hey, one coach put Utah at No. 1, so someone is at least sort of paying attention.

Just out of sheer novelty: When was the last time that Memphis and Duke were both ranked in a poll? And Toledo?

Your other major takeaway is that the SEC remains locked out of the Top 5 in the AP poll, though at least LSU is hanging on in the coaches poll. So, the worse of the two surveys is firmly behind the SEC. Good to know. It might stay that way for a while; with the possible exception of Utah's game against Arizona State this weekend, there are no good chances at an upset in the near future. And even that is stretching things a bit.

And the SEC is down to five teams in both polls, as the loss to Tennessee knocks Georgia out of the rankings. That also seems unlikely to change unless one of the unranked teams rips off several upsets in a row.