For the most part, we've fallen into a kind of rhythm with the polls at this point. The sportswriters of the AP poll view the college football landscape as something like it is -- a fractured kingdom with a lot of warlords who can't gain complete control of the countryside -- while the coaches in the USA Today poll still pay tribute to the old king, viewing the disturbances as nothing more than isolated rebellions that will be put down. There's not much use griping about whether the coaches are paying attention any more, because they're not going to change until someone takes out the king.
|Associated Press||Change||Points||USA Today||Change||Points|
|1||Ohio St. Buckeyes (28)||--||1,428||Ohio St. Buckeyes (45)||--||1,547|
|2||Baylor Bears (12)||--||1,416||Baylor Bears (12)||--||1,488|
|3||Utah Utes (16)||+1||1,362||TCU Horned Frogs (4)||--||1,417|
|4||TCU Horned Frogs (3)||-1||1,338||Michigan St. Spartans||--||1,334|
|5||LSU Tigers (1)||+1||1,306||LSU Tigers (1)||--||1,324|
|6||Clemson Tigers||-1||1,252||Clemson Tigers||--||1,271|
|7||Michigan St. Spartans||--||1,202||Utah Utes (1)||--||1,258|
|8||Alabama Crimson Tide||+2||1,133||Alabama Crimson Tide||+1||1,123|
|9||Florida St. Seminoles||+2||1,041||Florida St. Seminoles||-1||1,111|
|10||Stanford Cardinal||+5||917||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||+3||924|
|11||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||+3||898||Stanford Cardinal||+5||898|
|12||Iowa Hawkeyes||+5||820||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||+3||839|
|13||Florida Gators||-5||785||Iowa Hawkeyes||+4||833|
|14||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||+2||735||Florida Gators||-3||751|
|15||(15t) Texas A&M Aggies||-6||614||Oklahoma Sooners||+4||665|
|16||(15t) Michigan Wolverines||-3||614||Texas A&M Aggies||-6||623|
|17||Oklahoma Sooners||+2||565||(17t) Memphis Tigers||+5||544|
|18||Memphis Tigers||+9||554||(17t) Michigan Wolverines||-3||544|
|19||Toledo Rockets||+3||346||Cal Golden Bears||+4||370|
|20||Cal Golden Bears||+3||337||Toledo Rockets||+5||322|
|21||Houston Cougars||+3||318||Duke Blue Devils||+3||305|
|22||Temple Owls||+4||217||Houston Cougars||+4||289|
|23||Duke Blue Devils||+2||211||Ole Miss Rebels||-11||201|
|24||Ole Miss Rebels||-11||158||Temple Owls||+3||163|
|25||Pitt Panthers||NA||73||Georgia Bulldogs||+3||95|
|ORV||Mississippi St. 62, BYU 21, UCLA 18, North Carolina 17, Texas Tech 14, Georgia 12, W. Kentucky 11, Arizona St. 10, Boise St. 8, Wisconsin 8, Utah St. 7, Northwestern 4||Mississippi State 38; Wisconsin 37; Pittsburgh 32; North Carolina 30; UCLA 30; Texas Tech 14; Navy 9; Brigham Young 9; Illinois 5; Oregon 5; Western Kentucky 5; Utah State 5; Washington State 5; Northwestern 4; Marshall 3; Arizona 2; Boise State 2; Bowling Green 1|
The first eight spots on the poll are surprisingly placid right now; a few teams switch places in the AP poll. Even though some of the changes in the AP are somewhat questionable -- Utah moves up despite needing a 20-point fourth quarter to beat Arizona State by anything approaching an impressive margin -- the fact that teams are moving at least indicates brain activity.
The coaches keep their top eight completely unchanged, though Ohio State does shed a couple of No. 1 votes. Which is in itself interesting because of what happened in the AP survey, where the Buckeyes picked up first-place votes and saw their margin over Baylor shrink to 12 points. In other words, some voters who aren't putting Ohio State at No. 1 are pushing them even further down the rankings. If that phenomenon keeps happening, we could see Baylor pass the Buckeyes. On the other hand, neither plays a truly tough game until November, so we'll see.
Memphis makes a big jump in both polls, with the Tigers having gotten a head start in the USA Today poll in one of the few examples of the coaches being more aware than the sportswriters. The win over Ole Miss gave Justin Fuente's team the biggest boost by far in the AP poll and a tie for the largest upward movement in the coaches survey. Yes, he's going to make rather a lot of money when the season is over.
And the Tigers are one of just three ranked American Athletic Conference teams in both of this week's surveys, the others being Houston and Temple(!). That's only going to add to the growing support for potentially putting an AAC team into the playoffs if one of them should win out. But we're still a long way from that, and the history of the previous system is littered with Big East teams and "BCS busters" from Conference USA that were upset by conference mates at inopportune times. If one or more of those teams remains undefeated in November, it will be interesting to see what the selection committee is thinking.
In the meantime, the biggest loser in the polls comes from the other team in that Ole Miss-Memphis game. The Rebels slide 11 places in both surveys, just managing to hold on to Top 25 status. Ole Miss has dropped 21 spots in the AP poll and 18 places among the coaches since the win against Alabama. Next week's game against Texas A&M could be make or break for Ole Miss remaining in the rankings, at least for a while.
Elsewhere in the SEC, Texas A&M tumbles out of the Top 10 in both polls, which happens when you get eviscerated on your home field. Florida drops out of the Top 10 among the writers and away from it in the coaches poll after the loss to LSU, though the five-spot fall among the writers seems kind of harsh for losing by one touchdown on the road to an undefeated team that used a fake field goal for the winning margin.
The upshot of that is that the SEC now has just two teams in the Top 10 now -- the same number as the B1G, the Big 12 and even the ACC. (Add in the Pac-12, in one case.) If you want to see firm evidence that this might finally be the year that the SEC's grip on the college football narrative is completely broken, that's about as convincing as things get.
But the conference maintains five teams in the AP poll and actually moves up to six in the coaches survey because Georgia reappears after its 9-6 win again Missouri. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ And Mississippi State is lurking as the next team up in both polls if one of the ranked teams should lose and the Bulldogs can beat Kentucky. So maybe #SECBAIS isn't completely dead yet.