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College Football Rankings: The SEC and the Nation Are Very Confusing Right Now

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Florida has vaulted up the rankings over the past two weeks, but are about to head into the toughest part of their schedule. Meanwhile, losses drop Georgia and Ole Miss

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

One of the old criticisms of the polls was that voters were slow to change their preseason projections unless faced with overwhelming evidence. That appears to have changed. Voters are now willing to react to things so clearly that they could be accused of shiny object syndrome.

Associated Press Change Points USA Today Change Points
1 Ohio St. Buckeyes (38) -- 1,444 Ohio St. Buckeyes (50) -- 1,523
2 TCU Horned Frogs (5)
+2 1,371 TCU Horned Frogs (4)
+1 1,435
3 Baylor Bears (10)
+2 1,364 Michigan St. Spartans (1)
-1 1,409
4 Michigan St. Spartans
-2 1,291 Baylor Bears (5)
-- 1,408
5 Utah Utes (7)
+5 1,254 LSU Tigers (1)
+3 1,257
6 Clemson Tigers
+6 1,217 Clemson Tigers
+5 1,196
7 LSU Tigers
+2 1,212 Utah Utes (1)
+5 1,118
8 Alabama Crimson Tide
+5 1,026 Florida St. Seminoles
+1 1,067
9 Texas A&M Aggies (1)
+5 1,009 Oklahoma Sooners
+5 1,009
10 Oklahoma Sooners
+5 976 Alabama Crimson Tide
+3 990
11 Florida Gators
+14 935 Texas A&M Aggies
+4 983
12 Florida St. Seminoles
-1 922 Florida Gators
+11 755
13 Northwestern Wildcats
+3 753 Ole Miss Rebels
-8 727
14 Ole Miss Rebels
-11 731 Northwestern Wildcats
+3 707
15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
-9 721 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
-8 674
16 Stanford Cardinal
+2 617 Georgia Bulldogs
-10 562
17 Southern Cal Trojans -- 498 Southern Cal Trojans
-1 540
18 Michigan Wolverines
+4 452 Stanford Cardinal
+2 535
19 Georgia Bulldogs
-11 441 Oklahoma St. Cowboys -- 519
20 UCLA Bruins
-13 415 UCLA Bruins
-10 401
21 Oklahoma St. Cowboys
-1 332 Michigan Wolverines
+5 322
22 Iowa Hawkeyes
NR 254
Cal Golden Bears
+2 311
23 Cal Golden Bears
NR 133 Iowa Hawkeyes
+9 243
24 Toledo Rockets
NR 87 Boise St. Broncos
+7 100
25 Boise St. Broncos
NR 65 Memphis Tigers
+9 68
ORV Oregon 39, Duke 31, Houston 31, Temple 23, Memphis 19, Navy 19, Arizona St. 15, Mississippi St. 11, West Virginia 8, Texas Tech 4, BYU 3, Kansas St. 1, Missouri 1 Oregon 64; Duke 59; West Virginia 31; Toledo 24; Kansas State 17; Arizona State 16; Temple 16; Mississippi State 14; Navy 12; Houston 11; Kentucky 6; Arizona 5; North Carolina 4; Missouri 4; Wisconsin 4; Illinois 2; Indiana 2.

All but four of the teams in the AP poll moved at least two spots this week. And while more teams were sedentary in the coaches poll, there were still some wild swings when it comes to the individual teams. it is a confusing year, and the voters seem to be just as confused as the rest of us.

While Ohio State remains No. 1, its margin and the number of voters giving the Buckeyes their top spot are dwindling as Urban Meyer's crew does things like almost lose to Indiana. TCU and Baylor are 2-3 in the AP poll, which should really excite both teams' fans, given how well a similar situation worked out for them last year. Michigan State managed to fall only to third among the coaches, but barely -- Baylor is a single point behind the Spartans and could pass them if Mark Dantonio's team continues to underwhelm.

Utah, meanwhile, has moved up 13 places in the AP poll and 10 spots in the coaches survey and is now getting multiple first-place votes. And the Utes are among several teams getting the top spot on ballots amid all the confusion; Baylor, TCU, Michigan State, LSU(!) and Texas A&M(!!!) are also drawing support as the best team in the nation. In the case of Texas A&M, at least, that seems premature.

As far as the SEC goes, the conference is now down to six teams in the Top 25 after Mississippi State exits the rankings. Florida has rocketed up the polls; the Gators have jumped 29 places in the last two weeks in the AP rankings and 22 spots among the coaches. That seems a bit too quick, even for how well Florida is playing right now. But with games at LSU and against Georgia both coming in the next three weeks, we'll have plenty of time to evaluate whether Florida deserves that ranking.

LSU gets nice little bumps in both polls, while Alabama and Texas A&M both jump five places in the AP survey. The coaches rankings move the Tide and the Aggies up three and four spots, respectively.

But both Georgia and Ole Miss fall hard after disappointing losses that really weren't close. Georgia is down 10 or 11 in both polls and has been knocked clear out of the Top 15. The Rebels slump eleven places among the sportswriters and eight in the coaches survey. The only other big tumbles among ranked teams are UCLA, which lost to Arizona State, and and Notre Dame, which dropped a close game to Clemson. Even when it comes to volatility in the polls, the SEC is leading the way for the rest of the nation.