The new college football rankings are out for week three of the season. Now both major college football polls agree on how the top five teams should look, with the AP Top 25 and USA Today voters believing similar arguments.
Taking a look at the new AP Top 25, it’s curious that voters punished LSU for winning this week and rewarded Alabama for doing the same. Alabama beat a Penn State team that appears to be overrated and LSU beat Northwestern State. Granted, Northwestern State isn’t very good, but Oregon is much better than Penn State, and that is the school that LSU beat in week one. Dropping LSU from No. 2 down to No. 3 makes it seem like voters are discounting the Ducks now.
There wasn’t a lot of movement in the top 15 this week, even though Wisconsin moved from No. 8 to No. 7 after beating Oregon State and Virginia Tech dropped from No. 11 to No. 13 even while winning. Below that in the latest AP Top 25, Auburn joined the poll at No. 21 and Arizona State is now ranked No. 22 after beating Missouri in a really exciting Friday night game. Two teams also fell out of the poll, with Missouri and Penn State getting punished for week two losses.
Over in the week three USA Today Coaches’ Poll, Florida State was punished for winning this week and Boise State was rewarded for having a bye. The two schools swapped spots at No. 4 and No. 5, raising some serious questions about the motivations behind some of these votes. The opposite happened a bit further down, where Wisconsin moved up to No. 8 with a win and Texas A&M dropped to No. 9 during a bye week.
The biggest drop in the USA Today Poll was Mississippi State, which fell from No. 17 down to No. 25. Both Missouri and Penn State fell out of the poll with those week two losses, and the poll has newcomers in South Florida and Baylor. It’s extremely odd that Baylor was unranked last week and now makes it up to No. 24 during a bye week. It’s just another one of the many questions that coaches aren’t really able to answer during the first few weeks of the season.
Across the two polls, it looks like Arizona State is the team picking up the most voters, as the school is now ranked in the AP Top 25 and got bumped up to No. 18 in the USA Today Poll. That gives the Pac-12 Conference three schools in the top 25 now.