Five — count them — five Associated Press (AP) Poll Top 25 teams fell out of the NCAA college football rankings after losses in Week 3 to set up a drastically altered Week 4 rankings list. The Ohio State Buckeyes dropped out for the first time since 2004. Auburn, last year’s national champions, fell to Clemson and likely will not now play to defend their championship. But the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners successfully defended their top spot against the No. 5 Florida State Seminoles (making the total loss count for AP Top 25 teams six). All in all the college football rankings saw a bit of a shake-up from Week 3 play.
Week 4 looks to do much of the same.
First, though, taking a look at Week 3, the losses began with No. 25 Mississippi State falling to LSU on Thursday night (a night getting a reputation for upsets). The win helped the Tigers leapfrog Alabama, who kept North Texas scoreless in their outing, to take the No. 2 position in the Week 4 poll. Florida State, as mentioned, took a loss in a match-up of hard-hitting defenses, leaving the Sooners at No. 1. The Boise State Broncos seemed to have an easy game of it with Todedo and kept their lock on No. 4. Rounding out the Top 5 in the AP Poll was Stanford, the Cardinal increasing their record to 3-0 with a win over Arizona.
With Florida State falling to No. 11 and the South Carolina (previously No. 10) dropping to No. 12 after eking out a win against Navy, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M, moved up a notch each to place 6-8, with Nebraska and Oregon vaulting over South Carolina to take the No. 9 and No. 10 positions.
As Michigan State (No. 15, lost to Notre Dame), Ohio State (No. 17, lost to Miami of Florida), Auburn (No. 21, lost to Clemson), Arizona State (No. 22, lost to Illinois), and Mississippi State (No. 25, lost to LSU) fell from the AP Top 25, five undefeated teams took their places in the last five slots of the Week 4 college football rankings: Clemson, Michigan, USC, Illinois, and Georgia Tech.
Week 4 will see definition renovation to the list with four games.
The No. 2 LSU Tigers face off against No. 16 West Virginia. No. 3 Alabama will host the No. 14 Arkansas Razorbacks. No. 7 Oklahoma State takes on No. 8 Texas A&M in a Big 12 Conference match-up. No. 11 Florida State will look to regroup against No. 21 Clemson.
Upsets could alter the AP Top 25 landscape as well. Undefeated San Diego State plays No. 22 Michigan. North Carolina will take on Atlantic Coast Conference rival and No. 25 Georgia Tech. No. 15 Florida plays an always tough Kentucky. No. 17 Baylor will take on arch-rival Rice. And No. 23 USC will have to defend their undefeated record against an Arizona State team that would like nothing better than to beat the Trojans and climb back into the rankings.
To repeat: Week 4 is definitely going to see some Top 25 realignment.
AP Top 25 Poll College Football Rankings — Week 4
4. Boise State
7. Oklahoma State
8. Texas A&M
11. Florida State
12. South Carolina
13. Virginia Tech
16. West Virginia
18. South Florida
25. Georgia Tech
“2011 NCAA Football Rankings – AP Top 25 Week 4 (Sept. 18),” ESPN.go.com