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Poll Problems: Week 3

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We take a look at the AP poll each week to see what the voters got right and what they got terribly wrong.

Ohio State v Oklahoma
Ohio State roughed up Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma, handing the Sooners their second loss of the young season.
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

We seem to have a pretty clear top 3 at this point in the season after Alabama and Ohio State notched big road wins and Louisville put a seemingly impossible beat-down on Florida State. Frankly, you could make an argument for any of these teams at No. 1, but until the defending champs go down, they likely aren’t going anywhere. Meanwhile, preseason darlings Oklahoma and Notre Dame may have already been eliminated from playoff contention, while FCS North Dakota State nearly cracked the FBS top 25 after upsetting Iowa. Ain’t college football something?

1. Alabama

Alabama spotted Ole Miss a 21-point lead on the road and seemed doomed, but people forget that SWAG and the boys love giving those away.

2. Ohio State

We told you the Buckeyes had something for Oklahoma, and they came away with a convincing three-touchdown win on the road and a case for the No. 1 spot.

3. Louisville

What can you say? The Cardinals are deserving of a top-3 ranking after a thorough shellacking of previously thought national title contender Florida State. Lamar Jackson is the clear front-runner for the Heisman, and while I’ll take credit for predicting a Cardinals win, I can’t say I saw anything like that coming. Not in a million years.

4. Michigan

The Wolverines struggled to put away Colorado but moved to 3-0. Again, I’m far from sold on Michigan.

5. Clemson

The Tigers finally showed some offensive continuity against overmatched South Carolina State, but an always difficult trip to Georgia Tech looms on Thursday night (7:30 p.m./ESPN).

6. Houston

It took until the fourth quarter for the Cougars to pull away from pesky Cincinnati, and while Houston may run the table in the AAC, that game against Louisville looks like a late spoiler of a perfect season.

7. Stanford

Stanford proved its superiority to rival USC and now travels to UCLA for a prime-time matchup. The Problems has never liked the Bruins, and it won’t start now.

8. Michigan State

I really thought Notre Dame would play with more pride against Sparty this past weekend, but the Irish fell way too far behind and couldn’t pull off a win despite a late comeback. Meanwhile, Michigan State looks as sporty as ever. They host Wisconsin this Saturday at noon. What is with these high-profile noon games?

9. Washington

My Huskies get their first decent test on the road against Arizona late Saturday night. I think they take care of business with ease.

10. Texas A&M

The Problems can admit when it is wrong, and it was wrong about Texas A&M this past weekend. While Trevor Knight wasn’t exactly great (50 percent completion rate), he didn’t make the mistakes we expected him to. The collapse will come sooner or later though, and this weekend’s game against Arkansas could be prime spot.

11. Wisconsin

Sconny avoided disaster after trailing lowly Georgia State midway through the fourth quarter and may be living on borrowed time. I think the magic ends this weekend at Michigan State.

12. Georgia

Speaking of borrowed time, Georgia continues to squeak by against all odds. Case in point, there was a time in Saturday’s game at Missouri when the host Tigers had a 93.7% win probability. Yet somehow the Bulldogs came away with a win. If Ole Miss isn’t totally demoralized at this point, I think Georgia goes down in Oxford this weekend (Another nooner!).

13. Florida State

Uhhhh...

14. Tennessee

Can anybody figure the Vols out? Barely beat App State, throttle Virginia Tech, sneak by Ohio? Who knows what to expect Saturday against Florida. I think the Vols get the win and a leg up in the SEC East, but nothing would surprise.

15. Miami

Many thought a trip to App State was a major trap game for the Hurricanes, but Miami dominated the Mountaineers and capitalized on some losses ahead of them to vault 10 spots to No. 15 in the poll. I’m still not a believer in the Canes, however.

16. Baylor

Get ready for #POINTS as the Bears host Oklahoma State this weekend. Expect Baylor to earn a win though as Oklahoma State’s defense is ... just not good at all.

17. Arkansas

Another team that made a big jump in the rankings simply by winning a football game, the Hogs have a chance for an early SEC West statement as they travel to College Station this weekend.

18. LSU

LSU nearly collapsed at home against Mississippi State, and while they may beat Auburn this week, we are starting to get the feeling the Bayou Tigers just aren’t that great.

19. Florida

Mark down a loss in Knoxville this weekend, as the Tennessee Alternating Week Theory states that Rocky Top should play well on Saturday.

20. Nebraska

Is Nebraska back? The win over Oregon last week was a nice start, and the Big Ten West is as wide open as ever. Time will tell.

21. Texas

Well, we told you to be wary of the Texas hype, and it didn’t take long for the Longhorns to trip up, as they dropped a good ol’ west coast shootout against Cal.

22. San Diego State

Good to see the Aztecs crack the poll, as they probably got some retroactive love for their win at Cal after the Bears took care of Texas. Keep an eye on the Aztecs, especially stud running back Donnel Pumphrey.

23. Ole Miss

Another week, another devastating loss after holding a three-score first-half lead. Ole Miss may be one of the 25 best teams in the country, but they actually need to earn a ranking. Bouncing back against Georgia would be a step in the right direction.

24. Utah

Ah, the Problems has felt empty without the Utes lurking around the bottom half of the poll. They should take care of struggling USC at home this week.

25. Oklahoma

See: Miss, Ole.