The AP has released its Top 25 poll after Week 3 of the college football season, and Alabama remains at No. 1 following a 48–43 win over Ole Miss. Florida State dropped out of the top 10 after a blowout at the hands of Louisville, which leapt all the way from No. 10 to the third spot on the strength of its 63–20 victory.
Texas A&M entered the top 10, while Nebraska, San Diego State and Utah entered the poll after being unranked last week. Here are three thoughts on the latest rankings:
1. Houston may not be No. 6 for long
The Cougars stayed in the top ten after a win over Cincinnati. Houston had a slow start against the Bearcats—it trailed 16–12 in the fourth quarter before rallying for a 40–16 victory—and its grip on the No. 6 spot is likely precarious at best. The Cougars won’t really have another chance to prove their high ranking until a matchup with Louisville on Nov. 17. Will they stay in the top ten as the teams around them pick up wins against higher quality opponents? Stanford, Michigan State, Washington and Texas A&M are all behind Houston in the poll after Week 3, but all should have opportunities to leapfrog the Cougars due to the quality of their schedules.
2. Should Ohio State have more first place votes?
The Buckeyes dismantled the Sooners on Saturday 45–24 but have only four first-place votes to show for it. If the Cougars' No. 6 ranking is based largely on an upset of Oklahoma, shouldn’t the Buckeyes get a little more love? Alabama is certainly deserving of its No. 1 ranking, though USC and Ole Miss—the Crimson Tide's marquee wins—both look a little worse than how they were touted before the season. Ohio State will have plenty of chances to jump up to the top spot in the AP poll, especially if it can capitalize in matchups against Michigan (No. 4) and Michigan State (No. 8.) And while the Buckeyes have done enough to earn the best ranking of any Big Ten team, the Spartans may deserve to be closer to the top four than the current rankings suggest. Michigan State downed Notre Dame 36–28 on Saturday.
3. The only undefeated teams in the Big 12 are Baylor and West Virginia
That's not exactly what we expected by Week 3 of the season. The Bears are highest-ranked team in the conference at No. 16, yet they have looked far from their explosive selves under acting coach Jim Grobe. Texas took a big slide from No. 11 to No. 21, failing to build on its upset of Notre Dame in a 50–43 loss to Cal. Meanwhile, the Sooners are hanging by a thread after losing badly in two high-profile games. If no one from the Big 12 makes the College Football Playoff this year, it won’t be because of an unfair committee or the conference’s structure—it will be because the conference's top teams keep losing.
Full AP Top 25
2. Ohio State
8. Michigan State
10. Texas A&M
13. Florida State
22. San Diego State
23. Ole Miss