Yes, I was “on” Mississippi State ahead of the crowd (because I like their quarterback, Nick Fitzgerald, and their defense). But I was also “on” Tulsa and Appalachian State in the preseason poll … and I was “on” LSU, which MSU trounced, ranking it higher than just about everyone else. And who knows? Georgia could crush the Bulldogs this week. For the full Associated Press Top 25, go here.
1. Alabama (3-0)
The Tide’s SEC opener didn’t look very challenging before Vanderbilt knocked off ranked Kansas State to improve to 3-0.
2. Oklahoma (3-0)
I’m still slightly more impressed by the Sooners’ road crushing of Ohio State than Clemson’s wins at home against Auburn and at Louisville.
3. Clemson (3-0)
4. Penn State (3-0)
The Nittany Lions get their first game that might resemble a real test at Iowa on Saturday.
5. Oklahoma State (3-0)
The knock on the top Big 12 teams is always defense. If the Cowboys dominate TCU this week that might change perceptions a bit.
6. Washington (3-0)
With a weak nonconference slate, the Huskies must romp through the Pac-12 if they expect to make the playoff again, starting this week against Colorado.
7. Mississippi State (3-0)
Yes, LSU hurt itself with plenty of mistakes. But in its 37-7 romp, Dan Mullen’s crew showed it is capable of big things.
8. Georgia (3-0)
All of a sudden, the Mississippi State at Georgia battle of the Bulldogs has huge SEC implications.
9. USC (3-0)
The Trojans shouldn’t have needed OT to beat Texas. But the experience of narrowly avoiding defeat could help them in the long run.
10. Wisconsin (3-0)
The Badgers keep pounding, grinding and winning. That trend should continue against visiting Northwestern.
11. Michigan (3-0)
Air Force gave the Wolverines all they could handle last week for three quarters. Now they’ve got to visit Big 10 sleeper Purdue, which routed Missouri.
12. Virginia Tech (3-0)
Josh Jackson threw five TD passes in a 64-17 demolition of East Carolina. Old Dominion doesn’t figure to be much more of a challenge for the Hokies.
13. Ohio State (2-1)
The Buckeyes beat Army 38-7 but some fans still want QB J.T. Barrett on the bench.
14. TCU (3-0)
Oklahoma State is a tough draw for Big 12 opener.
15. Miami (1-0)
The Hurricanes finally get back into action, hosting 3-0 Toledo of the MAC.
16. Florida State (0-1)
It’s not often you see a winless team with an untested QB favored by 12 against a 2-1 team, but that’s what it is as FSU hosts NC State.
17. LSU (2-1)
What happened to Aranda’s defense?
18. Colorado (3-0)
We find out this week when they play Washington if I’ve got the Buffs too high.
19. Auburn (2-1)
The Tigers start SEC play with just two scholarship quarterbacks after the dismissal of former starter Sean White.
20. Utah (3-0)
The Utes’ sophomore QB Tyler Huntley seems to get better with every snap.
21. Louisville (2-1)
The Cardinals were beaten soundly on both sides of the ball by the defending national champions.
22. South Florida (3-0)
The Bulls had their way at Illinois in their first game against a Power Five team.
23. Vanderbilt (3-0)
Alabama will be too tall an order for the Commodores, but they deserve at least a week in the Top 25 after beating Kansas State.
24. San Diego State (3-0)
The Aztecs knocked off Stanford by taking care of the ball and taking advantage of three Cardinal turnovers.
25. Florida (1-1)
The Gators got a late miracle against Tennessee, but this could be a short stay in the rankings as they now visit 3-0 Kentucky.