Between South Carolina’s 35-7 rout of Georgia and Florida’s 14-6 upset of LSU last Saturday, this week’s AP Poll has some interesting movements.
Sitting in the top again was Alabama, followed by #2 Oregon.
But once we get to the third spot, this is where change comes. South Carolina jumped from No. 6 to round out the top three. Showing they’re a team to be reckoned with after their big win, their next two games are tough road ones. And could be reality checks.
They’ll play a bitter LSU on Saturday, followed by a rising Florida team.
Will the Gamecocks return home undefeated?
At #4 is Florida, jumping up from the tenth spot.
At #5 after its tight 48-45 win over Texas, is the West Virginia Mountaineers. Quarterback phenom Geno Smith continued his streak of zero interceptions this season over 24 touchdown passes. On Saturday, he was 25 for 35, 268 yards and four touchdowns.
His sophomore running back Andrew Buie ran for 207 yards on 31 carries and two touchdowns.
Even with their weak defense, West Virginia is looking more and more like the team to beat in the Big 12.
This week, they will play Texas Tech.
Fellow Big 12 team Kansas State jumped from #7 to #6 and Notre Dame moved up from #9 to #7 after crushing Miami 41-3 in the revived Catholics vs. Convicts Classic. This week, the Fighting Irish face Stanford which could be a challenging game.
The Cardinals sit at #17.
Rounding out the Top 10 is Ohio State at #8 (up from #12); LSU dropped to #9 (down from #4) and Oregon State (up from #14).
Unfortunately for the surging Beavers, its quarterback Sean Mannion is out indefinitely after injuring his knee in Saturday’s game against Washington State, according to head coach Mike Riley.
While his injury hasn’t been identified, he did have an MRI on Sunday and he will need surgery. Pinch hitting for Mannion will be junior Cody Vaz.
This week Oregon State will play BYU. The player may be a little rusty as he hasn’t seen any game time since 2010. In that last game, he went 6 for 17 passes and 48 yards.
Looking at the last two teams in the Top 10, Georgia slipped to #14 after last week’s #5 ranking. The team has talented quarterback Aaron Murray–on the Heisman contender list–and had been part of the conversation as a national champion.
Is their season over?
Probably not but they’ll need to regroup. Fortunately, this is their bye week before they play Kentucky on Oct. 20. And not helping matters is the news that Murray’s father has thyroid cancer. The player did not learn about the diagnosis until after Saturday’s loss.
As for the remaining 15 teams, here’s the complete poll.
On a final note over in the USA Today Coaches Poll, it looks similar to the AP Poll with one glaring difference: the exclusion of Ohio State. The poll does not rank teams that are undergoing NCAA punishments. With the absence of Ohio State and any other Big Ten schools, it represented the first time in the poll’s history that a school from that conference had not been included.
Just another sign of this off year for the Big Ten.
Looking ahead to this week, key games include No. 15 Texas vs. No. 13 Oklahoma, the previously mentioned Notre Dame and South Carolina games, along with No. 22 Texas A&M vs. No. 23 Louisiana Tech.