The final Associated Press Top 25 before the first Playoff rankings are always interesting.


Because we tend to use that as the baseline ranking, and it shapes perspective. Come in with a better Playoff ranking than an AP ranking and it’s, “now we’re finally getting the respect we deserve.” Get a Playoff ranking worse than an AP ranking and it’s “we’re not getting love from the selection committee.”

I love that narrative.

But for now, let’s stick with the takeaways for today’s AP poll:

1. No change in the top 5

The only chance we were going to see a change in the top 5 was if people got a little carried away with Georgia. Don’t get me wrong. Beating a top-10 Florida team at a neutral site was impressive, but the Dawgs still lack the quality wins that Michigan has, and obviously they weren’t jumping LSU.

This really wasn’t that surprising considering that 3 of the top 5 teams were on bye. Georgia did move up to No. 6 thanks to Texas reminding everyone why it can’t have nice things. But for the Dawgs, I expect them to be at the same spot in the Playoff poll on Tuesday.

As for the rest of the top 6, Alabama-LSU is going to decide who gets to be the No. 1 team in all polls. It should, in my opinion. Alabama could potentially lock up the most impressive win of any top-flight team, and LSU can obviously do the same and add to its already impressive résumé.

There will definitely be a shakeup in the top 5 next week. That much we know.

2. Is Kentucky getting enough love yet?

I didn’t think the Cats would get a significant jump after squeaking out a thriller at Mizzou, but I think the “is Kentucky getting enough love” question is one that is still worth asking.

Remember, this is supposed to be based on résumé. Are there really 6 teams with 1 loss that have better résumés than Kentucky? I don’t think so. That’s based on the fact that Kentucky has double-digit wins against a pair of teams that are still ranked, and the lone loss was to a ranked A&M team in overtime.

Ohio State can’t say that.

Really, polls aren’t important for the Cats right now except for playing up the “disrespect” thing. If they somehow beat Georgia and LSU/Alabama, nobody will argue that Kentucky should be left out of the field. It’s pretty simple.

But hey, Kentucky is living its best life right now.

3. The SEC dominance isn’t going anywhere

Sorry, SEC haters. This wasn’t the poll for you.

Why? Because there are now multiple 3-loss teams in the top 25. In fact, Mississippi State and Texas A&M were the lone 3-loss teams to make the poll. Surely no anti-SEC fan will point that out.

Maybe they’ll also point how the fact that once again, the SEC had a clear advantage over the rest of the Power 5:

  • SEC — 7
  • ACC — 4
  • Big Ten — 4
  • Big 12 — 3
  • Pac-12 — 2

And by the way, only 1 ACC team is in the top 20.

It’s hard to see the SEC’s dominance of the poll fading anytime soon. And it isn’t just the quantity. Having 3 of the top 6 teams is impressive, as is having 5 of the top 13. We’re heading into November now. This is no longer preseason bias or anything like that.

Sincerest apologies to those who don’t like it, but the SEC is going to continue to have a major presence in every poll for the rest of the season.