Takeaways from Week 3 Associated Press Top 25
And then there were 4.
We knew that the Associated Press Top 25 was going to lose at least 2 SEC teams. Florida and South Carolina were inevitably going to be left out of the poll following home losses. That wasn’t news.
And with Alabama, Auburn and LSU all playing Group of 5 teams, there wasn’t much suspense about the SEC teams at the top of the poll.
Still, there were a few takeaways from the Week 3 poll:
1. Alabama makes history
Alabama as the No. 1 team in America is like a LeBron James triple double. It’s more newsworthy when it doesn’t happen than when it does. But the Tide accomplished a feat that’s impressive even for their high standards.
With the No. 1 spot — Alabama got 54 of 61 first-place votes — the program earned its 106th such ranking in the 82-year history of the poll. That passed Ohio State for the all-time record.
The Tide earned that spot after a 57-7 victory against Arkansas State on Saturday. Clemson earned 6 of the other first-place votes following its down-to-the-wire win at Texas A&M and Wisconsin still got a vote.
Alabama will try and build off its record-setting mark on Saturday against Ole Miss, which is the only SEC team that has multiple victories against the Tide in the last 4 years.
2. Texas A&M actually moved up…but it should’ve been higher
If I had a vote, I would’ve put Texas A&M in my poll. That’s how well the Aggies played Clemson on Saturday night. It wasn’t like the Aggies got lucky with some random chunk plays or some unforced errors. Texas A&M went toe-to-toe with the best non-SEC team in America.
Last week, the Aggies were at No. 29. This week, they unofficially earned the No. 27 spot with 90 points. That was 14 behind No. 25 Michigan State, which lost at Arizona State.
I thought the Aggies were more deserving of a top-25 spot than USC, which didn’t score a touchdown against Stanford. Sure, A&M lost, but it showed more against a quality opponent than USC did.
Does it really matter? Not really. Lord knows A&M will have another big-time opportunity against Alabama in a couple weeks. I still thought that would’ve been a fair way to reward a team that clearly looked top-25 worthy on Saturday night.
3. Should be top-5 spot on the line with LSU-Auburn
LSU at No. 12 and Auburn at No. 7 should mean 1 thing. The winner of next Saturday’s showdown should be worthy of at least a top-5 spot and maybe even a top-4 spot.
Why? Either way, the winner will have multiple wins against top-12 teams in the first 3 weeks of the season. They’ll actually have the best résumé in the country through 3 weeks of the season. Both of them already have arguably the top 2 wins of anyone. Adding another premier victory should at least move them ahead of a team like Oklahoma or Wisconsin, which will have yet to face a ranked team.
If the LSU-Auburn winner doesn’t crack the top 5 next week, it’ll be a sign that clearly, voters are hanging on to preseason perceptions way too much.
By the way, was it a little strange to see LSU drop a spot after a 31-point win? Yeah, but that was perhaps a sign that voters admittedly got a bit too excited after last Sunday’s drubbing of Miami (FL), which was seen by everyone. I wouldn’t look too far into that.
But if LSU beats Auburn on the road and still doesn’t get enough love, complain away.