Boise State lost the seven additional first place votes in the Associated Press college football Top 25 rankings it had acquired by beating Virginia Tech in their first game of the season — by doing absolutely nothing in Week 3. As #3 Boise State enjoyed a bye week, Alabama solidified its hold on the #1 position (retrieving most of those first place votes) and Ohio State held tight at #2. And although there weren’t many surprises, one loss may have hurt Boise State’s chances of getting into a major bowl at the end of the season.
Virginia Tech lost its second straight game, falling to tiny and unranked James Madison University. Since their high ranking and defeat in the season opener with Boise State was to give the Broncos cache for their post-season bid, their loss to JMU served to hurt both teams chances at playing in major bowls at season’s end. The loss also dropped Virginia Tech out of the AP Top 25, a drop of at least 13 positions.
Otherwise, the Top 10 in the college football rankings remained the same — with minor adjustments to position, except for the Top 4, which includes the aforementioned trio of teams and the #4 juggernaut TCU.
Oregon, after another crushing win over Tennessee, vaulted into Texas’ position from Week 2 to #5. Texas slipped back a notch, to #6. Oklahoma jumped into the #7 position from #10 after walloping #17 Florida State. Nebraska dropped two spots even though they beat Idaho by 21 points. Iowa remained static at #9. Florida fell two more notches to round out the Top 10 after beating South Florida by 22 points (making their fall in the college football rankings this season six notches thus far — and they haven’t lost a game).
The biggest vertical rise in the AP Top 25 in Week 3 was made by South Carolina. The Gamecocks took down #22 Georgia and jumped 11 spaces into the #13 slot. The biggest fall was performed by the aforementioned Hokies of Virginia Tech, who fell so far they received no votes in the AP Top 25 Poll. Georgia Tech, who lost a close game to Kansas, fell out of the Top 25 as well (gaining enough votes that would have placed them at #33). Georgia also dropped out after their loss to South Carolina.
Oregon State, however, after a one-week dropout, made its way back into the AP Top 25, anchoring the college football rankings list for Week 3. Arizona and Houston edged them out as they placed #24 and #23, respectively.
Penn State and Miami (FL) were the only teams with a loss to make the list in Week 3. Losing as they did to the #1 and #2 teams in the nation, respectively, it must be acknowledged that their rankings should not have altered much with an expected loss. Miami fell five notches (to #17) and Penn State fell four (to #22).
No major shake-ups are expected in the college football rankings for Week 4, although there are always a few surprises. After Super Saturday, only two ranked teams will square off: #9 Iowa will take on the surprisingly tough #24 Arizona Wildcats in Tucson. Other games of interest: #6 Texas will play arch-rival Texas Tech; #10 Florida will take on SEC rival Tennessee; #12 Arkansas will play SEC rival Georgia, who’ll be trying to climb back into the AP Top 25 with a win: #16 Auburn will host an undefeated Clemson squad; #21 West Virginia will take on rival Maryland; #23 Houston will travel to UCLA to take on a surprisingly winless Bruins team; and #25 Oregon State hosts an always tough Louisville.
AP Top 25 College Football Rankings Week 3
2. Ohio State
3. Boise State
13. South Carolina
17. Miami (FL)
21. West Virginia
22. Penn State
25. Oregon State
AP Top 25 College Football Rankings (Week 2 — actual first week of play)
Associated Press Poll via ESPN.go.com