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Poll Watch: The AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll after Week 3 of College Football

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The Miami Hurricanes dropped out of the polls after another lackluster performance on the field.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

In week 3, several top-10 teams faced near upsets. And for those in the SEC, they survived the referees (clock issues in the Alabama-Florida game, lost track of downs in Penn State-Auburn, and blew a play dead in the Mississippi State-Memphis thriller). The Florida Gators took the No.1 team, the Alabama Crimson Tide, to the edge in a 31-29 loss in The Swamp. The Oklahoma Sooners kept the Nebraska Cornhuskers at bay in their 23-16 victory. And the top team in the ACC, the Clemson Tigers, needed a goal-line stand to beat the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 14-8. In upsets, the Fresno State Bulldogs took down the UCLA Bruins and the West Virginia Mountaineers took care of the Virginia Tech Hokies at home.

With so many games coming down to the wire, a lot of the top quarterbacks and game-changers in the country were put in highly pressured situations where they were a play, drop, 4th down conversion, and fumble away from disaster or victory.

Let’s see how those performances helped launch some teams up the top 25 rankings or, like the Miami Hurricanes, got them punted from the rankings entirely.

Coaches Poll

NCAA Football: Auburn at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

2. Georgia Bulldogs

3. Oklahoma Sooners

4. Oregon Ducks

5. Texas A&M Aggies

6. Iowa Hawkeyes

7. Clemson Tigers

8. Penn State Nittany Lions

9. Cincinnati Bearcats

10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

11. Florida Gators

12. Ohio State Buckeyes

13. Ole Miss Rebels

14. Iowa State Cyclones

15. Wisconsin Badgers

16. BYU Cougars

17. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

18. Arkansas Razorbacks

19. Michigan Wolverines

20. North Carolina Tar Heels

21. Michigan State Spartans

22. Oklahoma State Cowboys

23. Auburn Tigers

24. UCLA Bruins

25. Fresno State Bulldogs

Other Teams Receiving Votes: Liberty 80; Kentucky 69; Texas Christian 50; Virginia Tech 49; Texas 42; Southern California 41; San Diego State 41; Kansas State 40; Memphis 27; Boston College 27; Maryland 26; Arizona State 26; Louisiana State 25; Wake Forest 22; West Virginia 19; UL Lafayette 17; Baylor 13; Army 12; Southern Methodist 8; Nevada 7; Stanford 6; Central Florida 6; Utah State 2; Tennessee 2; Rutgers 2; Texas-San Antonio 1; Miami 1.

AP Top 25

NCAA Football: Alabama at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

2. Georgia Bulldogs

3. Oregon Ducks

4. Oklahoma Sooners

5. Iowa Hawkeyes

6. Penn State Nittany Lions

7. Texas A&M Aggies

8. Cincinnati Bearcats

9. Clemson Tigers

10. Ohio State Buckeyes

11. Florida Gators

12. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

13. Ole Miss Rebels

14. Iowa State Cyclones

15. BYU Cougars

16. Arkansas Razorbacks

17. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

18. Wisconsin Badgers

19. Michigan Wolverines

20. Michigan State Spartans

21. North Carolina Tar Heels

22. Fresno State Bulldogs

23. Auburn Tigers

24. UCLA Bruins

25. Kansas State Wildcats

Other Teams Receiving Votes: TCU 91, Liberty 56, Virginia Tech 52, Oklahoma State 51, Maryland 29, Arizona State 24, Texas 22, USC 16, San Diego State 16, West Virginia 14, LSU 14, Kentucky 12, Boston College 9, Wake Forest 7, Texas Tech 5, Stanford 3, Memphis 3, Louisville 1, Wyoming 1

Analysis

NCAA Football: Northern Illinois at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to the polls, every team in the AP top 10, no matter how shaky they looked, won. However, from Alabama through Clemson, the search for multiple dominant teams is still on. I’m starting to think that the up-and-down performances of the top-25 teams has a lot to do with the inconsistency at quarterback. Heading into this season, PFF had Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler, UNC’s Sam Howell, Miami’s D’Eriq King, UCF’s Dillon Gabriel, and Indiana’s Michael Penix Jr. as the top five quarterbacks in the country. So far, those names have been erratic. Also starters like Uiagalelei, C.J. Stroud at Ohio State. and mainstays like Brock Purdy and Desmond Ridder have been unstable in games. With all the potential talent at the position, it’s time for one of these signal-callers to emerge and take some of these good teams to elite status.

Two quarterbacks that tried to maintain (if you’re Bryce Young) or get to (if you’re Emory Jones) the elite status, met on the field this Saturday. Florida’s decisions to stick with Jones for the whole game instead of sprinkling in rising star Anthony Richardson, seemed to be going well until that 2-point conversion failure late in the 4th quarter. Gators running back Malik Davis and the defense did everything they could tp get the attempt. But ultimately the thriller in the swamp fell flat as the Alabama did enough to secure the victory. Alabama stayed at 1 overall and the Florida Gators are at 11.

In one of the worst scoring outputs of the Lincoln Riley era, the Oklahoma Sooners beat their rival, the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Sooners surprisingly went into halftime with only 7 points on the board. In the end, it was D.J. Graham’s leaping and one-handed interception that both sealed the game and has everyone talking today. Oklahoma was leaped by Oregon in the AP Top 25 and is now at 4 overall.

In the Big Ten, when the Penn State Nittany Lions beat an offensively-challenged Wisconsin team in week one, we questioned in they were for real. This weekend, they knocked-off a top-25 team, the Auburn Tigers. QB Sean Clifford survived the Tigers’ defensive front and stepped up. He was 28 of 32, for 280 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception in the 28-20 victory. Penn State’s defense also kept Auburn’s quarterback Bo Nix guessing with different looks on the backend. After two wins against ranked opponents, it may be time to label PSU as Big Ten contenders. Penn State is now 6 overall in the AP.

In the same conference, Ohio State’s TreVeyon Henderson gashed through Tulsa’s front seven in the Buckeyes’ 41-20 win. He also broke the school’s freshman rushing record with 24 carries for 277 yards and 3 TDs. His performance helped pushed Ohio State to 10 overall.

Speaking of Big Ten winners, Michigan has put together some string of games. They opened the season with an impressive win over Western Michigan, beat a struggling Washington Huskies team, and destroyed Northern Illinois 63-10. Michigan has also looked consistent on both sides of the ball. And although they haven’t played anyone spectacular, consistency is not something they’ve always shown under Jim Harbaugh. Michigan will be taking on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at home next weekend, so look for the Wolverines to start the season at 4-0 and climb up the polls again. Michigan is now at 19.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Let’s head to the ACC. I remember a time when D.J. Uiagalelei played well against Boston College Eagles in relief of Trevor Lawrence and his dynamic play against Notre Dame in the same year. He came off looking like the future of college football. This season, he’s proving the point that there are projections and then there’s play. Uiagalelei was dreadful against Georgia Tech. He threw for just 126 yards on 25 attempts and had no touchdowns. Last year, Clemson beat Georgia Tech team 73-7 and had 500 yards passing. Now, Georgia Tech may have had a stellar offseason of player development, but it’s looking like the top team in the ACC has a lot of work to do. Clemson dropped to 9 this week.

Around the rest of the ACC, after brutalizing the North Carolina Tar Heels in the opener, we all thought the Virginia Tech Hokies was a threat in the ACC Coastal. Well it turns out, just like the Hurricanes, the Hokies play in one of the most unpredictable divisions in college football. VT almost completed the comeback against the West Virginia Mountaineers but they couldn’t stop the chunk plays. And the Mountaineers’ first play, an 80-yard rushing touchdown from running back Leddie Brown, should’ve been a sign of that. The 27-21 loss dropped them out of the polls.

And speaking of the Coastal, the Miami Hurricanes put on another poor performance this weekend. It was one that knocked them out of the AP Top 25 completely. The Canes also made Kenneth Walker III look like a true Heisman candidate while Payton Thorne lit Miami up for 4 TDs. The four turnovers, inability to catch in the end zone, and so many other factors all aided in the Canes’ deserved departure from the polls this weekend.

The Canes will look to put on their best performance of the season against Central Connecticut State next week. But I don't think Miami will be back in the polls anytime soon.