Clemson jumps ahead of LSU and TCU in this week's AP Top 25, up to No. 3 after crushing Miami on Saturday. The Tigers also rank highly in the computers, moving them ahead of Baylor in the composite top 25. And the top two actually looks like the top two.
Week 8 brought more thrilling finishes, as Florida State's 1,113-day ACC winning streak ended on a marathon blocked field goal touchdown return at Georgia Tech. Utah suffered a very nominal upset at the hands of interim-coached USC. Ohio State body-slammed Rutgers to stay atop this week's rankings.
Elsewhere, Pitt is beating teams with key drives late in games. Memphis and Tulsa combined to score more than 100 points, and the Tigers are still unbeaten. Michigan State is, too, and stayed that way in a bit more comfortable fashion than last week. Stanford kept right on looking like a juggernaut against Washington, and the Cardinal now must be considered a serious College Football Playoff threat.
|Composite ranking||Change||Average ranking|
|1||Ohio State (49)||Ohio State (39)||Clemson||Clemson|
|2||Baylor (10)||Baylor (7)||Michigan||Ohio State|
|3||TCU (2)||Clemson (6)||Baylor||LSU|
|4||LSU (1)||LSU (5)||Alabama||Alabama|
|5||Michigan State||TCU (3)||Ohio State||Notre Dame|
|6||Clemson (1)||Michigan State||Oklahoma||Baylor|
|9||Notre Dame||Notre Dame||TCU||Michigan State|
|10||Oklahoma State||Iowa||West Virginia||Stanford|
|17||Michigan||Florida State||UCLA||Ole Miss|
|19||Houston||Ole Miss||Wisconsin||Mississippi State|
|25||UCLA||Mississippi State||Mississippi State||Texas A&M|
The four rankings used here
The Associated Press Top 25: The longest-running and best-respected human poll. Didn't have any official bearing on the latter years of the BCS, and won't have any official bearing on the Playoff. Expect it to set the course for the committee, however, as most outlets (including SB Nation) will use the AP's rankings as the standard until the committee takes over in November. Usually comes out on Sundays about 2 p.m. ET.
The USA Today Coaches Poll: Formerly part of the BCS, and now just a poll. It tends to be more conservative than the AP's. Though polling athletic departments in order to rank other athletic departments is dubious, we still want multiple human polls in here, and this is the other big one. Releases early Sunday afternoons.
The Massey computer composite: A collection of ... every rating out there, which will be included as soon as it is updated. By including it here, we're giving extra weight to the two human polls, since they're already two of the dozens of ratings included in the Massey. It changes over the course of the week as more rankings arrive.
Bill Connelly's S&P+ ratings: Connelly's efficiency- and explosiveness-based metric parses each team's performance and adjusts it for strength of opposition. These ratings ultimately become part of each FBS team's advanced statistical profile. They're entirely computer-generated and don't signal an agenda against anybody's favorite team.
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