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College football rankings: LSU jumps to No. 3 in new composite top 25

Michigan's suddenly in the AP, Oregon's somehow still in the Coaches, and throwing four big rankings together gives us major moves by the Tigers, Utes and Mountaineers.

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It took Jim Harbaugh all of four games to get Michigan into the AP Top 25, where the Wolverines check in this week at No. 22 after a 31-0 win over BYU on Saturday. The Wolverines didn't even receive AP votes last week and haven't ranked since Nov. 2, 2013.

The big gainer this week is LSU, which outlasted Syracuse on the field and impressed the computers in the meantime.

This was an odd weekend of games, and nothing was odder than Utah slapping an Oregon-style beating on the Ducks themselves. The Utes went on a 62-20 romp that included this bizarre punt return touchdown and a running back throwing for a score. The Ducks, College Football Playoff finalists not even nine months ago, are out of the AP Poll altogether while barely staying in the Coaches Poll.

There was turbulence at the top of the rankings. TCU narrowly averted disaster in an outrageous game against Texas Tech, and Ole Miss followed up a win against Alabama with a far less convincing victory against Vanderbilt. In calmer waters, Ohio State looked decidedly more Ohio State-ly this week in beating Western Michigan, and Baylor crushed Rice.

Here's a roundup of two big polls and two big rankings, with explanations below.

Composite ranking Change Average ranking
1 Ohio State 2.5
2 Ole Miss 3.75
3 LSU 3 6.25
4 Michigan State -1 7
5 Georgia -2 7.5
6 TCU -1 8
7 Alabama -1 8.25
8 Florida State 2 8.5
8 UCLA 3 8.5
10 Baylor -1 9.25
11 Notre Dame -5 9.75
12 Clemson 10.5
13 Oklahoma 1 12
14 Utah 6 14.5
15 USC 1 15.25
16 West Virginia 8 15.75
17 Stanford 1 17
18 Texas A&M -3 17.25
19 Wisconsin 18.75
20 Michigan NR 19.75
21 Mississippi State 2 21.5
22 Florida NR 21.75
23 Northwestern -2 22.75
24 Cal NR 27.75
25 Miami NR 29.5
AP Coaches S&P+ Massey
1 Ohio State (45) Ohio State (61) Alabama Ohio State
2 Michigan State (5) Michigan State (2) Florida State Ole Miss
3 Ole Miss (10) TCU West Virginia UCLA
4 TCU Baylor LSU LSU
5 Baylor Ole Miss (1) Ole Miss Georgia
6 Notre Dame Georgia Clemson Alabama
7 UCLA Notre Dame Ohio State Utah
8 Georgia LSU Oklahoma TCU
9 LSU Florida State USC Michigan State
10 Utah (1) UCLA Michigan Baylor
11 Florida State Clemson Georgia Oklahoma
12 Clemson Utah Notre Dame Florida State
13 Alabama Alabama Stanford Clemson
14 Texas A&M Oklahoma UCLA Notre Dame
15 Oklahoma Texas A&M Michigan State Texas A&M
16 Northwestern USC Wisconsin West Virginia
17 USC Northwestern TCU Stanford
18 Stanford Wisconsin Baylor Florida
19 Wisconsin Oklahoma State Duke USC
20 Oklahoma State Stanford Minnesota Northwestern
21 Mississippi State West Virginia Florida Michigan
22 Michigan Mississippi State Penn State Wisconsin
23 West Virginia Florida Tennessee Mississippi State
24 Cal Cal (tie) Miami Kansas State
25 Florida Oregon (tie) Texas A&M NC State

The four rankings we use:

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 it's the other big one. Releases early Sunday afternoons.

The Massey computer composite: A collection of ... every rating out there, that 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: New here this week, we'll be using Connelly's efficiency- and explosiveness-based metric that 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.


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