Oregon, Kansas State on the Rise
Oregon, with a dominating performance over former No. 22 Arizona, took over the second spot in the poll. They replaced LSU, who had a shaky 12-10 road win against over an unusually average Auburn team. All SEC road wins are quality, but LSU will need to play better to beat the likes of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. Speaking of Alabama, they now own all but one first place vote after another beat down, this time at the expense of Florida Atlantic. The biggest top-25 victory this week came from previously 15th ranked Kansas State, who went into Norman and took down No. 6 Oklahoma 24-19. Kansas State was led by a monster game from running back John Hubert, as well as a vital defensive score from linebacker Jarell Childs. The Wildcats jumped all the way up to No. 7 from No. 15, while Oklahoma took a hard fall to No. 16, down from No. 6.
BCS Conference Breakdown
The SEC, as would be expected, lead the way, with six teams in the top-25, including a crazy five of the top 11. The Pac 12, led by Oregon and Stanford, and Big 12, with Kansas State and Texas near the top, each have four teams apiece. The normally weak Big East holds a surprising three spots, as does the Big 10. The ACC has only Florida State and Clemson, but after dismantling the Tigers in the second half on Saturday, the No. 4 Seminoles do not have another ranked opponent left on the conference schedule. They could very conceivably run the table up until the final game of the regular season, which would be a heated affair against in-state rival and No. 11 Florida.
Surprises Near the Bottom
Three new teams entered the polls this week: Oregon State, Rutgers, and Baylor. Oregon State has had an odd season, having only played two games. Their first game of the year was postponed because of Hurricane Isaac. After a win against then ranked Wisconsin, the Beavers had their scheduled bye week. They then proceeded to beat previously ranked UCLA on the road and vaulted all the way to No. 18 after being unranked last week. The surprising Rutgers Scarlet Knights are making their first appearance in the top-25 since 2009. They took down arguably the nation’s most disappointing team in Arkansas, but as stated before, a road win in the SEC is a quality one. Baylor rounds out the top-25, and they could either fall right back out of the rankings or take a significant leap with a trip to Morgantown this weekend to take on No. 9 West Virginia.