Four weeks into the NCAA season, and it looks that one conference that has long asserted its dominance is on even ground with a conference nearing its extinction. According to the newest Associated Press Top 25 poll, the Southeastern Conference places two teams in the top three with LSU jumping Oklahoma for the number one spot after its 47-21 stomping of West Virginia, and Alabama sitting pretty at number three after a big win against ranked Arkansas. Here is a breakdown of the newest AP Rankings and what to think of the top teams in the nation.
1.) LSU Tigers – LSU showed that it deserves the top ranking after the beat down of WVU on their home turf against a better defense than most analysts realize. Any doubters take heed, the Tiger defense is absolutely terrifying.
2.) Oklahoma Sooners – Its not that Oklahoma played bad against Missouri – although the Sooners were down early they came off a tough game against Florida State the previous week. Oklahoma is still the best team in the Big 12 by far.
3.) Alabama Crimson Tide – People always pay attention to the Alabama defense. The highlight reel put on by the special teams against a great Arkansas team exposes how versatile Alabama is.
4.) Boise State Broncos – No one is happier that LSU plays Alabama and Oklahoma plays Oklahoma State than Boise State. Now that TCU game looks like a possible national championship bid.
5.) Oklahoma State Cowboys – A massive comeback win against a good Aggies team looks to vault the Cowboys into the national championship picture. It’s a pity that the Oklahoma game is the last of the season, although the home game in late October against Baylor looks mighty interesting.
6.) Stanford Cardinal – Even during their off-week, Stanford looks to be the class of the PAC-12. Despite the hopes of countless Ducks fans, the numbers thus far for Andrew Luck are incredible. A completion percentage of 67.1%, 786 yards and eight toughdowns under a new system.
7.) Wisconsin Badgers– Showdown against Nebraska next week will say a lot. The Badgers are on the fast track to make a return trip to the Rose Bowl, but they need to assert their dominance over another team that is smelling roses.
8.) Nebraska Huskers– The Huskers have a chance to silence any doubt that the Big 12 and the Big Ten are on equal ground if they take Wisconsin off its throne in the Big Ten. Keep a close eye on Nebraska, if it starts to hit the fan in the national picture, Nebraska could sneak into the national championship game.
9.) Oregon Ducks – The Ducks took out an emerging Wildcat team in an impressive show of talent. This is still a team that can score a ridiculous amount of points quickly, which in the sub-par defense of the PAC-12 means that Oregon will be in the picture.
10.) South Carolina – Marcus Lattimore will win the Heisman if South Carolina is undefeated late in the season. He literally carries this team to victory.
11.) Virginia Tech – Until the ACC title comes down to Florida State and Virginia Tech like it always does, the Hokies should roll. Clemson should pose a challenge next week, but the distance between these two teams is greater than it looks.
12.) Florida – The Crimson Tide are coming to the swamp next weekend, and the excitement level could not be higher in Gainesville. Talk about Murderer’s row for Florida; Home against ‘Bama, at LSU, at Auburn, home against Georgia.
13.) Clemson – Not a lot of people saw the Florida State win coming, let alone the beat-down that the Tigers put on the Seminoles. Clemson has become a viable threat to the ACC, and even better, they don’t seem to be going anywhere.
14.) Texas A&M – The loss against the Cowboys is going to be difficult to get over, but if any team can do that, it’s the Aggies. After all, Texas A&M got the news on Sunday that they are moving to the SEC.
15.) Baylor – Robert Griffin III is going to be hearing Heisman throughout the year. If he continues to put the numbers up that he is so far, that is not a far reach.
16.) South Florida – The Big East team that nobody is talking about. Now that the spotlight is off of the Mountaineers, it is the Bulls’ chance to shine in the collapsing conference.
17.) Texas – Losing Garrett Gilbert, as awful as this may sound, could be a Godsend for the Longhorns. Moving past the Gilbert era allows Ash and McCoy to really develop.
18.) Arkansas – Despite the loss, Arkansas will be in the picture for the SEC title. The Razorbacks will definitely cause some trouble down the stretch.
19.) Michigan – Someone needs to turn the beast button off on Denard Robinson. He is playing the Wolverines back into legitimacy.
20.) TCU – The Horned Frogs are still moving right along, and although a BCS Bowl does not look to happen this year, making a great transition into the Big East is key for this good squad.
21.) Georgia Tech – The Yellow Jackets can spoil the ACC party with their still unorthodox offense. Although a championship looks unlikely, having the highest average points this year and the second best rushing attack in the nation is a good omen.
22.) West Virginia – The Mountaineers were in the game against LSU for a long time, but the Tigers had an answer for any built-up Mountaineer momentum. WVU should learn from this game and take it into the Big East schedule.
23.) Florida State – Someone shot the engines out of the Seminole racecar. Two straight losses will be tough to rebound from.
24.) Illinois – A surprising team from the Big-10 has an interesting stretch of games against sub-par competition. Northwestern is no push over and the Illini can prove if they are real against the Wildcats.
25.) Arizona State – Their new look is absolutely sick. The Sun Devils’ comeback against USC was ridiculous.