Top 25 NCAA college football ranking already chaotic after just one week

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As the Labor Day weekend drew to a close, so too did an exciting opening weekend for NCAA college football.

Yes, the majority of the nations top programs scheduled inferior division II opponents for their opening game.  And yes, there were plenty of blowouts.  But there were at least a few competitive matchups to be found, as well as a few surprising upsets that took place, and the results can already be seen in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 rankings that were released yesterday.

Of the 25 teams that were ranked last week, 20 of them switched positions in the poll.

Here’s a recap of some of the biggest games, and subsequently the biggest moves, that took place last Saturday.

In what was considered the premier match-up of the day, and possibly of the season, No. 3 Oregon, the runner-up to the national champions last year, squared off against a highly touted No. 4 LSU program whose offseason including suspending it’s starting quarterback a week before this game.  No one knew how LSU would respond to that loss, and no one can believe how they did.  The Tigers forced Oregon into four turnovers as they rolled over the Ducks, 40-27.  For their effort, LSU moved up to No. 2 in the national rankings this week, and Oregon dropped nine spots to No. 13.

LSU moved ahead of preseason No. 2 Alabama after the Crimson Tide beat up on weak non-conference opponent Kent State, 48-7 on Saturday, and Oklahoma held on to its No. 1 ranking after the Sooners trounced Tulsa, 47-14.

Rounding out the top five on the AP’s rankings are No. 4 Boise State, who again proved it could play with the nation’s top programs by beating up on a tough No. 19 Georgia team Saturday night, and No. 5 Florida State, who moved up one spot after beating division II opponent LA Monroe.  Georgia, for it’s effort Saturday, is subsequently not in the top 25 any longer, and they are not alone.

Preseason No. 16 Notre Dame thought its game against South Florida on Saturday might be one of the easier ones on a tough 2011 schedule.  It turns out the Fighting Irish now enter week two with an 0-1 record and find themselves out of the national rankings this week.

It took defending National Champion and preseason No. 23 Auburn scoring a touchdown with 30 seconds left in the game to defeat a supposedly inferior Utah State squad, and the Tigers have now dropped out of the Top-25, as has preseason No. 25 USC, who just barely snuck past the unranked Minnesota Gophers, 19-17.  Both Auburn and USC are the only two teams to have dropped out of the Top 25 poll this week despite winning their games.

In their place, some new faces to the AP rankings joined the Top 25 including Baylor, who upset previously ranked No. 14 TCU on Saturday, and the aforementioned South Florida program.  NCAA powerhouses Penn State and Texas also made the list after strong outings the first week.

For the most part, the rest of the Top 25 teams either remained in their preseason spots, or were shuffled around just a few numbers including No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 9 Oklahoma State, and No. 10 Nebraska.

No. 11 is Virginia Tech, followed by South Carolina, Oregon, Arkansas and Ohio State.

With No. 16 Mississippi State and No. 18 Florida, the Southeastern Conference has six ranked teams, as does the Big 12 Conference.

The Big Ten Conference has five ranked teams while the Big East (West Virginia and USF), Atlantic Coast Conference (Florida State and Virginia Tech), the Pac-12 (Stanford and Oregon) and the Mountain West (Boise State and TCU) all have two ranked teams.

Of all the games next Saturday, only No. 3 Alabama versus No. 23 Penn State will feature two ranked teams playing against each other, but you can be sure that, with plenty of heavy weight conference battles still to come, the Top 25 ranking hasn’t even begun to reach the height of its chaos yet.

Let the college football playoff argument begin.

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