Today's AP Poll and Amway/USA Today Coaches Poll have been out since early this afternoon, and while the coaches are stubbornly clinging to the idea that Ohio State is the top team in the land the writers have thrown their support to Clemson, who also remain atop the Massey Composite Ranking of (at this writing) 80 ranking systems.
The coaches did, however, rip 14 first-place votes away from the Buckeyes. All of them can be asserted to have gone to the Tigers, who only had two last week while gathering 21 today. Clemson also saw a benefit from TCU losing, taking their four first-place votes; the other one came from Baylor, who fell a spot as a result. Alabama snaked two of Baylor's remaining first-place votes from last week, as well (presumably) as the first-place ballot LSU had earned a week ago. (There's one ballot unaccounted for there, as someone didn't get theirs in on time.)
It was a simliar story with the writers. Ohio State shed 13 first-place votes; Clemson gained 25. The other 12 are accounted for by last week's 4 for TCU, four of Baylor's six from a week ago, and four of LSU's five; LSU's fifth went to Alabama.
The big winner by far this week, however, was Oklahoma State. If the poll movements presage the committee's rankings, that's very good news for the Big 12. The Cowboys gained seven places in the AP poll and 5 in the coaches, landing at #5 in both rankings. They also surged 10 places in the Massey Composite. TCU, meanwhile, slid to 13/12, which isn't too bad; there's still plenty of room for the Frogs to crawl back into Big-Boy Bowl contention, if not the playoff conversation.
Indeed, the Big 12 is rocking the top of the polls altogether, with four teams in the top 12/13. The Big 10 also has four teams in the top 15, while the SEC only has three. The remaining four spots include a pair of Pac-12 teams, Notre Dame, and lonely Clemson. This will be a factor to consider as the weeks go by: is Clemson going to suffer from perceived ACC weakness? Before one finds another ACC team in the poll below Clemson, one first finds Houston, after all.
Ah, yes. The American. Let's talk about them. Houston checks in at 16 in both polls with their unbeaten record and empty gasbag of a schedule. But that's about to change dramatically for the Cougars, and if they're for real they're going to benefit. Why? Because Memphis, Houston's opponent on Saturday, remains ranked at #25 in both polls. Temple is #21 in both polls. And Navy has leapt into the fray at #22/23.
That's right, the American has more ranked teams than both the ACC and Pac-12 (although in Massey the American has only three top-25 teams while the Pac-12 has four; USC is very well-regarded by computers).
While Oklahoma State was the big winner perceptually, the true big winners on the week were Navy, up 15 spots in the AP (but only 4 in the coaches, because the coaches were actually already respecting the Midshipmen). No other team received a double-digit boost over last week's placement in the human polls. Navy also jumped 11 spots in the Massey Composite, checking in at #17 -- highest of the American teams in the computers.
The big losers: Toledo dropped 11 spots in the writers poll and 13 in the coaches. Duke slid 12 in the coaches poll (all the way off every ballot), while Memphis tumbled 10 places in the AP. Appalachian State and Texas A&M joined Toledo and Duke in suffering 10-place drops in the Massey Composite; Memphis only fell eight spots there. There were several 8- and 9-place slides: TCU, Michigan State, and Mississippi all endured rocky falls.
As always, we present the combined rankings in AP order, including all teams who received votes this week or last week as well as the top 40 teams in this week's Massey Composite -- which this week includes the surprising appearance of West Virginia, just in case you were wondering who the fifth best team in the Big 12 is right now.