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Daniel Wilco | | September 19, 2017

Top 25 by the numbers: Ranked teams have worst performance of the season

  Mississippi State pulled off the biggest upset of the week, knocking No. 12 LSU down to No. 25.

Just when teams thought they were getting settled in the AP Top 25, Week 3 happened.

Six ranked teams lost over the weekend, including four to unranked opponents in the weakest performance by the Top 25 this year.

RELATED: Top 25 reaction: Alabama stays on top, Clemson moves to No. 2 

So where does that leave us?

Let’s take a look behind the numbers of the AP Top 25 after Week 3:


17-6 Record for ranked teams in Week 3 of the season, winning by an average score of 37-22. The third week of the year saw the most ranked losses so far, with Top 25 teams winning just 74 percent of their games, down from 81 percent in Week 2, and 84 percent in Week 1. The biggest blowout of the week came from No. 5 Penn State, which shut out Sun Belt foe Georgia State 56-0. The closest game was No. 4 USC’s 27-24 double-overtime thriller against Texas. Even though it was a down week for ranked teams, 15 of the top 25 won by two scores or more, 11 won by three possessions, and three (Penn State, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma) won by more than 40. N.B.: No. 11 Florida State’s game against No. 17 Miami was postponed due to the effects of Hurricane Irma.

Week Record Percentage Top 25 score Opponent score Winning margin Losses to unranked teams
1 21-4 84.00% 39.32 17.56 21.76 1
2 17-4 80.95% 33.86 16.57 17.29 0
3 17-6 73.91% 36.52 22.13 14.39 4


7 — Number of conferences represented in the poll. By weighting the conferences inversely to their teams' rankings (i.e., No. 25 is worth 1, No. 1 is worth 25, etc.), the Big Ten comes out in first place for the third straight week. The SEC has had the most representatives of any conference, but the Big Ten is the only conference with four teams in the Top 10; the next closest are the Pac-12 and Big 12 with two representatives in the Top 10 each.

  Conference Number of teams Teams Weighted score
1 Big Ten 4 No. 4 Penn State, No. 8 Michigan, No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 10 Ohio State 73
2 ACC 5 No. 2 Clemson, No. 12 Florida State, No. 13 Virginia Tech, No. 14 Miami, No. 19 Louisville 70
3 SEC 6 No. 1 Alabama, No. 11 Georgia, No. 15 Auburn, No. 17 Mississippi State, No. 20 Florida, No. 25 LSU 67
4 Pac-12 5 No. 5 USC, No. 7 Washington, No. 18 Washington State, No. 23 Utah, No. 24 Oregon 53
4 Big 12 3 No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 6 Oklahoma State, No. 16 TCU 53
6 American 1 No. 21 South Florida 5
7 Mountain West 1 No. 22 San Diego State 4


2 — Number of teams that didn’t move in the poll. Alabama remains the only team that hasn’t budged since Week 1. Down in the middle of the pack, Auburn stayed stagnant at No. 15 after a 14-point win over FCS-foe Mercer.


4 — Number of ranked teams that lost to unranked opponents. Only four ranked teams lost at all in Week 2, but Week 3 was another story. No. 14 Louisville got its first loss of the year against No. 3 Clemson, and No. 23 Tennessee fell on a last-second Hail Mary against No. 24 Florida, but losing to another ranked team can be expected. What wasn’t expected was what happened in Starkville, as No. 12 LSU suffered the biggest upset of the year with a 37-7 loss to unranked Mississippi State, dropping the Tigers to No. 25, and vaulting the Bulldogs to the 17 spot. Also upset were No. 18 Kansas State (a 14-7 loss to Vanderbilt), No. 19 Stanford (a 20-17 defeat at the hands of San Diego State), and No. 25 UCLA (which fell 48-45 against Memphis). Before this week, Texas was the lone ranked team to fall to an unranked opponent this year. But misery does love company.


13 — The biggest drop in the rankings this week (and this year), courtesy of LSU. After a blowout loss to Mississippi State on the road, the Tigers (2-1) dropped farther than any team this year. Allowing 30 unanswered points to an unranked team will do that to you.


4 — The biggest jump in the rankings this week. Florida (1-1) jumped from No. 24 to No. 20 after the thrilling walk-off win at home, while TCU (3-0) leapt to No. 16 from the 20 spot after a 30-point win over SMU


4 — Number of teams that fell out of the rankings. UCLA (2-1) became the second team of the year after Notre Dame to enter the rankings, lose, and drop out all in the span of one week. Tennessee (2-1), Stanford (1-2), and Kansas State (2-1) all fell out as well after Week 3 losses.

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