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Joe Boozell | | September 16, 2018

College football rankings: LSU surges, Wisconsin falls in new AP Top 25

AP Poll: Georgia jumps past Clemson to No. 2

Week 3 of the 2018 college football season lived up to the hype. Here’s the latest AP Top 25:

1 Alabama (58) 3-0 1521 1
2 Georgia 3-0 1416 3
3 Clemson (3) 3-0 1405 2
4 Ohio State 3-0 1357 4
5 Oklahoma 3-0 1283 5
6 LSU 3-0 1241 12
7 Stanford 3-0 1055 9
8 Notre Dame 3-0 1034 8
9 Auburn 2-1 958 7
10 Washington 2-1 947 10
10 Penn State 3-0 947 11
12 West Virginia 2-0 841 14
13 Virginia Tech 2-0 816 13
14 Mississippi State 3-0 790 16
15 Oklahoma State 3-0 587 24
16 UCF 2-0 556 18
17 TCU 2-1 502 15
18 Wisconsin 2-1 486 6
19 Michigan 2-1 448 19
20 Oregon 3-0 399 20
21 Miami 2-1 362 21
22 Texas A&M 2-1 193 NR
23 Boston College 3-0 130 NR
24 Michigan State 1-1 86 25
25 BYU 2-1 75 NR

We’ll start with LSU, which rose from No. 12 to No. 6 on the heels of an impressive road win over Auburn. The Tigers appear to have a legitimate quarterback in Joe Burrow, who threw for 249 yards and a touchdown.

LSU fans have been waiting for a quarterback like Burrow for years. As usual, the Tigers are loaded on defense and have more than enough talent in the backfield and on the outside. LSU held Jarrett Stidham under 200 yards passing and picked him off twice.

With wins over Miami and Auburn, LSU is looking like a College Football Playoff contender. Of course, it plays in the same division as Alabama. But what a start it’s been in Baton Rouge.

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LSU took Wisconsin’s place in the rankings, which lost to BYU and fell 12 spots in the AP Poll.

The Badgers just don’t seem to have the “oompf” they had a year ago. The defense hasn’t been bad, but it hasn’t dominated. Jonathan Taylor ran for 117 yards on Saturday, which is good, but he averaged less than five yards per carry. Good, but not great. The passing game has never been Wisconsin’s strong suit, and Alex Hornibrook played similarly to how he did most of last year. The problem for the Badgers is that the defense and running game don’t look to be on the same level as they were in 2017.

There’s time for Wisconsin to turn this around, but a home loss to BYU seriously dampers any College Football Playoff hopes.

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There was one change in the top five: Georgia leapfrogged Clemson to take the No. 2 spot. Only nine points separate the Bulldogs and the Tigers, but it’s just a function of how the teams have looked thus far. Georgia has smoked everyone in its path. Clemson nearly lost to Texas A&M.

Now, it’s interesting that the switch occurred this week, when both teams handled lower-level competition with ease. But it’s fair if you zoom out and look at the season as a whole.

An under-the-radar riser was Oklahoma State, which jumped nine spots to No. 15 after a 44-21 thrashing of Boise State. The Cowboys may have lost Mason Rudolph and James Washington this offseason, but they haven’t missed a beat. Justice Hill has been magnificent; he’s averaging 8.1 yards per carry, while Taylor Cornelius is averaging almost 10 yards per pass attempt. Mike Gundy is one of the most underrated coaches in the country – watch out for these guys in the Big 12.

A few other tidbits: Texas A&M joins the fray at No. 22. The Aggies were competitive against Clemson and have destroyed their other two opponents; the Jimbo Fisher era is off to a nice start. But a Week 4 matchup with Alabama looms. BYU is ranked 25th after its win over Wisconsin — a well-deserved honor for the Cougars. Boston College also checks in at No. 23 after piling up 41 points against Wake Forest this week. Believe it or not, that was a season-low for the Eagles. BC has scored a whopping 158 points in three games this season.

The college football season rolls on. Week 4 should be a doozy, as several impact matchups could swing the polls once again.

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