College Football Polls 2012: Analyzing Week 3 AP and Coaches' Polls

Alex CallosCorrespondent ISeptember 9, 2012

College Football Polls 2012: Analyzing Week 3 AP and Coaches' Polls

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    The AP and USA Today coaches' polls have been released, and there is plenty of movement in the rankings.

    Some teams dropped nearly 20 spots, which is something that is not typical of either of the polls.

    Upon further review, there is a lot that stands out when it comes to the new polls and plenty of new teams that fans may grow accustomed to hearing about.

    Here is a breakdown of the AP and coaches' polls.

New Faces Entering the Polls

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    As always, there are some new faces that are entering the polls for the first time this year, and leading the way are the UCLA Bruins.

    They enter after knocking off Nebraska and are ranked No. 22 in the AP poll and No. 24 in the coaches' poll.

    Another team that is new to both polls is the Arizona Wildcats. They throttled Oklahoma State on Saturday and move into the rankings at No. 24 in the AP poll and No. 25 in the coaches' poll.

    Also jumping into the AP poll are Tennessee at No. 22 and BYU at No. 25.

    These four new faces might be hanging around for a little while.

The Big Ten Plummets

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    Saying the Big Ten had a bad Saturday would be an understatement as they were awful over the weekend.

    The worst of those teams was Wisconsin as they fell on the road to Oregon State 10-7 and dropped completely out of the AP poll.

    Nebraska was another Big Ten ranked team that did not live up to expectations as it fell 36-30 on the road at UCLA. The loss dropped the Cornhuskers out of the AP poll as well.

    Michigan State continues to look impressive, but Michigan struggled and narrowly avoided an upset at the hands of Air Force.

USC Continues to Fall

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    For some reason USC wins, and continues to drop in the rankings. They fell to No. 3 in the latest coaches' poll, despite winning 42-29 against Syracuse.

    That came a week after they defeated Hawaii 49-10 and fell from No. 1 to No. 2. There is certainly bias against teams from the West Coast, but since USC has been jumped by Alabama and now LSU, they are likely to stay at No. 3 if they keep winning because Oregon is directly behind them.

    USC did remain No. 2 in the AP poll but lost some ground as LSU crept a little closer.

The SEC Claims the Top Two Spots

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    The college football world better take notice as LSU and Alabama have claimed the top two spots in one poll and appear headed in that direction in the other poll.

    This could spell disaster as what did not seem possible at the beginning of the year is not out of the question. These two teams could meet again for the national championship, particularly if LSU defeats Alabama in the regular season like they did last year. 

    There is still a long way to go before that happens, but it is going to be in the back of every college football fan's mind.

ACC Teams Continue to Rise

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    There are some conferences that have disappointed and others that have stepped up. One of those leagues that has been a pleasant surprise is the ACC.

    Right now there are only three teams ranked in either of the Top 25 polls, but all three of them are in the top 13.

    It will likely be a three-way battle between Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech for the ACC title.

The Pac-12 Emerges

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    The Pac-12 may be a little bit better than expected as there are now five teams from that conference ranked in the top 25 of both major polls.

    The latest two to jump into the rankings are UCLA and Arizona, which are coming off wins over teams that were ranked in the Top 25 last week.

    With those two teams vaulting into the rankings, the league now has as many ranked teams as the Big 12 and only one less than the SEC.

Lack of Non-BSC Schools

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    As most people figured would be the case, the lack of non-BCS schools in the rankings is very evident with the release of the latest polls.

    BYU is the lone team in the rankings as they are No. 25 in the AP poll.

    Normal stalwart Boise State is No. 26 in both polls and is certainly knocking on the door. There are no other teams that are really anywhere close to the rankings.

Three Conferences Are Dominating

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    While there are six BCS conferences and many other leagues, there are three that have been dominant throughout the season.

    The Big 12 and Pac-12 each have five teams in the Top 25 of both major polls with the SEC featuring six teams.

    That makes up over 60 percent of the ranked teams. These three leagues boast the top five teams in the country and eight of the top nine.

    The Big 12 in particular has been strong this season with five teams in the top 15 and an overall record of 15-2.

Unprecedented Falls in the Rankings

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    For a team to drop nearly 20 spots in the rankings, something drastic must happen. That was exactly the case for the Arkansas Razorbacks, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Wisconsin Badgers, according to the AP Poll. 

    Arkansas fell to Louisiana-Monroe and dropped from No. 9 out of the rankings at No. 27. Nebraska suffered much of the same fate as they lost to UCLA on the road and fell from No. 16 out of the rankings to No. 28.

    Wisconsin dropped monumentally as well, falling from No. 13 all the way to No. 32 after losing at Oregon State.

    When was the last time three teams dropped this much in one week?

Will Ohio State Play Spoiler?

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    While Ohio State is not eligible to be ranked in the coaches' poll, they have slowly crept up to No. 12 in the AP poll.

    With the Big Ten faltering over the weekend, it looks like Michigan State and Ohio State are the two teams that stand out.

    While Ohio State cannot play in the Big Ten championship or any postseason for that matter, they can still play spoiler, and it is looking more likely that they could do just that.