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USA Today College Football Poll 2012: Complete Week 4 Rankings

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - SEPTEMBER 15:   Head Coach John L. Smith of the Arkansas Razorbacks shakes hands with Head Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide before a game at Razorback Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Richard LangfordCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2012

It is hard to imagine a team being a more clear-cut No. 1 in the USA Today college football poll by Week 3 than Alabama is this season. The Crimson Tide received 54 of the 59 first-place votes; conference rival LSU received the other five votes, and you have to wonder if those five voters forgot to watch yesterday. 

The defending champs embarrassed SEC rival Arkansas, 52-0. While early-season college football is full of lopsided scores similar to this one, this was not supposed to be one of those games. 

Last week, the Razorbacks were ranked No. 10 in the nation. Obviously, with their overtime loss to Louisiana-Monroe and this week's lopsided laugher, that was a gross overranking.

Still, this is a talented SEC team that shouldn't be losing by 52 points to some NFL teams. They gained just 137 yards in this game, averaging 3.2 yards per pass and 1.6 per run.

It was hard to tell if this score was more due to Alabama being great or Arkansas being completely lost, but it was clear that Arkansas had no business being on the same field as Nick Saban's boys.

Alabama has now outscored its three opponents this season by a score of 128-14, and it has had what should've been a tough early schedule, as it has also played Michigan.

The USC Trojans entered this week at No. 3 in the coaches' poll, but after falling to Stanford 21-14, they exit the week at No. 12. The Cardinal jumped to No. 11 with their upset.

When looking for a cause for this upset, there is no need to look any further than the rushing stats. Stanford outgained USC on the ground 202 yards to 26.

There is no typo there; that 26 is not missing a digit. Stanford dominated USC in the trenches, and it took control of that game as it wore on.

USC's fall was not the biggest of the week. That belongs to Michigan State, which is now No. 20 after entering the week at No. 10.

The Spartans' free fall was caused by their 20-3 loss to Notre Dame. Voters were apparently more disturbed by MSU's failure than the Irish's success, as the Notre Dame jumped up just four spots to No. 15.

Here is the complete USA Today Top 25

Rank
Team (first-place votes)
Record
Points
1.
Alabama (54)
3-0
1,470
2.
LSU (5)
3-0
1,411
3.
Oregon
3-0
1,339
4.
Florida State
3-0
1,240
5.
Oklahoma
2-0
1,201
6.
Georgia
3-0
1,150
7.
West Virginia
2-0
1,114
8.
South Carolina
3-0
1,071
9.
Clemson
3-0
955
10.
Texas
3-0
869
11.
Stanford
3-0
868
12.
Southern California
2-1
779
13.
Kansas State
3-0
767
14.
Florida
3-0
689
15.
Notre Dame
3-0
681
16.
TCU
2-0
675
17.
Michigan
2-1
507
18.
Louisville
3-0
434
19.
UCLA
3-0
375
20.
Michigan State
2-1
354
21.
Arizona
3-0
296
22.
Nebraska
2-1
194
23.
Mississippi State
3-0
99
24.
Wisconsin
2-1
97
25.
Oklahoma State
2-1
73

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