Bleacher Report's Official Top 25 Poll for Week 3

Jonathan McDanalContributor IIISeptember 8, 2013

Bleacher Report's Official Top 25 Poll for Week 3

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    College football's second week is in the books, and Bleacher Report's Top 25 has been tallied. Some teams are in familiar positions, but others have moved dramatically. 

    To give you an idea exactly how wacky things got in Week 2: Missouri and Tennessee are the only undefeated teams in the SEC East.

    Here is Bleacher Report's Official Top 25 Poll for Week 3.

    Poll voters (in alphabetical order): Adam Biggers, Eric Bowman, Carter Bryant, Alex Callos, Andrew Coppens, Bill Eichenberger, Michael Felder, Trenise Ferreira, Sean Frye, Kyle Kensing, Ben Kercheval, Sanjay Kirpalani, Marc Kohn, Adam Kramer, David Luther, Jonathan McDanal, Lafe Peavler, Max Rausch, David Regimbal, Patrick Runge, Barrett Sallee, Alex Sims, Erin Sorensen, Carl Stine, Rich Thomaselli and Greg Wallace.

    Each voter submitted an individual Top 25, and every first-place team was given 25 points. The second-place team received 24, and so on with the 25th-place team earning one point. The teams are ranked in order according to total points.

     

    *All times are ET

Others Receiving Votes

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    Ole Miss Rebels: 39

    *Texas Longhorns: 25

    Michigan State Spartans: 23

    Fresno State Bulldogs: 11

    Penn State Nittany Lions: 10

    Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: 7

    Northern Illinois Huskies: 6

    BYU Cougars: 5

    Texas Tech Red Raiders and Virginia Tech Hokies: 2

    North Dakota State Bison, Illinois Fighting Illini, Kansas State Wildcats, USC Trojans and Washington State Cougars: 1

    *Dropped from rankings

25. Arizona State Sun Devils

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    Previous Rank: N/A

    Week 2 Result: Arizona State 55, Sacramento State 0

    Week 3: vs. Wisconsin, Saturday, Sept. 14, at 10:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 45

    Arizona State's season opener was a week later than most, but the Sun Devils stomped their FCS foe 55-0. That was good enough to score their first appearance in the Bleacher Report Top 25.

    There are a lot of expectations surrounding Will Sutton and this defense. Leading the year off with a 55-point shutout is definitely going to add fuel to that fire.

24. TCU Horned Frogs

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    Previous Rank: No. 23

    Week 2 Result: TCU 38, Southeastern Louisiana 17

    Week 3: at Texas Tech, Thursday, Sept. 12, at 7:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-1

    Poll Points: 89

    TCU proved its value against LSU in its opening match, and the Horned Frogs won against FCS competition in Week 2. Though not as decisive as they likely hoped, it was still a three-possession win.

    TCU enters conference play in Week 3 against Texas Tech, which is still trying to find its rhythm. The Horned Frogs should walk away with another win. Until then, they can at least rest in the knowledge that they're still in the Top 25.

23. Washington Huskies

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    Previous Rank: No. 22

    Week 2 Result: BYE

    Week 3: at Illinois, Saturday, Sept. 14, at 6 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 127

    Washington hasn't been seen since the beatdown it handed the Boise State Broncos in Week 1, but the Huskies looked excellent in that game. After enjoying a bye week, they face a challenge against Illinois, which just screwed up Cincinnati's season with an unexpected 45-17 win over the Bearcats.

    If Washington wasn't already preparing for a serious war, it is now. Illinois could put its name in the headlines with an upset here, and Washington will need to bring everything it has to suppress that kind of motivation.

22. Baylor Bears

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    Previous Rank: No. 24

    Week 2 Result: Baylor 70, Buffalo 13

    Week 3: BYE

    Overall Record: 2-0

    Poll Points: 152

    Baylor surprised us all by outperforming Ohio State in every aspect of the game against Buffalo. Where Ohio State beat the Bulls 40-20, Baylor took them down 70-13.

    Don't start shouting it from the rooftops, because there is no transitive property in college football, but the Bears are solidifying their dark-horse candidacy for the Big 12 (and national) title one game at a time.

21. Florida Gators

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    Previous Rank: No. 11

    Week 2 Result: Miami 21, Florida 16

    Week 3: BYE

    Overall Record: 1-1

    Poll Points: 154

    Florida lost a defensive battle to the Miami Hurricanes this week, and the Gators will have to deal with that loss for the remainder of the season. Even winning the SEC East may not be enough to get them to the Sugar Bowl, unless they win the SEC Championship Game.

    Florida's season is not a loss, but it has to figure out what to do with Jeff Driskel immediately. He went 22-of-33 for 291 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and a fumble. He's a good quarterback, but he gets antsy fairly easily. This won't be the Gators' only loss if he can't figure out how to stay calm under pressure.

    If you don't have a quarterback in the red zone, you don't have a quarterback at all.

20. Wisconsin Badgers

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    Previous Rank: No. 21

    Week 2 Result: Wisconsin 48, Tennessee Tech 0

    Week 3: at Arizona State, Saturday, Sept. 14, at 10:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 2-0

    Poll Points: 181

    Wisconsin breezed by Tennessee Tech in an immense 48-0 shutout. Quarterback Joel Stave finished the game 24-of-29 with three touchdowns and one interception. The Badgers also had three 100-yard rushers —for the second straight week— who totaled four scores.

    Wisconsin's rushing attack is alive and well, and the Badgers have a major cross-conference showdown against Arizona State next on the list. The winner will be ranked, and the loser will drop out. (No pressure, of course.)

19. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Previous Rank: No. 13

    Week 2 Result: Michigan 41, Notre Dame 30

    Week 3: at Purdue, Saturday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-1

    Poll Points: 182

    Notre Dame lost a tough one to Michigan in Week 2, as its defense simply couldn't handle Devin Gardner and the Wolverines.

    The Irish proved that they are still capable of hanging with almost anyone in the Top 25, but they need to shake this one off fast. Purdue hosts them next week, and the Irish could lose that game if they aren't careful.

    Notre Dame's biggest concern is the rushing attack. Your team absolutely has to break the 100-yard barrier against a Top 25 team in order to win. The Irish managed only 96 against Michigan. The Golden Domers needed more yards on the ground to sustain drives.

18. Northwestern Wildcats

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    Previous Rank: No. 20

    Week 2 Result: Northwestern 48, Syracuse 27

    Week 3: vs. Western Michigan, Saturday, Sept. 14, at 9 p.m.

    Overall Record: 2-0

    Poll Points: 188

    Northwestern's balanced offense was excellent, but the defense has once again asserted itself as one of the best anti-air units in the country. In the 48-27 win, Northwestern's defense logged four interceptions.

    The Wildcats are quietly putting a great season together, much as they did last season. Next week's game against Western Michigan will put them at 3-0, and their spot in the poll is safe as long as they keep playing like they have so far.

17. Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Previous Rank: No. 19

    Week 2 Result: Nebraska 56, Southern Miss 13

    Week 3: vs. UCLA, Saturday, Sept. 14, at noon

    Overall Record: 2-0

    Poll Points: 189

    Nebraska handled Southern Miss 56-13 for win No. 2 on the season. Next week, the Huskers face UCLA in a battle that will decide which team gets to stay ranked.

    Nebraska's Taylor Martinez finished the Week 2 battle 15-of-23 for 170 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Ameer Abdullah led the rushing attack with 114 yards and two scores on just 17 carries. This is a complete team that should match up extremely well with UCLA next week.

16. UCLA Bruins

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    Previous Rank: No. 18

    Week 2 Result: BYE

    Week 3: at Nebraska, Saturday, Sept. 14, at noon

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 231

    UCLA rode its bye week out in complete relaxation, with one glaring exception: preparation for Nebraska. The only guarantee the Bruins had in Week 2 was a spot in the Top 25 when the new rankings came back.

    Now, it's up to quarterback Brett Hundley and linebacker Anthony Barr to anchor their respective sides of the ball against the Cornhuskers. It's a little early to face such a strong team, but there is no avoiding great competition if your goal is to get to the top.

15. Miami Hurricanes

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    Previous Rank: No. 25

    Week 2 Result: Miami 21, Florida 16

    Week 3: BYE

    Overall Record: 2-0

    Poll Points: 246

    Miami legitimized all its hype with a monster defensive performance against the then-No. 12 Florida Gators. The Hurricanes recovered three fumbles and snagged two interceptions to win the turnover battle 5-1.

    The Gators outgained Miami 413-212 in total yardage, but it didn't matter. When Florida hit the red zone, Miami bristled and rarely let the Gators score. With that kind of scoring defense, there are few teams on this list capable of taking down the Hurricanes.

14. Oklahoma Sooners

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    Previous Rank: No. 17

    Week 2 Result: Oklahoma 16, West Virginia 7

    Week 3: vs. Tulsa, Saturday, Sept. 14, at noon

    Overall Record: 2-0

    Poll Points: 255

    Oklahoma won an unexpected defensive slugfest against West Virginia (yes, that is correct). The Sooners won 16-9 in what should have been a shootout, showing both that their defense is capable of performing under pressure and that they can win close games.

    While winning the Big 12 title will take more than just a defense, winning tight contests is a priceless skill when you have just 12 games to establish conference and national supremacy.

13. Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Previous Rank: No. 14

    Week 2 Result: Oklahoma State 56, UTSA 35

    Week 3: vs. Lamar, Saturday, Sept. 14, at 7:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 2-0

    Poll Points: 359

    Oklahoma State may have let the UTSA Roadrunners score more points than is socially acceptable, but ask Kansas State which is better: an "ugly" win or a horrible loss?

    A win is a win, and the Cowboys retain a place in the rankings as a result of the 56-35 performance against UTSA.

12. Michigan Wolverines

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    Previous Rank: No. 16

    Week 2 Result: Michigan 41, Notre Dame 30

    Week 3: vs. Akron, Saturday, Sept. 14, at noon

    Overall Record: 2-0

    Poll Points: 368

    Michigan scored a massive win (in scope, not in score) over the No. 14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The 41-30 score was set to be a lot worse than it was, but in true Irish fashion, they never gave up. Late in the game, Devin Gardner threw his lone interception from inside the end zone to literally gift the enemy six points.

    Overall, though, Michigan looked solid against a tough defensive line, ultimately breaking through it for 166 rushing yards. The Wolverines won the rushing, turnover and scoreboard battles, and they have asserted themselves as definite contenders for the Big Ten crown.

11. South Carolina Gamecocks

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    Previous Rank: No. 6

    Week 2 Result: Georgia 41, South Carolina 30

    Week 3: vs. Vanderbilt, Saturday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-1

    Poll Points: 380

    South Carolina was the last undefeated championship hopeful in the SEC East when it kicked off against the Georgia Bulldogs. Now, Missouri and Tennessee are the only unbeaten teams in the division.

    The Gamecocks simply couldn't keep up with Georgia's offense after a 24-24 first half. The Gamecocks came back from a 17-3 deficit to earn that halftime score, but Georgia made better adjustments in the locker room.

    South Carolina has plenty of opportunities to make it to a BCS bowl, but fans must wonder what the odds are on the conference title game.

10. Florida State Seminoles

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    Previous Rank: No. 12

    Week 2 Result: BYE

    Week 3: vs. Nevada, Saturday, Sept. 14, at 3:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 445

    Florida State got to bask in its own glory for a week before it hosts Nevada in Week 3. Jameis Winston's next performance is sure to bring tons of viewers after his 25-of-27 performance for 356 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions on opening weekend.

    Florida State got to watch the Florida vs. Miami game that forced everyone in the country to take the ACC seriously. That's not a bad thing to see during an off week.

9. Georgia Bulldogs

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    Previous Rank: No. 10

    Week 2 Result: Georgia 41, South Carolina 30

    Week 3: BYE

    Overall Record: 1-1

    Poll Points: 479

    Georgia redeemed its loss to Clemson with a big win over the other team from South Carolina, the Gamecocks. Aaron Murray went 17-of-23 for 309 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions, while his rushing attack supplemented that performance with 229 yards and another score.

    The Bulldogs started conference play going in the right direction. This game likely decided the SEC East representative in the conference title game, but there's still a lot of football to be played.

8. Louisville Cardinals

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    Previous Rank: No. 8

    Week 2 Result: Louisville 44, Eastern Kentucky 7

    Week 3: at Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 14, at noon

    Overall Record: 2-0

    Poll Points: 486

    Louisville took care of its FCS opponent as expected in Week 2, and the Cardinals are looking exactly like an AAC favorite should. Teddy Bridgewater completed 23 of his 32 pass attempts for a whopping 397 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. He's a clean passer, and he has the supporting cast to aim for a national championship berth.

    These birds' national title hopes are getting more and more realistic as the weeks pass, and the Cardinals will head to in-state rival Kentucky to see if they can improve them even further.

7. Texas A&M Aggies

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    Previous Rank: No. 7

    Week 2 Result: Texas A&M 65, Sam Houston State 28

    Week 3: vs. Alabama, Saturday, Sept. 14, at 3:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 2-0

    Poll Points: 498

    Texas A&M dismantled Sam Houston State, but there is a little concern about allowing 28 points to the Bearkats. On the other hand, putting up 65 points is going to win you a lot of games. Even adjusted for “SEC defense,” that's a lot of cheddar.

    Johnny Manziel went 28-of-41 for 403 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The rushing team accounted for 237 more yards and another four scores. Texas A&M appears to be in great shape for the game of the year against defending champion Alabama.

6. LSU Tigers

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    Previous Rank: No. 9

    Week 2 Result: LSU 56, UAB 17

    Week 3: vs. Kent State, Saturday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m.

    Overall Record: 2-0

    Poll Points: 504 (1)

    LSU took down UAB as expected, and Zach Mettenberger proved that he has enough talent to win any game if he can simply get time and open targets. (Yes, that combination is the Holy Grail of football.) Mett was 16-of-19 for 282 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions.

    The Tigers remain in contention for the national title, and they are obviously still in the hunt for the SEC crown as well.

5. Clemson Tigers

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    Previous Rank: No. 5

    Week 2 Result: Clemson 52, South Carolina State 13

    Week 3: BYE

    Overall Record: 2-0

    Poll Points: 585

    Clemson took down Georgia in Week 1, and the Tigers came back for more against South Carolina State in Week 2. Tajh Boyd was 14-of-23 on the day for 169 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Tigers rolled out four different quarterbacks against their FCS opponent and head into the bye week at 2-0.

    Clemson didn't help its ranking with the win, but it didn't do anything to harm its reputation either.

4. Stanford Cardinal

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    Previous Rank: No. 4

    Week 2 Result: Stanford 34, San Jose State 13

    Week 3: at Army, Saturday, Sept. 14, at noon

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 588

    Stanford completely changed gears from the 2012 meeting with the San Jose State Spartans. Though the Cardinal did get off to a slow start, the final score looked much more Stanford-esque at 34-13.

    The offensive unit was successful on third down in Week 2, converting 12 of its 15 attempts. The attack was balanced at 207 passing and 197 rushing yards as well. The only real hiccup was a lost fumble, but that was the only turnover.

    Statistically, Stanford was everything you'd expect from a Top Five team, and it played a clean game with just two penalties to boot. That's a good indication that the Cardinal are for real this season...again.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Previous Rank: No. 2

    Week 2 Result: Ohio State 42, San Diego State 7

    Week 3: at California, Saturday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m.

    Overall Record: 2-0

    Poll Points: 596 (1)

    Ohio State stifled the San Diego State Aztecs offense, and the Buckeyes also took major advantage of their defense. Even without Braxton Miller (out due to an apparent sprained MCL, via USA Today), the Bucks just kept scoring.

    Backup QB Kenny Guiton finished the match 19-of-28 for 152 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also gained a team-leading 83 yards on nine carries for one more score. Ohio State definitely wants its starting quarterback to return, but it seemed to do just fine without him.

2. Oregon Ducks

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    Previous Rank: No. 3

    Week 2 Result: Oregon 59, Virginia 10

    Week 3: vs. Tennessee, Saturday, Sept. 14, at 3:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 2-0

    Poll Points: 624

    Oregon dominated Virginia from opening kickoff to final whistle. The Ducks nabbed 350 rushing and 207 receiving yards and totaled eight touchdowns on the day, staying on course for a national championship bid.

    Oregon hosts Tennessee next week in an attempt to take down one of the two remaining unbeaten teams from the SEC East.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Previous Rank: No. 1

    Week 2 Result: BYE

    Week 3: at Texas A&M, Saturday, Sept. 14, at 3:30 p.m.

    Overall Record: 1-0

    Poll Points: 669 (25)

    Alabama didn't play anyone in Week 2, but the Tide have one of the biggest matches of the college football season in Week 3. They travel to Texas A&M to face the Aggies at Kyle Field.

    The bye week didn't hurt the No. 1 perception, but the Aggies are certainly going to try. If 'Bama can't protect AJ McCarron, the “three-peat” headlines will disappear into the night.