NCAA Football 2018 Rankings: LSU Soars, Florida State Exits

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2018

NCAA Football 2018 Rankings: LSU Soars, Florida State Exits

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    Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

    LSU opened the 2018 campaign ranked 25th in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, but Ed Orgeron's team has earned a whole lot more national respect after one game.

    The Tigers dismantled then-No. 8 Miami 33-17, and they recorded the largest jump of any program. Auburn, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech also climbed the rankings thanks to marquee wins.

    Unsurprisingly, 23 of the teams listed in the initial poll kept a place in the AP Top 25. Beyond the four matchups between ranked programs, Week 1 was largely full of victories, unimpressive though some were.

    We've checked out the rankings and highlighted notable storylines. Remember: Until December, it's not worth being upset about a poll. It's not good for your football sanity.

LSU Screams Up the Rankings

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    Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

    LSU narrowly missed a top-10 spot but still enjoyed a 14-place ascension in the poll. Stanford claimed that No. 10 position with 865 voting points compared to 801 for the Tigers.

    Excluding the No. 5 preseason ranking in 2016, LSU hasn't held a higher AP ranking since Week 10 in 2015.

    Saturday brings a likely victory against Southeastern Louisiana, so Ed Orgeron's club should remain in the 10-15 range for another week. Their road trip to Auburn in Week 3, though, is what could again vault the Tigers in the polls or lead to a drop.

Miami, Michigan Tumble

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    Michigan at least put up a fight against its opponent before the fourth quarter, so the Wolverines didn't fall far. They dipped from No. 14 to No. 21 following the loss to Notre Dame.

    Miami, on the other hand, merited its plummet from No. 8 to No. 22.

    Given the amount of preseason attention on the Hurricanes, their inclusion at the back end was foreseeable. Besides, they'll likely rattle off three straight wins over Savannah State, Toledo and Florida International and be a unanimous poll selection after Week 4 anyway.

    But for now, both programs have some recovering to do.

Washington, Auburn Don't Move Much

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    Why dramatically penalize a top-10 team following a neutral-but-basically-road loss to another top-10 opponent? Washington didn't deserve a major fall, and it only went from No. 6 to No. 9.

    Conversely, Auburn recorded a fantastic season-opening win yet merely edged up two places. The Tigers leaped Washington, obviously, and went past Miami, too.

    However, each of Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Oklahoma cruised to victories. No sense in having Auburn leap those programs, either.

    The voters got these right.

Ugly Wins Sting, but Don't Crush

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    Penn State needed overtime to defeat Appalachian State. Michigan State required a game-winning drive to survive Utah State. USC pulled away from UNLV in the fourth quarter.

    Wins are wins. That's ultimately what matters.

    Still, voters ever so slightly penalized the programs, dropping Penn State three spots to No. 13, Michigan State four to No. 15 and USC two to No. 17. While notable, those certainly aren't an issue.

    Besides, Week 2 will provide a more dramatic shift anyway because all three have important road games. Penn State travels to Pitt, MSU heads to Arizona State and USC takes on Stanford.

Adios, Florida State and Texas

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    Thanks to the offseason love surrounding Willie Taggart's arrival, Florida State was No. 19 in the preseason poll despite a 7-6 finish last year. Well, that didn't last long.

    Virginia Tech wrecked Taggart's debut with a 24-3 triumph in Tallahassee, and the Seminoles bid adieu to the Top 25.

    So did Texas, which lost to Maryland for the second straight year. The Longhorns must recover quickly, since their schedule includes USC, TCU, Kansas State and Oklahoma in the four weeks following Saturday's matchup with Tulsa.

    Florida State managed eight total points in the "others receiving votes" section, while Texas had zero.

Welcome, South Carolina and Florida

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    South Carolina crushed Coastal Carolina, 49-15. Florida wrecked Charleston Southern, 53-6. The SEC schools are now Top 25 members, and we have no arguments.

    In the preseason poll, the Gamecocks and Gators ranked 26th and 27th, respectively. Two teams lost, and they moved up two spots apiece. Plus, no other unranked club celebrated a victory worth a substantial increase in Top 25 attention.

    All we ask for is consistency from voters. That, this was.


    Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.