Three match-ups among the top 11 teams meant some shifting was inevitable in the new USA TODAY Sports coaches poll. Combine that with the equally inevitable surprises, and the results look even more different from last week following a chaotic Saturday of action.
Alabama and Oregon remained in the first and second positions, respectively. The Crimson Tide, who had the weekend off, received all but one of the 59 first-place votes. The Ducks claimed the other No.1 nod as well as 55 second-place votes after rolling past Washington.
The real movement begins at the No.3 spot, now held by South Carolina. The Gamecocks have their highest ranking since USA TODAY began administering the poll following their 35-7 thumping of SEC East rival Georgia. The Bulldogs tumbled seven places to No.12.
A couple of undefeated Big 12 squads round out the top five, each climbing three positions. West Virginia moved up to No.4 after winning another shootout, this time a 48-45 thriller on the road at then-No.9 Texas. The Longhorns slid to No.15. No.5 Kansas State thumped in-state foe Kansas to earn its first top-five ranking since 2003.
Knocking on the door are No.6 Florida and No.7 Notre Dame. The Gators climbed five places after stifling then-No.3 LSU 14-6 to leapfrog the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame's defense look just as dominant in a victory against Miami (Fla.) in Chicago. LSU slipped to No.8, followed by once-beaten Southern California and Oklahoma. Florida State, which lost the stunner of the night at unranked North Carolina State, fell seven places to No.11.
Three new teams enter the top 25 this week, and two of them are scheduled to square off. Texas A&M moves in at No.21 on the eve of its rescheduled contest with Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs make their first ever appearance in the poll at No.24 as they prepare to meet the Aggies in Shreveport, a game postponed from the opening week of the season by Hurricane Isaac. No.25 Iowa State is ranked for the first time since November, 2005, following its win at TCU. The Horned Frogs fell 10 spots to No.23 following that result.
Texas Tech dropped from the rankings after its first loss of the season at the hands of Oklahoma. Also falling out were Northwestern and Nebraska, leaving the Big Ten without a ranked team in the history of the coaches poll. Ohio State is undefeated but ineligible to receive votes in the coaches poll due to NCAA sanctions. The same applies to Penn State, which handed Northwestern its first loss Saturday.