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College football rankings: LSU, Mississippi State losses see SEC West teams tumble in CBS Sports 76

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CBS Sports graphic

One of my favorite parts about the month of October in college football is how quickly the rankings adjust to those initial reactions from the opening weeks of the season. In “normal” seasons this, would still be the point where teams have finally have a couple conference games in the books and whatever kind of overreaction we made from the few September results worth noting has been put to the test by the grind of league play. 

Even in a “normal” year, this is the point where we identify an early-season result that has been proven to be wildly misleading. In 2020, that game is Mississippi State’s 44-34 win at LSU. The biggest game on the SEC’s opening-week schedule had everything fans could want, from the intrigue of seeing how the defending champs would replace Joe Burrow and more than a dozen starters to the SEC debut of Mike Leach. By the time K.J. Costello and the Bulldogs (who entered the game as 18-point underdogs) were done carving up LSU for 623 passing yards in the upset win, a new era was proclaimed in the conference. Mike Leach was here, we thought, and the league would never be the same. 

Well, while we did see scoreboard-breaking totals in the SEC this past weekend, none of it came from Mississippi State. The Bulldogs did not even score an offensive point in a 14-2 loss to Kentucky, a result that was preceded by a 21-14 loss to Arkansas. Ever since the Leach era started with lighting up LSU, Costello has thrown the ball 114 times and the Mississippi State offense has scored just two touchdowns.   

Now at 1-2, Mississippi State finds itself at the bottom of the SEC West standings with LSU. That same LSU team that started in

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SMU jumps all the way up to No. 18; Texas A&M, Texas and OU tumble

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Oklahoma dropped out of The Associated Press college football poll for the first time since September 2016 and No. 24 Iowa State jumped back into the Top 25 after a day of upsets.

There largely was stability at the top of the rankings Sunday after No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Florida all won big, though the Bulldogs and Gators switched spots. Clemson received 52 first-place votes and Alabama got eight from the panel of sports writers and broadcasters.

Notre Dame was idle and held at No. 5, while No. 6 Ohio State received two first-place votes despite no Big Ten Conference games scheduled until late October.

Overall, though, five teams dropped out of the Top 25 after eight ranked teams lost Saturday, six to unranked opponents.

The Sooners were involved in one of those upsets, losing at Iowa State for the first time since 1960. Oklahoma’s first two-game, regular-season losing streak in 21 years snapped its string of 64 straight poll appearances.

That was the fourth-longest active streak in the country behind Alabama, Ohio State (not including the polls in which it was not eligible) and Clemson.

The Sooners will head into their Red River rivalry game against Texas next Saturday as an unranked team for the first time since 2005.

The 22nd-ranked Longhorns managed to hold on to a spot in the rankings, falling 13 spots after losing at home to TCU.

SMU moves up:

When SMU jumped into the Top 25 a season ago, for the first time in more than 30 years, it took a dominant 5-0 start for the AP voters to believe the Mustangs had earned it.

This season, it took one massive win against the defending AAC champions to convince voters that the 4-0 Mustangs were among