There’s a strong tendency among voters not to demote a team in the rankings that doesn’t lose. But sometimes, the visual evidence is too much to ignore.
Clemson, the College Football Playoff runner-up a season ago, is 2-0 after entering the season with the No. 2 position in the Amway Coaches Poll. But neither of those victories were particularly decisive, especially Saturday narrow escape against Sun Belt Conference member Troy.
Enough voters have been more impressed thus far in 2016 with the Tigers’ top Atlantic Coast Conference rival, Florida State, to elevate the Seminoles above Clemson into the second position behind No. 1 Alabama. FSU picked up a first-place vote this week after having a much easier time with FCS contender Charleston Southern.
The Crimson Tide, meanwhile, are now nearly the consensus choice at No. 1 with 62 of 64 first-place nods. Now-No. 3 Clemson is still getting one No. 1. Ohio State retained the No. 4 spot, and Michigan edged into the top five ahead of Stanford, which had the weekend off.
Amway Coaches Poll: Top 25
Stock up: Louisville. The Cardinals continued on their upward trajectory after QB Lamar Jackson’s virtuoso performance Friday night at Syracuse. Louisville checks in at No. 10 this week, up five places, on the eve of a huge ACC showdown with Florida State.
Stock down: Georgia. The Bulldogs didn’t lose, but their narrow 26-24 escape from Nicholls State cost them four places in the poll. They check in this week at No. 13.
Stock up: Wisconsin: The Badgers took care of business against Akron to follow up their Week 1 triumph against LSU and climb four places to No. 12.
Stock down: The Big 12. It was a rough week for the league all around with two of its member falling out of the poll after last-play losses.
Stock up: Texas. At least one Big 12 squad made positive strides. The Longhorns handled UTEP and climb four spots to No. 16.
Stock down: Iowa. The Hawkeyes didn’t do anything wrong, easily dispatching in-state foe Iowa State. But they were nudged out of the top 10 by Louisville and check in at No. 11 this week.
New kids on the block: No. 24 Arkansas, No. 25 Miami (Fla.).
College dropouts: TCU, Oklahoma State.