Oregon moves to No. 2 in AP poll

BY foxsports • September 23, 2012

Oregon was overwhelming and now the Ducks are No. 2 in the AP Top 25, jumping LSU to get in line behind No. 1 Alabama.

No. 4 Florida State is right behind the third-ranked Tigers, while Georgia held steady at No. 5.

No. 6 South Carolina gives the Southeastern Conference four of the top six teams in the nation.

Alabama got 59 of 60 first-place votes from the media panel, with LSU receiving the other.

Kansas State moved up eight spots to No. 7 after beating Oklahoma 24-19, the Wildcats' best ranking since September 2006.

The Sooners dropped from sixth to 16th.

No. 18 Oregon State, Rutgers and Baylor made their first appearances of the season in the Top 25 after winning on the road Saturday.

Oregon State went into UCLA and knocked off the Bruins 27-20 behind Sean Mannion's career-high 379 yards and two touchdowns. The loss dropped UCLA out of the rankings, somewhat surprisingly. The Bruins offense is in good hands with redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley. Their defense needs work.

It's been a terrific and odd start to the season for the Beavers. Their first game with Nicholls State was postponed. They beat Wisconsin the next week in Corvallis, Ore., then had another week off. But the 2-0 start is huge for longtime coach Mike Riley, who is coming off consecutive losing seasons.

Along with UCLA, Michigan and Arizona exited the poll.

A case could be made for which is the second-best team in the country and the jockeying should continue for a while.

First, a quick recap: While LSU was slogging through a 12-10 victory at Auburn, Florida State was racing away from Clemson, 49-37 on Saturday night.

Oregon was last up and Ducks were at their breath-taking best against Arizona, beating the Wildcats 49-0 at Autzen Stadium. The Wildcats came into the game unbeaten and ranked No. 22.

The voters in the media poll were swayed. Oregon received 1,414 points.

Less than a month into the season, voters are still trying to sort through bits and pieces of evidence when determining the best teams. While most have played four games, some three, none have played that many truly meaningful games.

Oregon has outscored its opponents 211-73 but hasn't played a road game. LSU had been just as dominant at home before going to Auburn (1-3). LSU did play a Pac-12 team at home and beat Washington 41-3. How much better is Arizona than Washington? Fair question.

As for Florida State, the Seminoles also have yet to play outside their home stadium, and started the season with two games against FCS teams, including the sadly overmatched Savannah State.

So where is this going?

The Ducks finally hit the road this week, playing at Washington State on Saturday. The arrival of Mike Leach has folks pumped on the Palouse, but the Cougars just lost to previously winless Colorado. After that Oregon has Washington at home before a week off.

Florida State also has to pack its bags for the first time this week. The Seminoles play at South Florida, before getting back into the Atlantic Coast Conference with a road trip to North Carolina State.

LSU is back at home next week to face Towson, which should be a lot like Florida State playing Savannah State, before going to Florida. Beat the unbeaten Gators and the Tigers could easily get back whatever they have lost.

Conclusion: Lots still be learned.

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