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1. Alabama (4-0): AJ McCarron threw three touchdown passes and the Crimson Tide routed Florida Atlantic 40-7. Eddie Lacy rushed for 10-6 yards in the first half for Alabama, which rolled to 134 straight points and two shutouts before allowing a touchdown to the Owls in the final minutes. Trending: No. 1 last week. Next: vs. Ole Miss (3-1), Saturday, 9:15 p.m.
2. Oregon (4-0): The often-overlooked Ducks defense gets the credit for the 49-0 blowout of Arizona. Oregon held the Wildcats out of the end zone and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Tory Hill each returned interceptions for touchdowns. It was the first shutout for the Ducks in conference play since a 35-0 win over Stanford on Oct. 25, 2003. Trending: No. 3 last week. Next: at Washington State (2-2), Saturday, 10:30 p.m.
3. LSU (4-0): The LSU defense produced a first-quarter safety and shut out Auburn in the second half and LSU eked out a 12-10 win. Auburn led the battle of the Tigers 10-9 at halftime but LSU held Auburn to just 183 yards. A fumbled punt return by Auburn’s Quan Bray set up Drew Alleman’s 30-yard field goal late in the third quarter that was the difference in the game. Trending: No. 2 last week. Next: vs. Towson (2-1), Saturday, 7 p.m.
4. Florida State (4-0): The Seminoles shot themselves in the foot with a fumble and two missed field goals in the first half, then caught fire with a 35-3 run over a 20-minute stretch in the second half to beat Clemson 49-37 in a battle of ACC unbeatens. The Tigers had built a 28-14 lead early in the third quarter before Florida State went on its run. The teams combined for 1,093 yards of offense and Clemson put up 426 yards on the nation’s top-ranked defensive unit. Trending: No. 6 last week. Next: at South Florida (2-2), Saturday, 6 p.m.
5. Georgia (4-0): Aaron Murray completed his first 12 passes and led the Bulldogs to their most complete game of the year in a 48-3 shellacking of Vanderbilt. Murray had touchdown passes to Marlon Brown and Tavarres King and broke a second-place tie with Eric Zeier on Georgia’s all-time TD pass list. With 69 career touchdown passes Murray trails career leader David Greene by three. Freshman running back Todd Gurley had 130 yards and two scores and fellow frosh Keith Marshall also scored twice. Trending: No. 5 last week. Next: vs. Tennessee (3-1), Sazturday, 3:30 p.m.
6. Notre Dame (4-0): The Fighting Irish held a Big Ten opponent out of the end zone for a second straight week, this time intercepting Denard Robinson four times in a 13-6 win over Michigan. Manti Te’o had two of the picks for Notre Dame and backup quarterback Tommy Rees came off the bench to provide the offense with a spark. The Irish are 4-0 for the first time since 2002. Trending: No. 11 last week. Next: Idle.
7. South Carolina (4-0): Connor Shaw shook off a hairline fracture in his throwing shoulder to complete his last 20 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns as the Gamecocks easily took care of Missouri, which was playing its first road game as a member of the SEC. Shaw missed his first attempt, then finished 20-of-21 passing. Marcus Lattimore ran for a pair of scores and South Carolina improved to 4-0 for just the ninth time in school history. Trending: No. 7 last week. Next: at Kentucky (1-3), Saturday, 7 p.m.
8. Kansas State (4-0): John Hubert ran for 130 yards and a touchdown and the Wildcats forced three turnovers to avenge a big loss at home to Oklahoma last season, beating the Sooners 24-19. Jarell Childs had a scoop and score off an Oklahoma fumble for Kansas State, which took a 41-point pounding from the Sooners in Manhattan last season. Collin Klein accounted for 228 yards of offense and ran for the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Trending: No. 15 last week. Next: Idle
9. Stanford (3-0): The Cardinal had a week off after their upset of USC and will head on the road for the first time this season with efficient but not spectacular senior quarterback Josh Nunes at the helm. Trending: No. 8 last week. Next: at Washington (2-1), Thursday, 9 p.m.
10. West Virginia (3-0): Baltimore native Tavon Austin continued to torment Maryland, catching three touchdown passes to lead the Mountaineers to a 31-21 victory. Austin finished with 13 receptions for 179 yards and now has 31 grabs for 407 yards in three career games against the Terrapins. Geno Smith took some tough hits but hung in to go 30-of-43 through the air for 338 yards. Trending: No. 10 last week. Next: vs. Baylor (3-0), Saturday, noon.
11. Florida (4-0): Jeff Driskel accounted for two touchdowns and the Gators beat Kentucky for the 26th consecutive time, 38-0. It was Florida’s first shutout in SEC play since a 52-0 win over Mississippi State in 2001. The Gators got off to a slow start, a rarity for them against the Wildcats. Florida had outscored Kentucky 94-3 in the first quarter over the teams’ last four meetings. Trending: No. 14 last week. Next: Idle.
12. Texas (3-0): The Longhorns hope to fix some leaks on the defensive side of the ball after a week off. While the Texas offense scored its most points in seven years in a 66-31 win at Ole Miss on Sept. 15, the defense had tackling problems and were susceptible to big plays against the Rebels—not a good sign with high-powered Oklahoma State next on the docket. Trending: No. 9 last week. Next: at Oklahoma State (2-1), Saturday, 7:50 p.m.
13. USC (3-1): Matt Barkley spent much of the day handing off, passing for 192 yards and two touchdowns to Marqise Lee as the Trojans bounced back from their loss at Stanford by beating California 27-9. Lee had 11 catches for 94 yards and Penn State transfer Silas Redd ran for 158 yards and a score for USC, which beat the Golden Bears for the ninth straight time. Trending: No. 13 last week. Next: Idle.
14. TCU (3-0): Brandon Carter caught two touchdown passes and Kenny Cain had a pair of interceptions as the Horned Frogs extended their winning streak to 11 games—best in FBS—with a 27-7 win over Virginia. Casey Pachall threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns. He was picked off for the first time all season. Cain returned one of his picks 40 yards to set up a field goal and was the first TCU linebacker since 1999 to have two interceptions in a game. Trending: No. 17 last week. Next: at SMU (1-2), Saturday, 7 p.m.
15. Ohio State (4-0): Braxton Miller ran for two touchdowns and the Buckeyes survived a lackluster effort against winless UAB with a 29-15 win. Ohio State struggled with drive-killing penalties, had a punt blocked for a touchdown and had trouble moving the ball against a defense that had given up an average of 44 points and 477 yards in its first two games. Trending: No. 16 last week. Next: at Michigan State (3-1), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
16. Oklahoma (2-1): This probably isn’t what Landry Jones signed up for. The Sooner quarterback bypassed the NFL Draft to return to Oklahoma but had a mistake-filled night as the Sooners were upset at home by Kansas State, 24-19. Jones threw for 298 yards and a late touchdown but also had a fumble and an interception. Trending: No. 4 last week. Next: Idle.
17. Clemson (3-1): The Tigers led 28-14 early in the third quarter before the roof caved in on them, in the form of a 35-3 spurt by Florida State in the second half as Clemson lost for the first time this season, 49-37. Tajh Boyd completed 20-of-36 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers. Trending: No. 12 last week. Next: at Boston College (1-2), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
18. Michigan State (3-1): Le’Veon Bell ran for a career-high 253 yards and a touchdown but the Spartans struggled mightily to put away winless Eastern Michigan, trailing for most of three quarters before pulling away for a 23-7 win. Dan Conroy kicked three field goals for the Spartans, which ended a touchdown drought of more than seven quarters when Andrew Maxwell hooked up with tight end Dion Sims for a 10-yard scoring pass with 7:19 remaining. Trending: No. 19 last week. Next: vs. Ohio State (4-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
19. Louisville (4-0): Miami native Teddy Bridgewater threw two touchdown passes and ran for another in his return to his home city as the Cardinals remained perfect after holding off Florida International 28-21. Bridgewater was 19-for-36 for 194 yards and was picked twice. Trending: No. 24 last week. Next: at Southern Mississippi (0-3), Saturday, 8 p.m.
20. Mississippi State (4-0): The Bulldogs are 4-0 for the first time since 1999 after beating South Alabama 30-10. Tyler Russell was 13-for-27 passing for 171 yards for Mississippi State while LaDarius Perkins ran for a team-high 69 yards. Perkins had a 44-yard scoring run. The defense was led by Nickoe Whitley and Johnthan Banks, who each had long interception returns to thwart Jaguar drives. Trending: Unranked last week. Next: Idle.
21. Oregon State (2-0): Sean Mannion threw for a career-high 379 yards and two touchdowns and the Beavers shut down a big-time running back for the second straight game this season, beating UCLA 27-20. The win was the 74th at Oregon State for coach Mike Riley, tying the school record set by Lon Stiner, who coached in Corvallis from 1933-48. After shutting down Wisconsin’s Montee Ball in their opener, the Beavers held the country’s leading rusher, Johnathan Franklin, to just 45 yards on 12 carries. Trending: Unranked last week. Next: at Arizona (3-1), Saturday, 10 p.m.
22. Boise State (2-1): Nose tackle Mike Atkinson lived the lineman’s dream, intercepting a pass and returning it 36 yards for the Broncos’ only score in a 7-6 win over BYU Thursday night. Boise State stopped a late two-point conversion attempt to hang on for the win. It was the second time in three games this season where the defense scored the only touchdown for the Broncos. Trending: Unranked last week: Next: at New Mexico (2-2), Saturday, 6 p.m.
23. Nebraska (3-1): Running back Rex Burkhead returned from a sprained knee to run for 119 yards and two touchdowns as the Cornhuskers overwhelmed FCS Idaho State 73-7. The 73 points was the most for Nebraska since hanging 73 on Kansas State in 2007. The Bengals lost their 34th straight road game and has lost 46 of its last 52 overall, but earned a $600,000 guarantee for coming to Lincoln to take a beating. Trending: No. 23 last week. Next: vs. Wisconsin (3-1), Saturday, 8 p.m.
24. Baylor (3-0): Nick Florence was 26-for-39 passing for 351 yards and a career-high four touchdowns and the Bears held off stubborn Louisiana-Monroe Friday night, 47-42. Levi Norwood put Baylor ahead for good with a nine-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. The score capped a 14-play, 73-yard drive. Trending: Unranked last week. Next: at West Virginia (3-0), Saturday, noon.
25. Oklahoma State (2-1): With Wes Lunt likely sidelined next week with a knee injury suffered in the Cowboys’ 65-24 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 15, freshman J.W. Walsh will likely make his first start at quarterback when Oklahoma State hosts Texas. Walsh was 21-for-30 for 347 yards and four touchdowns against the Ragin’ Cajuns and added 73 yards and a score on the ground. Trending: No. 20 last week. Next: vs. Texas (3-0), Saturday, 7:50 p.m.
Out of the rankings: Michigan (No. 18 last week), Arizona (No. 21), UCLA (No. 22), Virginia Tech (No. 25).
Also receiving votes: Texas A&M, Arizona State, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Northwestern.
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