Wisconsin and Clemson made jumps this week in my poll after both notched impressive victories last week. The victims in those games – Nebraska and Virginia Tech – took tumbles, as did South Carolina after losing to Auburn.
AU is back in my rankings and Kansas State makes its season debut as well after stunning Baylor with a late interception and field goal to win 36-35.
The Bears hang on in the poll at No. 25, right behind Texas A&M, which squandered another big first-half lead against a ranked foe.
TCU and South Florida fall out with losses.
Oct. 2 AP poll
1. LSU (5-0): Even in a week with the revival of a huge distraction and with a morning kickoff (read: lack of energy in the stadium), the Tigers were flat-out dominant in their first regular-season game as No. 1 in four years.
2. Oklahoma (4-0): Sooners have done nothing but win – most of the time impressively – this season so far. This week will tell us more as OU tackles its annual showdown with Texas.
3. Alabama (5-0): Crimson Tide is closing the gap on LSU in terms of impressive wins after thumping Arkansas and Florida back-to-back. Still need to see more from the offense besides Trent Richardson, although he has been a monster.
4. Wisconsin (5-0): Any lingering questions about how good the Badgers are can be put to rest in a big way with a 31-point dismantling of Nebraska. Still work to do in the Big Ten, but it's hard to imagine anybody in that league posing much of a challenge to this UW team.
5. Stanford (4-0): Cardinal is toying with the Pac-12 competition at this point, with an Andrew Luck-based offense generating 45.8 points game. Two more weeks of breathers follow before Stanford gets to a season-defining stretch against Washington, USC and Oregon in a four-week span.
6. Oklahoma State (4-0): Cowboys offense is as good as anybody in the country, especially through the air. But the defense could wind up costing OSU a legitimate chance at staying in the national championship hunt.
7. Boise State (4-0): The bloom is starting to fade a bit on the Broncos this season because it's hard to get amped up about a game between Boise State vs. anybody in the Mountain West, especially now that TCU looks very human.
9. Oregon (3-1): Ducks are flying under the radar for now with an eye on mid-November showdown with Stanford. Meanwhile, that Oregon offense will keep piling up big gaudy numbers.
10. Texas (4-0): Longhorns have bounced back impressively from their crater in the road last season. Beating Oklahoma this week sure would be a huge step toward proving they're really all the way back.
11. West Virginia (4-1): Sans a few turnovers against LSU, the Mountaineers might have a claim to be higher in this poll. Just a great offensive team and a defense that has been solid against everybody except the Tigers and Maryland for a quarter and a half.
12. Florida (4-1): Gators were hanging in with Alabama with quarterback John Brantley upright and healthy and the defense was holding its own. Things changed dramatically when Brantley had to be carried off with a leg injury, but it's hard to dock a team too much for that.
13. Florida State (2-2): Seminoles are still hanging in here because their two losses have come against top-10 teams with their freshman QB playing a major role in both. After a week to regroup, it's time for FSU to rebuild its season and notch some notable wins.
14. Georgia Tech (5-0): Ramblin' Wreck has been off the map most of the season but it's hard to not notice those gaudy offensive numbers. Like Oklahoma State, though, the Yellow Jackets need to shore up their defense to climb any higher.
15. Michigan (5-0): Brady Hoke has done a pretty good job of making folks forget about the ill-fated Rich Rodriguez experiment. No time to stumble now with back-to-back road games at Northwestern and Michigan State.
16. Arizona State (4-1): After thumping Southern Cal, the Sun Devils survived their letdown game against Oregon State last week, but face back-to-back tricky road games at Utah and Oregon to prove if they're for real.
17. Arkansas (4-1): The Razorbacks' promising season was starting to crumble in the first half against Texas A&M, but they found new life with a memorable comeback. Does that carry over this week against Auburn?
18. Auburn (4-1): Every time you count the Tigers out they find a way to remind everybody that there is, in fact, life after Cam Newton. Another chance for the unexpected this week in Fayetteville.
19. Virginia Tech (4-1): Hokies' offense muddled through for four weeks but nobody noticed because the defense was so stingy. Clemson choked off VT, though, and punched a hole in the Hokies' national title aspirations.
20. South Carolina (4-1): At some point you knew Stephen Garcia would hurt the Gamecocks and it came against an Auburn team not ready to write this season off. Loss last week brought Carolina back to the East Division pack.
21. Nebraska (4-1): The polar opposite of Virginia Tech, Nebraska's offense covered up a lot of defensive blemishes for four games. Not so much against the best team in the Big Ten, which gave the Cornhuskers a rude welcome to the league.
22. Michigan State (4-1): Spartans trumped Ohio State at the winning-ugly thing last week and did it in Columbus. Not a bad way to head into a bye week before hosting Michigan and Wisconsin back-to-back.
23. Kansas State (4-0): Took a while to buy into the Wildcats actually being back as a Big 12 contender in Bill Snyder's second season of his second go-round in Manhattan. But the last two weeks make me a believer.
24. Texas A&M (2-2): Aggies might want to consider skipping the halftime band performances and all that from now on so they can keep the first-half momentum they've built. Two tough-to-take losses could derail A&M's season.
25. Baylor (3-1): Bears left the Lone Star State for the first time this season and nearly came back with a victory, but a late interception and field goal by K-State spoiled that. Robert Griffin III is still an elite QB and gives Baylor a shot to win every time it steps on the field.
Dropped out: South Florida (4-1), TCU (3-2)