ALOST’s 2016 College Football Poll (Week 3)

So how do you know that college football is back? You know when you find out that two traditional Southern football powers square off in a primetime non-conference game in the middle of a motor speedway. Virginia Tech and Tennessee did just that last week. (Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)
How do you know college football is back? When you find out that two traditional Southern football powers are squaring off in a primetime game in the middle of a motor speedway. Virginia Tech and Tennessee did just that last week in Bristol. (Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)

After serves, double faults, winners and Grand Slams, it’s time for touchdowns, triple reverses, pick sixes and endless College Football Playoff discussions on A Lot of Sports Talk.

We’re getting a little bit of a late start with our weekly college football poll, mostly due to our near wall-to-wall coverage of the 2016 US Open tennis tournament, but that actually might have been a good thing for us in the short and long run. Unlike most preseason polls, we weren’t on record being lured into the thinking that Tennessee is a Top-10 team to start the season. We now know how good Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois is. Also, we’ve found out how much we missed covering college football…which is a lot!

But we’re back, and to make up for lost time, ALOST will be covering two Division I college football games for the next three Saturdays, including this Saturday. Because the only thing better than college football is more college football!

As always, the A Lot of Sports Talk College Football Poll panel consists of journalists, former college football players and coaches as well as knowledgeable fans who continually have a finger on the pulse of college football. For this week’s poll, we have a very qualified quintet: Evie Van Pelt (managing editor at The Rebel Walk Magazine), Basil Mitchell (former TCU and Green Bay Packers RB), Sandy Weintraub (super fan, Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards at the University of Oregon), Nick Mancuso (patent attorney who attended USC as an undergrad and Oregon for law school) and, yours truly, Adesina Koiki (Football Writers Association of America member/voter, A Lot Of Sports Talk editor-in-chief).

Here is ALOST‘s 2016 College Football Top 25 for Week 3.  If you have any comments and/or complaints, write them below on the Facebook window or email us at We’d love to hear from you. (All comments below written by Adesina O. Koiki.)

1. AlabamaTidelogo Alabama (124, four first-place votes)

The only time a Nick Saban-coached team lost three straight games to the same school was then his Michigan State Spartans lost three straight to Purdue – led by Drew Brees – between 1997 and 1999. Can Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly play like Brees and pull the upset of the Tide again?

2.FSU_Seminoles_logo Florida State (121, one first-place vote)

If the Seminoles win games against Ole Miss AND Louisville away from Doak Campbell Stadium before the end of September, shouldn’t they be ranked the No. 1 team in America, based on merit?

3. Ohio State Ohio State (109*)

Though the names aren’t recognizable outside of J.T. Barrett, the Buckeyes probably have as much depth in talent as anyone in the country. All of it will have to be on display in Norman on Saturday night.

4.  MichiganWolverines Michigan (109)

Is it possible that Kordell Stewart somehow come out of retirement, turn back the clock 22 years and play quarterback for Colorado this week in the Big House? If so, the game might be much more competitive between the Buffs and Wolverines.

5. Logo_of_University_of_Houston_Athletics  Houston (107)

The Cougars, after their win in the opening game against Oklahoma, still has a few tests remaining, including a game against Louisville in November. In the meantime, Houston passed one of those big tests Thursday night, overcoming a sluggish start to beat a talented Cincinnati team on the road.

6. 299px-Clemson_University_Tiger_Paw_logo.svg  Clemson (103)

As a coach, I have a lot of respect for Dabo Swinney. But it has to be said that the comments he made on Tuesday when asked about Colin Kaepernick and his protest were tone-deaf at best – and idiotic at worst. His comments echo the sentiments of many who do not have – or willingly choose not to – an understanding of a) what Kaepernick is protesting in the first place, and b) the social injustice and systemic racism that unquestionably continues to persist in the United States, and how that has nothing to do with disrespecting the men and women in the military who have served in the armed forces. Oh, and from your comments, Dabo, you really need an education about what Dr. Martin Luther King really stood for.

7.  StanfordCardinal   Stanford (96)

Has it really been nine years since Stanford pulled off that shocking victory at The Coliseum against the No. 1 Trojans as a 41-point underdog?! Since then, Stanford’s been the boss of the series, and that should continue Saturday night on The Farm.

8.  WisconsinBadger.svg Wisconsin (85)

The Badgers are sitting pretty in the polls, but their defense has already suffered key losses; linebacker Chris Orr was lost for the season after a right knee injury against LSU and corner Natrell Jamerson is now out for a few weeks with a left leg injury suffered last week.

9.  Louisville_Cardinals.svg   Louisville (83)

If the Cardinals defeat Florida State Saturday afternoon, it will go a long way in making that sole voter in the ACC preseason media poll who voted for Louisville to win the league look like a genius. (P.S. That lone voter was yours truly.)

10.  360px-University_of_Washington_Block_W_logo.svg   Washington (80)

I’m not sold on the Huskies yet and may not be sold on them until their Sept. 30 Friday night matchup against Stanford at home. Something about the hype makes me want to pump the brakes and see them show their mettle before ranking them this high.

11.  Msu_head_logo.svg Michigan State (71)

Almost shocked that the Spartans are more than a touchdown underdogs against Notre Dame on Saturday night. If there’s one coach who gets the best out of his team when there’s a feeling of disrespect above its head, it’s Mark Dantonio.

12.  Texas_Longhorn_logo.svg Texas (69)

I’ll definitely be staying up late to see if Texas can handle a tricky road trip to Strawberry Canyon. Remember last year’s shootout in Austin, when Texas was all ready to take the game to a second overtime before a missed extra point from the Longhorns ended the game? If you’re a Longhorns’ fan, you don’t remember that at all!

13. OU-Logo Oklahoma (54*)

Our first high-profile team might be out of the playoff race after Saturday night if the Sooners don’t come up against against Ohio State.

14.TAMU-Logo Texas A&M (54)

We’ve seen these surprising starts from the Aggies and Kevin Sumlin before. Can it be sustained down on The Plains against Auburn?

15. Iowa_Hawkeyes_logo Iowa (52)

The Hawkeyes are going about their business nice and quietly. Just the way they like it.

16. 410px-Ole_Miss_rebels_Logo.svg  Ole Miss (47)

Outside of those living in the Heart of Dixie, I’m sure there will be many people across the country rooting for the Rebels to knock off the leviathan that is Alabama football. If any team can do it, it’s the one that’s actually done it each of the past two seasons.

17. Notre Dame Notre Dame (45)

If it’s a primetime game and Notre Dame is playing and DeShone Kizer is playing quarterback for most of it, expect high drama! That should be the case Saturday night when the Irish take on Sparty.

18. Georgia logo Georgia (44)

I guess I’m one of the few people who didn’t hold it against Georgia too much for eking out a win against Nicholls. Actually, before last Saturday’s game, I didn’t know that Nicholls State University dropped the “State” part of their name when referring to their athletics teams.

19. ut_volunteers_logo-svg Tennessee (38)

Not sure if Ohio’s convincing win at Kansas is an indicator of how tough they’ll play the Vols this week, but given Tennessee’s escape against App. State and their slow start last week against Virginia Tech, this game could prove to be another tricky affair for Tennessee.

20. LSUTigers LSU (31)

Let the Danny Etling era begin in Baton Rouge. The transfer from Purdue will start at quarterback and, maybe, LSU’s quarterback quandry will finally cease.Umm, how many times have we said that about a Les Miles team during his time at LSU?!?

21.  173px-Baylor_University_Athletics_(logo).svg Baylor (28)

No problems against Rice on Friday night. There should be a lot more problems for the Bears next week against Oklahoma State.

22. 295px-OregonDucks.svg Oregon (26)

One of our pollsters, Sandy, will be in Lincoln on Saturday for the Ducks’ game against Nebraska. He’ll be there, while yours truly will be covering New Mexico-Rutgers. My guess is that Sandy will be at the better game. I’m jealous.

23. Arkansas-Razorback-Logo-2001 Arkansas (20)

TCU last week. Texas A&M next week. Texas State on Saturday. Beware the sandwich game, Razorbacks.

24.  Florida_Gators_logo.svg Florida (11)

After the first two games, Luke Del Rio looks like a good fit for this Gators’ offense. It’s only two games, however, so the jury is still out on how good Florida’s offense can be this season. Their defense should still be championship worthy!

25.  san_diego_state_athletics_logo_2013 San Diego State (6)

It shouldn’t be a secret now that the Aztecs are a team capable of going undefeated and crashing the New Years’ Six party. A tribky trip to DeKalb, Ill. to take on the Huskies of Northern Illinois awaits on Saturday.
Others receiving votes:
UCLA (3 points), Utah (3), Auburn (2), Miami, FL (2), North Carolina (1), Pittsburgh (1)

* – To break ties, we used a three-step criteria; 1) higher number of first-place votes, 2) higher number of ballots (out of six) the teams appeared in, 3) highest single ranking by an individual pollster (e.g. if Team A and Team B are tied cumulatively and appeared in all six polls, but Team A’s highest ranking by an individual pollster was No. 7 and Team B’s highest ranking by an individual pollster was No. 9, Team A wins tiebreaker)

[Cover photo (Lamar Jackson) courtesy of Brett Carlsen/Getty Images]

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