While this week's Coaches' Poll didn't feature very many changes overall, there was one big difference worth noting - Florida State, the reigning national champion, dropped from No. 1 to No. 2 despite winning its contest Saturday against NC State. The Seminoles were passed by Alabama, which had a bye week after demolishing Florida two weeks ago. FSU remained No. 1 in the AP Poll, however, giving us a split decision on which team is tops in college football.
Each week, we've been combing through the poll to try to determine which teams are ranked higher than they should be - or, to rephrase, which teams haven't yet earned their rankings. Ironically, Florida State has been featured on our list for weeks now. The Noles' defensive performance against NC State surely didn't help their cause.
Here are the five most overrated teams in this week's poll. A few have the opportunity to silence doubters this weekend.
5. No. 8 Notre Dame
Yes, Notre Dame is undefeated at 4-0. Yes, Everett Golson completed 25 passes in a row on Saturday night. Yes, the Irish have won every game by at least 16 points. But no, ND has not been tested yet. It's hard to believe that this is the eighth-best team in the country based on what we've seen so far this year.
Against Syracuse, Notre Dame turned the ball over five times and struggled to put away an Orange team that had no business being on the same field as the Irish. If it hadn't been for Syracuse's abysmal offense in the red zone, it could have been a whole lot worse.
The team's other wins - over Rice, Michigan and Purdue - aren't all that impressive either, looking at how they've fared this season. Make no mistake - Notre Dame is a quality squad this year, but until the Irish play Stanford and Florida State, we'd keep them out of our top ten.
4. No. 24 Arizona State
Arizona State is ranked No. 24 this week simply because the Sun Devils were ranked No. 12 last week before they were shellacked by UCLA Thursday night. ASU's victories, while dominant, came against Weber State, New Mexico and Colorado - teams that have combined to win three games this season. This is a classic example of coaches still looking at the season Arizona State had a year ago when putting together their rankings.
Yes, it's true that starting signal-caller Taylor Kelly was out against the Bruins with an injured right foot. But the Sun Devils had far more problems than just quarterback play. Despite actually out-gaining UCLA and possessing the ball for 34 minutes, they still lost by 35 at home. When you give up multiple big plays, can't tackle on special teams and turn the ball over five times, that's what happens.
ASU has the chance to immediately redeem itself when it travels to take on No. 16 USC this Saturday. If the Sun Devils can win that one on the road, they'll deserve to be back in the rankings.
3. No. 15 LSU
LSU somehow moved up three spots this week after beating lowly New Mexico State. The Tigers are currently ranked No. 15 in the country, but honestly, they may be the worst team in the SEC West. No, that's not a joke. LSU is currently ranked behind five of the other six teams in the group as it is. Arkansas, which gave Texas A&M a game last week, is the only team in the division not ranked.
Against weaker competition, LSU has dominated, largely because the Tigers run the ball well and are good enough on defense to shut down teams that lack playmakers. But against Wisconsin and Mississippi State, which feature top-level FBS talent, that clearly was not the case. Plus, Les Miles has a quarterback controversy on his hands at the moment - Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris have been alternating playing time. Simply put, this is not one of LSU's better teams in the last decade.
We have a feeling that LSU's game against Auburn this weekend will be telling.
2. No. 2 Florida State
Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston returned from his suspension and threw for 365 yards and four touchdowns against NC State. It was barely enough.
NC State, a team that has still not won an ACC league game since 2012, used an up-tempo offense to put up 520 yards and 41 points on a defense that led FSU to the national championship a year ago. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who most college football fans hadn't even heard of before Saturday, threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns. The Seminoles trailed 24-7 at one point and didn't take the lead until late in the third quarter. That's not how the No. 1 or No. 2 team in the country should be performing mid-season.
Florida State certainly still has the talent to run the table in the ACC and represent the conference in the College Football Playoff. But it's safe to say that with the way they've played this year, losing a game is not an option if they plan on being able to defend their title.
1. No. 11 Ole Miss
Ole Miss gave up just 104 yards total to Memphis this past Saturday, yet as the game entered the fourth quarter, the Rebels led by a score of just 7-3. Why? Because as consistent as Ole Miss has been on defense, the Rebels have been as inconsistent on offense. Turnovers, specifically, have been an issue in two of the team's four games this season.
Plus, if we're being honest, Ole Miss hasn't beaten anyone of note - at least not yet. The team's four wins come against Boise State, Vanderbilt, Louisiana-Lafayette and the aforementioned Tigers. That all changes, however, this Saturday, when both ESPN's College GameDay and Alabama come to town.
If the Rebels can give Nick Saban & Co. a game, we'll have no problem admitting that they deserve their near-top-ten ranking. But until then...