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Senior College Football Columnist

Power Poll: Noles the biggest losers, Ducks biggest winners after shakeup

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Biggest winners from Shake Up Saturday -- Oregon, Florida, South Carolina, West Virginia, Notre Dame and LSU.

Yes, LSU.

Biggest losers? Florida State (big time), ACC (big time), Georgia (big time) and the Red River Shootout. Big time.

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Six weeks into the season there are still 15 undefeated teams – 12 from BCS leagues (including Notre Dame). Those 12 make up almost half the Power Poll. But dig down and these teams did the most to help themselves:

Oregon was probably the biggest beneficiary. The Ducks routed Washington further solidifying their hold on No. 2. If they win out, it looks unlikely that they could be jumped for that spot in the BCS title game.

That includes a challenge from No. 3 Florida. While the Gators’ 14-6 win over LSU was life-affirming for Will Muschamp and the program, elsewhere the game took a pounding nationwide as an another example of the SEC's offensive ineptness.

Not so for No. 4 South Carolina. In the past 409 days, Steve Spurrier has won 17 games. Bet that's never been accomplished in the program's history. If the Gamecocks keep laying waste, they'll have an argument. Both Oregon and South Carolina each play three ranked teams before conference championship games.

It remains to be seen how much respect No. 5 West Virginia will continue to get. Geno Smith showed vulnerability in a three-point win at Texas. Still, it was a three-point win at Texas.

That puts a damper on this week's Texas-Oklahoma game. The teams go into the Red River Shootout each with a loss and ranked in the teens (per this Power Poll). Among the losers, LSU's world is looking the brightest. As ineffective as the Tigers looked offensively against the Gators, they still control their own destiny in the SEC West. A win over South Carolina on Saturday, No. 1 Alabama on Nov. 3 and a likely top-5 opponent in the SEC title game on Dec. 1 means hope is still alive.

The schedule is there. The offense? Hold your nose and pray, Tiger fans.

Parentheses indicate previous rank.

Dodd's Power Poll
RankTeam (Previous)Comment
1Alabama (1)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: 2-0
Bye week before the titanic clash with Missouri. Question: After all the Saturday upheaval, did anyone below the Tide actually get closer to overtaking them?
2Oregon (2)
Overall: 6-0
Conference: 3-0
Chip Kelly has coached 40 games for the Ducks. In 33 of them, Oregon has scored at least 40, including the past nine in a row. The No Mercy Tour 2012 continues.
3Florida (6)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: 4-0
The Gators have a personality, and that personality is to choke the life out of all living things. LSU had five first downs in the final 56 minutes, two by penalty. Florida Boa Constrictors?
4South Carolina (7)
Overall: 6-0
Conference: 4-0
Biggest impact on the SEC in his career -- Saban or Spurrier? If you hesitated, there's good reason. There's not an easy answer. Spurrier owns Georgia -- improving to 15-5 in his career vs. the Bulldogs. Maybe this is year he owns the SEC.
5West Virginia (11)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: 2-0
Latest Mountaineer star Andrew Buie (207 rushing yards). Geno Smith has more touchdown passes in the past two games (12) than 104 teams have all season.
6Kansas State (7)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: 2-0
K-State could have had 70. Benevolent Bill Snyder called off the Cats after K-State got to 56 against the Jayhawks. Kansas turned it over five times, four by Dayne Crist.
7Notre Dame (9)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: N/A
Taskmaster Brian Kelly cracks the whip, sitting Everett Golson for the first series. Then Irish defense cracks open Miami. ND is 5-0 for first time in a decade.
8LSU (4)
Overall: 5-1
Conference: 1-1
After dinking around most of the season, Tigers were burned when they couldn't flip the switch in Week 6. This team has profound offensive issues. Also one on track to play for the national championship if it gets those offensive problems fixed just a little.
9Oregon State (12)
Overall: 4-0
Conference: 3-0
Beavs (4-0) have one more win than all of last season. Oregon State held the ball for 39 minutes and forced five Washington State turnovers. West Coast version of Kansas State -- Beavers are the sum of their parts.
10Ohio State (15)
Overall: 6-0
Conference: 2-0
The best team you never saw -- come bowl time. For now, the Bucks are more entertaining than Urban Meyer would like them to be. Ohio State has given up at least 28 twice on the way to a 6-0 start. Better than Nebraska, which gave up its most points (63) since the last game of the Bill Callahan era in 2007.
11Florida State (3)
Overall: 5-1
Conference: 2-1
The Seminoles' annual ACC Lack Of Attention game. This one was unforgiveable. Up 16-0 against N.C. State, the Wolfpack scored with 16 seconds left. "We still control our own destiny, uh, in the ACC," Jimbo Fisher said. Uh, yeah, so there's still that.
12USC (14)
Overall: 4-1
Conference: 2-1
Once they got some jittery front-end turnovers out of their system, the Trojans ran over Utah the rest of the way 38-14 on Thursday. Marqise Lee (12 catches, 192 yards) is the best Heisman candidate not playing for West Virginia.
13Stanford (13)
Overall: 4-1
Conference: 2-1
Best game of the day ends with Stepfan Taylor winning it in overtime. Quarterback Josh Nunes, whose job security was questioned last week, accounted for five touchdowns. Question: How did this team score only 13 against Washington? Another mystery of the universe to be solved by Stanford Nobel Prize winners.
14Georgia (5)
Overall: 5-1
Conference: 3-1
Good Lord, that was a stinker. Dawgs had their manhood kidnapped, stuffed in a trunk and buried out in a cornfield. Authorities are still searching for leads. When NFL scouts interview all those pro prospects on defense after the season, first thing they're going to ask is: "What the hell happened against South Carolina?"
15Oklahoma (17)
Overall: 3-1
Conference: 1-1
Nice rebound at Texas Tech for a program that was beginning to slip off the radar. Defense picked off Seth Doege three times. Tech had allowed 43 points all season. OU hung 41 on Saturday.
16Texas (10)
Overall: 4-1
Conference: 1-1
Those "Geno sucks" chants? Classy, UT fans. Your invective is better directed at the Horns' defense. In the past two weeks, that D has allowed 1,016 yards. "People saying you suck, where does that come from?" Smith said. Answer: The losing side.
17Mississippi State (NR)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: 2-0
OK, here's how it's going to end up, Starkville. Dan Mullen wins 10, maybe 11. Auburn calls and he's got a tough decision to make. Well, maybe not that tough. Enjoy him while you can.
18Rutgers (NR)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: 2-0
Knights have yielded 54 points all season after stifling UConn. "If you could bottle today's game, you'd have Rutgers football," Kyle Flood said. You'd also have little carbonation, but who cares? Rutgers is off to its best start (5-0) since the BCS-busting days of 2006.
19Clemson (19)
Overall: 5-1
Conference: 2-1
Look who's back in the hunt in the ACC Atlantic. Thanks to FSU's loss, the Tigers are tied for second in the division. "The only thing that's going to stop us is ourselves," offensive coordinator Chad Morris said after beating Georgia Tech by 16. Well, that and a tiebreaker with FSU if it ever comes to that. Tajh Boyd threw for a career-high 397 yards.
20Boise State (NR)
Overall: 4-1
Conference: 1-0
Didn't you used to be Boise? Broncos aren't back, but they're back in the Power Poll after dominating Southern Miss.
21Louisiana Tech (22)
Overall: 5-0
Conference: 0-0
Season on the brink Saturday hosting Texas A&M. Win and the Bulldogs become BCS busters the day before the first BCS standings are released. Lose, and, well, there's always the WAC.
22Texas A&M (25)
Overall: 4-1
Conference: 2-1
Aggies committed six turnovers and still won rallying from 10 down with less than seven minutes left. That's why A&M went ape spit afterwards.
23Western Kentucky (21)
Overall: 4-1
Conference: 1-0
Bye week spent watching Sun Belt get stronger. Showdown looming Thursday at Troy.
24Iowa State (NR)
Overall: 4-1
Conference: 1-1
Another day, another Paul Rhoads Big 12 upset. Clones put the most points on TCU in a conference game since 2005 (37). Five turnovers by Horned Frogs helped.
25Duke (NR)
Overall: 5-1
Conference: 2-0
Who says the eggheads can't play? This poll also includes Stanford. Northwestern has lost once. The Blue Devils (5-1) are off to their best start in 18 years. Anthony Boone came off the bench to throw four touchdowns.

Anyone in need of a credential from all the BCS title games? Dennis Dodd has them. In three decades in the business, he's covered everything from the Olympics to Stanley Cup to conference realignment. Just get him on campus in a press box in the fall. His heart lies with college football.
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