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Poll Watching: Where is Mississippi State and the SEC in the AP, Coaches Polls

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The Mississippi State Bulldogs had a bye week. How did that affect them in the latest polls?

Wesley Hitt

Sadly, our fifth weekend of college football has come and gone.  With Mississippi State being off this week, Bulldog fans had the opportunity to check out other games.  While there was little in the way of upsets, Arkansas pushed Texas A&M to the brink, Charlie Weis is now being paid not to coach by two schools, and the Big House looked really sad in Michigan.

With all of that and more in the books, here a look at the Amway Coaches' Poll:

AP Coaches Sagarin
1 Florida State Alabama Alabama
2 Oregon Florida State Oklahoma
3 Alabama Oklahoma Oregon
4 Oklahoma Oregon Auburn
5 Auburn Auburn Texas A&M
6 Texas A&M Baylor UCLA
7 Baylor Texas A&M Georgia
8 UCLA Notre Dame Baylor
9 Notre Dame UCLA Florida State
10 Michigan State Michigan State Stanford
11 Ole Miss Ole Miss Michigan State
12 Mississippi State Georgia Notre Dame
13 Georgia Stanford LSU
14 Stanford Mississippi State USC
15 LSU LSU Ole Miss
16 USC Wisconsin Wisconsin
17 Wisconsin Nebraska Ohio State
18 BYU Ohio State Kansas State
19 Nebraska BYU Florida
20 Ohio State USC Clemson
21 Oklahoma State East Carolina Oklahoma State
22 East Carolina Kansas State South Carolina
23 Kansas State Oklahoma State BYU
24 Missouri Arizona State Mississippi State
25 TCU TCU Texas
For a composite Top 25 college football ranking, visit SBNation.com

As you can see, Saturday has the potential to be one of the biggest weekends of SEC college football, and that is saying something.  In the SEC West alone, games will be going on all day that feature top-15 teams facing off with division championship, conference championship, and national championship hopes on the line:

No. 14 Mississippi State vs. No. 7 Texas A&M

No. 11 Ole Miss. vs. No. 1 Alabama

No. 15 LSU vs. No. 5 Auburn

That is just in one division of the SEC. I cannot think of a time that an entire conference had three games of such magnitude on one weekend.  For LSU, any hopes of winning the West will be dashed with a loss to Auburn, and Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Alabama, and Auburn all know that a loss this weekend will make it tough to win the SEC West.

A look at the AP poll shows that the Bulldogs managed to move up two spots without playing in a game this weekend. Of course, in that same poll, Florida State has inexplicably held on to the top spot while everyone can see they are not the best team in college football.

Also of an interesting note is how different the top-four of the AP and Coaches' polls look.  The teams are the same, but they are in completely different order with no team holding the same spot in both polls.

While the polls are practically meaningless—even though, one could assume the committee will keep some sort of eye on them—it will be interesting to see how the teams that lose Saturday are treated.  Will the voters punish upstarts such as Mississippi State or Ole Miss harshly if they lose close games?  Will established teams take a beating if they lose to more of an upstart school?  It will be interesting to watch.