(USA TODAY) October's first college football weekend produced its share of wild — and sometimes controversial — finishes. But when the dust settled, there was very little movement in the USA TODAY Sports coaches poll.
Alabama retained the No.1 spot after going through the motions in dispatching hopelessly overmatched Georgia State. But No.2 Oregon chipped a bit off the Crimson Tide's lead. The Ducks took two first-place votes from Alabama and now has a total of four to the Tide's 57. Alabama's overall lead shrank from 67 to 58 poll points.
The rest of the top five held steady for the fourth consecutive week. Ohio State remained third after surviving a tough road battle at Northwestern. No.4 Clemson, a road winner at Syracuse, retained the final first-place vote. Stanford stayed put at No.5 after surviving a scare from Washington at home.
Stock up: Florida State.
The Seminoles rode a 63-0 demolition of previously unbeaten Maryland and another standout performance from freshman sensation quarterback Jameis Winston to a two-spot gain, vaulting past both Georgia and Louisville to its highest ranking of the season at No.6.
Stock down: Northwestern.
The voters were kind to the Wildcats for their valiant effort in defeat against the Buckeyes. But a couple of the weekend's winners still edge past Northwestern, which slid three positions to No.18.
Stock up: Florida.
There wasn't much room for advancement with the lack of upsets, but the Gators were able to gain a couple of places to No.17 after handling Arkansas.
Stock down: Georgia.
Maybe it was a hangover from the huge effort needed to get past LSU the week before. Whatever it was that caused the Bulldogs to struggle and require overtime to get past a rebuilding Tennessee on the road wound up costing them a valuable poll position. They check in at seventh with an undefeated Missouri coming to Athens next week.
Stock up: Baylor.
The Bears' 864-yard, 73-point explosion against West Virginia could only net them one position in the poll. But it got them to the top 15 and sets them up for chances to move up as their back-loaded schedule heats up.
Stock down: Louisville.
It's not the Cardinals' fault; they can only play the teams on their schedule. But thumping winless Temple wasn't enough to keep them from being leapfrogged by the red-hot Seminoles. Louisville falls a space to No.8 but has a Thursday spotlight game up next against Rutgers.
New kid on the block: No.25 Virginia Tech
College dropout: Arizona State