For the third consecutive week Alabama was voted the No. 1 college football team in the country, but its stranglehold on the top spot is loosening.

College Football Week 3

Alabama remained the No. 1 team for the third consecutive week, but Clemson closed the gap with their convincing victory over Louisville on Saturday. (Image: YouTube)

The Crimson Tide, who were also the preseason top selection, are being challenged by last year’s National Champion Clemson, who moved up a spot to No. 2.

The Tigers easily defeated No. 14 Louisville, 47-21 and in the process covered the three points they were giving away. While Alabama won, beating Colorado State, 41-23, they didn’t cover the spread. It is the second game they have failed to do so.

After the first week of the season Alabama got 58 of the 61 first-place votes and 1,522 points. In the new poll they only managed to garner 45 top votes and 1,504 points.

Clemson stole away 15 and closed the gap on the Crimson Tide. They are only 58 points behind. They jumped over Oklahoma, who was a 33-point favorite over Tulane and stomped them, 56-14.

Winning isn’t Everything

But the Sooners drubbing wasn’t enough to hold No. 2 and despite the convincing victory, fell a spot in the poll, though they did receive one first-place vote. They were one of five teams in the top 10 that dropped despite being victorious.

Some of the slips were predictable. USC, who was a 17-point pick over Texas, fell from four to five after needing double overtime to dispatch the Longhorns.

Washington, Michigan and Ohio State won their games by double-digits, but failed to cover and found themselves on the descent.

The Huskies went from sixth to seventh after their 48-16 triumph over Fresno State. The Wolverines took care of Air Force, 29-13, but dropped from seventh to eighth.

The Buckeyes fell from runner up to No. 8 when they were upset by Oklahoma at home, 31-16 and dropped again on Saturday from to No. 10 despite defeating Army, 38-7.

Moving on Up

The shifts downward can be partly attributed to the leap of Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have now ascended twice in as many weeks. They were No. 11 14 days ago, but a 44-7 win over Southern Alabama moved them to No. 9. On Saturday they clobbered Pittsburgh, 59-21 and shot up three spots to No. 6. Both of those games were on the road. They have been darlings with bettors, having convincingly covered all three of their games. They play Texas Christian this Saturday and oddsmakers have them winning at home over the 16th ranked Horned Frogs by 11 ½.

Another sizable jump outside of the top 10 was Mississippi State. The Bulldogs were previously unranked but by upsetting LSU, 37-7, they catapulted to No. 17.

The biggest losers of the week were the Tigers. They entered the game as the No. 12 team but after losing plummeted to No. 25.