AP Top 25 Heat Check: Balancing good with bad in AP Top 25

There are no good wins on the internet.

A running theme on college football Twitter is the insistence that the result of any game is more an indictment of the losing team than an accomplishment for the winner. So, basically, nobody has played anyone.

Early in the season it is especially easy to trash resumes because the top teams have played so few games against opponents who have even remotely comparable talent. Also, fact is, it really is too early to truly know what these teams will become.

Maybe LSU is just really terrible and Mississippi State's win actually isn't a major one. Maybe Ohio State is way overrated, so big whoop Oklahoma. Beating Notre Dame on the road? Big deal, Georgia.

Of course, more often than not, when the question is: Is Team X that good or is Team Y that bad? The answer is: Little of both.

Three weeks into the college football season, AP voters are trying to decide how to weigh the good with the bad. How did they do?

Heat check:

No. 1 Alabama (3-0)

The Tide has done nothing to make anyone question its bona fides. But it's not always about what you do when it comes to the rankings. Sometimes others do more.

Next: at Vanderbilt.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 2 Clemson (3-0)

The Tigers picked up a season-high 15 first-place votes after a second straight win against a top-20 team. Voters need to start giving Clemson the Alabama treatment. If the Tide deservingly gets the benefit of the doubt in the rankings, so should the team that beat the Tide to win the national championship last year.

Next: vs. Boston College.

Heat check: Too cold. Should be No. 1.

No. 3 Oklahoma (3-0)

The Sooners slipped but did nothing wrong. This is also all about what Clemson did right.

Next: at Baylor.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 4 Penn State (3-0)

The Nittany Lions have done exactly what an elite team should do going against inferior competition. But others have done more against better.

Next: at Iowa.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 5 Southern California (3-0)

Yes, the Trojans struggled to beat Texas. And Texas might not be "back," but the Longhorns are certainly better than Akron and Georgia State and probably no worse than Pitt. That's who Penn State has played.

Next: at California.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 6 Oklahoma State (3-0)

The Cowboys schedule so far looks similar to Penn State's, but includes two road games and an even more decisive victory against Pitt.

Next: vs. No. 16 TCU

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 7 Washington (3-0)

Welcome to the 2017 season, Huskies.

Next: at Colorado.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 8 Michigan (3-0)

Stopping Florida is not quite as easy as the Wolverines made it out to be. Or maybe Tennessee is terrible? See how hard this can be.

Next: at Purdue.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 9 Wisconsin (3-0)

The Badgers have bullied weak competition. At least they played a road game.

Next: vs. Northwestern, Sept. 30.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 10 Ohio State (2-1)

We're not going to learn much about the Buckeyes for the next few weeks.

Next: vs. UNLV.

Heat check: Maybe a touch too hot.

No. 11 Georgia (3-0)

Notre Dame has run for 937 yards in the two games it has not played the Bulldogs, and 55 against the Bulldogs. Feels like we should give Georgia some credit for that.

Next: vs. No. 17 Mississippi State.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 12 Florida State (0-1)

The Seminoles only sin is being idle, but it's hard to give FSU the benefit of the doubt over teams that have been playing — especially knowing QB Deondre Francois won't be back.

Next: vs. North Carolina State.

Heat check: A little too hot.

No. 13 Virginia Tech (3-0)

No looking ahead — but Clemson comes to Lane Stadium in two weeks.

Next: vs. Old Dominion.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 14 Miami (1-0)

Like the 'Noles, the Hurricanes have done nothing to deserve being docked spots in the rankings, having not played since opening weekend because of Hurricane Irma. They also have not done anything to warrant rising, which they have as teams around them have shuffled.

Next: vs. Toledo.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 15 Auburn (2-1)

Tigers fans are pretty disgruntled right now, but getting pounded by Clemson is nothing to be ashamed of, and the "struggles" against weaker opponents are being overplayed.

Next: at Missouri.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 16 TCU (3-0)

Voters are still holding out a little on the Horned Frogs, who were not ranked in the preseason but have a resume similar to Wisconsin and better than Washington.

Next: at No. 6 Oklahoma State.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 17 Mississippi State (3-0)

It was LSU the Bulldogs stomped, not Louisiana-Monroe, and the Tigers have been on the receiving end of only one other 30-point beat down since 2009. So, yes, credit to Mississippi State.

Next: at No. 11 Georgia.

Heat check: Too cold. Wherever Auburn is, Mississippi State should be ahead.

No. 18 Washington State (3-0)

The Cougs are three games into a five-game homestand to start the season.

Next: vs. Nevada.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 19 Louisville (2-1)

Voters might have been too harsh on the Cardinals post Clemson. They do have two wins away from home against Power Five teams.

Next: vs. Kent State.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 20 Florida (1-1)

Hard to embrace the Gators, but they're probably somewhere between pretty good and good.

Next: at Kentucky.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 21 South Florida (3-0)

It was only Illinois, but coming off an unusual week of preparation, the Bulls were impressive.

Next: vs. Temple, Thursday.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 22 San Diego State (3-0)

Two straight Pac-12 victories and nothing at all fluky about them. This is a top-20 team.

Next: at Air Force.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 23 Utah (3-0) at Arizona, Friday.

Voters might have pulled the lever for the Utes a little early, but Utah has done this unranked to ranked thing so much lately, might as well buy-in early.

Next: at Arizona, Friday.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 24 Oregon (3-0) at Arizona State.

The Ducks defense is no longer falling all over itself, so that is a big step forward.

Next: at Arizona State.

Heat check: Sure why not the Ducks. Just right.

No. 25 LSU (2-1) vs. Syracuse.

LSU is still ranked, huh?

Next: vs. Syracuse.

Heat check: Too hot.

INSTEAD OF ... LSU and Florida how about Vanderbilt and Colorado?