The firings have begun. That’s what happens when a preseason top-10 team finds itself out of the AP Top 25 at the end of September.

LSU took the first opportunity to do what it wanted to do — and probably should have done — last season and fired coach Les Miles on Sunday . Miles is arguably the most successful coach in school history but the Tigers are 2-2 after starting No. 5 in the country and it was time to try something different.

At Notre Dame, Brian Kelly axed defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder the day after a 38-35 loss to Duke left the Irish 1-3 and having allowed more points through four games than any team in program history. The Irish were No. 10 in the preseason rankings.

The Irish and Tigers have been vanquished by AP poll voters, but otherwise the top of the rankings were mostly unchanged. Time to Heat check the voters’ work

No. 1 Alabama (4-0)

A handful of injuries and aches were the only bad news to come out of the Kent State game for the Crimson Tide, but if rest is needed for key players there should be ample opportunity this week.

Next: vs. Kentucky.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 2 Ohio State (3-0)

Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes coaches did new Rutgers coach Chris Ash a solid this past summer by satellite camping at the Scarlet Knights camp the same day Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was in New Jersey. Meyer won’t be doing Ash any favors this weekend.

Next: Rutgers.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 3. Louisville (4-0)

Lamar Jackson looks like the big kid playing against the little kids and as anybody who has spent time in a schoolyard can tell you there is no scheme to stop that. Clemson has some big kids, too. But so did Florida State.

Next: at No. 5 Clemson.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 4. Michigan (4-0)

First big test for the Wolverines.

Next: No. 8 Wisconsin.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 5. Clemson (4-0)

Deshaun Watson and the offense played better against Georgia Tech, but still the Tigers were not real sharp. They’ll need to be this week.

Next: No. 3 Louisville

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 6 Houston (4-0)

Cougars get a chance to avenge their only loss under Tom Herman.

Next: Connecticut, Thursday night.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 7 Stanford (3-0)

From a gut-check win on the road to maybe the biggest game in the Pac-12 North this season.

Next: at No. 10 Washington, Friday night.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 8. Wisconsin (4-0)

Still a little skeptical about the Badgers’ ability to generate offense, but what team has two better victories? And the defense looks legit.

Next: at No. 4 Michigan.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 9. Texas A&M (4-0)

If any team is going to challenge the Crimson Tide in the SEC West, it’s the Aggies.

Next: at South Carolina.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 10 Washington (4-0)

Time for the Huskies’ close up and to find out if all that hype was justified.

Next: No. 7 Stanford, Friday night.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 11 Tennessee (4-0)

Vols coach Butch Jones lost 1,000 pounds of pressure by beating the Gators. The follow-up is just as important.

Next: at No. 25 Georgia.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 12 Florida State (3-1)

The Seminoles have allowed 14 plays of at least 30 yards, most in the Atlantic Coast Conference. And here comes another high-powered offense.

Next: vs. North Carolina.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 13 Baylor (4-0)

The Bears maybe the Big 12’s last hope for a playoff team.

Next: at Iowa State.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 14 Miami (3-0)

The Hurricanes have plenty of reason for optimism, but four weeks into the season winning at Appalachian State might not be worth being ranked No. 14.

Next: at Georgia Tech.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 15 Nebraska (4-0)

Tommy Armstrong Jr. averaged one interception every 24 passes during his first three seasons at Nebraska. This season, he has thrown one pick in 106 attempts.

Next: Illinois.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 16 Mississippi (2-2)

The Rebels have outscored opponents 41-6 in the first quarter and 107-33 in the first half. The second-half Rebels improved against Georgia.

Next: Memphis.

Heat check: Too cold.

No. 17 Michigan State (2-1)

Maybe winning at Notre Dame was not such a big deal?

Next: at Indiana.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 18 Utah (4-0)

Troy Williams is the best Utah quarterback since … ? At least Brian Johnson, who led the Utes to a Sugar Bowl victory against Alabama in 2009.

Next: at California.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 19 San Diego State (3-0)

Can the Aztecs’ 13-game winning streak survive an odd road trip down South?

Next: at South Alabama.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 21 Arkansas (3-1)

The Razorbacks last won an SEC opener in 2010.

Next: Alcorn State.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 20. TCU (3-1)

Horned Frogs might want to get RB Kyle Hicks more involved. The junior is averaging 6.0 yards per carry and has five touchdowns on 13 rushes per game.

Next: Oklahoma.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 22 Texas (2-1)

Stock falling on the Notre Dame victory and that Cal loss.

Next: at Oklahoma State.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 23 Florida (3-1)

The Gators got their first taste of real competition this season and folded. Back to the traditional punching bags this weekend.

Next: at Vanderbilt.

Heat check: Too hot.

No. 24 Boise State (3-0)

Welcome back, Broncos. To stay, they’ll have to first avenge last season’s worst loss, a 52-26 beat down at Utah State.

Next: vs. Utah State.

Heat check: Just right.

No. 25 Georgia (3-1)

New coach. Freshman quarterback. Pretty tough schedule. Expect lots of ups and down from the Bulldogs this season.

Next: No. 11 Tennessee.

Heat check: Too hot.

Follow Ralph D. Russo at

This version corrects rankings for Arkansas and TCU. They were reversed in previous versions due to a technical error.