AP top 25: Georgia back at No. 1; USC remains in top 10 while UCLA leaps to No. 11
The Bulldogs received 32 first-place votes and 1,535 points in the Top 25, presented by Regions Bank, to easily reclaim No. 1. They were just two points behind Alabama at No. 2 last week.
Georgia thumped Auburn 42-10 on Saturday. The Tide, whose Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young was sidelined by injury, escaped an upset bid at home by Texas A&M.
Ohio State moved up a spot to No. 2, receiving 20 first-place votes and 1,507 points.
No. 3 is a season low for Alabama, which was preseason No. 1 but fell to No. 2 after Week 2. The Tide received 11 first-place votes.
There were two notable season debuts in the Top 25: No. 24 Illinois is ranked for the first time since 2011, and James Madison is in the AP Top 25 for the first time in its program history. The Dukes are playing their first season as a member of the Sun Belt Conference in Division I college football’s highest level.
Clemson overtook Michigan and moved up to No. 4, and the Wolverines fell one spot to No. 5.
Tennessee moved up to No. 6, which is the best ranking for the currently undefeated Volunteers since No. 5 early in the 2005 season. Tennessee stumbled to a 5-6 and unranked finish that year.
USC fell one spot to No. 7, and Oklahoma State, Mississippi and Penn State held their places to round out the top 10.
The shuffle that Georgia’s made from No. 1 to 2 and back to No. 1 over three polls hadn’t happened in more than a decade.
Florida went back and forth between Nos. 1 and 2 in 2009, flip-flopping with Alabama as both teams won in late October.
The Tide is the first team to drop from No. 1 to No. 3 off a victory since 25 years ago, when Nebraska beat Missouri in overtime on the famous “Flea Kicker.” Michigan jumped from No. 4 to No. 1 on Nov. 10, 1997, after it won 34-8 at No. 2 Penn State.
When UCLA and USC play later this season, they could both be ranked in the top 10 for the first time since 1988. That’s great for both programs.
The week after Kansas handed the ignominious title of Power Five conference team with the longest streak of being unranked to Illinois, the Illini are now off the schneid in their second year under coach Bret Bielema.
Illinois improved to 5-1 by beating Iowa and landed in the poll for the first time since Oct. 16, 2011 — 178 polls.
Next up on the list of longest-ranking droughts for Power Five schools are: Rutgers (2012), Oregon State (preseason 2013) and Vanderbilt (final 2013).
— James Madison has been a powerhouse in the the Football Championship Subdivision for years, winning a national title in 2016 and losing to North Dakota State in the NCAA championship game in 2017 and ’19. The Dukes have had no issue moving up so far, going 5-0 and averaging 44 points per game.
— No. 22 Texas is ranked again after blowing out rival Oklahoma and tied with Kentucky in the Top 25.
— BYU is unranked for the first time this season after losing to Notre Dame.
— Washington dropped out of the rankings after a second straight loss.
— LSU’s return to the Top 25 was brief after getting thumped at home by Tennessee.
The Sun Belt went from its inception in 2001 to 2015 without having a ranked team. The conference has now had at least one team ranked for at least one week each of the last five seasons and six of the last seven.
James Madison is the second Sun Belt team to reach the Top 25 this season, along with Appalachian State.
SEC — 6 (Nos. 1, 3, 6, 9, 22).
Big 12 — 5 (8, 13, 17, 19, 22).
ACC — 4 (Nos. 4, 14, 15, 18).
Big Ten — 4 (Nos. 2, 5, 10, 24).
Pac-12 — 4 (Nos. 7, 11, 12, 20).
American — 1 (No. 21).
Sun Belt — 1 (No. 25).
Ranked vs. ranked
A season-high six games matching ranked teams:
No. 10 Penn State at No. 5 Michigan.
No. 3 Alabama at No. 6 Tennessee.
No. 8 Oklahoma State at No. 13 TCU.
No. 15 North Carolina State at No. 18 Syracuse.
No. 16 Mississippi State at No. 22 Kentucky.
No. 7 USC at No. 20 Utah.
Dominant USC defensive lineman Tuli Tuipulotu is sparking the undefeated Trojans’ surprisingly strong pass rush that has 24 sacks so far this season.
The top 25
2. Ohio State
8. Oklahoma State
10. Penn State
14. Wake Forest
15. North Carolina State
16. Mississippi State
17. Kansas State
25. James Madison
Others receiving votes:
North Carolina 98, Baylor 91, BYU 61, Coastal Carolina 61, Notre Dame 58, Florida 56, Tulane 42, Purdue 34, Florida State 18, South Carolina 12, Washington State 10, Minnesota 5, LSU 4, Maryland 4, San Jose State 1.
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