AP Top 25 | TCU Is No.4, Texas Rises to No.18

AP Top 25 | TCU is No.4, Texas Rises to No.18
TCU Horned Frogs | Image by WFAA

The TCU Horned Frogs landed at No. 4 in the latest AP Top 25 college football poll released Sunday, its highest ranking since 2017, after moving to 9-0 with a 34-24 win over Texas Tech on Saturday.

No.4 TCU faces a challenge this Saturday when it travels to Austin to play Texas, which moved up to No.18 thanks to a 34-27 win on the road at now-No.23 Kansas State, who is the third and final Big 12 team in the top 25.

Oklahoma State dropped out of the top 25 after a 37-16 loss to Kansas, its second consecutive defeat by a wide margin.

At the top of the poll, No.1 Georgia was the near-unanimous top team, receiving 62 of the 63 first-place votes after a 27-13 win over No.5 Tennessee Saturday. Georgia dominated the game, with its defense smothering a high-flying Tennessee offense that led the nation in scoring, averaging 49.4 points per game entering Saturday.

Tennessee did not even get into the end zone until Georgia had already built a 27-6 lead late in the fourth quarter. Georgia sacked Tennessee’s Heisman candidate quarterback Hendon Hooker six times, limiting him to 5.9 yards per his 33 pass attempts.

The win puts the defending national champions in a position to reach its fifth SEC championship game in the past six seasons. Georgia only has to win one of its next two games on the road, at Mississippi State this Saturday or at Kentucky, to clinch the conference’s East division.

Behind Georgia, No.2 Ohio State was the recipient of the other first-place vote, and Michigan moved up a spot to No.3.

Oregon reached a season-high No.6, and Pac-12 rivals No.8 USC and No.9 UCLA joined them in the top 10.

For the first time since the College Football Playoff began in 2014, traditional powerhouses Alabama and Clemson lost on the same day, and both slipped in the rankings.

Alabama fell to No.10, its worst ranking since 2015, after losing at LSU 32-31 in overtime. LSU jumped eight spots to No.7 with the win, their best ranking since they were the preseason No.6 team in 2020.

Alabama was favored by nearly two touchdowns, but LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels kept his composure even in the face of six sacks, as the Tigers picked up their first home win against the Crimson Tide since 2010.

Daniels passed for 182 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 95 yards and a score in a riveting game that featured six second-half lead changes. Alabama tied the game at 24 on a field goal in the final 30 seconds to force overtime.

After Alabama made it 31-24 on its first possession of overtime, Daniels responded by scoring on a 25-yard run on LSU’s first play of extra time. LSU’s first-year head coach Brian Kelly opted to go for two and the win, and it worked, with Daniels rolling to the right and hitting Mason Taylor for the win.

LSU fans stormed the field in celebration, as the win gave them sole possession of first place in the SEC’s West division. If the Tigers win their remaining two conference games, at Arkansas and at Texas A&M, it will play for the conference championship.

Alabama will face another road challenge this Saturday when it plays at No.11 Ole Miss.

Meanwhile, Clemson fell seven spots to a season-low No.12 after getting crushed 35-14 by Notre Dame.

Notre Dame took a 28-0 lead early in the fourth quarter as they ended Clemson’s 14-game winning streak, the longest active streak among FBS teams. The win pushed the Fighting Irish back into the Top 25 at No.20.

Notre Dame was the preseason No.5 team but dropped out of the top 25 by Week 3 after an 0-2 start.

Joining No.18 Texas and No.20 Notre Dame, as new in this week’s top 25, is No.24 Washington and No.25 Florida State, which was previously ranked for one week in October before a three-game losing streak.

No.24 Washington will look to pull off an upset at No.6 Oregon this Saturday. The fourth matchup pitting ranked teams this Saturday will be in the American Athletic Conference, with No.22 UCF slated to play at No.16 Tulane.

Full AP Top 25 (First-Place votes):

  1. Georgia (62), 9-0 Last Week: 1
  2. Ohio State (1), 9-0 Last Week: 2
  3. Michigan 9-0 Last Week: 4
  4. TCU 9-0 Last Week: 7
  5. Tennessee 8-1 Last Week: 2
  6. Oregon 8-1 Last Week: 8
  7. LSU 7-2 Last Week: 15
  8. USC 8-1 Last Week: 9
  9. UCLA 8-1 Last Week: 10
  10. Alabama, 7-2 Last Week: 6
  11. Mississippi 8-1 Last Week: 11
  12. Clemson 8-1 Last Week: 5
  13. Utah 7-2 Last Week: 12
  14. Penn State 7-2 Last Week: 16
  15. North Carolina 8-1 Last Week: 17
  16. Tulane 8-1 Last Week: 19
  17. NC State 7-2 Last Week: 21
  18. Texas 6-3 Last Week: NR
  19. Liberty 8-1 Last Week: 23
  20. Notre Dame 6-3 Last week: NR
  21. Illinois 7-2 Last Week: 14
  22. UCF 7-2 Last Week: 25
  23. Kansas State 6-3 Last Week: 13
  24. Washington 7-2 Last week: NR
  25. Florida State 6-3 Last Week: NR

Others receiving votes:

Cincinnati 74, Kentucky 61, Coastal Carolina 46, Wake Forest 34, Oklahoma State 21, Baylor 19, Kansas 10, Mississippi State 8, South Carolina 6, Troy 5, UTSA 5, Louisville 3, Oregon State 3, San Jose State 1.

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