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AP Top 25: TCU Leaps Into Top 15, UT Reenters Rankings

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TCU moved up to No.13 after its dramatic win over No.19 Kansas. | Image by ESPN

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Georgia reclaims the No.1 spot in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 college football poll after being bumped out last week by Alabama, who slid to No.3.

Georgia got 32 first-place votes after thumping Auburn 42-10 on Saturday, while the Crimson Tide received 11 first-place votes after escaping with a narrow home win against Texas A&M.

Ohio State is the new No.2, receiving 20 first-place votes, while Clemson overtook Michigan and moved up to No.4 as the Wolverines fell one spot to No.5.

Tennessee moved up to No.6, the best ranking for the program since a No.5 ranking early in the 2005 season. USC fell one spot to No.7, ahead of Oklahoma State, while Ole Miss and Penn State held their places to round out the top ten.

This week, the Big 12 conference has five teams in the Top 25, second only to the SEC, which has six teams ranked.

Following its decimation of Oklahoma this past Saturday, Texas is No.22 after being unranked last week.

TCU moved up to No.13 after its dramatic win over No.19 Kansas, who stayed in the same spot in the rankings despite its loss. At No.13, the Horned Frogs have their highest ranking since being No.9 in 2017.

Kansas State moved up three spots to No.17 after eking out a 10-9 win against Iowa State.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State continued its undefeated season and is the highest-ranked Big 12 team at No.8 after surviving an upset scare from Texas Tech this past Saturday, winning 41-31.

Texas Tech looked the better team in the first half, running 62 plays compared to Oklahoma State’s 37, and racking up 347 yards of offense by the halftime break. The Red Raiders had possession of the ball for 19:02 in the first half en route to a 24-20 halftime lead.

Tech surprisingly started redshirt freshman Behren Morton at quarterback in place of Donovan Smith, giving the team a significant boost. Morton completed 24 of 39 passes for 220 yards in the first half, finishing the game 39 of 62 for 379 yards with two first-half touchdowns.

However, the Red Raiders’ offensive success ran out in the second half, as the Cowboys held them to just seven points after halftime. After Tech took a 31-23 lead midway through the third, the Cowboys rattled off the game’s final 18 points to take the win.

Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders passed for 297 yards and ran for 56, scoring a touchdown through the air and another on the ground. This week’s AP poll is the 18th consecutive in which Oklahoma State is in the top 15, setting a new program record.

Next up for the Cowboys is a major ranked-vs.-ranked Big 12 matchup against No.13 TCU.

A season-high six ranked-vs.-ranked matchups are slated for this weekend.

No.10 Penn State will be at No.5 Michigan in the third top-10 matchup in the series and the first since 1997.

No.3 Alabama will be at No.6 Tennessee for the second top-10 matchup in the series since 2000.

No.15 NC State will travel to play No.18 Syracuse in the first matchup of ranked teams at home for Syracuse since 2001.

No.16 Mississippi State will be at No.22 Kentucky in the first meeting between the programs, with both ranked in 49 all-time meetings.

Finally, No.7 USC will be at No.20 Utah. It will be the second straight game against a ranked Los Angeles team for the Utes after they dropped a 42-32 road game to No.11 UCLA this past Saturday.

Two schools made their season debut in the Top 25, both notable. Last week, when Kansas ended its reign as the Power 5 conference team with the longest streak of being unranked, it handed that inglorious title to Illinois.

The Illini only held that title for one week as they debut this week at No.24 under their second-year head coach Bret Bielema. Illinois is ranked for the first time since October 16, 2011, after improving to 5-1 by beating Iowa, ending a drought of 178 consecutive AP polls without the Illini.

The other notable debut belongs to James Madison, who at No.25 earns its first-ever AP Top 25 ranking in program history. The Dukes are playing their first season as a member of the Sun Belt in Division I college football’s highest level.

Since Division I football split into subdivisions in 1978, James Madison is the first team to be ranked in its first season at the highest level. James Madison had been an FCS powerhouse for years, winning a national title in 2016, but has had no issue moving up a division so far, going 5-0 behind a high-powered offense averaging 44 points per game.

AP Top 25 (First-Place Votes):

  1. Georgia, (32) 6-0 Last Week: 2
  2. Ohio State, (20) 6-0 Last Week: 3
  3. Alabama, (11) 6-0 Last Week: 1
  4. Clemson, 6-0 Last Week: 5
  5. Michigan, 6-0 Last Week: 4
  6. Tennessee, 5-0 Last Week: 8
  7. USC, 6-0 Last Week: 6
  8. Oklahoma State, 5-0 Last Week: 7
  9. Ole Miss,6-0 Last Week: 9
  10. Penn State, 5-0 Last Week: 10
  11. UCLA, 6-0 Last Week: 18
  12. Oregon, 5-1 Last Week: 12
  13. TCU, 5-0 Last Week: 17
  14. Wake Forest, 5-1 Last Week: 15
  15. North Carolina State, 5-1 Last Week: 14
  16. Mississippi State, 5-1 Last Week: 23
  17. Kansas State, 5-1 Last Week: 20
  18. Syracuse, 5-0 Last Week: 22
  19. Kansas, 5-1 Last Week: 19
  20. Utah, 4-2 Last Week: 11
  21. Cincinnati, 5-1 Last Week: 24
  22. Kentucky, 4-2 Last Week: 13
  23. Texas, 4-2 Last Week: NR
  24. Illinois, 5-1 Last Week: NR
  25. James Madison, 5-0 Last Week: NR

Others receiving votes:

North Carolina 98, Baylor 91, Coastal Carolina 61, BYU 61, Notre Dame 58, Florida 56, Tulane 42, Purdue 34, Florida State 18, South Carolina 12, Washington State 10, Minnesota 5, Maryland 4, LSU 4, San Jose State 1.

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