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AP Top 25: TCU Makes Debut, Oklahoma, Baylor Drop Out

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Alabama receiver Kobe Prentice (80) breaks away from Arkansas defenders, Khari Johnson (19), Chris Paul Jr. (27) and Myles Slusher (2) to score a touchdown during the first half. | Image by AP

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Alabama reclaims the top spot as the No.1 team in the nation, and six teams made their season debut in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 college football poll.

Alabama jumps over No.2 Georgia after pulling away from Arkansas in the second half without their Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young. Georgia remained unbeaten but had to rally in the fourth quarter to squeak by heavy underdogs Missouri, 26-22.

Ohio State remained third, but the Buckeyes also gained some ground on the top two, getting 10 first-place votes. No.4 Michigan, No.5 Clemson, and No.6 USC all won and held their places this week.

Georgia dropping one spot is hardly the most significant drop of the weekend. The Oklahoma Sooners and Baylor Bears both dropped out of the Top 25 after weekend losses.

The Bears dropped a Big 12 championship rematch to No.7 Oklahoma State, the lone Big 12 team in the top 15, while the Sooners were routed by No.17 TCU in Fort Worth.

The win against Oklahoma gave TCU a 5-0 record and landed them at No.17 in their debut in the poll this season. The Horned Frogs are ranked for the first time since a brief stay in 2019 at 25th.

The bottom portion of the AP Top 25 got a major overhaul after ten ranked teams lost, five to unranked opponents. That cleared the way for seven teams to move into the rankings this week, most notably No.19 Kansas, who is 5-0 for the first time since 2019 after dispatching Iowa State 14-11 on Saturday.

Kansas is ranked for the first time since October 18, 2009, ending the longest Top 25 drought for a team currently in a Power 5 conference. Their arrival in the poll sets up the only ranked vs. ranked matchup in the Big 12 this weekend when No.19 Kansas hosts No.17 TCU on Saturday.

Additionally, with Kansas State at No.20, both Kansas schools are ranked for the first time since October 14, 2007.

The Wildcats move up from No.25 after a 37-28 win at home against Texas Tech. The score was tied at 20 entering the fourth quarter before Kansas State scored 17 unanswered to take control of the game.

The Wildcats racked up 343 rushing yards, led by quarterback Adrian Martinez who had 171 yards on the ground with three touchdowns. All-American running back Deuce Vaughn added 170 yards on the ground, as he and Martinez combined for three runs longer than 50 yards.

Other teams making their debut in this week’s poll include No.18 UCLA, which is off to its first 5-0 start since 2013; No.22 Syracuse, ranked for the first time since early in the 2019 season; and No.25 LSU, which has won four straight since losing a heartbreaker in the season-opener to Florida State.

No.24 Cincinnati is the only team to enter the Top 25 this week that already had been ranked earlier this season. The Bearcats fell out of the top 25 after a Week 1 loss at Arkansas but have since won four straight.

No.23 Mississippi State is also making its season debut in the Top 25, earning a spot in the AP poll for the first time since Week 2 of the 2020 season. With Ole Miss ranked at No.9, both Mississippi SEC schools are in the Top 25 together for the first time since November 11, 2015.

Mississippi State enters the rankings after rolling past Texas A&M 42-24 at home. The Bulldogs forced A&M into four turnovers, including three inside the red zone.

The Aggies never got their deficit closer than 11 after Mississippi State’s Decamerion Richardson scooped up a blocked third-quarter field goal and returned it 50 yards for the touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 21-3 lead.

The Bulldogs were also efficient offensively with 473 total yards, 329 from quarterback Will Rogers on 31-of-45 passing with three touchdowns. MSU added 144 yards rushing on 24 carries.

A&M’s offensive struggles continued as they became one of five teams to be unranked for the first time this season, joining Oklahoma, Baylor, Arkansas, and Pittsburgh.

Florida State and Minnesota dropped out of the rankings after just one week in the Top 25. The Seminoles and Gophers both lost at home to Wake Forest and Purdue, respectively.

Aside from No.17 TCU at No.19 Kansas, there are two more ranked vs. ranked matchups to look forward to this weekend. No.25 LSU will go on the road to face No.8 Tennessee, and No.11 Utah will be at No.18 UCLA.

AP Top 25 (First-place votes):

  1. Alabama (25), 5-0 Last week: 2
  2. Georgia (28), 5-0 Last week: 1
  3. Ohio State (10), 5-0 Last week: 3
  4. Michigan, 5-0 Last week: 4
  5. Clemson, 5-0 Last week: 5
  6. USC, 5-0 Last week: 6
  7. Oklahoma State, 4-0 Last week: 9
  8. Tennessee 4-0 Last week: 9
  9. Ole Miss, 5-0 Last week: 14
  10. Penn State, 5-0 Last week: 11
  11. Utah, 4-1 Last week: 12
  12. Kentucky, 4-1 Last week: 7
  13. NC State, 4-1 Last week: 10
  14. Wake Forest, 4-1 Last week: 22
  15. BYU, 4-1, Last week: 20
  16. TCU 4-0 Last week: NR
  17. UCLA, 5-0 Last week: NR
  18. Kansas, 5-0 Last week: NR
  19. Kansas State, 4-1 Last week: 25
  20. Washington, 4-1 Last week: 15
  21. Syracuse 5-0 Last week: NR
  22. Mississippi State, 4-1 Last week: NR
  23. Cincinnati 4-1 Last week: NR
  24. LSU, 4-1 Last week: NR

Others receiving votes: Washington State 91, Baylor 88, Florida State 78, Arkansas 76, James Madison 39, Florida 37, Maryland 25, Coastal Carolina 17, Minnesota 14, Tulane 9, Illinois 6, North Carolina 5, Texas A&M 4, Purdue 2, Oklahoma 2.

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