Georgia reclaimed the No. 1 spot in Alabama’s Associated Press college football poll on Sunday after being ousted last week by the Crimson Tide, which slipped to No. 3.
The Bulldogs received 32 first-place votes and 1,535 Top 25 points, presented by Regions Bank, to easily reclaim No. 1. They were just two points behind Alabama at No. 2 the last week.
Georgia beat Auburn 42-10 on Saturday. The Tide, whose Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young was sidelined with injury, escaped a thwarted bid at home from Texas A&M.
Ohio State moved up one spot to No. 2, receiving 20 first-place votes and 1,507 points.
No. 3 is a season low for Alabama, which was No. 1 preseason but fell to No. 2 after Week 2. The Tide received 11 votes for first place.
There have been two notable Top 25 season starts: 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 at the top level of Division I college football.
Clemson overtook Michigan and moved up to No. 4 and the Wolverines dropped a spot to No. 5.
Tennessee moved to No. 6, which is the highest ranking for currently undefeated Volunteers since No. 5 at the start of the 2005 season. Tennessee stumbled to a 5-6 and unranked finish that year.
Southern California dropped a spot to No. 7, and Oklahoma State, Mississippi, and Penn State retained their spots to round out the top 10.
The shakeup Georgia made from No. 1 to No. 2 and back to No. 1 on three polls hadn’t happened in over a decade.
Florida went back and forth between numbers 1 and 2 in 2009, flip-flopping with Alabama when the two teams won in late October.
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The Tide is the first team to move from No. 1 to No. 3 after a victory in 25 years, when Nebraska beat Missouri in overtime on the famous “Flea Kicker”. Michigan went from No. 4 to No. 1 on Nov. 10, 1997, after winning 34-8 over No. 2 Penn State.
The week after Kansas handed over the ignominious Power Five conference team title with the longest unseeded streak to Illinois, the Illini are now out of the schneid in their sophomore year under coach Bret Bielema. .
Illinois improved to 5-1 beating Iowa and landed in the poll for the first time since Oct. 16, 2011 – 178 polls.
Next on the list of longest running droughts for Power Five schools are Rutgers (2012), Oregon State (2013 preseason) and Vanderbilt (2013 finals).
- James Madison has been a powerhouse in 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 2019. The Dukes have no had no problems progressing so far, going 5-0 and averaging 44 points per game.
- No. 22 Texas is ranked again after knocking out rival Oklahoma and tied with Kentucky in the Top 25.
- BYU is unseeded for the first time this season after losing to Notre Dame.
- Washington dropped out of the standings after a second straight loss.
- LSU’s return to the Top 25 was brief after being beaten 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 ranked team for at least one week each of the past five seasons and six of the past seven.
James Madison is the second Sun Belt team to reach the Top 25 this season, along with Appalachian State.
- SEC — 6 (#1, 3, 6, 9, 22)
- Big 12 — 5 (8, 13, 17, 19, 22)
- ACC — 4 (#4, 14, 15, 18)
- Big Ten – 4 (#2, 5, 10, 24)
- Pac-12 — 4 (#7, 11, 12, 20)
- American – 1 (#21)
- Sunbelt – 1 (#25)
Six games, a season high, with ranked teams:
- No. 10 Penn State at No. 5 Michigan
- No. 3 Alabama at No. 6 Tennessee
- Oklahoma State No. 8 at TCU No. 13
- No. 15 North Carolina State at No. 18 Syracuse
- No. 16 Mississippi State at No. 22 Kentucky
- No. 7 USC at No. 20 Utah