The new AP Top 25 Poll dropped at 2 p.m. ET Sunday, and boy, there’s a lot to get into heading into Week 6.
For starters, we have a new No. 1 for the first time this season. We also have a team entering the poll that hasn’t been ranked since Top Gun was in theaters and Whitney Houston was dominating the radio.
No new teams entered the Top 10, but Notre Dame and Florida swapped spots at Nos. 9 and 10, and LSU and Ohio State swapped at No. 4 and 5, respectively. UCF jumped up four spots from No. 22 to No. 18, and Virginia fell five spots from No. 18 to No. 23.
Let’s break down this week’s AP Poll.
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Bama on top
The top eight teams in college football remained unbeaten this week, but there was still a change at the very top. Alabama is the new No. 1 and Clemson slides back to second place. In voting, the Crimson Tide received just 52 more points than the Tigers this week.
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Alabama jumps Clemson in the AP Poll and is now the #1 ranked team in the nation.— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) September 29, 2019
That means Nick Saban has now led the Crimson Tide to the #1 spot in the AP Poll at least once for 12 consecutive seasons.
While the Crimson Tide steamrolled an in-conference opponent in Ole Miss — winning 59-31 — Clemson had a close call on the road in Chapel Hill. If not for a failed two-point conversion in the fourth quarter, the Tar Heels might’ve upset the Tigers. Instead, Clemson escaped with a 21-20 win, despite UNC winning the battle in penalties, turnovers and time of possession.
Voters thought that Clemson’s close call against UNC was enough to put Alabama ahead of them. Both teams are 5-0 entering Week 6, but both teams have a bye this week. Clemson will face Florida State on Oct. 12, while Alabama will take on No. 25 Texas A&M on the same day.
Also in the upper echelon of the poll, voters thought Ohio State’s 48-7 win over Nebraska was good enough to put them a spot over LSU, who was off this week. The Buckeyes take on No. 25 Michigan State this week, while LSU hosts Utah State.
For the first time since 1986, SMU is back in the AP Top 25 Poll, and the Mustangs have emerged as contenders for the American Athletic Conference title and the Group-of-Five bid to a New Year’s Six Bowl.
The No. 24 Mustangs improved to 5-0 with an impressive 48-21 win over South Florida this week. Shane Buechele threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns, while Xavier Jones ran for 155 yards and two scores. SMU is 5-0 for the first time since 1983.
Elsewhere in the Group of Five, No. 16 Boise State had the week off and No. 18 UCF bounced back with a win over UConn. Appalachian State and Memphis remained undefeated, but are also still unranked.
Along with SMU, other newcomers to the poll this week were Arizona State, Oklahoma State and Wake Forest.
Big fall for Cal
The California Golden Bears suffered the biggest drop in the AP Poll this week, falling from No. 15 to out of the poll completely. Cal received 141 votes this week, six behind Michigan State and Texas A&M, who tied for 25th.
Cal fell to previously unranked Arizona State on Friday, 24-17. The Golden Bears couldn’t seem to stop Eno Benjamin, who ran for 100 yards and three scores on 29 attempts. Jayden Daniels also threw for 174 yards and rushed for 84.
The loss for Cal means that there are no longer any undefeated teams in the Pac-12. Meanwhile, the SEC has five undefeated teams, the Big Ten has five, the ACC has two, the American has two, the Mountain West has one, the Big 12 has two and the Sun Belt has one.
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