AP Top 25: Georgia returns to No. 1, Alabama slips to No. 3 behind Ohio State

Georgia reclaims the No. 1 spot in the Associated Press college football poll by Alabama on Sunday, after being bumped up last week by the Crimson Tide, who fell to No. 3.

The Bulldogs received 32 first-place votes and 1,535 points in the Top 25, presented by Regions Bank, to easily claim the No. 1 spot. They finished just two points behind No. 2 Alabama last week.

Georgia beat Auburn 42-10 on Saturday. The Tide, whose Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young was sidelined with an injury, escaped an upset bid at home by Texas A&M.

Ohio State moved up one spot to No. 2, receiving 20 first-place votes and 1,507 points.

The No. 3 ranking is a season-low for Alabama, which was the preseason No. 1 but fell to No. 2 after Week 2. The Tide received 11 first-place votes.

There were two notable debut seasons in the Top 25: No. 24; Illinois ranked for the first time since 2011, and James Madison is in the AP Top 25 for the first time in program history. The Dukes are playing their first season as a member of the Sun Belt Conference at the highest level of Division I college football.

Clemson overtook Michigan and moved up to No. 4 and the Wolverines fell one spot to No. 5.

Tennessee rose to No. 6, the best ranking for the undefeated Volunteers since No. 5 at the start of the 2005 season. Tennessee stumbled to 5-6 and finished unranked that year.

Southern California dropped one spot to No. 7, and Oklahoma State, Mississippi and Penn State kept their positions to close out the top 10.


Georgia’s shuffle from No. 1 to No. 2 and back to No. 1 in three polls hadn’t happened in more than a decade.

Florida went back and forth between Nos. 1 and 2 in 2009, flip-flopping with Alabama as both teams won in late October.

The Tide are the first team to fall from No. 1 to No. 3 by one win in 25 years, when Nebraska beat Missouri in overtime in the famous “Flea Kicker.” Michigan jumped from No. 4 to No. 1 on Nov. 10, 1997, after a 34-8 win at No. 2 Penn State.


The week after Kansas surrendered the ignominious title of the Power Five conference team with the longest unranked streak to Illinois, the Illini are now off the hook in their second year under coach Bret Bielema.

Illinois improved to 5-1 with a win over Iowa and landed on the ballot for the first time since Oct. 16, 2011 — 178 polls.

Next on the list of longest droughts for Power Five schools are: Rutgers (2012), Oregon State (2013 preseason) and Vanderbilt (2013 final).

— James Madison has been a power 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 ’19. The Dukes have had no trouble getting up to speed thus far, going 5-0 and averaging 44 points per game.

— No. 22 Texas it ranks again after the opponent is tossed Oklahoma and tied with Kentucky in the Top 25.


— BYU is unranked for the first time this season after losing to Notre Dame.

Washington dropped from the rankings after a second straight defeat.

LSU’s The return to the Top 25 was short lived after beating Tennessee at home.


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 last five seasons and six of the last seven.

James Madison is the second Sun Belt team to reach the Top 25 this season, along with Appalachian State.

SEC — 6 (Nos. 1, 3, 6, 9, 16, 22).

Big 12 — 5 (8, 13, 17, 19, 22).

ACC — 4 (Nos. 4, 14, 15, 18).

Big Ten — 4 (Nos. 2, 5, 10, 24).

Pac-12 — 4 (Nos. 7, 11, 12, 20).

American — 1 (no. 21).

Solar belt — 1 (No. 25).


Six games to match the season standings:

No. 10 Penn State at No. 5 Michigan.

No. 3 Alabama at No. 6 Tennessee.

No. 8 Oklahoma State at No. 13; TCU.

No. 15 North Carolina State at No. 18; Syracuse.

No. 16 Mississippi State at No. 22 Kentucky.

No. 7 USC at No. 20; Jute.

Report from the Associated Press.

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