Iowa Hawkeyes, Cincinnati Bearcats move up in AP Top 25 poll; Clemson Tigers out for first time s...

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Monday, October 4, 2021

Iowais gearing up for its biggest home game since the 1980s, Cincinnatihas its highest ranking in 12 years, and Clemsonis on the outside looking in at The Associated Press college football poll for the first time since 2014.

Alabamaand Georgiaare the only constants during this topsy-turvy college football season. They held down the top two spots for a fifth straight week in the AP Top 25.

The Crimson Tide received 53 of a possible 62 first-place votes Sunday, with the Bulldogs picking up the rest.

After those two teams, the movement up and down and in and out of the Top 25 was about what would be expected after a week in which nine ranked teams lost, including four in the top 10.

Through the first five weeks of the season, 34 ranked teams have lost, the most in poll history.

Iowa leapfrogged Penn Stateto take the No. 3 spot after its 51-14 road win over previously unbeaten Maryland. The Hawkeyes have their highest ranking since 2015. Penn State beat Indiana24-0 at home and remained No. 4.

No. 5 Cincinnati, coming off a 24-13 road win over Notre Dame, has its best ranking since Brian Kelly's 2009 Bearcats were No. 4 in the first week of November.

Oklahoma, Ohio State, Oregon, Michiganand BYUround out the top 10.

Clemson's 19-13 home win over previously unbeaten Boston Collegedidn't impress voters enough to keep the Tigers in the Top 25. Thus ends their streak of 107 consecutive weeks in the rankings. The last time the Tigers were unranked was the week of Oct. 5, 2014.

They are one spot out of the Top 25, 15 points behind San Diego State.


Midway through the season, it's strange that a rankings-based debate over the top two teams in the Big Ten doesn't include Ohio State.

The Buckeyes very well might be the best, and the voters certainly showed their respect by ranking them ahead of Oregon despite a Week 2 home loss to the Ducks and a meh home win over Tulsa in the following game.

This week's Penn State-Iowa clash is the Big Ten's game of the year -- so far.

It will be the highest-ranked matchup in Iowa City since 1985, when the No. 1 Hawkeyes beat No. 2 Michigan 12-10 on a field goal as time ran out for what Hayden Fry called the biggest win in program history.


No. 16 Kentucky(5-0) is rewarded for its win over then-No. 10 Floridawith its first ranking of the season.

No. 21 Texas(4-1) beat TCUfor its third straight victory and is back in for the first time in a month.

No. 22 Arizona State(4-1) returns after wins over Coloradoand UCLA.

No. 24 SMUis 5-0 for a third straight season.

No. 25 San Diego State (4-0) returns for the first time since November 2019.


Clemson managed only one touchdown and four field goals against Boston College. The Tigers get a week off before facing a top-15 defense at Syracuse.

Texas A&Mgot bounced for losing two in a row, and Alabama comes calling this week.

Fresno Stateis out following two weeks after committing six turnovers and blowing a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter against Hawai'i.

UCLA was ranked for three straight weeks but got bumped after losing two straight home games.

Baylorcouldn't get its running game going against Oklahoma Stateand is out after a one-week appearance.


Losses by Arkansasand Florida made room for the Big Ten to claim four of the top 10 spots, and Michigan Stateis sitting at No. 11.

Last week, the SEC had four teams in the top 10 and five of the top 12. Alabama and Georgia are the SEC's only two in the top 10 this week.

The ACC's first absence from the top 20 in 10 years lasted only a week thanks to Wake Forest moving up to No. 19.

SEC - 7 (Nos. 1, 2, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20)

Big Ten - 5 (Nos. 3, 4, 7, 9, 11)

ACC - 2 (Nos. 19, 23)

Big 12 - 3 (Nos. 6, 12, 21)

Pac-12 - 2 (Nos. 8, 22)

American - 2 (Nos. 5, 24)

Sun Belt - 1 (No. 15)

Mountain West - 1 (No. 25)

Independents - 2 (Nos. 10, 14)


No. 4 Penn State at No. 3 Iowa. This isn't the same Nittany Lions team that lost by 20 points to Iowa last year.

No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 21 Texas. The Red River Rivalry will be hard-pressed to duplicate last year's four-overtime thriller won by the Sooners.

No. 13 Arkansas at No. 17 Ole Miss. These are a couple of teams looking for a reset after lopsided losses to the nation's best two.

No. 2 Georgia at No. 18 Auburn. The Bulldogs have won 12 of 15 in the series.

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