LSU is back, and the SEC West race suddenly looks a lot more interesting. Alas, we’ll have to wait two weeks to sort it out.
Elsewhere, Tulane is moving on up in the latest AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank. Ole Miss is tumbling after a rough Saturday on the bayou and Texas is out of the rankings – at least for now.
This marks the third season Regions is the sponsor of the AP Top 25. Each week, we’ll share the latest results on Doing More Today. Regions has no role in selecting teams (nor is Doug Segrest a writer for the Associated Press). Instead, a panel of sports journalists from across the nation vote weekly.
MORE FROM RALPH RUSSO OF THE AP
LSU re-entered The Associated Press College Football poll at No. 18 on Sunday and No. 25 South Carolina earned a ranking for the first time in four seasons.
The first six teams in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank held their spots after either winning or not playing this past weekend.
Georgia is No. 1 for the third straight week, with No. 2 Ohio State gaining ground after it blew out Iowa. The Bulldogs, who were idle, received 31 first-place votes and 1,530 points, and the Buckeyes got 18 first-place votes and 1,513 points.
No. 3 Tennessee received 13 first-place votes. No. 4 Michigan, No. 5 Clemson and No. 6 Alabama also held their spots, with the Tigers receiving a first-place vote.
No. 7 TCU moved up a spot after remaining unbeaten with a second-half comeback against Kansas State. Oregon jumped two spots to a season-high No. 8 after routing UCLA.
Oklahoma State is No. 9, followed by Southern California and Wake Forest in a tie at No. 10.
The Demon Deacons had never reached the top 10 in the AP poll until peaking last season at No. 10. Now they have done it two years in a row.
LSU, in its first season under coach Brian Kelly, handed Mississippi its first loss of the season in emphatic fashion and moved back into the rankings ahead of its game against Alabama on Nov. 5 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The Tigers were ranked for a week earlier this month before losing to Tennessee. They improved to 6-2 by outscoring Ole Miss 42-3 after falling behind by 14 in the first half.
South Carolina, under second-year coach Shane Beamer, is ranked for the first time since a one-week stint after the opening weekend of the 2018 season. The Gamecocks beat Texas A&M to improve to 5-2. They have not been ranked this late in a season since 2013.
LSU moving into the rankings before its off week ensures that Tigers-Tide will be a matchup of ranked teams for the first time since the SEC West rivals played a 1 vs. 2 game in 2019.
Alabama is off next week, too.
The Tigers backslid after winning the national title in ’19 and were unranked when they played the Crimson Tide each of the last two seasons.
That snapped a string of 14 straight seasons in which LSU and Alabama were both ranked when they played.
- LSU and Tulane are both ranked for the first time since 1998, though the Louisiana schools were heading in different directions when they overlapped that season.
- For two weeks at the beginning of October the Tigers and Green Wave were in the Top 25, but LSU fell out the next week and finished 4-7. The Green Wave went on to an unbeaten season and finished No. 7.
- Texas is unranked again after blowing a second-half lead at Oklahoma State. The Longhorns fell to 5-3.
- Mississippi State once again had the misfortune of catching Alabama immediately after a Tide loss and was knocked out of the rankings. The Bulldogs did score a touchdown in Tuscaloosa for the first time since 2014. It came on the last play of the game.
SEC — 7 (Nos. 1, 3, 6, 15, 18, 19, 25).
ACC — 5 (Nos. 5, 10, 16, 21, 24).
Big Ten — 4 (Nos. 2, 4, 13, 17)
Pac-12 — 4 (Nos. 8, 10, 12, 14).
Big 12 — 3 (Nos. 7, 9, 22).
American — 2 (Nos. 20, 23).
Ranked vs. Ranked
After having a total of 11 games matching ranked teams the past two weeks, the next slate is not quite so juicy.
- 2 Ohio State at No. 13 Penn State. Sixth straight meeting with both ranked. The Buckeyes have won the previous five.
- 19 Kentucky at No. 3 Tennessee. Last time the Wildcats and Volunteers were both ranked when they played was 1951.
- 9 Oklahoma State at No. 22 Kansas State. The second meeting out of 65 matchups with both ranked. The first was 2011, when the Cowboys won 52-45.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.appodcasts.com