Rivalry week lived up to the hype with four top 10 teams falling on the final week of college football’s regular season.
The biggest shakeup in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank was in the Big Ten, where Michigan climbed to No. 2 after throttling Ohio State. Elsewhere, TCU remained perfect, and Penn State and Washington earned their highest rankings of the season at eighth and ninth, respectively.
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
Michigan moved up to No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll Sunday, with TCU at No. 3 and Southern California at No. 4 behind top-ranked Georgia after four top-10 teams lost on the final day of regular-season games.
The Bulldogs (12-0) are No. 1 for the eighth straight week and 11th time this season in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank. Georgia received 58 first-place votes and Michigan received the other five.
The Wolverines (12-0) reached a season-high No. 2 after beating Ohio State, which dropped the Buckeyes three spots to No. 5.
TCU (12-0) has its highest ranking since reaching No. 2 in the 2015 season, and USC has its best ranking this late in the season since finishing the 2016 season at No. 3.
Other top-10 teams to fall were LSU, Clemson and Oregon. LSU’s loss to Texas A&M dropped those Tigers five spots to No. 11. Clemson’s loss to South Carolina sent it falling three spots to No. 10 The Ducks’ fourth-quarter collapse against Oregon State cost Oregon a spot in the Pac-12 title game and five spots in the poll, where it fell to No. 15.
Alabama was No. 6, just ahead of Tennessee, which beat the Crimson Tide on a last-second field goal at home earlier this season.
No. 8 Penn State and No. 9 Washington both have their best rankings of the season. The Huskies haven’t been in the top 10 since the 2018 season, when they peaked at No. 6.
This was the eighth regular-season week since 2017 where four top-10 teams lost, including the second this season. Three of those weeks occurred in 2017.
The last time five or more top-10 teams lost in the same regular-season week was 2016.
- 23 UTSA (10-2) made its season debut in the AP Top 25. The Roadrunners reached the rankings last year for the first time in the short history of the program.
Texas-San Antonio became an FBS school in 2012. The defending Conference USA champions peaked at No. 15 last season and will head into a second straight C-USA title game ranked.
- 20 South Carolina (8-4) is back in the rankings after its second straight upset of a top-10 team. The Gamecocks beat Clemson on Saturday after taking down Tennessee last week. South Carolina was ranked for one week in October, but then immediately lost to Missouri.
- 25 Mississippi State (8-4) returned to the rankings for the second time this season.
- Mississippi (8-4) fell out of the rankings for the first time this season. The Rebels reached No. 7 after starting 7-0 but finished the season losing four of five.
- Cincinnati (9-3) is out again. The Bearcats have bounced in and out for most of the season. Losing to Tulane on Friday dropped them out again.
- Coastal Carolina dropped out after being routed by James Madison but still has a spot in the Sun Belt championship game next week.
Pac-12 — 6 (Nos. 4, 9, 12, 15, 16, 17).
SEC — 6 (Nos. 1, 6, 7, 11, 20, 25).
ACC — 3 (Nos. 10, 14, 24).
Big Ten — 3 (Nos. 2, 5, 8).
Big 12 — 3 (Nos. 3, 13, 21).
American — 2 (Nos. 18, 22).
Conference USA — 1 (No. 23).
Independent — 1 (No. 19).
Ranked vs. Ranked
Championship week features matchup of ranked teams in five conferences:
- 11 LSU vs. No. 1 Georgia, Southeastern Conference championship.
- 3 TCU vs. No. 13 Kansas State, Big 12 championship.
- 4 USC vs. No. 12 Utah, Pac-12 championship.
- 10 Clemson vs. No. 24 North Carolina, Atlantic Coast Conference championship.
- 18 Tulane vs. No. 22 UCF, American Athletic Conference championship.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.appodcasts.com