AP Top 25 Poll: USC Ranked 5th; Tennessee falls behind LSU, Alabama

USC jumped to No. 5 in the latest AP Top 25 college football rankings on Sunday after its 48-45 win over rivals UCLA. Here’s what you need to know about the latest survey:

  • The front four of No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 TCU held steady again after some close calls as the Buckeyes gave up 30 points to Maryland and Michigan and TCU needed late field goals to hit Illinois and Baylor. Georgia again received 62 of 63 first-place votes, with Ohio State receiving the other.
  • The Trojans moved up two spots to become the top-ranked one-loss team, followed by No. 7 Clemson, with two losses at No. 6 LSU in between.
  • Tennessee fell from 5th to 9th after a 63-38 loss to South Carolina — the most points ever awarded by an AP top-five team to an unranked opponent. South Carolina is second among the others, receiving votes just outside the poll.
  • Following UCF’s loss to Navy, Tulane is again the highest-ranked team in Group 5 at No. 19. Cincinnati is No. 21, Coastal Carolina is No. 23, and UCF held its ground at No. 25.
  • Oklahoma State was the only team to drop from the rankings following their Bedlam loss to Oklahoma. Texas moved up in 24th place, the only team with four losses.

Michigan-Ohio State a top 3 game

It’s time for one of the biggest games in the history of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry, with college football playoff appearances for both. Since the start of the AP Poll in 1936, no series has produced games in which both are ranked in the AP Poll at the time of the game. Ditto for the top 10 and top 5. This will be the 12th meeting where both have placed in the AP’s top 5, but only the third time they’ve finished in the top 3 and tied for state victories Join Ohio in 2016 and 2006.

Michigan No. 3 vs. Ohio State is the clear headliner of Rivalry Week, but it’s not the only ranked team matchup. On Friday, No. 19 Tulane visits No. 21 Cincinnati with AAC title game appearances. On Saturday, No. 13 Notre Dame No. 5 USC and no. 10 Oregon Visits No. 22 Oregon State, the fifth time the Ducks-Beavers game has placed both teams in the AP poll.

Where does the SEC stand?

On the one hand, Tennessee dominated LSU 40-13 last month and edged out Alabama 52-49. It’s one of two teams with two top-10 wins to join Georgia. On the other hand, it gave up just 63 points in a 25-point loss to unranked South Carolina, who recently had 16 points combined in losses to Missouri and Florida in the previous three weeks. How much should a neck-and-neck race be weighted when the Vols, Tigers, and Crimson Tide have identical 9-2 records? Enough voters weighed the loss to South Carolina most severely, allowing LSU to stay at No. 6, now three spots ahead of Tennessee, and Alabama to stay at No. 8, now one spot ahead of the Vols.

AP survey vs. CFP

Expect there to be a few more deviations this Tuesday than last Tuesday. Last week, the top 14 teams in the AP and CFP rankings were tied in the same order, with NC State being the only team in the CFP rankings but not in the AP poll, which ranked Coastal Carolina instead. NC State will drop out of the playoff rankings after losing to Louisville, and there will likely be some disagreement regarding team order — at least beyond the top 5 — thanks to Tennessee’s loss and results in the Pac-12. Will CFP Follow AP Poll’s Lead in Tennessee-LSU-Alabama Debate?

Full AP Top 25

Others receiving votes: UTSA 85, South Carolina 44, Troy 34, Boise State 16, Illinois 12, Iowa 5, Louisville 5, South Alabama 3, Mississippi State 3, Oklahoma State 2, Arkansas 2, Purdue 2, Fresno State 1

required reading

(Photo: Harry How / Getty Images)