AP Top 25: 'Bama jumps OU to No. 3; Penn State falls to 20th
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By RALPH D. RUSSO
Alabama inched up to No. 3 in The Associated Press college football Sunday behind top-ranked Georgia and No. 2 Cincinnati.
The Bulldogs (63 first-place votes) are a unanimous No. 1 for the third straight week in the latest AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank, and the Bearcats remain second.
The Crimson Tide jumped up a spot past Oklahoma after blowing out Tennessee. The now fourth-ranked Sooners were shut out in the first half against Kansas before scoring 35 in the second half and pulling away late.
No. 5 Ohio State and No. 6 Michigan both held their spots.
Oregon moved up three spots to No. 7. No. 8 Michigan State, No. 9 Iowa and No. 10 Mississippi round out the top 10.
In a week with no games matching ranked teams, five ranked teams lost, including two in the top 10. Penn State dropped 13 spots to No. 20 after losing in a record nine overtime periods to Illinois. Oklahoma State fell from No. 8 to 15th after losing at Iowa State.
Alabama dropped from No. 1 to No. 5 two weeks ago after losing at Texas A&M, putting its record streak of top-five appearances in danger.
But since then, the Tide won two games and A&M has built on that upset with two easy victories. The Aggies, unranked when they beat Alabama, are up to No. 14.
The combination of the two has allowed the Tide to run its top-five streak to 69. The second best top-five streak in poll history came to an end early this season when Clemson's was snapped at 57.
The second-best active top-five streak is Georgia at eight weeks.
- No. 10 Ole Miss has its best ranking since finishing the 2015 season at No. 10.
- No. 17 Pitt cracked the top 20 for the first time since starting the 2010 season at No. 15. The last time the Panthers were ranked this highly this deep into a season was when they reached No. 8 and finished No. 15 in 2009.
A couple of teams that spent time in the AP Top 25 earlier this season are back in this week.
- No. 22 Iowa State returned after dropping out in mid-September. The Cyclones started the season No. 7 and lost two of their first four games.
- No. 25 BYU broke a two-game losing streak by beating Washington State. The Cougars are 4-0 against Pac-12 teams.
- Purdue is out after one week in the rankings. The Boilermakers (4-3) lost at home to Wisconsin. Purdue hasn't been ranked for more than one week in any season since 2005.
- North Carolina State slipped out of the rankings after a close loss to Miami.
SEC - 6 (Nos. 1, 3, 10, 12, 14, 18).
Big Ten - 5 (Nos. 5, 6, 8, 9, 20).
Big 12 - 4 (Nos. 4, 15, 16, 22).
ACC - 2 (Nos. 13, 17).
American - 2 (Nos. 2, 19).
Pac-12 - 1 (No. 7).
Conference USA - 1 (No. 23).
Mountain West - 1 (No. 21).
Sun Belt - 1 (No. 24).
Independents - 2 (Nos. 11, 25).
RANKED vs. RANKED
No. 20 Penn State at No. 5 Ohio State. This will be the sixth straight meeting with both teams ranked, but the Nittany Lions are trending in the wrong direction.
No. 6 Michigan at No. 8 Michigan State. The first top-10 meeting between the rivals since 1964.
No. 10 Mississippi at No. 18 Auburn. Two teams still very much in the SEC West race.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.appodcasts.com
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Updated October 25, 2021