Alabama reclaimed No. 1 from Georgia in The Associated Press college football poll in one of the closest votes in years, and six teams — including Kansas — made their season debut on Sunday.

The Crimson Tide received 25 first-place votes and 1,523 points in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank, two more than the Bulldogs. Georgia received 28 first-place votes and became the first team since Alabama in November 2019 to have the most first-place votes without being No. 1.

Tide was #2 behind LDU that year with 21 first-place votes to the Tigers’ 17.

The last time there was a two-point difference between Nos. 1 and 2 was on November 1, 2020, when Clemson ahead of Alabama. Since 2007, three more polls have been conducted with a margin of two points.

Ohio State came in third, but the Buckeyes also narrowly took the top two spots, receiving 10 first-place votes.

Crimson tide started the season at No. 1, but the defending national champion Bulldogs took the top spot away from them Southeastern Conference rivals after Week 2, when Alabama needed a late field goal to win Texas.

The Bulldogs remain undefeated but needed a fourth-quarter rally to beat the underdog by four touchdowns Missouri on Saturday evening. Earlier in the day, the Tide managed to pull away from Arkansas in the second half without the Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young.

Young dislocated his shoulder in the first half and missed most of the game in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

No. 4 MichiganNo. 5 Clemson and number 6 Southern California all won and took their places this week, although Wolverines and Tigers are now separated by just three points.

No. 7 Oklahoma Stateand then Tennessee, Mississippi and Pension stateclose the top 10.

The rest of the AP Top 25 saw major changes after 10 ranked teams lost, five to unranked opponents. That cleared the way for seven teams to move into this week’s rankings, most notably No. 19 Kansas.

The Jayhawks were ranked for the first time since Oct. 18, 2009, the longest drought for a team currently in a Power Five conference.

POINTS TO CHOOSE

The closest difference between No. 1 and No. 2 in AP poll history is zero. Oklahoma and Miami ranked No. 1 in the 2002 preseason poll, and Miami and Washington shared first place in mid-October 1992.

The last time the top two teams were separated by one point was in 1992, when the Hurricanes and Huskies were separated by a point in the weeks before and after the tie.

When Kansas returned to the rankings, the longest drought of the appearance of the polls belongs Illinoiswhich last ranked in 2011. And the Illini prepared to make the leap, starting 4-1 before a home game against Iowa Next week.

Next on the list Rutgers (2012), Oregon State (2013 preseason) and Vanderbilt (2013 result).

U

Voters generally decided to start from scratch in the back half of the rankings, flipping seven teams.

— No. 17 TCU is ranked for the first time after a brief stint in 2019 at No. 25.

— No. 18 UCLA first 5-0 start since 2013.

— No. 19 Kansas went undefeated with a shutout Iowa State. The last time the Jayhawks started 5-0 was that 2009 season, then dropped their next six games and sank to the bottom of major college football for more than a decade.

Both Kansas schools were ranked for the first time since Oct. 14, 2007.

— No. 22 Syracuse improved to 5-0 with an easy win vs Wagner and finally cracked the ranking. The Orange were ranked for the first time since the start of the 2019 season.

— No. 23 Mississippi State was ranked for just one week (after the first game of the 2020 regular season) since the end of the 2018 season.

Both Mississippi SEC schools were ranked for the first time since Nov. 11, 2015.

— No. 24 Cincinnati. The Bearcats are the only team ranked this week that has already been this season. Cincinnati was eliminated after a loss at Arkansas in Week 1 and has won four straight since then.

— No. 25 LSU has its first ranking under coach Brian Kelly. The Tigers have won four straight, including two SEC games, since losing the heartbreaker State of Florida on Labor Day weekend.

EXIT

Among the seven teams that fell out of the AP Top 25, five will be unranked for the first time this season: Oklahoma, Baylor, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Pittsburgh.

Florida State and Minnesota were briefly in the AP top 25. The Seminoles and Gophers were teams on the rise during the week before both lost at home.

CONFERENCE-SATLEKA

SVC — 7 (No. 1, 2, 8, 9, 13, 23, 25).

Pac-12 — 5 (No. 6, 11, 12, 18, 21).

ACC — 4 (No. 5, 15, 16, 22).

Big 12 — 4 (No. 7, 17, 19, 20).

Big Ten — 3 (No. 3, 4, 10).

American — 1 (No. 24).

Independent — 1 (No. 16).

RANKED vs. RANKED

No. 25 LSU at No. 8 Tennessee.

No. 17 TCU at No. 19 Kansas.

No. 11 Utah at No. 18 UCLA.

This is reported by the Associated Press


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