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AP Top 25: Kentucky enters rankings for 1st time since '07

Kentucky running back Benny Snell Jr. (26) is hoisted in celebration following his touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi State in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

After a season-high seven ranked teams lost, the back half of the AP college football poll got a makeover on Sunday. Five teams entered the Top 25, including No. 17 Kentucky for the first time since 2007.

At the top it was mostly status quo, with Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Ohio State staying Nos. 1-4. LSU moved up to No. 5, swapping places with Oklahoma after the Sooners needed overtime to get by Army. Alabama received a season-high 60 first-place votes . Clemson had one.

Kentucky is unbeaten and 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference for the first time since 1977. The last time the Wildcats were ranked was Nov. 11, 2007. Kentucky reached No. 8 under coach Rich Brooks that season and upset No. 1 and eventual national champion LSU, but finished unranked.

Related: AP Top 25 Takeaways: When good isn't good enough, switch QBs

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POLL POINTS

  • The Atlantic Coast Conference has three ranked teams in the Top 25 for the third time in four regular-season polls. No. 3 Clemson has played mostly as advertised and No. 16 Miami is slowly creeping back up the rankings after a lopsided opening loss to LSU sent the Hurricanes tumbling out of the top 10.
  • Florida State lasted one week in the rankings and now Virginia Tech is out after maybe the most stunning result of the season so far. The Hokies lost 49-35 at previously winless Old Dominion. Boston College seemed to be emerging as a possible dark horse, but the Eagles also lasted only week. BC lost 30-13 at Purdue on Saturday after being No. 23 last week.
  • Unbeaten Duke entered the rankings at No. 22 this week to keep the ACC from becoming the first Power Five conference to have a week this season with only two ranked teams.
  • Two seasons removed from Clemson winning a national title, Louisville's Lamar Jackson winning the Heisman Trophy — with Clemson's Deshaun Watson as runner-up — and the ACC finishing with a 9-3 record in bowl games, the conference could use a team or two to separate from the mediocrity. North Carolina State (3-0) and Syracuse (4-0) are the only other unbeaten teams in the ACC, along with Clemson.

UP AND DOWN

  • No. 14 Michigan is back where it started the season, moving up five spots this week. Miami also jumped five places, but that movement had as much to do with the teams around the Wolverines and Hurricanes losing. The seven ranked teams that lost Saturday were positioned between No. 13 and No. 23 in the rankings.
  • Among the losers, No. 23 Mississippi State, pounded by Kentucky, and No. 19 Oregon, which let a victory slip away against No. 7 Stanford, managed to remain ranked. The Bulldogs dropped nine spots. The Ducks moved up one.

IN

Joining Kentucky and Duke, ranked for the first time since October 2015, were two newcomers to this season's rankings and one returner.

  • No. 18 Texas, which started the season ranked No. 23 but lost its opener to Maryland, has its first three-game winning streak in four years.
  • No. 24 California slipped into the rankings for the first time since October 2015 during an off week. The Bears have wins against BYU and North Carolina.
  • No. 25 Texas Tech is in after a convincing victory at Oklahoma State. The Red Raiders were ranked briefly last season.

OUT:

Exiting the rankings along with Virginia Tech and Boston College were two Big 12 teams and one from the SEC.

  • Oklahoma State, a week after impressing at home, is out.
  • TCU followed up its loss to Ohio State by falling at Texas.
  • No. 22 Texas A&M played Alabama closer than any team so far this season, but it was not good enough to stay ranked.

CONFERENCE CALL

  • SEC — 6 teams (Nos. 1, 2, 5, 10, 17, 23).
  • Big Ten — 5 (Nos. 4, 9, 14, 15, 21).
  • Big 12 — 4 (Nos. 6, 12, 18, 25).
  • Pac-12 — 4 (Nos. 7, 11, 19, 24).
  • ACC — 3 (Nos. 3, 16, 22).
  • Independent — 2 (Nos. 8, 20).
  • American — 1 (13).

RANKED vs. RANKED

  • No. 4 Ohio State at No. 9 Penn State. The two highest scoring teams in the country.
  • No. 7 Stanford at No. 8 Notre Dame. First top-10 matchup between Cardinal and Fighting Irish.
  • No. 20 BYU at No. 11 Washington. The Cougars try to knock off another highly ranked UW on the road after getting Wisconsin.
  • No. 12 West Virginia at No. 25 Texas Tech. No. 3 in passing yards per game (WVU) against No. 1 (Tech).
  • No. 19 Oregon at No. 24 Cal. Last time the Ducks and Bears played with both ranked was 2007.

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AP Top 25

By The Associated Press

The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sept. 22, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and previous ranking:

------------------------RecordPtsPv

  1. Alabama (60)4-015231
  2. Georgia4-014222
  3. Clemson (1)4-014093
  4. Ohio St.4-013634
  5. LSU4-012386
  6. Oklahoma4-012015
  7. Stanford4-011437
  8. Notre Dame4-010678
  9. Penn St.4-0100110
  10. Auburn3-19879
  11. Washington3-194610
  12. West Virginia3-092312
  13. UCF3-072716
  14. Michigan3-169819
  15. Wisconsin3-166218
  16. Miami3-157121
  17. Kentucky4-0541NR
  18. Texas3-1308NR
  19. Oregon3-129720
  20. BYU3-127025
  21. Michigan St.2-125624
  22. Duke4-0244NR
  23. Mississippi St.3-124114
  24. California3-0118NR
  25. Texas Tech3-1106NR

Others receiving votes:

  • Colorado 83
  • Boise St. 58
  • Virginia Tech 55
  • South Florida 50
  • Oklahoma St. 44
  • Texas A&M 41
  • Iowa 31
  • South Carolina 31
  • Florida 29
  • NC State 28
  • Syracuse 25
  • TCU 24
  • North Texas 10
  • Cincinnati 10
  • Utah 9
  • Mississippi 7
  • Missouri 7
  • Buffalo 6
  • Maryland 6
  • San Diego St. 5
  • Arizona St. 4.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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