AP Top 25: LSU, Alabama set for top two showdown

AP Top 25: LSU, Alabama set for top two showdown

By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer

Navy moved into The Associated Press college football poll at No. 25, giving the American Athletic Conference four ranked teams, more than all but the Big Ten and the Southeastern Conference.

With nine ranked teams off this weekend, including four of the top five, there was little movement throughout the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank. LSU is No. 1 for a second consecutive week and Alabama is No. 2. The Tigers and Crimson Tide on Saturday will play the first regular-season 1-2 game since the same two did it in 2011.

Navy joins fellow AAC members No. 17 Cincinnati, No. 19 Memphis and No. 23 SMU in the Top 25. Four ranked teams matches a high for the 7-year-old American, which was born from the collapse of the Big East.

“UCF was the top vote-getter outside the Top 25,” AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco said Sunday. “It think it validates what we’ve been trying to do. Our goal is depth.”

Aresco has pushed for the American to be considered along-side the Power Five, branding the AAC a P6 conference.

“It shows that the conference continues to make progress,” he said.

Ohio State is No. 3 as the margin among the top three teams widened a bit after last week’s historically close vote. The first-place vote distribution stayed the same. The Tigers received 1,479 points and 17 first-place votes, Alabama had 1,472 points and 21 first places, and Ohio State got 1,467 points and 17 firsts. No. 4 Clemson received the other seven first-place votes and Penn State remained No. 5.

Georgia jumped two spots to No. 6 after beating Florida in the weekend’s biggest game. The Gators slipped four spots to No. 10.

POLL POINTS

The first College Football Playoff selection committee rankings come out Tuesday night.

Since the selection committee started ranking teams around this point in the season, only last year did it have the same four teams in the top as the AP poll that was released two days earlier. And never has the first CFP rankings’ first four matched the preceding AP top four.

Top fours in order:

2014

AP: Mississippi State, Florida State, Alabama, Auburn
CFP: Mississippi State, Auburn, Florida State, Mississippi

2015

AP: Ohio State, Baylor, Clemson, LSU
CFP: Clemson, LSU, Ohio State, Alabama

2016

AP: Alabama, Michigan, Clemson, Washington
CFP: Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, Texas A&M

2017

AP: Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Wisconsin
CFP: Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson

2018

AP: Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, LSU
CFP: Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame

OUT

Appalachian State was the only team to fall out of the rankings this week. The Sun Belt Conference’s lone representative lost for the first time this season, falling at home to Georgia Southern on Thursday.

CONFERENCE CALL

The American also had four ranked teams on Nov. 8, 2015 (Houston, Temple, Navy, Memphis). The Midshipmen are ranked for the first time since 2017 and already have more than doubled their win total from last season’s disappointing 3-9 finish.

Big Ten — 6 (Nos. 3, 5, 13, 14, 16, 19)
SEC — 5 (Nos. 1, 2, 6, 10, 12)
American — 4 (Nos. 17, 19, 23, 25)
Big 12 — 3 (Nos. 9, 11, 20)
ACC — 2 (Nos. 4, 22)
Pac-12 — 2 (Nos. 7, 8)
Mountain West — 2 (Nos. 21, 24)
Independent — 1 (No. 15)

RANKED vs. RANKED

No. 1 LSU at No. 2 Alabama. A playoff eliminator? Or is this just for seeding?
No. 5 Penn State at No. 13 Minnesota. Coach P.J. Fleck’s unbeaten Gophers could row the boat right into playoff contention.
No. 19 Iowa at No. 18 Wisconsin. Huge game in the Big Ten West.

Full AL Top 25

(Note: sometimes the graph shows up better in browser “read mode” or when viewed horizontally on a smart phone)

RANK TEAM PV RANK POINTS
1

LSU (8-0) 1 1,479
2

Alabama (8-0) 2 1,472
3

Ohio State (8-0) 3 1,467
4.

Clemson (9-0) 4. 1,406
5

Penn State (8-0) 5 1,306
6

Georgia (7-1) 8 1,196
7

Oregon (8-1) 7 1,180
8

Utah (8-1) 9 1,090
9

Oklahoma (7-1) 10 1,045
10

Florida (7-2) 6 938
11

Baylor (8-0) 12 909
12

Auburn (7-2) 11 901
13

Minnesota (8-0) 13 831
14

Michigan (7-2) 14 780
15

Notre Dame (6-2) 16 571
16

Wisconsin (6-2) 18 558
17

Cincinnati (7-1) 17 527
18

Iowa (6-2) 19 491
19

Memphis (8-1) 24. 448
20

Kansas State

(6-2)

22 364
21

Boise State (7-1) 21 310
22

Wake Forest

(7-1)

23 296
23

SMU (8-1) 15 250
24

San Diego State

(7-1)

25 87
25

Navy (7-1) 83
Others receiving votes:

UCF 52, Texas 37, Indiana 27, Texas A&M 19, Oklahoma State 11, Louisiana Tech 7, Appalachian State 5, Washington 2, Pittsburgh 2, Iowa State 1, Virginia 1