The Crimson Tide ran away from Georgia on Saturday night to make the case No. 1, but it was not enough to collide with the Tigers.
Clemson defended their ground against Georgia Tech with a historic blow. The 66-point race was the largest in an Atlantic Coast Conference football game. Clemson received 54 first place out of 62 from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters.
The Crimson Tide received the remaining eight first place. Notre Dame dropped one spot to a season-high No. 3, No. 4 Georgia, and No. 5 a week before the Ohio State Big Ten began.
Clemson has been No. 1 since the president. The Tigers have been topped 23 times in school history, but no more than five times in a season prior to this year.
After losing to Florida State, North Carolina recorded a major drop, dropping nine places to number 14.
Oklahoma State ranks No. 6, with Texas A&M, Penn State, Cincinnati and Florida out of the top 10.
When it comes to winning games against ranked teams, Alabama coach Nick Saban is the best.
Before defeating Georgia, Saban held the record for most wins against the AP’s top five teams (now 25) and top-10 teams (now 42). Saban’s latest win was his 86th win for Penn State’s Joey Paterno.
Saban has benefited from his coaching career when the rankings reached 25 teams at one time, as opposed to 20, which was the case for the final end of Petro’s 46-year career. The average number of games played in the college football season is also longer than before.
But Saban got only 25 seasons and 318 total games, which Petro did in 548 games. It may be some time before Saban gets a chance to break the tie. Alabama does not currently have another ranked team remaining on its schedule.
Unbeaten Coastal Carolina is ranked for the first time in the program’s brief history. The Chantlers of Conway, South Carolina joined FBS in 2017.
They beat Sun Belt rival Louisiana-Lafayette 4–0 on Wednesday. The loss knocked Ragin’s Cajuns out of the top 25, but it’s still been a banner year for the Sun Belt. The conference has placed three of its teams one or the other. Never before in any season has more than one Sun Belt team been ranked.
• No. 22 Marshall returned to the rankings. The unbeaten Thundering Heer was ranked in September, having collided with the return of the Big Ten and Pac-12 teams, but has played his way back.
• No. 23 North Carolina State is ranked for the first time since 2018.
Louisiana-Lafayette had two SEC teams in the fall. Both Auburn and Tennessee suffered their second loss of the season and were knocked out of the top 25 for the first time.
Acc – 6 (Nos. 1, 3, 11, 14 (T), 19, 23).
Big Ten – 5 (No. 5, 8, 14 (T), 18, 21).
SEC – 4 (nos. 2, 4, 7, 10).
Large 12 – 3 (Nos. 6, 17, 20).
Pac-12 – 2 (No. 13, 24).
American – 2 (No. 9, 16).
Conference USA – 1 (No. 22).
Sun Belt – 1 (No. 25).
Independent – 1 (No. 12).
RANKED vs RANKED
• No. 14 North Carolina State has No. 14 North Carolina. For the first time since 1993, and for the third time, both will be ranked when the Research Triangle rivals meet.
No. 17 Iowa State at No. 6 Oklahoma State. Two of the three Big 12 teams that do not already have a conference loss.
• No. 21 Minnesota at No. 21 Michigan. The season opens for the Big Ten with a fight for Little Brown Jag.
• Number 9 Cincinnati at No. 16 SINUI. The remaining unbeatable class of the AAC is closed – expected. Cincinnati’s game was postponed last week due to positive COVID-19 tests within the program.