Georgia extended its streak of No. 1 rankings in The Associated Press college football poll to 19 straight weeks, the third best in the history of the rankings, and Alabama moved back into the top 10 on Sunday.
The Bulldogs received 38 of 63 first-place votes, their second-lowest total of the season, after an off week but still bested No. 2 Michigan, 1,536 points to 1,504.
Georgia’s No. 1 streak, which started on Oct. 9, 2022, is behind only Miami’s streak of 21 weeks from 2001-02 and Southern California’s 33 in a row from 2003-05.
Ohio State held steady at No. 3 after winning a top-10 matchup with Penn State. The Nittany Lions slipped three spots to 10th. The Buckeyes received three first-place votes, as did No. 4 Florida State.
No. 5 Washington and No. 6 Oklahoma held their spots after close calls against unranked teams at home. No. 7 Texas and No. 8 Oregon each moved up a spot.
No. 9 Alabama returned to the top 10 after falling out in mid-September, which snapped a streak of 128 top-10 appearances that dated back to 2015. The Crimson Tide beat Tennessee for their sixth straight victory.
“The challenges are great. I enjoy coaching this team,” Tide coach Nick Saban said after the game. “That’s not to say that they’re not taking years off my life, but I’m OK with that. It’s fun. They’ve got a good spirit about them.”
The Tar Heels lost to Virginia, the Cavaliers’ first win of the season against an FBS team, to become just the second top-10 team to lose to an unranked team this season. The other was then-No. 9 Clemson in Week 1 at Duke.
Clemson has not been ranked since the second week of the season and after losing its third Atlantic Coast Conference game, to Miami on Saturday night, the Tigers received no points in Sunday’s poll. It is just the fourth time in the last 197 polls that Clemson has been totally shut out by voters.
The number of major upsets to Top 25 teams overall in college football this season remains minimal. The current Top 25 has lost a total of 23 games. Of those losses, 19 have been to other teams that currently are ranked.
The Dukes (7-0) made a brief appearance at No. 25 in early October of last year before going on a three-game losing streak.
JMU is in its second season playing in the Bowl Subdivision, the highest level of Division I, leaving the Dukes ineligible to play for the Sun Belt Conference title and a bowl game. NCAA rules require a two-year transition period for schools moving up a level.
James Madison gives the Sun Belt a ranked team for the first time this season and also three non-Power Five conference teams in the poll, joining No. 19 Air Force of the Mountain West and No. 22 Tulane of the American Athletic Conference.
Air Force (7-0) has its highest ranking since being No. 18 on Oct. 13, 2002.