By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Author
Alabama moved up two spots to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 College Football Poll released today after the Crimson Tide’s 49-27 win over Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
Michigan advanced to No. 2, with TCU at No. 3 and Southern California at No. 4 behind leaders Georgia after four top-10 teams lost on the final day of regular-season games.
The Bulldogs (12-0) are No. 1 for the eighth straight season and eleventh season this season. Georgia received 58 first-place votes and Michigan the other five.
The Wolverines (12-0) hit a season high at No. 2 after beating Ohio State, dropping the Buckeyes three spots to No. 5.
TCU (12-0) has its highest finish since finishing 2nd in the 2015 season, and USC has its best finish so late in the season since finishing 3rd in the 2016 season.
Other top 10 teams that fell were LSU, Clemson and Oregon. LSU’s loss to Texas A&M dropped the Tigers five places to 11th. Clemson’s loss to South Carolina dropped them three places to 10th. The Ducks’ fourth-quarter collapse against Oregon State cost Oregon a Pac-12 title game spot and five spots on the poll, where it fell to 15th place.
Alabama is just ahead of No. 7 Tennessee, who defeated the Crimson Tide with a last-second field goal at home earlier this season.
No. 8 Penn State and No. 9 Washington both have their best finishes of the season. The Huskies have not made the top 10 since the 2018 season when they peaked at No. 6.
No. 23 UTSA (10-2) made its season debut in the AP Top 25. The Roadrunners ranked last year for the first time in the program’s short history.
Texas-San Antonio became an FBS school in 2012. The defending Conference USA champions finished 15th last season and will be entering a second straight C-USA title game.
No. 20 South Carolina (8-4) is back in the rankings after beating a top-10 team for the second year in a row. The Gamecocks defeated Clemson on Saturday after beating Tennessee last week. South Carolina was ranked for a week in October but then immediately lost to Missouri.
The No. 25 Mississippi State (8-4) returned to the rankings for the second time this season.
Ole Miss (8-4) fell out of the rankings for the first time this season. The Rebels peaked at No. 7 after starting 7-0 but ended the season in a four-of-five loss.
Cincinnati (9-3) is out again. The Bearcats have been in and out for most of the season. Losing to Tulane on Friday dropped them again.
Coastal Carolina was eliminated after being routed by James Madison but still has a berth in the Sun Belt championship game next week.
AP TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL (FIRST PLACE POINTS IN BRACKETS; SEC TEAMS IN BOLD):
- Georgia (58)
- Michigan (5)
- State of Ohio
- State of Kansas
- State of Florida
- Oregon State
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
- State of Mississippi
Championship Week features ranked team matchups across five conferences:
– No. 11 LSU vs. No. 1 Georgia, Southeastern Conference Championship.
– No. 3 TCU vs. No. 13 Kansas State, Big 12 Championship.
– USC #4 vs. Utah #12, Pac-12 Championship.
– No. 10 Clemson vs. No. 24 North Carolina, Atlantic Coast Conference Championship.
— No. 18 Tulane vs. No. 22 UCF, American Athletic Conference Championship.
(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed, or redistributed without permission.)