By Ralph D Russo
AP college football writer
Michigan moved up to No. 2 in The Associated Press’ college football poll on Sunday, with TCU at No. 3 and Southern California at No. 4 behind leader 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 week and eleventh time this season in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank. 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 No. 2 in the 2015 season, and USC (11-1) has its best finish this late in the season since the 2016 season ended at No. 3.
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 was No. 6, just ahead of 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.
This was the eighth regular-season week since 2017 that has seen four top-10 teams lose, including their second this season. Three of these weeks took place in 2017.
The last time five or more top 10 teams lost in the same regular season week was 2016. During the week of November 12, 2016, five top 10 teams lost, all to unranked opponents.
The results: Iowa 14, #2 Michigan 13; Pittsburgh 43, #3 Clemson 42; USC 26, #4 Washington 13; Georgia 13, No. 8 Auburn 7; and Mississippi 29, No. 10 Texas A&M 28.
— 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 his second straight upset against a top-10 team. 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.
– No. 25 from Mississippi State (8-4) returned to the rankings for the second time this season.
– Mississippi (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 back out. The Bearcats have been in and out for most of the season. Losing to Tulane on Friday dropped them again.
– Coastal Carolina (9-2) bowed out after being routed by James Madison but still has a spot in the Sun Belt championship game next week.
Pac-12-6 (#4, 9, 12, 15, 16, 17).
SEC – 6 (#1, 6, 7, 11, 20, 25).
ACC – 3 (#10, 14, 24).
Big Ten – 3 (Nos. 2, 5, 8).
Big 12 — 3 (Nos. 3, 13, 21).
Americans — 2 (#18, 22).
USA Conference – 1 (No. 23).
Independent — 1 (#19).
RANKED vs RANKED
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.