Tennessee and NC State end top-10 droughts in AP college football poll

Tennessee and NC State broke into the top 10 in The Associated Press’s college football poll on Sunday, and Florida State is back in the rankings for the first time in four years.

Georgia remained No. 1, receiving 55 out of 63 votes for first place in the Top 25 presented by Regions Bank. No. 2 Alabama (four first-place votes), No. 3 Ohio State (four first-place votes), No. 4 Michigan, and No. 5 Clemson all retained their spots.

Oklahoma’s upset loss to Kansas State created room for teams to move up, like USC at No. 6 and Kentucky at No. 7.

Tennessee moved up three spots to No. 8, their best finish since 2006 and their first top-10 appearance in a few weeks at No. 9 in the first half of 2016. That was the last time the Volunteers, with 4: 0 started. The Vols knocked the Florida Gators out of the standings by losing a five-game losing streak in the rivalry.

Oklahoma State stayed in ninth, and NC State jumped two spots to 10th. The Wolfpack has their best finish since they finished 10th in 2002.

Texas and Miami both fell out of the rankings after being beaten by unranked teams, falling to 2-2. The Longhorns lost a 14-point lead in the second half and lost in overtime at Texas Tech. while Miami, which started the season at No. 16, was turned on its head by the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders, the underdog with four touchdowns.

While the Hurricanes and Gators slipped, No. 23 Florida State moved up (4-0). The Seminoles got off to their best start since 2015 and are ranked 19th in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the start of the 2018 season, a series of 69 direct polls snapping unranked.


Florida’s poll drought has been notable, considering the Seminoles have been in the top 25 since the late 1970s.

Florida’s streak of 211 consecutive weeks from 1989 to 2001 is the third-longest streak in poll history, and its streak of 42 consecutive seasons appearing in at least one poll from 1977 to 2018 is fourth all-time.

Prior to the current drought, Florida State had not gone without at least one ranking in a consecutive season since 1973-77, the late Bobby Bowden’s first season as coach.


Two other teams make their debuts in the top 25 this week:

– No. 21 Minnesota enters rankings after crushing Michigan state on the road. The Gophers are ranked for the first time since a brief stint in 2020.

– The No. 25 Kansas State has upset a top-10 Oklahoma team for the third time in the past four seasons. The Wildcats have ranked briefly in each of the past three seasons, but never for more than three weeks.


SEC – 7 (#1, 2, 7, 8, 14, 17, 20).

ACC – 5 (#5, 10, 22, 23, 24).

Big 12 – 4 (Nos. 9, 16, 18, 25).

Big Ten – 4 (Nos. 2, 4, 11, 21).

Pac-12 – 4 (#6, 12, 13, 15)

Independent – 1 (No. 19).


No. 10 NC State at No. 5 Clemson. The 87th meeting will be the first matching top 10 teams.

No. 7 Kentucky at No. 14 Ole Miss. Wildcats and Rebels have played 44 times since 1944 and were both ranked only once in 1958.

No. 2 Alabama at No. 20 Arkansas. Tide is 6-0 if both teams are ranked.

No. 9 Oklahoma State at No. 16 Baylor. Cowboys and Bears played as ranked teams twice last season.

No. 22 Wake Forest in the state of Florida No. 23. Only ranking meeting in 39 games was a wake win in 2008.

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/34663699/tennessee-nc-state-end-top-10-droughts-ap-college-football-poll Tennessee and NC State end top-10 droughts in AP college football poll

Emma Bowman

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