Vols tie Buckeyes at No. 2 in AP poll, face No. 1 Georgia next

Tennessee moved into a tie with Ohio State for No. 2 in Sunday’s Associated Press college football poll to set up a No. 1-No. 2 matchup with top-ranked Georgia next weekend.

Georgia-Tennessee is the 25th game of the regular season to bring together the top two teams on the AP poll and the third straight game involving SEC teams. Neither the Bulldogs nor the Volunteers have ever played in a 1-2 game in the regular season.

Georgia remained No. 1 for the fourth straight week, earning 30 first-place votes and 1,528 points.

The Volunteers moved up one spot, earning 18 first-place votes and 1,500 points to match Ohio State. The Buckeyes received 15 first-place votes.

On Saturday, Tennessee defeated Kentucky 44-6 and Ohio State won 44-31 at Penn State.

Tennessee hasn’t been ranked this high since it was No. 2 in 2001, a season the Vols finished fourth.

No. 4 Michigan, No. 5 Clemson, No. 6 Alabama, No. 7 TCU and No. 8 Oregon retained their places in the rankings. USC moved up one spot to ninth and No. 10 UCLA gave the Pac-12 three teams in the top 10 for the first time since November 2016.

The first college football playoff ranking of the season will be released Tuesday night.

CHOICE POINTS

Both Alabama and LSU were involved in the last two 2-1 games of the regular season.

The Tigers were No. 1 in 2019 when they defeated second-ranked Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, Alabama en route to an SEC and national championship.

In 2011, the top-ranked Tigers won in overtime at No. 2 Alabama, and the two SEC West rivals again played in the BCS national championship game. The Tide won the rematch and finished No. 1.

Including postseason games, this will be the 53rd game to match AP’s #1 and #2 since the poll began in 1936.

IN

Three teams make their season debuts in the top 25 this week.

– No. 23 Liberty is ranked for the first time since 2020, when the Flames were ranked for eight weeks and peaked at No. 17 in the final poll of the season.

– Oregon State No. 24 becomes the latest Power 5 school to endure a long absence from the rankings. The Beavers have not been ranked since they were ranked 25th in the 2013 preseason poll. They had not been ranked in the regular season since 2012 when they finished 20th.

Earlier this year, Kansas broke through a 13-year ranking drought, which was the longest in the Power 5. Then Illinois broke through its second-longest drought and moved up the rankings for the first time since 2011.

Rutgers currently has the longest AP Top 25 drought among the Power 5 teams, dating back to 2012. Vanderbilt is next. The Commodores have not been counted since the 2013 season.

– No. 25 UCF is ranked for the first time since September 27, 2020.

OUT

SEC East rivals Kentucky and South Carolina both dropped from the poll after absorbing their third losses of the season. The Gamecocks are ranked after just one week. The Wildcats are unranked for the first time this season.

Cincinnati was also eliminated from the rankings after losing to UCF.

TELEPHONE CONFERENCE

SEC – 5 (#1, 2, 6, 11, 15).

ACC-5 (#5, 17, 20, 21, 22).

Pac-12 – 5 (#8, 9, 10, 12, 24).

Big Ten – 4 (Nos. 2, 4, 14, 16).

Big 12 – 3 (Nos. 7, 13, 18).

Americans – 2 (No. 19, 25).

Independent – 1 (No. 23).

RANKED vs RANKED

Big weekend in the SEC as both division leaders up for grabs.

No. 6 Alabama at No. 15 LSU. First ranked matchup for Crimson Tide and Tigers since that 2019 1v2 game.

No. 20 Wake Forest in State No. 21 NC. For the second straight year, the Demon Deacons and the Wolfpack will meet as ranked opponents.

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/34910963/vols-tie-buckeyes-no-2-ap-poll-face-no-1-georgia-next Vols tie Buckeyes at No. 2 in AP poll, face No. 1 Georgia next

Emma Bowman

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