College football grabbed the AP Top 25 Poll snowglobe and shook it up heading into Week 5. Over the weekend, five teams ranked in last week’s poll suffered losses to unranked teams, while Notre Dame and Michigan took hits for losing to fellow ranked teams.
This led to a fair bit of movement in the latest poll, which was released at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday. Three teams left the poll, three teams entered it, and new teams broke into the top 10. The top four — Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and LSU — remained the same.
The new teams ranked this week are No. 21 USC, No. 24 Kansas State and No. 25 Michigan State. They replace Washington State, Arizona State and TCU.
Making the biggest leaps in the poll were Cal — who climbed from No. 23 to No. 15 — and Wisconsin, which rose from No. 13 to No. 8 after beating Michigan. Utah and Michigan each fell nine spots.
Let’s break down the AP Top 25 Poll heading into Week 5.
Impact of Georgia-Notre Dame
Georgia did something Saturday that Clemson nor Alabama has done this season, and that’s beat an opponent ranked inside the Top 10. Not only was Notre Dame No. 7 and seen as a playoff hopeful, but the Irish gave the Dawgs a real fight, and everything they could handle.
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) September 22, 2019
But the majority of voters weren’t too impressed with the Dawgs’ triumph, and they remained ranked at No. 3. Georgia did come just 85 points short of overtaking Alabama for the second place slot, and received one first place vote.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame fell from seventh to 10th in the poll. The Irish will have a chance to bounce back this weekend against another ranked opponent, taking on No. 18 Virginia.
COLLEGE GAMEDAY: All-time appearance, locations
A tumble for the Pac-12
Heading into Week 5, the lone undefeated team in the Pac-12 is No. 15 Cal. The Golden Bears escaped Ole Miss on Saturday, winning 28-20 in Oxford.
With Utah and Washington State taking surprising losses this weekend, Cal and No. 13 Oregon might be the Pac-12’s best hope in making the College Football Playoff, which will make their Oct. 5 meeting a crucial one. A Pac-12 team hasn’t made the playoff since 2016, when a 12-1 Washington team grabbed the No. 4 seed. But the Huskies’ lone loss that season came to then-ranked No. 20 USC.
The victor between Cal and Oregon on Oct. 5 likely needs to run the table the rest of the way to make the playoff. If a loss comes, it probably has to be against a formidable opponent to keep the resume in-tact. Washington, Utah and USC all have work to do.
Utah fell from No. 10 in the AP Poll to No. 19 after its loss to previously unranked USC on Friday, while Washington State tumbled from No. 19 to out of the poll after losing a high-scoring game against UCLA.
UCLA COMPLETES THE 32-POINT COMEBACK!
130 points are the most in a conference game in Pac-12 history 🤯 pic.twitter.com/vUnBF8sVih
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 22, 2019
The Pac-12 had six teams ranked last week. With USC rejoining the ranks at No. 21, and Arizona State and Washington State bowing out, the conference has five teams ranked this week.
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Is UCF still the Group of Five favorite for the NY6 bid?
UCF’s 27-game regular season winning streak came to an end yesterday in Pittsburgh, losing to the unranked Pitt Panthers on a trick play late in the fourth quarter. With the loss, voters dropped UCF from No. 15 to No. 22.
THE PITTSBURGH SPECIAL AND IT HAS FRENCH FRIES ON TOP OF IT pic.twitter.com/CtMqtlmGK4
— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) September 21, 2019
This makes UCF the second-highest ranked Group of Five team, as undefeated Boise State jumped from No. 20 to No. 16 after beating a tough Air Force team 30-19 on Friday. Elsewhere, down south in the Sun Belt, Appalachian State remained undefeated by beating North Carolina 34-31 in Chapel Hill. It was the first win over a power conference school for the Mountaineers since they beat Michigan in 2007, back when App State was still playing FCS ball.
App State wasn’t ranked this week, but did receive 24 votes. More wins could earn them a spot in the Top 25 down the line.
UCF has been the Group of Five representative at the New Year’s Six Bowl games for two straight seasons, but that could change this year if Boise State and Appalachian State stay on-course. Each year, a bid to one of the six big bowl games played around the turn of the New Year is awarded to the highest ranked champion from the Mountain West, C-USA, American, Sun Belt and Mid-American conferences.
Scenes from after the game: App State players celebrate with fans pic.twitter.com/TSinIYmQf1
— Ethan Joyce (@EthanJoyceWSJ) September 21, 2019
Boise State hasn’t played in a NY6 bowl since 2014, where it beat Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl, and App State has never played in a NY6 bowl. That could change this year.
UAB, SMU, Navy and Memphis are the other remaining Group of Five teams that are undefeated.
UNDEFEATED TRACKER: 23 college football teams remain undefeated after Week 4