Clemson falls to No. 25 in AP poll, snapping top-10 streak
Published 12:00 am Monday, September 27, 2021
By Ralph D. Russo
AP College Football Writer
Clemson tumbled to No. 25 in The Associated Press college football poll on Sunday, snapping its streak of 97 straight weeks in the top 10.
The Tigers (2-2) lost for the second time this season Saturday — falling in double overtime to North Carolina State — and dropped 16 spots from No. 9 in the AP Top 25, which is presented by Regions Bank.
Clemson’s top-10 streak was tied with Alabama for the longest current run in college football and second-longest in the history of the AP poll, behind Miami’s 137 from 1985-93.
The Crimson Tide remained No. 1 with 58 first-place votes out of 62. No. 2 Georgia received the remaining four first-place votes. Oregon stayed No. 3. Penn State moved up two spots to No. 4, Iowa held at No. 5 and Oklahoma slipped two spots to No. 6.
Cincinnati moved up a spot to No. 7 and Arkansas jumped eight spots to No. 8 after beating Texas A&M. The Razorbacks have their best ranking since they were No. 8 early in the 2012 season.
That season, Arkansas lost its second game of the season to Louisiana-Monroe and was never ranked again. The Razorbacks had finished fifth the season before under Bobby Petrino.
No. 9 Notre Dame and Florida rounded out the top 10.
Clemson did manage to extend its streak of weeks ranked to 107, the third-longest active streak behind Alabama (218) and Ohio State (150).
The Buckeyes’ streak does not include polls in which they were ineligible during the 2020 season because the Big Ten was not planning to play due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Alabama’s current streak of poll appearances is second all time to Nebraska’s 348 from 1981-2002.
After six ranked teams lost this weekend, four to unranked opponents, four new teams entered the rankings of the first time this season.
— No. 19 Oklahoma State improved to 4-0 by beating Kansas State. The Cowboys finished last season ranked.
— No. 21 Baylor is 4-0 after upsetting Iowa State at home and is ranked for the first time since the final 2019 poll.
— No. 23 North Carolina State (3-1) snapped an eight-game losing streak against Clemson to move into the ranking. The Wolfpack was ranked briefly at No. 23 last season.
— No. 24 Wake Forest is 4-0 for the first time since 2019, when the Demon Deacons were ranked for a total of five weeks with a peak of No. 19. That’s the only season Wake has been ranked since 2008.
Two teams that started the season in the top 10 are now unranked.
— Iowa State started No. 7, its best ranking in school history after finishing ninth in 2020, but now sits at 2-2 and unranked.
— North Carolina was No. 10 to start the season, but fell out after being routed by Georgia Tech to fall to 2-2.
— Wisconsin began the season No. 12 but after losing to Penn State and Notre Dame to fall to 1-2 is unranked.
— Kansas State spent one week in the rankings and dropped out.
The Southeastern Conference has four teams in the top 10 and five of 12 in the top 12, including Mississippi at No. 12.
The Atlantic Coast Conference, meanwhile, has no teams in the top 20 for the first time since the final poll of the 2011 season.
The last time there were no top-20 ACC teams this early in the season was was Sept. 16, 1986, before Miami and Florida State were members and before the poll expanded from 20 to 25.
SEC — 7 (Nos. 1, 2, 8, 10, 12, 15, 22).
Big Ten — 5 (Nos. 4, 5, 11, 14, 17).
ACC — 3 (Nos. 23, 24, 25).
Big 12 — 3 (Nos. 6, 19, 21).
Pac-12 — 2 (Nos. 3, 20).
American — 1 (No. 7).
Sun Belt — 1 (No. 16).
Mountain West — 1 (No. 18).
Independents — 2 (Nos. 8, 13).
RANKED vs. RANKED
No. 12 Mississippi at No. 1 Alabama. First ranked matchup between the Rebels and Tide since 2017.
No. 8 Arkansas at No. 2 Georgia. Razorbacks’ resurgence has been one of the stories of the first month of the season.
No. 7 Cincinnati at No. 9 Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish obliged the Bearcats, who need Notre Dame to be as good a possible if they have any shot to sneak into the playoff.
No. 21 Baylor at No 19 Oklahoma State. Might be a short stay in the rankings for one of the Big 12 rivals.