Clemson easily stopped Alabama on Sunday to maintain the No. 1 spot. 1 spot in The Associated Press college football poll, which extended the longest voting operation to seven weeks.
Crimson Tide fled Georgia on Saturday night to make the case to be No. 1, but it was not enough to shed the Tigers.
Clemson defended his racetrack in a historic blowout against Georgia Tech. The 66-point lane was the largest ever in a football game at the Atlantic Coast Conference. Clemson received 54 seats out of 62 from a panel of sports writers and reporters.
Crimson Tide got the remaining eight first-place votes. Notre Dame moved to a season-high No. 3, No. 4 Georgia fell to a spot and Ohio State climbed to No. 5 a week before the Big Ten starts playing.
Clemson became No. 1 since preeason. The Tigers topped the rankings 23 times in school history but no more than five times in a season before this year.
North Carolina is a big fall, falling to ninth place at No. 14 after losing to Florida State.
Oklahoma State is No. 6, with Texas A&M, Penn State, Cincinnati and Florida rounding the top 10.
When it comes to wins against team rankings, Alabama coach Nick Saban is the best ever.
Even before beating Georgia, Saban held the record for most wins against the top five AP teams (now 25) and top 10 teams (now 42). Saban’s latest victory was his 86th, tying Penn State’s Joe State most of the time.
Saban benefited from having his coaching career at a time when the ranking reached 25 teams, as opposed to 20, which was the case for the final end of Paterno’s 46-year career. The average number of games played during a college football season is also longer now than ever before.
But Saban only took 25 seasons and 318 total games to match what Paterno did in 548 games. It may be a long time before Saban gets a chance to break the tie. Alabama currently has no other team in the group left on its schedule.
Unbeaten Coastal Carolina is ranked for the first time in the program’s brief history. Chanticleers from Conway, South Carolina, joined FBS in 2017.
They defeated Sun Belt rival Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday to improve to 4-0. The defeat knocked out Ragin ‘Cajuns from the Top 25, but it turned out to be a banner year for the Sun Belt. The conference has three of its teams ranked at one point or another. There has never been more than one Sun Belt team ranked at any one time.
• No. 22 Marshall returned to rank. The undefeated Thundering Herd was ranked in September, bumped into the return of the Big Ten and Pac-12 teams but played again.
• No. 23 The State of North Carolina has been ranked for the first time since 2018.
Joining Louisiana-Lafayette in the fall from the ranks are two SEC teams. Auburn and Tennessee both suffered a second loss of the season and dropped from the Top 25 for the first time.
ACC – 6 (Nos. 1, 3, 11, 14