AP Top 25 Reality Check: Reset welcome 7 new ranked teams

Oct 2, 2022, 11:28 AM | Updated: 11:32 pm
TCU quarterback Max Duggan (15) and teammate Quentin Johnston (1) celebrate Duggan's touchdown agai...

TCU quarterback Max Duggan (15) and teammate Quentin Johnston (1) celebrate Duggan's touchdown against Oklahoma during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU won 55-24. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

(AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

              UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) stiff-arms Washington linebacker Carson Bruener during the second half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
              Kansas offensive lineman Hank Kelly (57) and fans celebrate on the field after they beat Iowa State to go 5-0 after an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Reed/Hoffmann)

This was reset week for Associated Press college football poll voters.

A season-high 10 teams that entered the weekend ranked in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions bank lost. That included five ranked teams losing to unranked opponents.

The fallout was more than a quarter of the poll turning over Sunday.

The voters tossed out seven teams, five of which had been ranked all season, including Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Baylor.

Among the seven new arrivals, six made their season debut. Kansas was the headliner. The Jayhawks had not been ranked in 13 years, the longest drought among Power Five conference teams.

Five weeks into the season it felt as if the preseason rankings were mostly, though not totally, shaken out of the rankings. Still, it’s early enough that some of the newcomers might not be built for the long run.

Oh, and did we mention there is a new (sort of) No. 1. For the 140th time, Alabama is top-ranked. No team has ever reached the top spot more.

Reality Check rolls through the new-look rankings, assessing how the voters redecorated.

No. 1 Alabama (5-0)

Next: vs. Texas A&M, Saturday.

Reality check: RB Jahmyr Gibbs (206 yards on 18 carries) helped the Tide bury Arkansas without Bryce Young (shoulder), but the passing game pretty much went away. To state the obvious: The Tide really needs a healthy Heisman winner.

Ranked: This is fine, but Reality Check would have stuck with Georgia.

No. 2 Georgia (5-0)

Next: vs. Auburn, Saturday.

Reality check: Is there a real problem here or have the past two weeks just been a blip for a team that might not be a quite as consistently focused as last season’s more veteran group? The Bulldogs don’t necessarily need to be better than last year to win another championship.

Ranked: Should be still be 1.

No. 3 Ohio State (5-0)

Next: at Michigan State, Saturday.

Reality check: Buckeyes have two stud tailbacks. With TreVeyon Henderson out, Miyan Williams went off for 189 yards and a school-record five TDs against Rutgers.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 4 Michigan (5-0)

Next: at Indiana, Saturday.

Reality check: Big question coming into the season was how the Wolverines would replace two edge rushers drafted in the first round. Mike Morris (four sacks) has Michigan second in the Big Ten in sacks with 15.

Ranked: Little too high.

No. 5 Clemson (5-0)

Next: at Boston College, Saturday.

Reality check: This isn’t the dominant Clemson of Trevor, Travis, Tee and the Power Rangers, but it is looking more like the fourth-best team in the country.

Ranked: Little low.

No. 6 Southern California (5-0)

Next: vs. Washington State, Saturday.

Reality check: An offensive line that came in with some questions about depth has held up pretty well. Trojans have given up 11 sacks. but while Williams’ mobility can be a benefit he also tends to hold the ball too long.

Ranked: About right.

No. 7 Oklahoma State (4-0)

Next: vs. Texas Tech, Saturday.

Reality check: The Cowboys’ resume is still a little light and the volatility around them has resulted in their highest ranking for the season. But underestimate Mike Gundy’s program at your own risk.

Ranked: Too high.

No. 8 Tennessee (4-0)

Next: at LSU, Saturday.

Reality check: During an off week, the Volunteers had to like all those long plays Missouri busted against Georgia.

Ranked: About right.

No. 9 Mississippi (5-0)

Next: at Vanderbilt, Saturday.

Reality check: Rebels needed some good fortune to beat Kentucky, but as coach Lane Kiffin said: “What are we? 5-0? All right.”

Ranked: Little high.

No. 10 Penn State (5-0)

Next: at Michigan, Oct. 15.

Reality check: Nittany Lions have a week off before a daunting stretch of Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio State. Still, have to wonder how much more they’ll play freshman QB Drew Allar.

Ranked: Little low.

No. 11 Utah (4-1)

Next: at No. 18 UCLA, Saturday.

Reality check: On the very short list of best cornerbacks in the country, Clark Phillips III had three interceptions, including a Pick-6, against Oregon State.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 12 Oregon (4-1)

Next: at Arizona, Saturday.

Reality check: Ducks allowed a sack for the first time this season against Stanford.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 13 Kentucky (4-1)

Next: vs. South Carolina, Saturday.

Reality check: Wildcats have struggled to protect QB Will Levis, allowing 19 sacks.

Ranked: Touch high.

No. 14 North Carolina State (4-1)

Next: vs. Florida State, Saturday.

Reality check: Wolfpack seem short on the type of offensive playmakers needed to be a top-10 team.

Ranked: Too high.

No. 15 Wake Forest (4-1)

Next: vs. Army, Saturday.

Reality check: We live in a world where the Demon Deacons winning at Florida State is not that big of a deal. Remarkable.

Ranked: Too low.

No. 16 BYU (4-1)

Next: vs. Notre Dame at Las Vegas.

Reality check: Consecutive games against the Fighting Irish and Arkansas will determine just how closely we need to watch the Cougars the rest of the way.

Ranked: Little high.

No. 17 TCU (4-0)

Next: at No. 19 Kansas, Saturday.

Reality check: Horned Frogs under new coach Sonny Dykes are now leading the country at 8.33 yards per play, including 7.04 per rush.

Ranked: Could be higher.

No. 18 UCLA (5-0)

Next: vs. No. 11 Utah, Saturday.

Reality check: Bruins built up speed with the help of a soft nonconference schedule before handing Washington its first loss.

Ranked: Too high.

No. 19 Kansas (5-0)

Next: vs. No. 17 TCU, Saturday.

Reality check: There has been no more hopeless program in a Power Five conference over the last decade than Kansas. Coach Lance Leipold has them looking like a Big 12 contender in Year 2.

Ranked: Could make a case the Jayhawks are too low.

No. 20 Kansas State (4-1)

Next: at Iowa State, Saturday.

Reality check: QB Adrian Martinez and RB Deuce Vaughn combined for 341 yards rushing against Texas Tech and Kansas State is sixth in the country in yards per carry at 6.13.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 21 Washington (4-1)

Next: at Arizona State, Saturday.

Reality check: The Huskies thin secondary was exposed by UCLA. They’re still setup for a good turnaround season in Seattle, but maybe temper the enthusiasm a bit.

Ranked: Too high.

No. 22 Syracuse (5-0)

Next: vs. No. 14 North Carolina State, Saturday.

Reality check: Mississippi State transfer Garrett Shrader has provided stability and the best quarterback play the Orange have had since Eric Dungy left.

Ranked: Little high.

No. 23 Mississippi State (4-1)

Next: vs. Arkansas, Saturday.

Reality check: Here’s a twist from the Bulldogs. They ran for 144 yards and 6.0 yards per carry from Mike Leach’s Air Raid to beat Texas A&M.

Ranked: Little low.

No. 24 Cincinnati (4-1)

Next: vs. South Florida, Saturday.

Reality check: Seemed there might be a change at the top of the Group of Five as the Bearcats rebuilt last year’s playoff team. Instead, Cincinnati still looks like the best of the non-Power Five teams.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 25 LSU (4-1)

Next: vs. No. 8 Tennessee, Saturday.

Reality check: Tigers have erased double-digit leads twice this season, but there is plenty of heavy lifting left on that schedule. This might turn out to be a cameo appearance.

Ranked: Fine.


Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.appodcasts.com


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AP Top 25 Reality Check: Reset welcome 7 new ranked teams