The final college football Saturday of September produced a number of near misses, but the top five teams survived and maintain their respective positions in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll.
Georgia remains No. 1 for a second week, but the Bulldogs’ lead over No. 2 Alabama is trimmed to a mere five poll points this week. Georgia received 34 of 64 first-place votes following a lackluster win against Kent State. The Crimson Tide received 26 firsts after a dominant win against Vanderbilt.
Ohio State, equally impressive in a blowout of Wisconsin, strengthens its hold on the No. 3 spot and picked up the remaining four No. 1 votes. Michigan, a winner in its Big Ten opener against Maryland, and Clemson, which survived in double overtime at Wake Forest, continue to round out the top five.
The changes begin at the No. 6 slot, previously occupied by Oklahoma. The Sooners dip 10 places to No. 16 after yet another loss to recent nemesis Kansas State. Southern California survived a tough trip to Oregon State and inherits the No. 6 position. Oklahoma State, which had the weekend off, now heads the Big 12 contingent at No. 7.
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Kentucky climbs to No. 8, matching its highest ranking since Sept. 30, 2007. No. 9 Tennessee is in the top 10 for the first time since Oct. 2, 2016, also the last time the Vols beat Florida. North Carolina State also enters the top 10, its first appearance there since Oct. 28, 2002.
Pittsburgh rejoins the poll at No. 24. Three other teams make their season debuts in the rankings after 4-0 starts. No. 22 Florida State heads that group, the first poll appearance for the Seminoles since early in the 2018 season. Minnesota enters at No. 23, and Syracuse edges out several other contenders for the No. 25 spot.
Florida, Texas, Miami and Michigan State are the week’s dropouts.]
Also of note, James Madison earned 11 points after winning at Appalachian State. It's the first points the Dukes have received since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision this season.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coaches Poll: Georgia holds off Alabama for No, 1; Oklahoma tumbles