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Clemson, Ohio State Slip; Penn State Jumps to Sixth in AP Top 25 Poll

Clemson and Ohio State slipped to the back of the top 10 in The Associated Press college football poll on Sunday and Penn State jumped four spots to No. 6 after another weekend in which lots of ranked teams had issues.

Even No. 1 Alabama.

The defending national champion Crimson Tide remained an overwhelming No. 1 after holding on to beat Florida 31-29, Alabama’s closest margin of victory during its current 17-game winning streak. The Tide received 59 of 62 first-place votes.

No. 2 Georgia, which had no problem with South Carolina, received the other three first-place votes in the AP Top 25.

No. 3 Oregon moved up a spot and No. 4 Oklahoma slipped one after a close victory over Nebraska.

Iowa was No. 5 for a second straight week and Penn State has its best ranking since the Nittany Lions were fifth on Nov. 3, 2019. Penn State beat Auburn on Saturday night to give it two victories against ranked teams, along with Wisconsin.

No. 9 Clemson and No. 10 Ohio State both won Saturday, but neither looked typically dominant. The Tigers managed only 14 points against Georgia Tech and the Buckeyes struggled defensively before pulling away late against winless Tulsa.

Clemson was last ranked this low early in 2015, when the Tigers started the season in the low teens but ended up playing for the national championship.

For Ohio State, 11th has been its lowest rankings since the 2014 season, when a Week 2 loss to Virginia Tech sent the Buckeyes tumbling as far as No. 23. They never lost again that season and won the national title.

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The last time Clemson and Ohio State were both ranked below No. 8 was Nov. 2, 2014, when Ohio State was 13th and Clemson was 19th.

Six ranked teams lost Saturday, though none in the top 10, raising to 19 the total number of ranked teams to lose through the first three weeks of the season.

That’s the most through three weeks of a season in the history of the poll, according to ESPN’s stats and info.

The number is padded by 10 ranked teams losing to ranked teams. Also, only one top-10 team has lost to an unranked team: North Carolina was preseason No. 10 when it opened with a loss to Virginia Tech.

It’s been a volatile first few weeks of the 2021 season, though not quite as crazy and unpredictable as it might look at first glance.

A total of 35 teams have been ranked through three regular-season polls.

AP Top 25

1. Alabama (59)
2. Georgia (3)
3. Oregon 
4. Oklahoma
5. Iowa 
6. Penn State
7. Texas A&M 
8. Cincinnati 
9. Clemson 
10. Ohio State
11. Florida
12. Notre Dame 
13. Ole Miss
14. Iowa State
15. BYU
16. Arkansas 
17. Coastal Carolina
18. Wisconsin 
19. Michigan
20. Michigan State
21. North Carolina
22. Fresno State
23. Auburn
24. UCLA
25. Kansas State 

Others receiving votes: TCU 91, Liberty 56, Virginia Tech 52, Oklahoma State 51, Maryland 29, Arizona State 24, Texas 22, USC 16, San Diego State 16, West Virginia 14, LSU 14, Kentucky 12, Boston College 9, Wake Forest 7, Texas Tech 5, Memphis 3, Stanford 3, Wyoming 1, Louisville 1

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