Georgia, Ohio State tied at No. 3 in latest AP Top 25 poll | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World Sports

Georgia, Ohio State tied at No. 3 in latest AP Top 25 poll

Associated Press
1772028_web1_1772028-cbce8d14ea654e61bc47b3572666126b
C.B. Schmelter/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP
Georgia defensive back Richard LeCounte III (2) and offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson (79) celebrate with defensive back Eric Stokes after Stokes’ sack of Tennessee quarterback Brian Maurer led to a fumble and a Georgia touchdown Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, in Knoxville, Tenn.

Ohio State and Georgia are tied at No. 3 in the Associated Press college football poll, and Florida surged to No. 7 after a big victory.

No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson held their spots Sunday after a week off for both, but the Buckeyes caught up to the Bulldogs in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank.

The Crimson Tide received 32 first-place votes and 1,503 points, and the Tigers had 15 first-place votes and 1,433 points. Georgia got three first-place votes and 1,393 points. Ohio State, which was fourth last week, received 10 first-place votes and 1,393 points.

The last time there was a tie in the top three was Sept. 20, 2015, when TCU and Mississippi shared third.

No. 5 LSU received two first-place votes. Oklahoma stayed No. 6.

Florida moved up three spots after beating Auburn on Saturday. The Tigers slipped five to No. 12.

No. 22 Baylor is ranked for the first time since 2016, the season after the offseason firing of coach Art Briles. The school let Briles go amid a scandal related to the handling of sexual assault claims on campus. An investigation led to the president of the university and athletic director also departing.

Bears coach Matt Rhule told the AP on Sunday he congratulated his team on being 5-0 after a convincing win at Kansas State the day before and senior linebacker Jordan Williams corrected him.

“He said, ‘No coach. We’re 1-0 this week,’ ” Rhule said. “That was good to hear him correct me.”

The third-year coach stepped into rebuild that was anything but normal.

The Bears started the ‘16 season ranked under interim coach Jim Grobe and rose all the way to No. 8 with a 6-0 start. They then lost their last six regular-season games and the program descended further from there. After the regular season, Rhule was hired away from Temple, where he had taken a typically downtrodden team and won double-digit games in each of his final two seasons. With no Texas connections, the former Penn State player and NFL assistant seemed like an odd fit in Waco, Texas.

He hired several Texas high school coaches to bridge the gap in recruiting but just getting through Year 1 was a major challenge.

With a depleted roster, Baylor went 1-11 in 2017.

“I remember thinking after the (season-ending) TCU game, ‘It will never be this bad again,’ ” Rhule said.

The Bears improved to 7-6 with a bowl victory last year, but the defense was still one of the worst in the nation. That’s turned. Baylor is 16th in the nation in yards per play allowed (4.49). Many of the players who were forced onto the field before they were ready during the first two seasons under Rhule are now juniors and seniors. The personnel fits the three-man front defensive coordinator Phil Snow prefers to use.

Offensively, Rhule has adapted to the talent available. The sideline-to-sideline, up-tempo spread used by Briles has been replaced by a more methodical and confined approach, though not quite so fullback-reliant as Rhule’s Temple teams.

Before Briles, Baylor was a perennial Big 12 cellar-dweller. Whether it could be more than that without him was an open question.

“The program could have gone the other way,” Rhule said. “But a lot of people’s efforts, starting with the players, kept that from happening.”

Baylor returns home this week to face Texas Tech.

The American Athletic Conference lost one team in the ranking but gained two.

Central Florida is unranked for the first time since the Knights moved into the Top 25 on Oct. 1, 2017. UCF saw its 19-game conference winning streak snapped by Cincinnati on Friday night. The 25th-ranked Bearcats were rewarded with their first ranking of the season. No. 23 Memphis also is ranked for the first time this season.

Sliding out of the ranking after losing for the second time this season along with UCF were Washington, Oklahoma State and Michigan State (which was tied for 25th).

•••

CONFERENCE CALL

For the fifth straight week, the Southeastern Conference has three top-five teams.

SEC — 6 (Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 12, 24).

Big Ten — 5 (Nos. 3, 8, 10, 16, 17).

American — 3 (Nos. 21, 23, 25).

ACC — 3 (Nos. 2, 19, 20).

Big 12 — 3 (Nos. 6, 11, 22).

Pac-12 — 3 (Nos. 13, 15, 18).

Mountain West — 1 (No. 14).

Independent — 1 (No. 9).

•••

RANKED vs. RANKED

This week’s slate has the most games matching ranked teams so far this season.

No. 1 Alabama at No. 24 Texas A&M. The Aggies will face the top-ranked team for the second time this season, which has happened 28 times previously (including postseason games). The last time that happened in the regular season was Tennessee in 2009, when it lost to Florida and Alabama.

No. 7 Florida at No. 5 LSU. Gators will play in consecutive top-10 matchups.

No. 11 Texas vs. No. 6 Oklahoma. Red River is cool again.

No. 10 Penn State at No. 17 Iowa. The Hawkeyes often give ranked teams a hard time at Kinnick Stadium under the lights.

Categories: Sports | US-World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.