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LSU, South Carolina join AP Top 25 as top six hold steady

LSU reentered The Associated Press college football poll at No. 18 on Sunday, and No. 25 South Carolina earned a ranking for the first time in four seasons.

The first six teams in the AP Top 25 held their spots after either winning or not playing over the weekend.

Georgia is No. 1 for the third straight week, with No. 2 Ohio State gaining ground after it blew out Iowa. The Bulldogs, who were idle, received 31 first-place votes and 1,530 points, and the Buckeyes got 18 first-place votes and 1,513 points.

No. 3 Tennessee received 13 first-place votes. No. 4 Michigan, No. 5 Clemson and No. 6 Alabama also held their spots, with the Tigers receiving a first-place vote.

No. 7 TCU moved up a spot after remaining unbeaten with a second-half comeback against Kansas State. Oregon jumped two spots to a season-high No. 8 after routing UCLA.

Oklahoma State was ranked No. 9, and USC and Wake Forest tied for No. 10.

LSU, in its first season under coach Brian Kelly, handed Ole Miss its first loss of the season in emphatic fashion and moved back into the rankings ahead of its game against Alabama on Nov. 5 in Baton Rouge.

The Tigers were ranked for a week earlier this month before losing to Tennessee. They improved to 6-2 by outscoring Ole Miss 42-3 after falling behind by 14 in the first half.

South Carolina, under second-year coach Shane Beamer, is ranked for the first time since a one-week stint after the opening weekend of the 2018 season. The Gamecocks beat Texas A&M to improve to 5-2. They have not been ranked this late in a season since 2013.

POLL POINTS

LSU moving into the rankings before its off week ensures that Tigers-Crimson Tide will be a matchup of ranked teams for the first time since the SEC West rivals played a 1 vs. 2 game in 2019.

Alabama is off next week too.

The Tigers backslid after winning the national title in 2019 and were unranked when they played the Crimson Tide each of the past two seasons. That snapped a string of 14 straight seasons in which LSU and Alabama were both ranked when they played.

• LSU and Tulane are both ranked for the first time since 1998, though the Louisiana schools were heading in different directions when they overlapped that season.

For two weeks at the beginning of October, the Tigers and Green Wave were in the Top 25, but LSU fell out the next week and finished 4-7. The Green Wave went on to an unbeaten season and finished No. 7.

OUT

Texas is unranked again after blowing a second-half lead at Oklahoma State. The Longhorns fell to 5-3.

Mississippi State once again had the misfortune of catching Alabama immediately after a Crimson Tide loss and was knocked out of the rankings. The Bulldogs did score a touchdown in Tuscaloosa for the first time since 2014. It came on the final play of the game.

CONFERENCE CALL

SEC - 7 (Nos. 1, 3, 6, 15, 17, 19, 25)
ACC - 5 (Nos. 5, 10, 16, 21, 24)
Big Ten - 4 (Nos. 2, 4, 13, 17)
Pac-12 - 4 (Nos. 8, 10, 12, 14)
Big 12 - 3 (Nos. 7, 9, 23)
American - 2 (Nos. 20, 22)

RANKED vs. RANKED

After having a total of 11 games matching ranked teams the past two weeks, the next slate is not quite as juicy.

• No. 2 Ohio State at No. 13 Penn State. Sixth straight meeting with both ranked. The Buckeyes have won the previous five.

• No. 19 Kentucky at No. 3 Tennessee. Last time the Wildcats and Volunteers were both ranked when they played was 1951.

• No. 9 Oklahoma State at No. 22 Kansas State. The second meeting out of 65 matchups with both ranked. The first was 2011, when the Cowboys won 52-45.