Alabama is No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll for the first time this season, replacing preseason No. 1 Clemson after the Tigers had a close call with North Carolina.
Alabama received 29 of 61 first-place votes Sunday from the media panel as the Tigers’ one-point victory at North Carolina gave the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank the first shake-up at the top this season. Clemson slipped to No. 2 and received 18 first-place votes.
The last time a No. 1 team won and dropped was Ohio State on Nov. 7, 2015, after the Buckeyes beat Minnesota 28-14 at home. It has happened 74 times previously since the poll started in 1936.
No. 3 Georgia received four first-place votes. Ohio State moved up to No. 4 and received seven first-place votes. LSU was No. 5 and Oklahoma sixth. No. 7 Auburn received three first-place votes.
At the other end of the rankings, No. 24 SMU is ranked for the first time since the program received the so-called death penalty for NCAA rules violations in 1987 and did not compete for two seasons.
SMU’s appearance in the rankings is historic, considering where that program has been. After returning from the death penalty in 1989, the Mustangs managed one winning season (6-5 in 1997) over the next 20 years.
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