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AP Top 25 Poll: Week Seven

The Tar Heels’ stay in the top five was short-lived.

Virginia Tech v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Clemson’s offense looks scarier than ever after hanging 73 on Georgia Tech, Nick Saban moved to 22-0 against former assistants in Alabama’s big win over Georgia, and UNC came up just short in a crushing loss to Florida State.

Unsurprisingly, the Tar Heels fell out of the top five and with Georgia also losing, Notre Dame was able to rise to #3 after a five-point win over Louisville.

For the time being, it looks like Clemson and Alabama are in a class of their own at the top. However, that may be subject to change with Ohio State and the rest of the Big Ten set to make their season debuts this weekend.

AP Top 25 Poll

  1. Clemson Tigers (54 first place votes)
  2. Alabama Crimson Tide (8)
  3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  4. Georgia Bulldogs
  5. Ohio State Buckeyes
  6. Oklahoma State Cowboys
  7. Texas A&M Aggies
  8. Penn State Nittany Lions
  9. Cincinnati Bearcats
  10. Florida Gators
  11. Miami Hurricanes
  12. BYU Cougars
  13. Oregon Ducks
  14. North Carolina Tar Heels
  15. Wisconsin Badgers
  16. SMU Mustangs
  17. Iowa State Cyclones
  18. Michigan Wolverines
  19. Virginia Tech Hokies
  20. Kansas State Wildcats
  21. Minnesota Gophers
  22. Marshall Thundering Herd
  23. NC State Wolfpack
  24. USC Trojans
  25. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Where is UNC?

Carolina dropped nine spots this week, slotting in at #14. The plummet comes as no surprise after the Heels were upset by a 1-3 Florida State team, 31-28. The Seminoles came out with way more energy and aggressiveness in the first half. After being down as many as 24, Carolina ultimately cut the lead to three with one final drive to potentially tie or take the lead. Sam Howell threw three straight catchable balls that the Tar Heel receivers were just unable to come up with and that was that.

This loss hurts for the Heels but I don’t think it kills them completely when it comes to the playoff discussion. They still have a home game with Notre Dame on the schedule and a potential ACC Championship matchup with Clemson if they can make it there.

Biggest Winners

Virginia Tech (#23 to #19) and Texas A&M (#11 to #7) were the biggest risers in this week’s poll after wins over Boston College and Mississippi State, respectively. Marshall (#22), NC State (#23), and Coastal Carolina (#25) are all newcomers.

Personally, though, I think the biggest winner is Notre Dame, who sits just one spot below Alabama despite putting up twelve points this past weekend. The Irish have taken care of business but they haven’t looked particularly spectacular in their wins this season.

Biggest Losers

Tennessee (#18), Auburn (#15), and Louisiana (#21) were all dropped from the rankings after losses over the weekend. Auburn suffered the biggest drop of any team (10 spots) after falling to South Carolina, 30-22.

UNC suffered the second biggest drop (nine spots) but is arguably the biggest loser in these rankings. As soon as the Heels broke the top five, many people began asking if they truly belonged there. Losing to a one-win team would seemingly indicate they didn’t but the good news is there’s still plenty of season left to be played.

Conference Breakdown

  • ACC: 6
  • American: 2
  • Big 12: 3
  • Big Ten: 5
  • Conference USA: 1
  • Independent: 1
  • Pac-12: 2
  • SEC: 4
  • Sun Belt: 1

Next Week’s Marquee Top 25 Matchups

  • #23 NC State at #14 North Carolina (Saturday, 12 PM ET, ESPN)
  • #17 Iowa State at #6 Oklahoma State (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, FOX)
  • #18 Michigan at #21 Minnesota (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET, ABC)
  • #9 Cincinnati at #16 SMU (Saturday, 9 PM ET, ESPN2)