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AP Top 25 Poll: Week Three

The Tar Heels might not have taken the field last weekend, but they were on the move in the poll anyway.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at North Carolina Pool Photo

This has been a weird year in general, but also one in college football and specifically the AP Poll. Last week’s edition saw a ton of teams move into it when the Big Ten and Pac-12 teams dropped out following the season kicking off. Then some shocks in week one have seen the poll be dominated by two conferences, who account for 15 of 25 spots in it: the ACC and SEC.

Now, the Big Ten is returning and the Pac-12 may follow, which could cause even further weirdness, if and when voters are allowed to vote for those teams. However, that hasn’t happened yet and we’re still a couple weeks away from it happening, so let’s take a look at where things stand today, and where the Tar Heels ended up at.

AP Top 25

  1. Clemson Tigers (59 First Place Votes)
  2. Alabama Crimson Tide (1)
  3. Oklahoma Sooners
  4. Georgia Bulldogs
  5. Florida Gators
  6. LSU Tigers (1)
  7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  8. Auburn Tigers (tied with Texas)
  9. Texas Longhorns (tied with Auburn)
  10. Texas A&M Aggies
  11. North Carolina Tar Heels
  12. Miami Hurricanes
  13. UCF Golden Knights
  14. Cincinnati Bearcats
  15. Oklahoma State Cowboys
  16. Tennessee Volunteers
  17. Memphis Tigers
  18. BYU Cougars
  19. Louisiana Ragin Cajuns
  20. Virginia Tech Hokies
  21. Pitt Panthers
  22. Army Black Knights
  23. Kentucky Wildcats
  24. Louisville Cardinals
  25. Marshall Thundering Herd

Where is UNC?

Despite not taking the field following the cancellation of the Charlotte game, the Tar Heels moved up a spot and are now on the precipice of their first top 10 appearance in five years. They team they jumped over was Oklahoma State, who won, but really labored against Tulsa.

Since it appears that Carolina also won’t be in action again this weekend, they potentially could also jump into the top 10 after a bye week as the SEC teams will kick off this weekend. Heavy emphasis on could as all of the teams ahead of the Heels are favored in their respective matchups. However, the games aren’t played on paper, as the cliché goes.

Biggest Winners

  • Miami’s win at then #18 Louisville has seen the Hurricanes jump five spots into the top 15 at #12.
  • Thanks to an upset over then #24 Appalachian State, Marshall have entered the rankings. Starting the season unranked and then going 2-0 with one win over back end top 25 small conference team wouldn’t normally be enough to get ranked for another small conference team, but this is not a normal season.

Biggest Losers

  • The flip side of that Miami-Louisville game was the Cardinals, who fell six spots to #24.
  • As mentioned, Oklahoma State fell below UNC thanks to their unimpressive win over Tulsa, but it also dropped them behind several other teams. The Cowboys now sit at #15, having dropped four spots.

Conference Breakdown

  • ACC: 7
  • American: 3
  • Big 12: 3
  • Conference USA: 1
  • Independent: 2
  • SEC: 8
  • Sun Belt: 1

Marquee Top 25 Matchups This Week

  • #23 Kentucky at #8 Auburn (Saturday, 12 PM ET, SEC Network)
  • #24 Louisville at #21 Pitt (Saturday, 12 PM ET, ACC Network)
  • #22 Army at #14 Cincinnati (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, ESPN)