AP Top 25: Alabama jumps Cincinnati to No. 2 behind Georgia

Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Alabama jumped Cincinnati to No. 2 behind Georgia in The Associated Press college football poll on Sunday and Oklahoma dropped eight spots to No. 12 after losing for the first time this season.

Georgia is a unanimous No. 1 in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank for the sixth consecutive week and the Southeastern Conference has the top two teams in the poll for the sixth time this season.

Alabama and Georgia were flip-flopped at Nos. 1 and 2 for five weeks in September and early October.

The switch from Cincinnati to Alabama at No. 2 was more about the Bearcats than the Crimson Tide, which closed the gap on UC to four points last week.

Alabama took care of business against overmatched New Mexico State on Saturday. No surprise there.

Cincinnati remained unbeaten after winning at South Florida 45-28 on Friday night. It was the fourth straight week the Bearcats played a team with a losing record and found themselves in a competitive game in the second half. That tipped a few more voters to drop Cincinnati.

Behind the Bearcats, No. 4 Oregon, No. 5 Ohio State, No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 7 Michigan State, No. 8 Michigan and No. 9 Oklahoma State all moved up one spot after Oklahoma tumbled.

The Sooners were No. 4 before being handed their first loss of the season at Baylor on Saturday.

The Bears moved up to No. 11 behind No. 10 Mississippi.

POLL POINTS

Alabama has the longest current streak of top-five appearances in the AP Top 25 at 29. Georgia is second after running its streak to 12 this week.

At third is Cincinnati at seven straight polls. Oklahoma had been next coming into this weekend at five straight, but with that snapped, the next best top-five streak is Oregon with two straight polls.

Alabama holds the all-time record for top-five appearances with 68 from 2015-19.

IN

The three teams entering the rankings this week have all been there earlier in the season.

– No. 21 Arkansas is back after beating LSU. The Razorbacks had a five-week run in the Top 25, reaching as high as No. 8 before three straight losses knocked them out. Three straight wins later, they’re back.

– No. 23 San Diego State returned after winning a crucial Mountain West game against Nevada. The Aztecs had a four-week stint in the rankings but have been out the last two.

– No. 24 Utah was preseason ranked, dropped out after Week 2 of the regular season and has been back and out a couple times. The Utes are back again after winning six of seven.

OUT

– Auburn dropped out after blowing a 28-3 lead against Mississippi State to fall to 6-4.

– Penn State is out for the first time this season after losing to Michigan at home, the Nittany Lions’ fourth loss in the last five games.

– Coastal Carolina is out for the first time this season, snapping a streak of 22 weeks being ranked. The Chanticleers lost for the second time this season with injured quarterback Grayson McCall out of the lineup against Georgia State.

CONFERENCE CALL

SEC – 5 (Nos. 1, 2, 10, 16, 21).

Big Ten – 5 (Nos. 5, 7, 8, 18, 19).

ACC – 3 (Nos. 13, 20, 25).

Big 12 – 3 (Nos. 9, 11, 12).

Pac-12 – 2 (Nos. 4, 24).

American – 2 (Nos. 3, 17).

Conference USA – 1 (No. 15).

Mountain West – 1 (No. 23).

Sun Belt – 1 (No. 22).

Independent – 2 (Nos. 6, 14).

RANKED vs. RANKED

No. 7 Michigan State at No. 5 Ohio State.

No. 21 Arkansas at No. 2 Alabama.

No. 4 Oregon at No. 24 Utah.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.