AP Top 25: Georgia moves up to No. 2, passing Ohio State

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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Georgia moved up to No. 2 in the first Associated Press college football poll of the regular season, passing Ohio State, after the defending national champions dominated their opener.

Alabama remained No. 1 in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank, receiving 44 of 63 first-place votes from the media panel and 1,552 points.

The Bulldogs narrowed the gap on the Crimson Tide after beating Oregon 49-3. Georgia received 17 first-place votes.

Ohio State slipped to No. 3 and received two first-place votes. Michigan moved up four spots to No. 4.

Clemson dropped a spot to No. 5.

Florida debuted at No. 12 after its thrilling victory at home against Utah. The Utes slipped six spots to No. 13 after the loss.

The rest of the top 10 was Texas A&M at No. 6, followed by Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Baylor and Southern California.

USC is in the top 10 for the first time since the final regular-season poll of 2017, when the Trojans were eighth.

The eighth-ranked Fighting Irish dropped three spots out of the top five after losing 21-10 at Ohio State.

POLL POINTS

Georgia has been ranked No. 1 or 2 in 15 of the last 17 polls, with the other two weeks at No. 3.

Since 2017, Georgia has been ranked No. 2 in the country 13 times and No. 1 nine times, all last season.

From 1981 – the season after Georgia won the national title – to 2016, the Bulldogs were ranked in the top two a total of 10 times.

IN

– Florida’s jump from unranked to No. 12 is the biggest for an unranked team since the first regular-season poll of 2016, when Texas landed at No. 11 and Wisconsin at No. 10 after Week 1 victories.

– No. 24 Tennessee is ranked for the first time under second-year coach Josh Heupel.

OUT

– Oregon’s humbling loss to Georgia sent the Ducks all the way out of the rankings. It’s the first time Oregon has been unranked in a poll for which it was eligible since the last regular-season AP Top 25 of 2020.

– Cincinnati dropped out after losing at Arkansas by a touchdown, its first regular-season loss since late in the 2019 season.

For the Bearcats, who made the College Football Playoff last year, it snapped a run of 45 consecutive poll appearances, which was the fifth-longest active streak in the country.

CONFERENCE CALL

Florida and Tennessee moving into the rankings gives the SEC eight ranked teams, the most for a conference since the SEC had eight three times in 2020.

The record for ranked teams from one conference is 10 by the SEC early in the 2018 season. From 2011-18, the SEC had eight teams ranked in a AP Top 25 a total of 14 times.

SEC – 8 (Nos. 1, 2, 6, 12, 16, 20, 22, 24).

ACC – 5 (Nos. 5, 15, 17, 18, 23).

Big Ten – 4 (Nos. 3, 4, 14, 19).

Big 12 – 3 (Nos. 7, 9, 11).

Pac-12 – 2 (Nos. 10, 13).

Independents – 2 (Nos. 8, 21).

American – 1 (No. 25).

RANKED vs. RANKED

No. 9 Baylor at No. 21 BYU. Future Big 12 matchup.

No. 20 Kentucky at No. 12 Florida. The first time both will be ranked when they play since 2007.

No. 24 Tennessee at No. 17 Pitt. First SEC/ACC ranked nonconference matchup of the season.

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.