AP Top 25: Washington moves in; Penn State, Oregon move up

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
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Washington made its season debut in the AP Top 25 poll at No. 18, and Penn State and Oregon moved into the top 15 after all three had decisive nonconference victories.

A weekend filled with blowouts by highly ranked teams kept the top 10 almost unchanged.

No. 1 Georgia picked up six more first-place votes in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank. The Bulldogs are up to 59 first-place votes and 1,569 points.

No. 2 Alabama received three first-place votes and No. 3 Ohio State got one.

No. 4 Michigan, No. 5 Clemson, No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 7 Southern California all held their spots. The one change in the top 10 was No. 8 Kentucky flip-flopping with No. 9 Oklahoma State. Arkansas stayed at No. 10.

The top 10 teams, most playing overmatched nonconference opponents, won their games Saturday by a combined 521-120.

The shuffling came in the next 10.

No. 11 Tennessee moved up four spots. Penn State jumped eight to No. 14 after routing Auburn on the road. No. 15 Oregon moved up 10 spots after handily defeating BYU, which slipped seven places to No. 19.

Washington beat previously ranked Michigan State 39-28 to earn a ranking for the first time since the 2021 preseason poll. Washington has had two brief stays in the AP Top 25 the last two seasons but has been mostly unranked since the early part of the 2019 season.

“To get this win now is just going to continue to put this belief in our guys. It’s only going to get better for us as we go to work in practice,” first-year Washington coach Kalen DeBoer told reporters after the game.

Michigan State dropped all the way out after being No. 11.

Mississippi moved up four spots to No. 16 and No. 20 Florida slipped a couple of spots after barely getting by South Florida at home.

At the bottom of the rankings, Miami dropped 12 spots and landed at No. 25 after losing at Texas A&M. The Aggies went up one to No. 23.

POLL POINTS

The 10-0 weekend from the top 10 was the first since they all played and won in Week 2 of the 2019 season.

Overall, the AP Top 25 teams won 22 games, the most since 24 teams won in Week 1 of 2019.

– Washington’s leap into the poll from unranked to No. 18 was the best for the program since September 1989, when the Huskies beat Texas A&M and went from outside the rankings to No. 15.

CONFERENCE CALL

The Pac-12 has its most ranked teams since the first regular-season poll of 2021, when it had five.

SEC – 8 (Nos. 1, 2, 8, 10, 11, 16, 20, 23).

ACC – 5 (Nos. 5, 12, 21, 24, 25).

Big 12 – 4 (Nos. 6, 9, 17, 22).

Pac-12 – 4 (Nos. 7, 13, 15, 18).

Big Ten – 3 (Nos. 3, 4, 14).

Independents – 1 (No. 19).

RANKED vs. RANKED

No. 5 Clemson at No. 21 Wake Forest. For the first time since 1950, the Tigers and Demon Deacons will meet as ranked teams.

No. 20 Florida at No. 11 Tennessee. For the first time since 2017, the teams that used to own the SEC East are both ranked when they play.

No. 10 Arkansas vs. No. 23 Texas A&M at Arlington, Texas. It’s not getting any easier for the Aggies.

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.