New York, NY – Oregon has moved to the top of the latest Associated Press college football poll, while Alabama slipped to fourth after suffering its first loss of the season on Saturday against Texas A&M.
Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame -- the three remaining unbeaten teams in major college football -- each picked up first-place votes from the nationwide media panel after coming away with road victories on Saturday.
The Ducks, after a 59-17 rout of California, received 45 first-place votes and a total of 1,485 points, while the Wildcats, coming off a 23-10 win against TCU, earned 14 No. 1 tallies and 1,451 points. The Fighting Irish, following a 21-6 triumph over Boston College, garnered just one top vote and 1,382 points.
Alabama nearly pulled off a comeback at home against Texas A&M, but fell short when A.J. McCarron's fourth-down pass was intercepted at the goal line in the final minutes. The Crimson Tide wound up with 1,259 points, just ahead of fellow SEC member Georgia, which wrapped up the SEC East title on Saturday and could face Alabama in the conference championship game.
Ohio State, Florida, LSU, Texas A&M and Florida State complete this week's top 10. Texas A&M vaulted six places from 15th, giving the powerful SEC five of this week's top nine teams in the poll.
The second 10 consists of Clemson, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Stanford, Oregon State, Nebraska, UCLA, Texas, Louisiana Tech and Louisville. The Cardinals entered the weekend unbeaten and 11th in the poll, but tumbled nine spots after a 45-26 loss at Syracuse.
Southern California, Rutgers, Michigan, Texas Tech and Kent State are the last five teams ranked this week. Michigan, which is tied with Texas Tech, has been in and out of the poll all season and moved back in after a two-week absence, while Kent State is the latest Mid-American Conference team to get a chance.
Kent State earned some notoriety a few weeks ago by handing Rutgers its first loss of the season. The Golden Flashes follow Ohio and Toledo as MAC ranked teams. The Bobcats had a two-week stay in mid-October, while the Rockets were 23rd last week and fell out after a loss to Ball State.
Mississippi State also dropped out this week. The Bulldogs were 7-0 and ranked 13th before suffering consecutive losses to Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU.
The final Saturday before Thanksgiving includes only a pair of ranked matchups -- both from the Pac-12 with conference championship game implications. Oregon's first test as the top-ranked team will come at home against Stanford with first place in the North Division on the line, while USC and UCLA will battle in the Rose Bowl for the South Division crown.