This is the week of three. We’re entering the third week of the 2019 college football season, the top three teams in the AP Top 25 Poll remained unchanged, three teams fell out of the rankings and three teams entered the rankings.
The newest AP Top 25 Poll dropped at 2 p.m. Sunday, giving fans much to debate about heading into Week 3.
Maryland and Syracuse switched places after the Terps delivered a beat down to the Orange, and Clemson remained on top after fighting off Texas A&M. At No. 4, LSU jumped Oklahoma and Ohio State after defeating Texas in Austin Saturday night.
Let’s break down this week’s AP Top 25 Poll.
Top three remains unchanged
Clemson, Alabama and Georgia remained in the top three spots after each won in Week 2.
No. 1 Clemson was the only one out of that group to beat a ranked team, topping then-ranked No. 12 Texas A&M 24-10 in Death Valley. Heisman hopeful Trevor Lawrence rushed for a score, then threw for 268 yards and a touchdown, while Lyn-J Dixon scampered for 79 yards and a score on 11 carries to lead the Tigers. Texas A&M dropped to No. 16 after the loss.
No. 3 Georgia won big at home, beating FCS side Murray State 63-17. No. 2 Alabama beat New Mexico State 62-10. Alabama will play its first SEC game this week, taking on South Carolina.
Impact of Texas-LSU
In the lone Top 10 matchup of Week 2, the LSU Tigers beat the Texas Longhorns 45-38 in Austin behind a performance from quarterback Joe Burrow that featured 471 passing yards and four touchdowns. Justin Jefferson hauled in three of those touchdowns.
For LSU, the win moved the Tigers up two spots, from No. 6 to No. 4. Meanwhile, Texas dropped three spots, from No. 9 to No. 12. Both squads won’t face another currently-ranked team until Oct. 12, when LSU takes on No. 9 Florida and Texas battles No. 5 Oklahoma.
And yes, while Oklahoma and Ohio State both won, voters thought LSU’s win was impressive enough to slide each of those squads back a spot to make room for the Tigers. LSU’s new ranking means that three of the top four teams in the country hail from the SEC.
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Iowa State, Syracuse, Stanford drop out
The Iowa State Cyclones had a bye this past weekend, and voters weren’t impressed with them needing triple overtime to top FCS side Northern Iowa in Week 1. And so, the Cyclones fell from No. 25 to out of the rankings. Iowa State received 96 votes, which was 26 votes less than the new No. 25, Virginia.
Joining Iowa State in falling out of the rankings was Stanford and Syracuse, both of which suffered losses. The Orange — previously ranked No. 21 — lost on the road to Maryland, and Stanford — previously ranked No. 23 — fell to USC, 45-20.
All three teams will get a shot at redeeming themselves next week, as each faces a ranked opponent. Syracuse will face No. 1 Clemson, Stanford will take on No. 17 UCF and Iowa State faces in-state rival No. 19 Iowa, a contest that ESPN’s College GameDay is coming to town for.
Maryland, USC, Virginia enter the rankings
What’s gotten into the Terps’ offense? Maybe it has something to do with Mike Locksley, the former Alabama offensive coordinator who is Maryland’s first-year head coach.
The Terps are 2-0 after putting up more than 62 points for the second straight week, winning 63-20 over then-No. 21 Syracuse. Maryland rushed for 354 yards and six scores in the win, while Josh Jackson threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns.
Voters gave Syracuse’s old spot to Maryland, making it the first time since 2013 that the Terps have appeared in the AP Top 25 Poll. Maryland got that spot in 2013 after trouncing West Virginia 37-0 in Baltimore, but then got booted from the poll a week later, after getting shut-out by then-ranked No. 8 Florida State.
No. 21 is the highest Maryland has been ranked since 2006. That year, under Ralph Friedgen, the Terps went 9-4 and won a bowl game.
After beating FCS side William & Mary 52-17, Virginia entered the Top 25 Poll for the second time in Bronco Mendenhall’s tenure as head coach of the ‘Hoos, coming in at No. 25. UVA faces Florida State this week.
Also entering the poll after a 2-0 start and a 45-20 win over formerly ranked No. 23 Stanford is the USC Trojans. Kedon Slovis threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns in the win for the Trojans, who will go to Provo, Utah this week to face BYU.
Could UNC be ranked next week?
The second Mack Brown era at North Carolina is off to a hot start as the Tar Heels moved to 2-0 this week after a win over Miami. In this week’s AP Top 25 Poll, UNC was the fifth team out, receiving 48 votes.
This week, Brown’s side travels to Winston-Salem to take on Wake Forest in a non-conference match-up. If UNC wins that game, could they sneak into the top 25? If so, it would be the first time the Tar Heels have been ranked since 2016, when they reached No. 15 under former head coach Larry Fedora.
If UNC beats Wake Forest and then Appalachian State a week later, they could be ranked heading into a Sept. 28 clash with No. 1 Clemson.