The honeymoon ended quickly for Maryland and USC.
When the AP Top 25 Poll for Week 4 of the 2019 college football season dropped at 2 p.m. EST on Sunday, the Terrapins and Trojans were booted from the poll after just a one-week stay.
While there were a handful of changes near the bottom of the poll, much of the top of the table remained the same. Clemson is still No. 1 and Alabama is still No. 2.
Let’s break down this week’s AP Top 25 Poll.
Top 9 remains unchanged
There were no movers or shakers in the top nine of the poll, with each team staying put. Each of the top four teams — Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and LSU — all took comfortable victories. LSU and Georgia steamrolled non-conference opponents, while Alabama and Clemson took wins over South Carolina and Syracuse, respectively. The Crimson Tide had the closest margin of victory by any top four team, beating the Gamecocks by 24 points.
Some stats that will surely only interest me:— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) September 15, 2019
Alabama currently ranks 53rd in the country in rushing defense (YPC).
Ohio State, which was 79th last year, is currently No. 4.
Clemson, which lost its entire D-line, is No. 6.
With Georgia at No. 3 and Notre Dame at No. 7, we will have a top 10 clash in Week 4 that could have a big impact on next week’s poll and potential seeding for the College Football Playoff.
These two traditional college football powers have only met twice previously, with the Bulldogs winning both games — 17-10 in the 1981 Sugar Bowl and 20-19 in a regular season game in South Bend. The Irish will be looking for redemption between the hedges in Athens on Saturday.
That game is set for an 8 p.m. EST kickoff on CBS. ESPN's College GameDay will be in town too.
Rise of the Pac-12?
While USC left the Top 25 ranks after an overtime loss on the road to BYU, the Pac-12 did see two other teams get ranked, with Cal coming in at No. 23 and Arizona State coming in at No. 24. Both teams are 3-0 after wins over North Texas and Michigan State in Week 3, respectively.
The inclusion of the Golden Bears and Sun Devils in the Top 25 Poll gives the Pac-12 six teams in the Top 25, tied with the SEC for the most teams ranked in Week 4. Also for the Pac-12, Utah is the lone newcomer to the Top 10, moving up one spot from No. 11 after beating Idaho State 31-0.
No. 16 Oregon, No. 19 Washington State and No. 22 Washington are the other ranked Pac-12 teams.
In addition to Arizona State and Cal, the other newcomer to the Top 25 is TCU of the Big 12.
Bye-bye Maryland, Michigan State and USC
After scoring 142 points in its first two games of the season, Maryland mustered just 17 in a frustrating loss to Temple. The loss dropped the formerly ranked No. 21 Terps from the polls, and their schedule doesn’t get any easier, as they face No. 13 Penn State this week.
Against Temple, the Terps were 5-of-21 on third down conversions, one-of-six on fourth down conversions and came up empty in the red-zone four times. A turnover and nine penalties for 88 yards didn’t help Maryland either.
Also dumped from the poll were USC and Michigan State. The Trojans blew a touchdown lead in the fourth quarter and were intercepted on their lone overtime possession in Provo, Utah. Meanwhile, in East Lansing, the Spartans scored just once at home in a loss to Arizona State. The Spartans had scored a combined 79 points in their previous two games.
Virginia makes the biggest leap
The biggest jump for a previously ranked team in the polls was Virginia, who rose four spots from No. 25 to No. 21 after a 31-24 home win over Florida State.
Cavaliers’ quarterback Bryce Perkins totaled 341 yards of offense in the win, while the Virginia defense came up with nine tackles behind the line of scrimmage and broke up nine passes.
Folks, this is how you dehydrate a defense.— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) September 15, 2019
Bryce Perkins’ magic on this 2-point play makes it 31-24 UVA over Florida State pic.twitter.com/0NDM9MBN2u
Virginia has a chance to improve to 4-0 this week against Old Dominion, but faces a tough test the week after with a contest vs. Notre Dame.