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Andy Wittry | | October 11, 2020

Week 7 college football rankings: Notre Dame climbs into top four, while LSU, Texas drop out

Week 6 AP poll: Breaking down the top changes and storylines

After a thrilling Week 6 slate of college football action — one that saw six ranked teams lose, including two teams in the top 10 and three in the top 15 — the latest AP Top 25 poll is here, with changes reflecting the weekend's results.

Here are's takeaways and reactions from the Week 7 AP poll.

A new top four

The week that Florida climbed to No. 4, the Gators then went to College Station, Texas, where they lost to No. 21 Texas A&M 41-38 on Saturday behind the Aggies' 17 fourth-quarter points. Florida dropped to No. 10, opening the door for Notre Dame to replace the Gators, after the Fighting Irish defeated Florida State 42-26.

Three of the four teams in the top four of the latest AP poll made the College Football Playoff during the 2017 season (Clemson, Georgia and Alabama), and a different group of three made it in the 2018 season (Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame).

Texas A&M, by the way, improved by 10 spots in the AP poll — from No. 21 to No. 11 — after knocking off the mighty Gators. Texas A&M is now ranked one spot behind Florida, despite the Aggies owning the head-to-head win.

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Defending champions fall out of the AP poll

It took only three games for LSU to fall out of the AP Top 25 after the Tigers suffered their second loss of the season, 45-41 at the hands of Missouri. After Missouri led 7-0, it didn't lead again until Niko Hea's five-yard touchdown reception in the final six minutes of the fourth quarter, which made it 45-41 after the PAT.

The Tigers of Baton Rouge are the first defending national champions to fall out of the AP poll since 2011, per the AP's Ralph Russo.

LSU's next game is at Florida, which is also licking its wounds after a road loss.

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An SEC showdown awaits in Week 7

Week 7 of the college football season brings one of the biggest matchups of the entire season — No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Georgia. It's a rematch of the 2018 national championship game and the 2018 SEC Championship, both of which were won by Alabama in come-from-behind fashion.

Both teams are ranked in the top four and they could conceivably meet again this season, whether in the SEC Championship or the College Football Playoff...or both.

Clemson received 59 of a possible 62 first-place votes in the latest AP poll, with Alabama receiving two and Georgia receiving one. According to the AP poll voters, these two teams are competing for the right to be the second-best team behind Clemson.

Three teams climb by three spots in top 10

After the top four of Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and Notre Dame, the next four teams look different than they did last week. Entering Week 7, North Carolina is No. 5, Ohio State is No. 6, Oklahoma State is No. 7 and Cincinnati checks in at No. 8, with the Tar Heels, Cowboys and Bearcats each climbing by three spots from Week 6.

All three of these programs received some level of offseason and early season anticipation for what they could do under a best-case scenario in 2020. Entering Week 7, each is knocking on the door of the top four if the teams rank ahead of them lose.

Just two new teams enter the rankings

Kansas State returned to the AP poll at No. 22 after beating TCU on the road, 21-14. The Wildcats are now 3-1, including a win over Oklahoma.

USC checked in at No. 25, as the Trojans wait for the Pac-12 season to start.

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