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Andy Wittry | | September 7, 2021

College football rankings: Georgia climbs, Clemson falls in AP Top 25 poll for Week 2

AP Top 25 football poll breakdown: Georgia jumps three spots to No. 2

Week 1 is officially in the books so AP Top 25 poll voters now have (at least) one result by which to judge the country's college football teams. Last weekend saw a top-10 team fall on the road on a Friday night, an epic defensive clash involving a pair of teams that were ranked in the top five, Notre Dame escape defeat in overtime in a memorable season-opener and a ranked team losing at home to an FCS opponent after scoring only 7 points.

After all of that action, there were bound to be major changes in the latest AP poll ahead of Week 2.

Here's the complete AP Top 25 poll ahead of Week 2.

AP Top 25 Poll: Week 2


school (first-place vOtes)




1 Alabama (59) 1,571 1 1-0
2 Georgia (4) 1,507 5 1-0
3 Ohio State 1,437 4 1-0
4 Oklahoma 1,374 2 1-0
5 Texas A&M 1,288 6 1-0
6 Clemson 1,231 3 0-1
7 Cincinnati 1,136 8 1-0
8 Notre Dame 1,070 9 1-0
9 Iowa State 1,045 7 1-0
10 Iowa 942 18 1-0
11 Penn State 908 19 1-0
12 Oregon 883 11 1-0
13 Florida 842 13 1-0
14 Southern California 789 15 1-0
15 Texas 683 21 1-0
16 UCLA 668 NR 2-0
17 Coastal Carolina 384 22 1-0
18 Wisconsin 376 12 0-1
19 Virginia Tech 359 NR 1-0
20 Ole Miss 335 NR 1-0
21 Utah 334 24 1-0
22 Miami (FL) 229 14 0-1
23 Arizona State 222 25 1-0
24 North Carolina 198 10 0-1
25 Auburn 83 NR 1-0

Others receiving votes: TCU 80, NC State 69, UCF 61, LSU 57, Liberty 57, Michigan 52, Oklahoma State 39, Indiana 37, Michigan State 28, Nevada 23, Kansas State 13, Louisiana 12, BYU 10, Boston College 8, Ball State 7, Maryland 6, UAB 5, Arizona 5, Florida State 4, Kentucky 3, Army 2, Texas Tech 2, Appalachian State 1.

Changes aplenty in the top 10

Preseason No. 1 Alabama stayed atop the AP poll after blitzing then-No. 14 Miami 44-13 in the two teams' neutral-site opener and preseason No. 13 Florida stayed at No. 13 after a Week 1 win over Florida Atlantic. But every ranking in between the SEC foes — No. 2 through No. 12 — features a different team than the preseason poll.

Your new No. 2 is Georgia after the 'Dawgs managed a 10-3 win over Clemson in a defensive slugfest in Charlotte in which the game's only touchdown was a pick-six. The Tigers dropped to No. 6, which is their worst AP poll ranking since the week of Oct. 29, 2017, when they were also No. 6.

Texas A&M climbed one spot to No. 5, Cincinnati and Notre Dame each climbed one spot to No. 7 and No. 8, respectively, while in-state rivals Iowa State and Iowa round out the top 10 in that order.

The biggest movers

By improving to 2-0 on the season with a 38-27 win over then-No. 16 LSU, the Bruins took over the Tigers' No. 16 ranking, as they went from the last team in the "others receiving votes" category in the preseason poll to the middle of the teens.

Big Ten stalwarts Iowa and Penn State each climbed eight spots in the AP poll compared to their preseason positioning. The Hawkeyes are now No. 10, one spot ahead of the Nittany Lions. No team ranked in the preseason improved its positioning in the AP poll more than those two.

In the other direction, preseason No. 10 North Carolina fell 14 spots to No. 24 after falling 17-10 on the road to Virginia Tech, which is now ranked No. 19. Miami fell eight spots to No. 22 after its thrashing at the hands of Alabama.

Week 2 ranked matchups to watch

  • No. 12 Oregon at No. 3 Ohio State | 12 p.m. ET, Saturday, Sept. 11
  • No. 10 Iowa at No. 9 Iowa State | 4:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Sept. 11

There's a massive showdown in Columbus this week, when preseason Pac-12 favorite Oregon travels to face preseason Big Ten favorite Ohio State. The winner will have a marquee non-conference win its back pocket, but a loss won't affect their respective preseason prognostications in regards to their conference title aspirations.

You could make the case that Ames, Iowa, will be home to the biggest game of Week 2, as the Cyclones host the Hawkeyes in a top-10 matchup. Iowa State earned its best-ever AP poll ranking at No. 7 in the preseason poll but a narrow win over Northern Iowa, an FCS foe, caused the Cyclones to drop two spots to No. 2. However, they're still the higher-ranked team, despite Iowa's 34-6 win over then-No. 17 Indiana, which featured a pair of pick-sixes by the Hawkeyes' defense. Each team can contend for its respective conference championship this season and a win in Week 2 could help the winner strive for even loftier expectations.

Click or tap here to view the complete FBS scoreboard for Week 2.

Here are other games involving ranked teams that are worth highlighting:

  • Kansas at No. 17 Coastal Carolina | 7:30 p.m. ET, Friday, Sept. 10
  • No. 5 Texas A&M at Colorado | 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Sept. 11
  • No. 15 Texas at Arkansas | 7 p.m. ET, Saturday, Sept. 11
  • No. 21 Utah at BYU | 10:15 p.m. ET, Saturday, Sept. 11

Last season, Coastal Carolina opened its 11-1 campaign with a 38-23 road win over Kansas. It was a springboard for the Chanticleers and the Sun Belt, whose teams defeated three Big 12 opponents that week, and Coastal Carolina reached as high as No. 9 in the AP poll in 2020. Now, Coastal Carolina gets to host Kansas and the Chanticleers have a number next to their name.

College football fans get to enjoy a rivalry game as their nightcap on Saturday as Utah visits BYU. The Utes lead the all-time series 62-34-4 and they're riding a nine-game winning streak over the Cougars.

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