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Andy Wittry | | September 26, 2021

College football rankings: Arkansas, Notre Dame climb, Clemson falls in AP Top 25 poll for Week 5

Arkansas jumps to No. 8, Clemson falls in latest AP college football poll

Week 4 of the college football season saw six top-25 teams lose, including two teams that were ranked in the top 10, including College Football Playoff staple Clemson, which suffered its second loss of the season. Oklahoma, another multiple-time CFP participant, needed a walk-off field goal to defeat West Virginia.

Here's the complete AP poll ahead of Week 5.

AP Top 25 Poll: Week 5


school (first-place vOtes)




1 Alabama (58) 1,546 1 4-0
2 Georgia (4) 1,492 2 4-0
3 Oregon 1,411 3 4-0
4 Penn State 1,283 6 4-0
5 Iowa 1,277 5 4-0
6 Oklahoma 1,212 4 4-0
7 Cincinnati 1,154 8 3-0
8 Arkansas 1,094 16 4-0
9 Notre Dame 1,076 12 4-0
10 Florida 1,019 11 3-1
11 Ohio State 1,005 10 3-1
12 Ole Miss 852 13 3-0
13 BYU 748 15 4-0
14 Michigan 677 19 4-0
15 Texas A&M 651 7 3-1
16 Coastal Carolina 613 17 4-0
17 Michigan State 581 20 4-0
18 Fresno State 415 22 4-1
19 Oklahoma State 341 NR 4-0
20 UCLA 316 24 3-1
21 Baylor 233 NR 4-0
22 Auburn 197 23 3-1
23 North Carolina State 145 NR 3-1
24 Wake Forest 142 NR 4-0
25 Clemson 138 9 2-2

Others receiving votes: Texas 131, Maryland 91, San Diego State 57, Boston College 55, SMU 44, Kentucky 26, Iowa State 25, LSU 24, Arizona State 23, Virginia Tech 20, Wisconsin 13, Rutgers 6, Kansas State 5, UTSA 4, Oregon State 4, Louisville 3, North Carolina 1

Jerome Miron | USA TODAY Sports Images Arkansas defeated Texas A&M in Week 4.

A new-look top 10

After its road loss to unranked NC State, Clemson nearly dropped out of the AP poll, falling from No. 9 to No. 25, and Texas A&M fell from No. 7 to No. 15 after losing to Arkansas. And despite a win over Akron, Ohio State fell one spot to No. 11, so the Buckeyes are now ranked outside of the top 10.

That paved the way for Arkansas, Notre Dame and Florida to climb to No. 8, No. 9 and No. 10 from No. 16, No. 12 and No. 11, respectively. Elsewhere in the top 10, Penn State climbed two spots to No. 4 after defeating Villanova, while Oklahoma dropped two spots to No. 6 after its narrow win over West Virginia.

WEEK 4 TAKEAWAYS: Arkansas continues to roll, Clemson gets tripped up

The biggest movers

Arkansas' eight-spot jump from No. 16 to No. 8 was the biggest climb of the week, while Oklahoma State went from being unranked to ranked No. 19, Michigan jumped five spots (No. 19 to No. 14), Fresno State and UCLA each saw a four-spot improvement, Baylor jumped to No. 21 from being unranked, and Notre Dame and Michigan State each improved by three spots.

Clemson dropped 16 spots — the biggest fall of any team — while Iowa State went from being ranked No. 14 to unranked after a loss to Baylor. Texas A&M fell eight spots after losing to Arkansas.

Week 5 ranked matchups to watch

  • No. 8 Arkansas at No. 2 Georgia | 12 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 2 | ESPN
  • No. 7 Cincinnati at No. 9 Notre Dame | 2:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 2 | NBC
  • No. 12 Ole Miss at No. 1 Alabama | 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 2 | CBS

There are two compelling ranked matchups in the SEC in Week 5 when Ole Miss and Heisman Trophy contender Matt Corral travel to Tuscaloosa to face the top-ranked Crimson Tide. Last season, when Ole Miss went just 5-5, the Rebels played the Crimson Tide as tough as anyone. Alabama won the matchup 63-48 but the game was tied at 42 in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Georgia, which boasts the country's top-ranked defense at just 185 yards of offense allowed per game, will host Arkansas in an inter-division matchup in the SEC. Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson suffered an injury against Texas A&M and the Hogs will need their big-bodied QB to try to pull off a road win.

Then there's a compelling non-conference matchup in South Bend, Indiana, where a pair of undefeated teams in Cincinnati and Notre Dame will meet in a game where Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly faces his former school. So does Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman, who joined Notre Dame from Cincinnati during the offseason. Both teams could contend for a playoff berth this season.

Click or tap here to view the complete FBS scoreboard for Week 5.

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

  • No. 5 Iowa at Maryland | 8 p.m. ET, Friday, Oct. 1 | FS1
  • No. 14 Michigan at Wisconsin | 12 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 2 | FOX

Michigan has generally dominated Wisconsin in the two programs' all-time series, with a 51-17-1 advantage but the Badgers have won two in a row and five of the last seven. The Badgers have beaten the Wolverines five times in a row in Camp Randall Stadium, so history says Michigan will have its work cut out, even if the Wolverines are the higher-ranked team.


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