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AP Top 25: Georgia’s hold on No. 1 loosens, but top seven unchanged. Kentucky, Louisville enter poll

Georgia’s hold on No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll loosened Sunday as the Bulldogs received a season-low 35 first-place votes out of possible 62 while extending their streak atop the rankings to 16 straight weeks.

The Bulldogs needed a late touchdown to escape with a win at Auburn on Saturday and that sent many in the media panel looking for a new No. 1 team. Georgia had 55 first-place votes and 1,562 points last week but was down to 1,501 points in this week’s AP Top 25.

No. 2 Michigan got 12 first-place votes and 1,436 points but nearly was passed by No. 3 Texas, which received 10 first-place votes and 1,426 points. Both the Wolverines and Longhorns won big on Saturday.

Ohio State kept its spot at No. 4 and received one first-place vote. No. 5 Florida State received four first-place votes. Neither the Buckeyes nor Seminoles played this weekend.

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No. 6 Penn State and No. 7 Washington also held their spots. Oregon moved up a place to No. 8 and Southern California dropped one to No. 9.

No. 10 Notre Dame moved back into the top 10 after a dramatic victory at Duke. The Blue Devils dropped two places to No. 19.

POLL POINTS

Before declaring Georgia vulnerable, it should be noted that it was right around this time last year when the Bulldogs needs a second-half comeback to escape Missouri with a victory.

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After that result, the Georgia slipped from No. 1 to No. 2 in the rankings behind Alabama.

A week later on Oct. 9, the Bulldogs regained the top spot — and haven’t relinquished it since — but it took a while to convince a lot of voters.

Georgia didn’t receive more than 32 first-place votes until it pounded Tennessee in a 1-vs.-2 matchup. On Nov. 6, Georgia received 62 of 63 first-place votes and there was never really a serious question again about who was No. 1.

IN-AND-OUT

Florida and Kansas dropped out of the rankings after being routed this weekend, the Gators by Kentucky.

That pushed the Wildcats into the poll along with rival Louisville, both setting up ranked vs. ranked matchups Saturday:

No. 20 Kentucky goes to Georgia. The Wildcats reached as high as No. 7 early last season before a second-half swoon that left them unranked at the end of the season.

No. 25 Louisville hosts Notre Dame on Saturday. The Cardinals are ranked for the first time since being in the AP Top 25 for two weeks at the start of the 2020 pandemic season, when some conferences were not playing and their teams were ineligible for the poll.

The last time both the Bluegrass State rivals were ranked when all of Division I college football was up and running was Sept. 16, 2007.

CONFERENCE CALL

SEC — 7 (Nos. 1, 11, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23).

Pac-12 — 6 (Nos. 7, 8, 9, 13, 15, 18).

ACC — 5 (Nos. 5, 14, 17, 19, 25).

Big Ten — 3 (Nos. 2, 4, 6).

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Big 12 — 2 (Nos. 3, 12).

Mountain West — 1 (No. 24).

Independent — 1 (No. 10).

RANKED vs. RANKED

No. 12 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Texas in Dallas. The 43rd Red River Rivalry with both teams ranked.

No. 23 LSU at No. 21 Missouri. Only the fourth meeting between the two Tigers, and the first with both ranked.

No. 20 Kentucky at No. 1 Georgia. Third time in the last six years the SEC East rivals have met as ranked teams, and only the fifth time in 77 total games.

No. 10 Notre Dame at No. 25 Louisville. Another first-time ranked-on-ranked matchup. The Irish and Cardinals have played just three times previously.

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.appodcasts.com

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll