Penn State has climbed to No. 2 in The Associated Press College football poll behind unanimous No. 1 Alabama after a wild weekend of upsets gave the Top 25 a major makeover.
A season-high seven ranked teams, including four in the top 10, lost to unranked teams on Friday and Saturday. Defending national champion Clemson and defending Pac-12 champion Washington were the highest ranked teams to lose.
Penn State, which was idle, took advantage. The Nittany Lions moved up a spot to No. 2, 15 points ahead of No. 3 Georgia. Penn State has its best ranking since Oct. 31, 1999, when the Nittany Lions were No. 2. Alabama, which has been No. 1 since the preseason, received all 61 first-place votes for the first time this year.
TCU is No. 4, Wisconsin is No. 5 and Big Ten rival Ohio State is sixth.
Clemson dropped five spots to seventh. Miami, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State round out the top 10.
Clemson started the weekend’s weirdness on Friday night at Syracuse. The Tigers lost a three-point game to the three-touchdown underdogs. Washington State followed that up with a little Pac-12 After Dark, getting routed at California later Friday.
On Saturday, the strangeness continued: No. 10 Auburn lost at LSU , which would qualify as the least surprising of the weekend’s unexpected results if not for Auburn leading 20-0 in the second quarter.
No. 19 Michigan, No. 8 Miami and No. 9 Oklahoma all barely dodged the upset bug during the afternoon and No. 11 Southern California rallied to beat Utah at night. Then came maybe the biggest stunner of all: Washington lost at Arizona State , scoring seven points against a team that had not given up fewer than 30 since last season.
Add to that, Texas Tech lost at West Virginia after blowing an 18-point fourth-quarter lead and Navy and San Diego State each lost for the first time this season.
— No. 12 Washington and No. 15 Washington State each dropped seven spots.
— No. 21 Auburn fell 11 spots after getting tagged with its second loss of the season.
— No. 16 North Carolina State moved up four spots into a tie with South Florida and has its best ranking since Sept. 7, 2003, when it was No. 14.
— San Diego State, Texas Tech and Navy all fell out of the rankings.
— West Virginia and LSU moved back into the rankings. The Mountaineers have been yo-yoing in and out of the bottom of the Top 25 all season.
— Memphis moved in for the first time since 2015 after beating Navy.
Big Ten — 5
ACC — 4
SEC — 4
Big 12 — 4
Pac-12 — 4
American — 3
Independent — 1
RANKED vs. RANKED
Last week there were no games matching ranked teams and things got crazy. The big games are back this week.
— No. 19 Michigan at No. 2 Penn State. The last regular-season loss for Penn State was at Michigan last season, a 49-10 drumming that seems like a lifetime ago.
— No. 11 USC at No. 13 Notre Dame. The rivals have not played when both were ranked since 2009 and have not both been in the top 15 when they played since 2006, when the Irish were No. 6 and the Trojans were third.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP
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