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Thoughts on the AP poll: Duke stays on the rise, Ohio State prevails, Prime Time delayed

Now-No. 17 Duke faces its toughest test yet with an upcoming matchup against No. 11 Notre Dame.
Now-No. 17 Duke faces its toughest test yet with an upcoming matchup against No. 11 Notre Dame.

After another dominant win over UConn, Duke improved to 4-0 and is now ranked No. 17 in the AP poll. The Blue Zone breaks down the movement in the poll after a packed weekend of football:

A weekend that featured six ranked matchups led to some shake ups across the nation, and the AP poll is tighter than ever. Six teams received first-place votes, the most in a regular-season poll since 2015.

All eyes on Durham 

Duke handled its first road test of the season with ease Saturday, defeating the UConn Huskies 41-7. The Blue Devil defense showed out again, holding UConn scoreless through three quarters, but Duke’s performance was not perfect by any means, especially considering its four punts and eight penalties. Saturday night also featured good news for Blue Devil fans everywhere, with the announcement that ESPN CollegeGameday is headed to Durham. As the nation turns its head to Duke’s primetime game against No. 11 Notre Dame. It’s been smooth sailing most of the way for the Blue Devils so far, but under the lights at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium, Duke faces a huge test and will look to shock the nation again.   

Luck of the… Buckeyes?

In arguably the biggest game of the week, then-No. 6 Ohio State and the ninth-ranked Fighting Irish lived up to all the hype. A defensive battle with several points left on the board was close until the end, with the Buckeyes getting a last-second touchdown to leave South Bend, Ind., with the win. Notre Dame only dropped two spots in this week’s poll, and is the highest-ranked one-loss team. Ohio State used the win to jump into the top four and enter playoff territory, as Florida State fell down a spot after escaping Clemson, S.C., with an overtime win. Two ranked games against Penn State and Michigan highlight the Buckeyes’ schedule the rest of the year, but they have now proven they can win close games against strong teams on the road, putting them in great position for the rest of the season.

Sanders suffers setback

After a 3-0 start to the season, stock was rising in head coach Deion Sanders’ showy Colorado squad. Coach Prime looked to change the culture of a historically unsuccessful program, and is bringing a new swagger to the Buffaloes. However, in its biggest test of the season so far, Colorado lost some sheen in a 42-6 beatdown at the hands of the now-No. 9 Oregon Ducks. The Buffaloes dropped out of the rankings completely, proving they are a mortal team, but expect Coach Prime to step up to the task and rewrite the narrative as his team navigates a very difficult Pac-12 conference schedule the rest of the way. The poll is still PAC-ked, as the conference continues to lead the country with six teams in the top 25, including four teams in the top 10. One of those is Colorado’s next opponent: No. 8 Southern California. 

Full rankings:

1. Georgia

2. Michigan

3.  Texas

4. Ohio State

5. Florida State

6. Penn State

7. Washington

8. Southern California

9. Oregon

10. Utah

11. Notre Dame

12. Alabama

13. LSU

14. Alabama

15. North Carolina

16. Washington State

17. Duke

18. Miami

19. Oregon State

20. Ole Miss

21. Tennessee

22. Florida

23. Missouri

24. Kansas

25. Fresno State


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