Sun Belt rivals Louisiana-Lafayette and Appalachian State were among 10 new teams ranked Sunday in first regular-season Associated Press college football poll, which was stripped of the teams not yet scheduled to play a fall season.
There was no change at the very top: Preseason No. 1 Clemson received 60 of 61 first place-votes this week.
After all Division I teams were eligible to be voted on for the preseason Top 25, the panel of 61 voters was permitted to consider only the 60% of Football Bowl Subdivision teams scheduled to play in the fall now that the season has started.
That meant preseason No. 2 Ohio State, No. 7 Penn State and No. 9 Oregon, along with six other Big Ten and Pac-12 teams, dropped out of the rankings. The Big Ten, Pac-12, Mid-American Conference and Mountain West have delayed their seasons due to concerns about playing amid the coronavirus pandemic, but the Big Ten is taking some steps toward a possible mid-October start.
With those teams gone, Alabama moved up to No. 2. Oklahoma is No. 3, followed by No. 4 Georgia and No. 5 Florida. Defending champion LSU, with one first-place vote, is No. 6.
The Sun Belt Conference has two teams ranked for the first time since the conference began sponsoring football in 2001, with Louisiana-Lafayette at No. 19 and Appalachian State at No. 23, tied with Kentucky.
The Ragin’ Cajuns pulled off maybe the biggest upset of the weekend, winning at Iowa State 31-14 on Saturday. The Cyclones had been ranked No. 23 and are the one team currently scheduled to play to fall out of the rankings after being in the preseason Top 25.
Louisiana-Lafayette was last ranked in 1943.
No. 16 Memphis has the highest ranking of those teams entering the poll.
No. 17 Miami also garnered some support in the preseason. The Hurricanes join on the strength of a 31-14 victory Thursday against Conference USA contender UAB.
No. 18 Louisville beat Western Kentucky 35-21 to open its season and is ranked for the first time since 2017.