Colorado, Deion Sanders surge into AP Top 25 after upset over TCU; 6 Pac-12 teams ranked

Sep 5, 2023, 11:34 AM | Updated: 11:56 am

Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) embraces wide receivers Xavier Weaver (10) and Jimmy Horn ...

Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) embraces wide receivers Xavier Weaver (10) and Jimmy Horn Jr. (5) after an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

No. 21 Duke and No. 22 Colorado moved into the Associated Press Top 25 college football poll Tuesday after scoring the biggest upsets of the opening weekend of the season and No. 4 Florida State jumped into the top five after its resounding victory over LSU in Week 1’s marquee game.

Georgia remained No. 1 with 58 first-place votes and Michigan held steady at No. 2 with two first-place votes.

No. 3 Alabama moved up a spot and Florida State climbed four places and received the remaining three first-place votes after beating LSU, 45-24. The Seminoles are in the top five for the first time since the beginning of the 2017 season.

Ohio State rounded out the top five in the AP’s first regular-season poll of the season.

LSU dropped nine spots to No. 15. Clemson, which was upset at Duke, fell 16 places to No. 25. TCU, which lost to Colorado, dropped all the way out of the rankings after being No. 17 in the preseason.

Colorado’s victory as a three-touchdown underdog at TCU in coach Deion’s Sanders debut was the story of the weekend, and now the Buffaloes are ranked for the first time since a brief stay in the 2020 season. The Buffs were also ranked for two weeks in 2018, but have only finished a season in the Top 25 once (2016) in the last 20 seasons.

Sanders, the former NFL star and Florida State All-American, took over a team that went 1-11 last season and did an unprecedented roster makeover, with nearly 90 new players, 58 of them transfers. The new-look Buffs came away with a 45-42 victory on the road against the program that played in the national title game last season.

The rest of the top 10 was Southern California at No. 6, followed by Penn State, Washington, Tennessee and Notre Dame.

Duke capped the long Labor Day weekend of college football by knocking off Clemson 28-7 on Monday night in Durham, North Carolina. It was the Blue Devils’ first victory against a team ranked in the top 10 since 1989 against a Clemson team ranked seventh.

In Year 2 under coach Mike Elko, perennial basketball powerhouse Duke is ranked for the first time in the AP college football poll since a one-week stint in 2018.

That season was also the last time Florida State made an appearance in the preseason Top 25. The Seminoles quickly faded that year, slipping into the worst stretch the program has had since the 1970s.

These Seminoles opened with their most impressive victory since coach Jimbo Fisher left for Texas A&M late in the 2017 season.

Coach Mike Norvell’s team broke through last season, going 10-3 and finishing No. 11 in the country. The victory over LSU was the Seminoles’ first against a team ranked in the top five since October 2014 at home against No. 5 Notre Dame.


Having Florida State near the top of the AP poll is a familiar sight, just not as much recently. The last time FSU was ranked this highly during the regular season was when it reached No. 2 in September 2016.

The Seminoles had one of the greatest stretches in college football history under coach Bobby Bowden from the late 1980s into the early 2000s. That included a record 14 straight seasons finishing in the top five and two national titles.

The Seminoles went three consecutive seasons (2019-2021) never being ranked, the longest streak of futility for the program since the mid-1970s, before turning it around in 2022.

Florida State’s top-five ranking was its 240th since 1980, second only to Alabama with 281.


Colorado’s entry gives the beleaguered Pac-12 six ranked teams, the same number it finished with last season.

SEC — 6 (Nos. 1, 3, 9, 14, 20, 23).

Pac-12 — 6 (Nos. 6, 8, 12, 13, 16, 22).

Big Ten — 4 (Nos. 2, 5, 7, 19).

ACC — 4 (Nos. 4, 17, 21, 25).

Big 12 — 3 (Nos. 11, 15, 18).

American Athletic — 1 (No. 24).

Independent — 1 (No. 10).


No. 11 Texas at No. 3 Alabama. The game in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will be the first regular-season meeting between Texas and Alabama with both ranked.

No. 20 Mississippi at No. 24 Tulane. The 64th meeting in the series will be the first since 1956 where both teams are ranked.

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