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.
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.
Colorado’s victory as a three-touchdown underdog at TCU in coach Deion Sanders’ debut was the story of the weekend, and now the Buffaloes are ranked for the first time since a brief stay during 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 past 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 and 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.
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.
RANKED vs. RANKED
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.