Duke jumps into college football Top 25, joining rival UNC

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Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Duke fans pumped as Clemson visits Blue Devils
Duke fans tailgated and got pumped up before the Blue Devils' first home tilt vs. Clemson in 11 years.

There are now two North Carolina college football teams in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

After a shocking primetime dismantling of ACC powerhouse No. 9 Clemson, Duke jumped up to No. 21 in the poll. Clemson, meanwhile, fell to No. 25.

The University of North Carolina also notched an impressive win in week 1 of the season against South Carolina. The big shock of that victory was how the Tar Heels achieved it: via defense. The defensive performance moved the Heels up four spots to No. 17.

The Blue Devils' win was Duke's first against a ranked team since beating No. 15 North Carolina, 28-27, in 2016. The 21-point win was Duke's largest against a ranked opponent since a 34-0 victory over No. 9 Colgate in 1942.

NC State finds itself sitting just outside the top 25, after a 10-point victory against UConn. However, the Wolfpack face off in week 2 against No. 10 ranked Notre Dame. If the Pack can turn its home opener into a big win, the team will likely find itself in the Top 25 as well.

Other notable moves in the Top 25 poll

Deion Sanders-coached Colorado moved into the Associated Press Top 25 college football poll Tuesday after scoring a big upset against TCU.

No. 4 Florida State jumped into the top five after its resounding victory over LSU in Week 1's marquee game. The Seminoles are in the top five for the first time since the beginning of the 2017 season.

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 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. 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 Sanders' coaching 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.

Full Poll

  • 1. Georgia
  • 2. Michigan
  • 3. Alabama
  • 4. Florida State
  • 5. Ohio State
  • 6. USC
  • 7. Penn State
  • 8. Washington
  • 9. Tennessee
  • 10. Notre Dame
  • 11. Texas
  • 12. Utah
  • 13. Oregon
  • 14. LSU
  • 15. Kansas State
  • 16. Oregon State
  • 17. North Carolina
  • 18. Oklahoma
  • 19. Wisconsin
  • 20. Ole Miss
  • 21. Duke
  • 22. Colorado
  • 23. Texas A&M
  • 24. Tulane
  • 25. Clemson