TCU rises into the top five, replacing Clemson, but the top four remains the same in this week’s USA TODAY Sports NCAA Re-Rank 1-131.
Clemson goes down one spot to No. 6 after struggling against No. 18 Syracuse in an eventual 27-21 win. Trailing 21-10 entering the fourth quarter, the Tigers mounted three scoring drives behind true freshman quarterback Cade Klubnik, who replaced a struggling DJ Uiagalelei and may have triggered an unwanted quarterback competition.
TCU steps up one spot to No. 5 after climbing out of an 18-point hole to beat No. 21 Kansas State 38-28. While the Wildcats were hampered by injuries, including one that sidelined quarterback Adrian Martinez, the second comeback in as many games against a ranked opponent gives the Horned Frogs the edge over Clemson.
No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 Tennessee join TCU in rounding out the top five. While the Volunteers moved ahead of the Wolverines in this week’s USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll, the re-rank still favors Michigan through eight weeks.
That could quickly change: Tennessee’s next two games are against No. 23 Kentucky and the Bulldogs.
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LSU is a notable riser after another impressive win. The Tigers reversed a 17-3 deficit early in the second quarter and trounced No. 14 Mississippi 45-20 to rise 10 spots to No. 16. Brian Kelly’s first team dropped the opener against Florida State and lost resoundingly to Tennessee but has turned into a genuine threat to win the SEC West.
Other teams climbing up the 1-131 are No. 26 Liberty, which whipped Brigham Young; No. 33 South Carolina, now 5-2 after beating Texas A&M; and No. 45 Duke, which took advantage of six turnovers and beat Miami (Fla.) 45-21 to move within one win of bowl eligibility in coach Mike Elko’s debut season.