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UNDRAFTED

Texas Surges to No. 4 in AP Top 25 After Staggering Alabama

Texas has surged an impressive seven positions up the rankings ladder, marking their inaugural appearance in the AP top five since the bygone days of September 2010.

In a stunning turn of events, the Texas Longhorns have catapulted to the fourth spot in the latest AP Top 25 college football rankings following their remarkable upset victory over the formidable Alabama Crimson Tide, with a final score of 34-24. Here's a comprehensive breakdown of the current poll standings and what you should be on the lookout for:


Longhorns Rise, Alabama Falls:


Texas has surged an impressive seven positions up the rankings ladder, marking their inaugural appearance in the AP top five since the bygone days of September 2010. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide, a perennial powerhouse, found themselves plummeting seven places to land at the tenth spot, narrowly extending their streak of consecutive AP top-10 appearances to an astounding 128 polls. The last time Alabama slipped outside the AP top 10 was in the distant year of 2015.


Georgia Holds Firm at No. 1:


The Georgia Bulldogs remain steadfast at the top, garnering a commanding 55 out of 62 first-place votes. Trailing behind are Michigan, Florida State, Texas, and USC, completing the top five in that order.


Colorado's Remarkable Ascent:


Colorado has made a notable ascent, climbing four places to secure the eighteenth spot in the rankings after a dominant 36-14 victory over Nebraska.


New Faces in the Top 25:


Miami, Washington State, UCLA, and Iowa have all entered the Top 25, making their presence felt in the latest rankings. Meanwhile, Wisconsin, Texas A&M, Tulane, and Clemson have regrettably dropped out of the coveted list.


Pac-12 Dominance:


A noteworthy observation is the presence of eight out of the twelve Pac-12 teams in this week's poll, indicating the conference's robust representation in the college football landscape.


Here's the complete AP Top 25:


Georgia (55)

Michigan (2)

Florida State (3)

Texas (2)

USC

Ohio State

Penn State

Washington

Notre Dame

Alabama

Tennessee

Utah

Oregon

LSU

Kansas State

Oregon State

Ole Miss

Colorado

Oklahoma

North Carolina

Duke

Miami

Washington State

UCLA

Iowa


Texas' Top 5 Ambitions:


The Longhorns have now solidified their position at No. 4, a significant milestone as it marks their return to the top five for the first time since September 7, 2010. To find the last instance of Texas finishing a season within the top five, we must cast our minds back to 2009 when they were ultimately placed at No. 2 after a heartbreaking loss to Alabama in the BCS national championship game.


Given their impressive performance against the Crimson Tide, Texas has certainly earned their lofty ranking this week. The key question now is whether they can maintain their standing throughout the season. The answer to that will depend on their ability to navigate their remaining matchups successfully. The Longhorns are favored in all of their upcoming games, and if they can emerge victorious in their final ten contests (or even nine plus the Big 12 championship), they could very well find themselves bound for the College Football Playoff, marking their best season since the days of Colt McCoy gracing the campus.


Alabama's Path to Redemption:


Alabama, on the other hand, finds itself at a crossroads. The Crimson Tide didn't exhibit the trademark excellence we've grown accustomed to seeing under the tutelage of Nick Saban. However, the season is far from over, and their journey to redemption starts with key areas of the team living up to expectations. Notably, the loss to Texas highlighted deficiencies in both the offensive line and defense. Alabama's offensive line conceded five sacks and faced a staggering 12 pressures, while their defense failed to record a single sack and allowed eight pass plays of 15 yards or more.


The quarterback position had been a subject of scrutiny for Alabama in 2023, with the expectation that they would return to their early 2010s style of play - featuring dominant line play, potent running backs, and a formidable defense. Saturday's contest revealed that Alabama is currently far from elite status in any of these crucial aspects. Saban's squad must swiftly identify and address their shortcomings across the board, particularly in the areas that were meant to define their identity. Failure to do so could lead to more losses on the horizon.


Week 3: A Quiet Prelude to Explosive Matchups Ahead:


As we await a more consequential slate of games in the upcoming loaded Week 4, it's noteworthy that Week 3 does not feature any matchups between ranked teams. Notable clashes to look forward to in Week 4 include Ohio State vs. Notre Dame, Florida State vs. Clemson, Ole Miss vs. Alabama, Colorado vs. Oregon, Iowa vs. Penn State, and UCLA vs. Utah, among others.


However, before we reach that exciting stage of the season, this Saturday presents a few intriguing matchups. The top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs will kick off their SEC campaign against South Carolina, a team that played the role of late-season spoiler against both Tennessee and Clemson last November. Additionally, keep an eye on No. 8 Washington as they visit Michigan State, No. 11 Tennessee's trip to Florida, and a late-night rivalry showdown as No. 18 Colorado takes on Colorado State.


Stay tuned to The Undrafted for all the latest developments in college football as the season unfolds.

Austyn McFadden

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Sunday, September 10, 2023

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