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BYU falls 9 spots to 19th in AP Top 25, No. 20 in Coaches Poll after stumbling to first loss of season

Brigham Young wide receiver Chris Jackson (5) gets tackled by Boise State cornerback Kaonohi Kaniho during an NCAA college football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021.

Brigham Young wide receiver Chris Jackson (5) gets tackled by Boise State cornerback Kaonohi Kaniho during an NCAA college football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

PROVO — The Cougars' undefeated season is over.

So, too, is the Top 10 national ranking after the Cougars' 26-17 home loss to Boise State.

BYU dropped nine spot to No. 19 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 when the latest votes were revealed Sunday, two hours after the USA Today Coaches Poll dropped the Cougars 10 spots to No. 20.

The Cougars dropped out of the National Football Foundation's Super 16. BYU received eight votes — unofficially No. 22 — in the official poll of the Football Writers Association of America, trailing Arizona State, Arkansas and SMU.

Georgia is the consensus No. 1 team in the AP poll, the first non-Alabama team to top the rankings this season. The Bulldogs (6-0) are followed by fellow unbeaten Iowa (6-0), Oklahoma (6-0) and Cincinnati (5-0) with Alabama (5-1) rounding out the top five after its first loss of the season to previously unranked Texas A&M.

Ohio State (5-1), Penn State (5-1), Michigan (6-0), Oregon (4-1) and Michigan State (6-0) all clung to the top 10.

Just ahead of BYU in the AP rankings is Arizona State, which won its third-straight game since a 27-17 loss to the Cougars in Provo. The Sun Devils (5-1) are one of two ranked teams from the Pac-12, joining No. 9 Oregon.

Georgia, Iowa, Oklahoma, Cincinnati and Alabama make up the top five, according to the coaches.

Texas A&M's Seth Small (47) reacts after making a field goal to defeat Alabama, at the end of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in College Station, Texas.
Texas A&M's Seth Small (47) reacts after making a field goal to defeat Alabama, at the end of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in College Station, Texas. (Photo: Sam Craft, Associated Press)

From a season of promise to one with plenty of questions. The Broncos (3-3) soundly beat BYU, holding a once-dominant run game to 111 yards on 27 attempts, forcing four turnovers and never letting up after taking a 17-10 lead in the second quarter.

The Cougars had never trailed prior to the 3:34 mark of the second quarter, and they haven't led since.

Five teams in the AP Top 25 lost over the weekend, including Texas, which was well on its way to win in the Red River Rivalry before No. 6 Oklahoma did an about-face under freshman quarterback Caleb Williams and rallied for a 55-48 win.

But the biggest paradigm shift came at the top, where Alabama lost for the first time in 100 games against an unranked opponent to Texas A&M. Coming off back-to-back losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State, Jimbo Fisher kept his promise to "beat his (butt) when he's there" in reference to Alabama coach Nick Saban.

The former Saban protege became the first Alabama assistant to beat the Crimson Tide under Saban, dropping the coach with a strong argument for greatest college coach of all time to 24-1 and against his former assistants.

Four teams entered Saturday having never trailed in the first five weeks of the 2021 season: Alabama, BYU, Georgia and Michigan. All four of them trailed at some point, and two of them lost.

In a season of chaos now rivaling the wild 2007 season, the unexpected is becoming the projected. Chaos reigns in the weird world we call "college football."

A week ago, Alabama appeared unbeatable. Now, the Tide have fewer wins in the past week than UMass, which won its first game since 2019 with a 27-13 victory over winless UConn.

As college football hits the midway mark of the season, Wake Forest, Kentucky and Michigan — to say nothing of Georgia, Iowa and Oklahoma — are still unbeaten. Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson are not.

And then there's SMU, perhaps the quietest 6-0 team in the country that inched up to No. 23 in the AP poll with Saturday's 31-24 win over Navy and two more touchdown passes from Tanner Mordecai, who leads the Football Bowl Subdivision with 26 scores through the air.

With Alabama's win streak and the ill-fated trip to College Station in the rear-view mirror, the biggest game in college football may just be Nov. 20 when the Mustangs travel to Nippert Stadium to face Cincinnati. By then, the AP and Coaches polls will mean less and the CFP will have taken full control of the sport — and with it will come the Bearcats' best chance to prove it belongs among the four-team final field in the playoff era.

If you can't see the AP below, click here for the complete rankings.

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