By RALPH D. RUSSO , AP College Football Writer
The top nine teams in The Associated Press college football poll have held onto their spots, led by No. 1 Alabama, while Northwestern and Boise State moved into the Top 25 for the first time this season.
A Saturday with few surprises and a lot of blowouts produced mostly expected ranking results heading into what figures to be an intriguing final two weeks of the season. Alabama, top ranked since the preseason, received 58 first-place votes on Sunday. No. 2 Miami received three first-place votes.
Oklahoma is No. 3, Clemson is No. 4 and Wisconsin is No. 5. Auburn, Georgia, Ohio State, Notre Dame and TCU round out the top 10.
There was some shuffling at the bottom of the rankings, with Michigan, North Carolina State and West Virginia dropping out after losses. Northwestern, which has won six straight, is No. 23, and Boise State is No. 25. Virginia Tech returned to the rankings at No. 24.
All but one team ranked in the Top 25 last week played this past weekend. Washington State was off. Oklahoma State was the only ranked team favored by more than three points that lost. The Cowboys’ rally fell short against Kansas State .
All that added up to 20 of the 25 teams in last week’s rankingseither holding steady or moving up one spot in this week’s poll.
Alabama has now been No. 1 a total of 102 times in AP poll history, passing Oklahoma for the second most behind Ohio State (105).
— No. 18 Oklahoma State dropped eight spots after that loss to Kansas State.
— No. 19 LSU moved up two spots. On this sleepy weekend, that was the largest jump of any team.
— Boise State’s ranking makes it 16 straight seasons in which the Broncos have been ranked for at least one week. Teams with longer current streaks of seasons of at least one week in the rankings:
Ohio State, 50.
Florida State, 41.
— Northwestern is ranked for the first time since 2015.
— No. 24 Virginia Tech is back in the rankings after falling out last week for the first time this season.
SEC — 5
Big Ten — 5
Pac-12 — 4
ACC — 3
American — 3
Big 12 — 3
Mountain West — 1
Independent — 1
RANKED vs. RANKED
No. 1 Alabama at No. 6 Auburn. The Iron Bowl will decide the SEC West and have huge playoff ramifications.
No. 9 Notre Dame at No. 20 Stanford. The Fighting Irish try to solidify a spot in a major bowl and Cardinal RB Bryce Love looks to bolster his case to win the Heisman Trophy.
No. 22 South Florida at No. 13 Central Florida, Friday. The AAC East title goes to the winner of the biggest War on I-4 rivalry game yet.
No. 14 Washington State at No. 15 Washington. The Cougars can win the Pac-12 North with a victory or the Huskies can hand the title to Stanford.
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