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Penn State returns as No. 10

No. 6 Ohio State, No. 10 Penn State and No. 14 Oregon returned to The Associated Press college football poll on Sunday, weeks before they start playing, creating a Top 25 as unusual as this season.

At the top of the rankings this week, Clemson remained No. 1 with 55 first-place votes, followed by Alabama at No. 2 with three first-place votes.

The rest of the rankings was rattled by the Big Ten, Pac-12, Mountain West and Mid-American conferences reversing course and deciding to play fall football after initially postponing because of COVID-19 concerns.

None will kick off until late October at the earliest, but the AP decided all FBS teams planning to play in the fall would be eligible for inclusion in the Top 25.

Most voters put the most highly regarded teams from those late-arriving conferences back into their rankings, but not all did. A few stuck with only teams currently playing.

Further complicating voters’ task this week: Two top-10 teams lost to unranked teams at home Saturday. No. 3 Oklahoma blew a big lead and fell to Kansas State. No. 6 and defending national champion LSU was upset by Mississippi State in coach Mike Leach’s debut with the Bulldogs.

“I write my ballot out by hand in the same notepad every week,” said Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times. “I’ve never crossed so many teams out as I did today. It looks like something my 3-year-old would have done, just in black pen instead of crayon.”

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