With the panel mostly in sync this week, just four games threaten to shift the rankings. But it could be a big shift as leader Tanner Cook and second-place Jeff Birchfield are on opposite sides of all four picks.
The roles are reversed since Gardner-Webb and East Tennessee State last faced each other on the football field.
ETSU has won three games in a row and, at 3-0 in the Southern Conference, is alone in first place, half a game ahead of Wofford.
A quarterback change and a solid defensive performance were just what the East Tennessee State football team needed to remain in first place in the Southern Conference.
Ryan Willis threw for 332 yards and a career-best three touchdowns in his first start for Virginia Tech, helping the Hokies upset No. 22 Duke 31-14 on Saturday night.
Virginia-Wise went into Saturday’s homecoming contest allowing opponents 280.5 yards per game then saw Fairmont State put up 516 yards in a 24-6 MEC win at Carl Smith Stadium.
D'Andre Swift ran for two touchdowns, including a late 14-yarder to ice the game, and No. 2 Georgia used dominant defense to overcome a sluggish offensive start in a 38-12 win over Tennessee on Saturday.
Those inside the East Tennessee State athletic department are calling it the biggest game since the football program’s return in 2015.
After three lopsided wins to open the season, second-ranked Georgia struggled at times in last week’s 43-29 win at Missouri.
Also on Monday, the football programs of ETSU and Chattanooga each unveiled The Rail, a trophy that symbolizes Johnson City and Chattanooga’s shared heritage with the railroads.
Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson suffered a broken left fibula in Saturday’s loss at Old Dominion and will undergo surgery.
Austin Herink has been through the highs and lows of ETSU reinstating its football program, but he reached a new summit in Saturday night’s 29-27 win over Furman.
Tennessee linebacker Quart'e Sapp says he never refused to enter the game Saturday during the Volunteers' 47-21 loss to Florida, contradicting what his coach had said after the game.
Virginia Tech dismissed redshirt junior defensive end Trevon Hill from the football team for failing to uphold "the high standards that we have for our student-athletes."
Austin Herink, a three-year starter for ETSU prior to this season, came in the third quarter and rallied the Bucs from a three-touchdown deficit to a 29-27 win over Furman at Greene Stadium on Saturday night.