Penn State moves up to No. 3 in Associated Press college football poll
Penn State moved up to No. 3 in The Associated Press college football poll, and Washington State and Auburn jumped into the top 10 for the first time this season after six ranked teams lost this past weekend.
Alabama and Clemson still hold the top spots. The top-ranked Crimson Tide received 43 first-place votes in the poll released Sunday and the second-ranked Tigers had 18. The Nittany Lions have their best ranking since 2008, moving up one spot and taking advantage of the biggest upset of the season so far.
Oklahoma lost at home to Iowa State on Saturday, dropping the Sooners from No. 3 to 12. Michigan also lost for the first time and fell to No. 17.
Washington State is No. 8 and Auburn moved up to 10.
Behind Penn State, Georgia at No. 4 and Washington at No. 5 also moved up one spot after convincing victories. TCU moved up two spots to No. 6, and No. 7 Wisconsin and No. 9 Ohio State round out the top 10.
EVERGREEN STATE SURGE
College football in the state of Washington has not been this strong in 20 years. With Washington State and Washington both undefeated, the Cougars and Huskies are in the top 10 together for the first time since Oct. 26, 1997.
Back then, Washington was No. 7 and Wazzu was No. 10, but they were headed in different directions. The Huskies stumbled down the stretch and ended up finishing the season 8-4 and ranked 18th. The Cougars, behind quarterback Ryan Leaf and coach Mike Price, won the then-Pac-10 title and played in the Rose Bowl. Washington State finished that season No. 9.
This year, the Huskies, coming off a College Football Playoff appearance under coach Chris Petersen, have been ranked in the top 10 since preseason. Coach Mike Leach’s Cougars started this season ranked 24th and have steadily climbed since. They followed up a home victory against Southern California last week with a blowout victory at Oregon on Saturday night.
All those ranked teams losing also created turnover in the bottom third of the rankings, with four teams moving in, including three for the first time this season.
— No. 21 Michigan State (4-1) is ranked for the first time since the late September 2016. The Spartans began last season ranked and coming off a Big Ten title, but their season spiraled and they ended up being one of the most disappointing teams in the country, finishing 3-9. After upsetting Michigan in the rain at the Big House on Saturday night, Michigan State is back.
— Stanford (4-2) returned to the rankings at No. 23 after handing Utah its first loss of the season.
— No. 24 Texas Tech (4-1) is ranked for the first time since Nov. 3, 2013, Kliff Kingsbury’s first season as coach at his alma mater.
— Unbeaten Navy (5-0) is No. 25. The Midshipmen have made at least one appearance in the Top 25 each of the last three seasons. That hasn’t happened since the 1950s.
— Louisville fell out of the rankings for the first time this season after losing to North Carolina State on Thursday.
— Utah is out after losing at home.
— Florida and West Virginia fell out of the rankings after each took a second loss.
— Notre Dame jumped five spots to No. 16, thanks as much to the movement around the Irish as to what they did Saturday. Notre Dame won at North Carolina to improve to 5-1, but their victory at Michigan State looks a lot more impressive now. Plus, the Irish have been the only team to stay within single-digits of Georgia. The Bulldogs beat Notre Dame 20-19 in South Bend, Indiana, in week two.
— North Carolina State moved up four spots to No. 20, giving the Wolfpack their best ranking since 2003, when they reached No. 14 but finished the season unranked.
— Miami moved up two spots to No. 11 after breaking a seven-game losing streak to Florida State.
— Michigan’s 10-spot drop was the largest this week.
— Oklahoma fell nine spots and now holds the distinction of having a victory against a top-10 team (Ohio State) )and a loss to an unranked team.
RANKED vs. RANKED
None. The last time a weekend of college football this late in the season included no games matching ranked teams was Nov. 21, 2009. It’s happened twice in September since then — last year and in 2012.
The SEC is down to three teams in the Top 25, the fewest of any Power Five conference and the fewest for the league since Dec. 6, 2009.
Big Ten — 5
ACC — 4
Big 12 — 4
Pac-12 — 4
American — 3
SEC — 3
Mountain West — 1
Independent — 1