South Carolina, Florida, WVU on rise in AP Top 25

Associated Press Modified: October 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm •  Published: October 7, 2012
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The Big Ten has said it will present Ohio State — or Penn State, for that matter — with a Leaders Division trophy if it wins the division.

There's one more trophy available for Ohio State, though it's a long shot.

The AP has been crowning a national champion since 1936, and the Buckeyes could conceivably finish No. 1 in the media poll, though it would likely take just about every other team losing at least once.

The last sanction-strapped team to make a similar push was Auburn in 1993, which went 11-0 under Terry Bowden and finished No. 4.

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MOVING DOWN

Florida State, No. 9 LSU and No. 15 Georgia all took tumbles in the rankings after spending the whole season ranked in the top seven.

The Seminoles' loss was the most stunning and most damaging. But maybe we should have seen it coming. Since 2007, Florida State has lost six road games to unranked teams when it was ranked.

The latest was probably the most disappointing because the Seminoles seemed primed to make a run at playing in the BCS championship game. The ACC is without another dominant team. Clemson is the only other ranked squad from the conference, and Florida State already beat the Tigers.

The Wolfpack hadn't shown much against their best opponents, especially defensively. But they shut out EJ Manuel and Florida State in the second half.

"They fought for the inches and made the inches and we didn't," coach Jimbo Fisher lamented.

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IN AND OUT

No. 21 Cincinnati (4-0) and No. 22 Texas A&M are ranked for the first time this season, and No. 24 Boise State and No. 25 Michigan are back after falling out earlier.

In between is No. 23 Louisiana Tech, which hasn't been ranked in the Top 25 since 1999.

"It shows we have some credibility in our program," La. Tech coach Sonny Dykes said Sunday.

The Bulldogs (5-0) are third in the nation in scoring at 53 points per game and are a serious threat to bust into the BCS from the Western Athletic Conference a la Boise State. The Bulldogs have won three road games, including games at Virginia and Illinois for which they were paid $1.6 million dollars to visits.

The biggest hurdle comes Saturday against Texas A&M in Shreveport, La. The game was originally scheduled the opening week of the season, but it was postponed because of severe weather.

"We'll find out where we are as a program," Dykes said. "We'll find out how we handle the spotlight."

Falling out of the rankings after losing were TCU, Nebraska, Northwestern, UCLA and Washington.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

No. 10 Oregon State is in the top 10 for the first time since 2001, when it was No. 10 after the first week and ended the season unranked.

The last time the Beavers were ranked in the top 10 later in the season was 2000, when they finished No. 4 in the country and beat Notre Dame 41-9 in the Fiesta Bowl.

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ODDS AND ENDS

The Big East has three ranked teams (Cincinnati, Rutgers and Louisville), and the best news for the rebuilding league is they are all schools that are staying put next season, when Boise State also joins. ... Louisiana Tech is headed to Conference USA next season. The league tweeted out: "Congrats to our future C-USA member!" ... Unbeaten Ohio University from the Mid-American Conference just missed being ranked, 79 points to 82 for Michigan.