Oregon picks up another 1st-place vote in AP Poll

Oregon picks up another 1st-place vote in AP Poll
Oregon defender Derrick Malone Jr., left, moves in on California running back Brendan Bigelow during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Notre Dame has dropped out of The Associated Press college football poll after losing its second game of the season, and Arizona State moved in after the Sun Devils' win prompted Southern California to fire coach Lane Kiffin.

Alabama remained No. 1 as the top five held their spots for the third consecutive week. The Crimson Tide received 55 of 60 first-place votes, and No. 2 Oregon got the rest from the media panel, one more than last week. Clemson is third, followed by Ohio State and Stanford.

RANKINGS: AP Top 25 | USA TODAY

Georgia moved up to No. 6 after its 44-41 victory against LSU, which slipped four spots to 10th.

Notre Dame (3-2), coming off a loss in the BCS championship game, began the season No. 14 but is now out of the Top 25 after losing 35-21 at home to Oklahoma, which moved up three spots to 11th.

The Fighting Irish next play No. 22 Arizona State. The Sun Devils (3-1) beat USC 62-41 on Saturday night, and the Trojans fired Kiffin hours later.

Maryland moved into the poll at No. 25, and Wisconsin fell out.

IN AND OUT

No. 22 Arizona State moved into the AP Top 25 — and helped move Lane Kiffin out of a job as Southern California coach.

The Sun Devils struck the final blow of Kiffin's tumultuous tenure with the Trojans in a 62-41 victory Saturday night in Tempe, Ariz.

"That's the last thing I'm worried about," Kiffin said when asked about his job status after the game. "We have to find a way to coach better, to play better."

Count Todd Graham's Arizona State program among those coaching and playing better than USC these days in the Pac-12 South, joining UCLA and maybe even Arizona. Over in the northern half of the Pac-12, Oregon and Stanford have pretty much left the Trojans in the dust since Pete Carroll departed after the 2009 season.

This is unacceptable for one of the crown jewels of college football, so athletic director Pat Haden pulled the plug on the Kiffin era at USC (3-2) in the early morning hours Sunday.

Kiffin was 34 when he replaced his former boss at USC, skipping out on Tennessee after just one season in Knoxville. He was never embraced — anywhere. He managed one terrific season — 10-2 in 2011 with the Trojans still serving an NCAA postseason ban. But last year USC started No. 1 and ended the season unranked.

The Trojans came into this season with more modest expectations but still considered a contender to win the South. Ugly losses to Washington State and now Arizona State made it clear this was another season heading nowhere. Fan apathy was also setting in at USC. The empty seats at the Los Angeles Coliseum provided overwhelming visual evidence. The next home game is Oct. 10 against Arizona.

Haden can now begin the search for a new coach, getting a head start on the competition. That could be helpful if some other big-time programs hit the market (Texas? Nebraska?).

Who will USC go after? The usual suspects, no doubt. Expect Boise State's Chris Petersen to at least be rumored as a candidate. TCU's Gary Patterson, too. Figure USC alums with NFL backgrounds such as Jack Del Rio and Jeff Fisher will come up.

It's USC. Just about anybody would at least have to listen if Haden called.

THE HOLD STEADY

For the third consecutive week, the top five teams in the AP Top 25 were unchanged. No. 1 Alabama received 55 first-place votes from the media panel. No. 2 Oregon received the other five. Clemson is No. 3 followed by Ohio State and Stanford.

All five won Saturday, with only Ohio State getting challenged. The Buckeyes, in their first test of the season, beat Wisconsin 31-24 in Columbus. The Badgers dropped out of the rankings. Urban Meyer's Buckeyes bring their 17-game winning streak to No. 16 Northwestern on Saturday.

"That's what we love about the Big Ten," Buckeyes offensive lineman Jack Mewhort said. "Week in and week out it's a physical challenge."

Alabama may have finally eased the fears of its anxious fans with a 25-0 victory against No. 24 Mississippi. The Tide had shown some flaws during a 3-0 start. Now Alabama settles into the softest part of its schedule with about a month to smooth things over before No. 10 LSU comes to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Nov. 9.

ND, NR

The team Alabama beat in last year's BCS championship game has real problems.

Notre Dame is not ranked for the first time this season, following a 35-21 loss at home to No. 11 Oklahoma. The Sooners moved up three spots and are now the highest-ranked Big 12 team.

The Fighting Irish (3-2) look a long way from last year's team that was so stingy on defense and balanced offensively. The offense misses quarterback Everett Golson, who is sitting out this season after an academic suspension, and the defense has regressed.

Next up for the Irish is a trip to Texas, where they'll play Arizona State at the Dallas Cowboys' stadium.

MOVING UP

Georgia moved up three spots to No. 6, but don't blame Bulldogs fans if they're feeling their team is still underappreciated. No team has played a more difficult September schedule and the Bulldogs (3-1) emerged with two wins against three teams (Clemson, South Carolina and LSU) that were ranked in the top 10 at the time they played.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

No. 25 Maryland (4-0) is ranked for the first time since the final poll of the 2010 season.

AP TOP 25

Pac-12 teams in bold. The Top Twenty Five teams in The Associated Press expanded college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sept. 28, points based on 25 points for a first place vote through one point for a 25th place vote, previous ranking, record vs. top 25 teams at time of game, record of opponents played, and extra points:

  Vs. Opp.
  Record Pts Pv T25 Rec. Extra Points
1. Alabama (55) 4-0 1,495 1 2-0 13-2 Shut down and shut up Rebs
2. Oregon (5) 4-0 1,422 2 0-0 9-5 Posted 70 vs. Buffs in '12
3. Clemson 4-0 1,354 3 1-0 10-3 Tajh Boyd 100 career TDs
4. Ohio St. 5-0 1,305 4 1-0 7-8 Braxton Miller is back
5. Stanford 4-0 1,280 5 1-0 9-5 6-4 last 10 vs. Huskies
6. Georgia 3-1 1,171 9 2-1 12-1 Won 4-of-last-5 vs. Vols
7. Louisville 4-0 1,091 7 0-0 6-7 3-3 vs. Owls
8. Florida St. 4-0 1,069 8 0-0 11-2 21-2 vs. Terps
9. Texas A&M 4-1 1,012 10 0-1 12-4 Nine straight road wins
10. LSU 4-1 979 6 1-1 10-6 Won 13 straight vs. MSU
11. Oklahoma 4-0 838 14 1-0 9-6 8-4 vs. Horned Frogs
12. UCLA 3-0 834 13 1-0 6-5 9-2 vs. Utes
13. South Carolina 3-1 812 12 0-1 9-4 12-1 vs. Cats since 2000
14. Miami 4-0 753 15 1-0 5-9 Best start since 2004
15. Washington 4-0 665 16 1-0 11-2 Best start since 2001
16. Northwestern 4-0 550 17 0-0 6-7 14-59-1 vs. Buckeyes
17. Baylor 3-0 536 19 0-0 5-4 Bears & WVU 133 pts in '12
18. Florida 3-1 481 20 0-0 9-5 8-1 vs. Razorbacks
19. Michigan 4-0 471 18 1-0 5-9 19-1 last 20 vs. Gophers
20. Texas Tech 4-0 264 24 1-0 8-5 KU 0-for-last-21 vs. Big12
21. Oklahoma St. 3-1 230 11 0-0 9-6 4-10 vs. KSU's Snyder
22. Arizona St. 3-1 192 NR 1-1 11-4 USC's Kiffin gets the ax
23. Fresno St. 4-0 187 25 0-0 8-5 Best start since 2001
24. Mississippi 3-1 132 21 0-1 8-5 Had 1st shutout since 1998
25. Maryland 4-0 119 NR 0-0 6-7 Best start since 2001

Others receiving votes: N. Illinois 104, Virginia Tech 49, Wisconsin 46, Nebraska 20, Missouri 14, Notre Dame 12, UCF 6, Michigan St. 5, Rutgers 2.

 

USA TODAY TOP 25

 

The USA Today Top 25 football coaches poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sept. 28, total points based on 25 points for first place through one point for 25th, and previous ranking:

  Record Pts Pvs
1. Alabama (59) 4-0 1546 1
2. Oregon (2) 4-0 1479 2
3. Ohio State 5-0 1397 3
4. Clemson (1) 4-0 1352 4
5. Stanford 4-0 1325 5
6. Georgia 3-1 1148 10
7. Louisville 4-0 1147 7
8. Florida State 4-0 1129 8
9. Texas A&M 4-1 1072 9
10. Oklahoma 4-0 964 12
11. LSU 4-1 931 6
12. South Carolina 3-1 860 13
13. UCLA 3-0 812 14
14. Miami 4-0 727 15
15. Northwestern 4-0 620 16
16. Baylor 3-0 573 18
17. Michigan 4-0 546 17
18. Washington 4-0 545 20
19. Florida 3-1 515 19
20. Oklahoma State 3-1 330 11
21. Fresno State 4-0 270 23
22. Texas Tech 4-0 231 25
23. Northern Illinois 4-0 131 NR
24. Arizona State 3-1 118 NR
25. Nebraska 3-1 71 NR

Others receiving votes: Mississippi 69, Virginia Tech 54, Wisconsin 47, Maryland 45, Notre Dame 29, Missouri 21, UCF 15, Michigan State 10, Rutgers 9, Oregon State 7, Arizona 1, Cincinnati 1, East Carolina 1, Iowa 1, Utah 1.



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