Memphis, Temple jump into AP poll
The Associated Press
Memphis and Temple jumped into The Associated Press college football poll for the first time this season, joining Houston to give the American Athletic Conference three ranked teams for the first time in the history of the three-year old league.
Ohio State remained No. 1 in the AP Top 25 released Sunday. For the second straight week, six teams received first-place votes in the media poll, led by the Buckeyes with 28. No. 2 Baylor has 12, No. 3 Utah received 16, No. 4 TCU got three and No. 5 LSU and No. 6 Clemson each have one.
The Utes and LSU Tigers each edged ahead one spot after home victories on Saturday.
Michigan State stayed at No. 7 after its miracle against Michigan and Alabama is No. 8 after handing Texas A&M its first loss.
Memphis (6-0) had the big upset of the weekend against Mississippi. The Tigers 37-24 victory vaulted them into the rankings at No 18. Unbeaten Temple moved to 6-0 and was ranked No. 22. No. 21 Houston is also 6-0.
The American is what is left of the old Big East football conference after realignment stripped it of many of its top schools, such as Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Louisville. Conference commissioner Mike Aresco kept the conference alive by wooing a handful of Conference USA teams, including Memphis and Houston, and adding former independent Navy this season to create a 12-team conference.
The switch from the BCS to the College Football Playoff helped bump the American into the Group of Five and out of the so-called power conferences that include the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference.
But the American has held its own against the Power Five this season, going 7-11 with wins against Penn State, Miami and Louisville.
Aresco called Memphis’s victory against Mississippi the conference’s most important of the season. The American is now well-positioned to earn the spot saved for the highest ranked champion from the Group of Five in the New Year’s Six bowls.
And who knows? If Memphis, Temple or Houston wins out, Aresco thinks the AAC champion should be in the conversation for a place in the playoff.
SEC — 5.
Big Ten — 4.
Big 12 — 4.
ACC — 4.
American — 3.
Pac-12 — 3.
Independent — 1.
MAC — 1.
Pittsburgh moved into the rankings at No. 25 and is off to a 5-1 start under new coach Pat Narduzzi. The Panthers are ranked for the first time since the 2010 preseason poll.
UCLA, Northwestern and Boise State each took their second losses of the season and fell out of the rankings.
No. 10 Stanford and No. 12 Iowa each moved up five spots after decisive victories and against conference rivals.
The biggest drops this week were all in the Southeastern Conference. No. 24 Mississippi fell 11 spots after being upset at Memphis. Texas A&M dropped six places into a tie for 15th after losing at home to Alabama. Florida fell five, from eighth to 13th after losing at LSU.
Michigan’s excruciating last-second loss to the Spartans cost the Wolverines two spots in the poll. They are tied with Texas A&M at 15.
RANKED VS. RANKED
An elimination game in the SEC West is the only matchup of ranked teams this week.
No. 15 Texas A&M at No. 24 Mississippi.
Follow Ralph D. Russo www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP
AP college football site: http://collegefootball.ap.org