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Army joins AP poll for first time since 1996

By RALPH D. RUSSO
AP College Football Writer

Army is ranked for the first time since 1996, moving into The Associated Press college football poll at No. 23 as it begins preparations to face rival Navy on Dec. 8.
The Black Knights (9-2) have been edging toward the Top 25 in recent weeks, and they finally broke through on Sunday. The rankings were mostly unchanged after a weekend with few big games or surprising results.
Led by unanimous No. 1 Alabama, the top six stayed the same as last week. Clemson was No. 2, followed by Notre Dame, Michigan, Georgia and Oklahoma.
Washington State moved up a spot to No. 7 and UCF jumped three spots to No. 8, season highs for both schools. LSU tied Central Florida at No. 8 and Ohio State was 10th.
Also debuting in the Top 25 this season is Pittsburgh at No. 24.
Army being ranked has been a rarity since the early 1960s. From 1963-2017, there have been only two seasons in which the Black Knights appeared in the AP Top 25. In 1985, Army was No. 19 for one week on its way to a 9-3 season. In 1996, Army went 10-2 and was ranked in four of the final five polls of the season. The Cadets finished 25th that season.
Army managed just one winning record from 1997-2015. But under coach Jeff Monken, who took over in 2014, Army has had three straight winning seasons. The Black Knights head into the Navy game looking for a third straight victory against the Midshipmen and a second consecutive 10-win season.
The Cadets are on a seven-game winning streak since losing in overtime at Oklahoma on Sept. 22.
POLL POINTS
Army and Pitt became the 52nd and 53rd teams to be ranked this season, setting a record for the most ranked teams since the poll expanded to 25 in 1989. The previous high was 51 teams ranked in 2008.
The Panthers, who were 3-4 and 0-3 vs. ranked teams on Oct. 7, are ranked for the first time since Dec. 4, 2016. They have won four straight to win the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division and earn a trip to the league championship game for the first time.

AP football poll
The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Nov. 17, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and previous ranking:
Record Pts Pv
1. Alabama (61) 11-0 1525 1
2. Clemson 11-0 1455 2
3. Notre Dame 11-0 1412 3
4. Michigan 10-1 1327 4
5. Georgia 10-1 1288 5
6. Oklahoma 10-1 1182 6
7. Washington St. 10-1 1149 8
8. LSU 9-2 1064 10
8. UCF 10-0 1064 11
10. Ohio St. 10-1 1019 9
11. Texas 8-3 856 13
12. West Virginia 8-2 822 7
13. Florida 8-3 707 15
14. Utah St. 10-1 667 14
15. Penn St. 8-3 659 16
16. Washington 8-3 631 17
17. Kentucky 8-3 508 20
18. Utah 8-3 491 21
19. Syracuse 8-3 427 12
20. Northwestern 7-4 307 24
21. Boise St. 9-2 287 23
22. Mississippi St. 7-4 260 25
23. Army 9-2 176 NR
24. Pittsburgh 7-4 129 NR
25. Iowa St. 6-4 123 18
Others receiving votes: Fresno St. 100, NC State 45, Cincinnati 43, Missouri 34, Texas A&M 29, Auburn 11, Stanford 8, Iowa 8, UAB 5, Houston 3, Wisconsin 2, Buffalo 1, Troy 1.

Coaches’ poll
The Amway Top 25 football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Nov. 17, total points based on 25 points for first place through one point for 25th, and previous ranking:
Record Pts Pvs
1. Alabama (63) 11-0 1599 1
2. Clemson (1) 11-0 1535 2
3. Notre Dame 11-0 1470 3
4. Michigan 10-1 1387 4
5. Georgia 10-1 1347 5
6. Oklahoma 10-1 1252 6
7. Washington State 10-1 1195 9
8. LSU 9-2 1115 10
9. Central Florida 10-0 1108 11
10. Ohio State 10-1 1091 8
11. Texas 8-3 816 14
12. West Virginia 8-2 766 7
13. Florida 8-3 748 16
14. Penn State 8-3 742 15
15. Utah State 10-1 704 13
16. Washington 8-3 687 17
17. Utah 8-3 551 19
18. Kentucky 8-3 502 21
19. Syracuse 8-3 432 12
20. Mississippi State 7-4 397 23
21. Northwestern 7-4 302 NR
22. Boise State 9-2 297 24
23. Fresno State 9-2 119 NR
24. Army 9-2 97 NR
25. Pittsburgh 7-4 89 NR
Others receiving votes: Iowa State 85; Cincinnati 74; Texas A&M 57; North Carolina State 51; Wisconsin 32; Missouri 27; Boston College 22; Auburn 20; Appalachian State 18; Troy 16; Alabama at Birmingham 12; Iowa 12; Georgia Tech 10; Duke 7; Oklahoma State 3; Virginia 2; Buffalo 1; Georgia Southern 1; South Carolina 1.