AP Top 25: Washington breaks into top 10 for first time since 2002
Three Pac-12 North teams are ranked in the latest AP Top 25 Poll – Stanford is No. 7, Washington leaped up to No. 8 and Oregon is No. 24. UCLA and USC, No. 16 and 20 in the preseason poll, respectively, have fallen out of the top 25 following their opening-weekend losses to SEC schools.
There was a bit of a lull in the second half, but Stanford’s 26-13 win over Kansas State certainly beats the result from the 2015 season opener. Ryan Burns got off to a hot start under center and Christian McCaffrey, while being bottled up most of the night, broke out enough to remind everyone just how dangerous he can be. There was a ton of upheaval in the polls, with three preseason top-10 teams losing in Oklahoma, LSU and Notre Dame, allowing the Cardinal to inch up one spot to No. 7. Now the Cardinal gets a bye week to rest up and get ready for USC, which, well, didn’t exactly have the most impressive of 2016 lid-lifters.
It’s just Rutgers, but it’s a Big Ten team, and the Huskies more than lived up to the hype in a dominating 48-13 win over the Scarlet Knights. People have been billing the Dawgs as serious Pac-12 contenders and a dark-horse candidate to make the College Football Playoff, and Chris Petersen’s bunch didn’t do anything to make the pundits think twice about their preseason predictions (how about that special teams play, huh?). This, along with all of the losses by teams around or ahead of the Huskies in the poll, has Washington up six spots to No. 8 for their first AP top-10 ranking ranking since 2002 and highest AP ranking since 2001. The Dawgs were slotted No. 8 in the Nov. 4 poll of that season, according to collegepollarchive.com (Washington hasn't been higher than No. 8 since 2000). Now Washington hosts Idaho in what should be an even easier task.
It took the Ducks a little while to get rolling, taking nearly a full quarter to score against FCS UC Davis, but once the lid was blown off, the scoring came in bunches and Oregon walked out of Autzen with a relatively comfortable 53-28 win behind 271 passing yards and three touchdowns from new quarterback Dakota Prukop (he also scampered in for another score). However, it wasn't impressive enough to hop up in the pollsters' eyes, so the Ducks stand pat at No. 24. With the FCS portion of their schedule out of the way, the Ducks now face nothing but Power 5 schools from here on out – Virginia from the ACC this Saturday and Nebraska from the Big Ten the week after before the Pac-12 fun begins.
Others receiving votes: Three Pac-12 teams received some love from the pollsters, but not enough to grab a spot in the top 25. Tops among them was UCLA, whose 31-24 loss to Texas A&M dropped them from No. 16 to just outside the poll. The Bruins received 62 votes. Utah's 24-0 shutout of Southern Utah made 43 voters take notice of Kyle Whittingham's crew, while Colorado's 44-7 stomping of rival Colorado State earned the Buffs a single vote.
Here is the poll in full (votes for No. 1 in parentheses):
- Alabama (54)
- Clemson (2)
- Florida State (4)
- Ohio State
- Michigan (1)
- Michigan State
- Notre Dame
- Ole Miss
- Texas A&M
- Oklahoma State
- Miami (FL)