AP Top 25: Stanford and Washington stay in top 10, Utah joins the party
Stanford held at No. 7 while Washington slipped one spot to No. 9 and Utah jumped in at No. 24 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll. This is the third straight week that the Pac-12 has had three ranked teams. The SEC leads the way with eight ranked teams, while the Big Ten has five, the ACC has four and the Big 12 has three. The American and Mountain West each have one representative.
The seventh-ranked Cardinal was dominant throughout in a 27-10 triumph over rival USC, nabbing its first conference win of the season in the process and prolonging a nightmarish start to the season for the Trojans. Christian McCaffrey did Christian McCaffrey things, amassing at least 200 all-purpose yards for the eighth consecutive game and keeping himself squarely in the meaningless September Heisman conversation. Now 2-0, David Shaw’s boys have to hit the road for two tough Pac-12 opponents – at UCLA next Saturday and at U-Dub the Friday after. If the Cardinal can come through the other side 4-0, watch out.
It’s tough to tell how good No. 9 Washington is when it hasn’t really played anybody of consequence (at least Rutgers edged out New Mexico to get to 2-1), but the Dawgs are doing what a team of its stature should by blowing out lesser competition. The latest Husky victim was Portland State, as Chris Petersen and crew took down the Big Sky side to the tune of a 41-3 whoopin’. Jake Browning was clinical again, throwing four touchdown passes, while the defense held an overwhelmed Portland State to fewer than 200 yards of total offense. Despite the 38-point laugher, Washington dropped one spot due to Michigan State’s impressive win at Notre Dame. Now the fun really begins for the Dawgs, as Washington hits the road to Tucson for its first true test of the season.
It wasn’t always pretty in the 408, but the Utes shook off a slow start to defeat San Jose State 34-17 and nab its first 2016 ranking of the season at No. 24 (the Utes’ last appearance in the poll was the final AP poll of 2015, when they were ranked 17th after beating BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl). With Joe Williams retiring from football, running backs Zack Moss and Armand Shyne picked up the slack, as both toted the rock 12 times for more than 90 yards and a touchdown. Non-conference portion of the schedule out of the way, Utah takes on USC in Salt Lake City under the Friday night lights to lift the lid on the Pac-12 slate. The Trojans are staring 1-3 in the face.
Four other Pac-12 schools received votes – UCLA shared the second-team-out honors with FCS powerhouse North Dakota State, as the two schools each received 74 voting points. Additionally, California picked up 44 after upsetting then-No. 11 Texas, while Oregon scooped up 23 and Arizona State nabbed three after a narrow victory at UTSA.
Here’s the AP poll in full (first-place votes in parentheses):
- Alabama (50)
- Ohio State (4)
- Louisville (6)
- Michigan (1)
- Michigan State
- Texas A&M
- Florida State
- San Diego State
- Ole Miss