AP Top 25: Washington cracks top 5, Colorado in for 1st time since 2005
Washington’s No. 5 ranking highlights the four Pac-12 teams ranked in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll – along with the Huskies, Stanford is No. 15, Colorado is No. 21 and Utah is No. 24. The ACC and SEC lead the way with six teams ranked, while the Big Ten has four, the Big 12 has three and the Mountain West and American each have one.
After Friday night’s 44-6 curb-stomping of the defending Pac-12 champs, there’s no question that the Dawgs are the top dogs in the Pac-12 North and conference overall. The only undefeated team remaining in the Pac-12, Washington showed those blowouts of lesser opponents had some meat to ‘em, as the Huskies never let the Cardinal sniff any type of success Friday night in Seattle. As a result of the thumping, Washington edges out Houston by one voting point and jumps up all the way to No. 5 for the program’s highest ranking since 2000, when the Dawgs were No. 3 in the final AP poll of the season (technically, it was Jan. 3, 2001). With the Stanford problem taken care of, now the Dawgs must exorcise another demon next week – a 12-game losing streak to a wounded Oregon Ducks squad that is somewhat surprisingly only 2-3.
There’s no way around it – Friday night was ugly for the Farm Boys. The Cardinal was never in it, and a banged up defense didn’t have the corners or the depth to keep up with the arm of Jake Browning and the speed of John Ross and Dante Pettis. If you want to play the role of Stanford apologist, you’d say that the Card had a very small chance of winning this game, considering it was a short week and the team had so many starters out. Even then, the Cardinal wasn’t expected to lose by 38. Now 3-1, the Cardinal drops eight spots to No. 15 and will try to successfully lick its wounds against a Washington State team that appears to be back on track after beating Oregon for the second straight year.
How…about…this – after a 47-6 thrashing of Oregon State in Boulder, Colorado is ranked in the AP poll for the first time since 2005 at No. 21 (it’s the Buffs’ highest ranking overall since No. 17 in the Sep. 7, 2003, AP Top 25 poll). The Buffs have looked like the real deal since Week 1, and that was only solidified by an impressive showing in the Big House, even if it was a loss. Then the Buffs came back and won at Oregon, finally getting that program-defining win against a quality Pac-12 opponent. And as for Saturday? Mike MacIntyre and Co. showed that they didn’t rest on their laurels, thoroughly whipping the Beavs behind some long-distance connections between Steven Montez and Shay Fields. The Buffs are 4-1 for the first time since 2005 and 2-0 in league play for the first time in the Pac-12 and first time since 2007 overall. Having won back-to-back Pac-12 league games for the first time ever, the Buffs will look to get to 5-1 when they play at USC next Saturday.
After edging out USC in a nail-biter a week ago, Utah was one foot short of beating Cal in a heart-breaking 28-23 loss to the Golden Bears, as Zack Moss’ carry on 3rd and goal at the 1-yard line came up juuuuuust shy of the goal line as time expired. There was an issue with the refs giving Utah a timeout it didn’t want to take, and who knows how that might have changed things, but the bottom line is Utah was knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten and dipped six slots in the poll to No. 24. Now it’s back to the 801 for the Utes, as they welcome Pac-12 South foe Arizona to Rice-Eccles in what Utah hopes is a get-right game against a struggling Wildcats squad.
Three other Pac-12 teams received votes -- UCLA got 56 voting points after taking care of Arizona, Arizona State received just four after losing at USC and Cal got three for its win over the Utes.
Here’s the AP Top 25 in full (No. 1 votes in parentheses):
- Alabama (53)
- Ohio State (6)
- Clemson (1)
- Michigan (1)
- Texas A&M
- Ole Miss
- North Carolina
- Boise State
- West Virginia
- Florida State
- Virginia Tech