Nittany Lions drop to ninth in poll
By Ralph D. Russo
The Associated Press
LSU is an overwhelming No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll after beating Alabama in a 1-2 matchup, and Minnesota moved into the top 10 for the first time in 57 years.
After two weeks of historically close voting at the top of poll, LSU received 54 first-place votes in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank. Ohio State was No. 2 with five first-place votes and Clemson was third with three first-place votes. Alabama fell two spots to No. 4.
Georgia was fifth, followed by Oregon and Minnesota at No. 7. The Gophers won Saturday’s other matchup of unbeaten teams, defeating Penn State at home. The Nittany Lions slipped four spots to No. 9.
No. 24 Indiana is ranked for the first time since 1994, snapping the longest poll drought among Power Five conference schools.
It wasn’t a great week for Alabama, but the Crimson Tide did extend their record for consecutive weeks in the top five of the AP poll. Alabama has been among the five highest-ranked teams for 66 weeks, a streak that started on Nov. 8, 2015.
The second-longest streak of top-five appearances is Miami, which had 55 from Oct. 8, 2000-Oct. 26, 2003.
n Minnesota has its best ranking since it reached No. 5 in 1962 and finished 10th.
âIám just here to be able to do everything I can with a staff and with a group of men every single day to provide a culture that everybody can be a part of,ã Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said following Saturday’s big win. âEverybody can row the boat, and everybody can use that in their life, come back here, and weáre one now, and we can create some type of dynasty.ã
Hello and goodbye
Indiana had a great off week with the help of another Power Five school that had not been ranked in years. Wake Forest slipped out of the ranking after a loss at Virginia Tech. The Demon Deacons earlier in the year earned a ranking for the first time since the 2008.
The Hoosiers (7-2) already have their first seven-victory season in 12 years and will head to Penn State next week trying to win as a ranked team for the first time since late in the 1993 season. The previous time Indiana was ranked, it moved into the rankings on Sept. 18, 1994, after beating Kentucky to get to 3-0. Ranked No. 25, the Hoosiers visited No. 16 Wisconsin, lost 62-13, and have not been ranked since.
Now that Indiana has snapped its drought, the Hoosiers’ in-state rivals have the longest run of being unranked among Power Five schools. Purdue hasn’t been ranked since 2007. The next-longest droughts are Kansas (since 2009), Illinois (2011) and Rutgers (2012).
n No. 22 Texas moved back into the rankings after beating Kansas State and knocking the Wildcats out of the Top 25.
n No. 25 Oklahoma State moved back into the Top 25 for the second time this season.
n San Diego State fell out after losing to Nevada.
For the sixth time this season, three of the top five teams are from the SEC.
Big Ten — 7 (Nos. 2, 7, 9, 14, 15, 23, 24).
SEC — 5 (Nos. 1, 4, 5, 11, 13).
American — 4 (Nos. 17, 18, 20, 21).
Big 12 — 4 (Nos. 10, 12, 22, 25).
Pac-12 — 2 (Nos. 6, 8).
ACC — 1 (No. 3).
Mountain West — 1 (No. 19).
Independent — 1 (No. 16).
Ranked vs. Ranked
No. 5 Georgia at No. 13 Auburn. Another top-10 opponent for the Tigers.
No. 7 Minnesota at No. 23 Iowa. The Gophers still have work to do in the Big Ten West.
No. 24 Indiana at No. 9 Penn State. The Nittany Lions look for a bounce back before their showdown with Ohio State.
No. 10 Oklahoma at No. 12 Baylor. Could be first of two meetings, with a Big 12 championship rematch.
No. 21 Navy at No. 16 Notre Dame. The Midshipmen have an opportunity to give the American Athletic Conference a statement victory.