In the wake of their historic 48-0 destruction of Oklahoma State on Saturday, the Kansas State Wildcats received their due reward this afternoon as they climbed nine spots in the AP Poll, moving from 22 to 13. The previously ninth-ranked Cowboys were punished equally, falling nine places to 18.
Neither K-State’s rise nor Oklahoma State’s fall were the most extreme of the week. Central Florida, who had received no votes at all last week, charged into the top 25 at the bottom spot after knocking off previously 20th-ranked Cincinnati and sending the Bearcats out of the top 25 altogether. As last week’s poll had 35 teams receiving votes, that represents an effective jump of 11 places for UCF. Heading the other direction was Wake Forest, plunging 10 spots from a tie for tenth to 20th after being boatraced by Louisville.
The top eight teams — Georgia, Ohio State, Tennessee, Michigan, Clemson, Alabama, TCU, and Oregon — remain unchanged from last week, with one technical exception. Tennessee, #3 last week, has moved into a dead heat at #2 with Ohio State. That represents a loss of 13 points for the Buckeyes, and a gain of 24 for the Volunteers; this was a result of Tennessee’s comprehensive victory over last week’s #19 team, Kentucky. The Vols picked up five first place votes, three of which came at the expense of Ohio State and one each from the pockets of Georgia and Clemson.
Other than Tennessee, every team above TCU lost a handful of points, while TCU and Oregon each picked up a few to close the gap on the top six.
Last week’s 10th and 12th ranked teams, USC and UCLA, moved up to 9th and 10th respectively. Ole Miss, for reasons which escape all comprehension outside of “THEY SEC”, moved up four spots to 11 after barely escaping Texas A&M, a team which now has to win three of their last four games to even go bowling. Utah moved up two spots to 12, followed by the Wildcats.
Aside from Oklahoma State, Wake Forest, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, two other teams ranked ahead of the Cats were kind enough to lose and make room for their climb. Penn State fell from 13 to 16 after losing to Ohio State in a game the Nittany Lions had a chance to tie in the final five minutes. Syracuse suffered a second straight loss, this time to Notre Dame, and slid from 16 to K-State’s old slot at 22.
Three other teams did not lose, yet were leapfrogged by the Wildcats anyway. Illinois manhandled Nebraska and moved up three spots to 14; right behind them, also climbing three places, is idle LSU. Sliding in behind Penn State at 17 is North Carolina, a four-place jump after beating Pitt. Tulane also rose four places despite being idle, slotting in right between the Cowboys and Wake Forest at 19.
North Carolina State, which barely escaped an upset at the hands of Virginia Tech, still ended up being the beneficiary of losses at the bottom of the rankings and moved up three spots to 21. After Syracuse, the three new entrants to the poll are Liberty, which improved to 7-1 after crushing BYU; Oregon State, big winners over Colorado; and previously-mentioned UCF. The entrance of Liberty and Oregon State represents a four-place climb for both squads; they both jumped over last week’s last team out, Texas, which remains the last team out this week.
Kentucky’s fall was eight places, checking in at 27; they’re followed by Maryland, who is getting real close to setting some sort of record for most consecutive weeks receiving votes without actually getting ranked. It’s a two-place hop for the Terps. Cincinnati is next, having slid nine spots, and Notre Dame returns to ballots after a two week absence in the 30 hole.
Washington and Arkansas, who each received a single #25 vote last week, gained a little steam but only Washington “moved up” as that four-way tie with one vote was the 32nd spot last week. Next come two teams returning to ballots after a two-week break — Baylor at 33 and Coastal Carolina, tied at 34 with Florida State, another of the one-point teams from last week. Troy, who’d held the 31 spot last week with three points, gained four points but fell four spots to 36.
Next comes Mississippi State, which shed half their points on a bye week. Boise State makes its first ballot appearance since the pre-season poll at 38, followed by South Carolina, technically sliding 15 spots from #24 after losing to Missouri, and East Carolina, which got their first votes of the season despite being off this week. Finally, checking in with a single 25th-place vote each and tied for 41st, are Louisville and the last of last week’s singletons, UTSA.
Thanks to Texas not being back, there are only three games this coming week between ranked teams. #20 Wake Forest visits #21 North Carolina State, #6 Alabama heads to Baton Rouge for a tilt with #15 LSU, and ALARM ALARM #2t Tennessee travels to #1 Georgia in possibly the biggest regular season game of the year.