Washington enters AP Top 25; Penn State, Oregon move up
BY RALPH D. RUSSO
St. Louis Post Dispatch
SPORTS | CALENDAR
Washington made its season debut in The Associated Press college football Top 25 on Sunday at No. 18, and Penn State and Oregon moved into the top 15 after all three had decisive nonconference victories. A weekend filled with blowouts by highly ranked teams kept the top 10 almost unchanged. No. 1 Georgia picked up six more firstplace votes in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank. The Bulldogs are up to 59 first-place votes and 1,569 points. No. 2 Alabama received three first-place votes and No. 3 Ohio State got one. No. 4 Michigan, No. 5 Clemson, No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 7 Southern California all held their spots. The one change in the top 10 was No. 8 Kentucky flip-flopping with No. 9 Oklahoma State. Arkansas stayed at No. 10. The top 10 teams, most playing overmatched nonconference opponents, won their games Saturday by a combined 521-120. The shuffling came in the next 10. No. 11 Tennessee moved up four spots. Penn State jumped eight to No. 14 after routing Auburn on the road. No. 15 Oregon moved up 10 spots after handily defeating BYU, which slipped seven places to No. 19. Washington beat previously ranked Michigan State 39-28 to earn a ranking for the first time since the 2021 preseason poll. Washington has had two brief stays in the AP Top 25 the last two seasons but has been mostly unranked since the early part of the 2019 season. “To get this win now is just going to continue to put this belief in our guys. It’s only going to get better for us as we go to work in practice,” first-year Washington coach Kalen DeBoer told reporters after the game. Michigan State dropped all the way out after being No. 11. Mississippi moved up four spots to No. 16 and No. 20 Florida slipped a couple of spots after barely getting by South Florida at home. At the bottom of the rankings, Miami dropped 12 spots and landed at No. 25 after losing at Texas A&M. The Aggies went up one to No. 23. Poll points The 10-0 weekend from the top 10 was the first since they all played and won in Week 2 of the 2019 season. Overall, the AP Top 25 teams won 22 games, the most since 24 teams won in Week 1 of 2019. Washington’s leap into the poll from unranked to No. 18 was the best for the program since September 1989, when the Huskies beat Texas A&M and went from outside the rankings to No. 15. Conference call The Pac-12 has its most ranked teams since the first regular-season poll of 2021, when it had five. SEC — 8 (Nos. 1, 2, 8, 10, 11, 16, 20, 23). ACC — 5 (Nos. 5, 12, 21, 24, 25). Big 12 — 4 (Nos. 6, 9, 17, 22). Pac-12 — 4 (Nos. 7, 13, 15, 18). Big Ten — 3 (Nos. 3, 4, 14). Independents — 1 (No. 19). Ranked vs. ranked No. 5 Clemson at No. 21 Wake Forest. For the first time since 1950, the Tigers and Demon Deacons will meet as ranked teams. No. 20 Florida at No. 11 Tennessee. For the first time since 2017, the teams that used to own the SEC East are both ranked when they play. No. 10 Arkansas vs. No. 23 Texas A&M at Arlington, Texas. It’s not getting any easier for the Aggies.