BYU now No. 9; OU drops to 13th
NEW YORK -- BYU barged into the top 10 of The Associated Press college football poll, making the biggest jump of any team from the preseason rankings after scoring the biggest upset of the opening weekend of the regular season.
The Cougars jumped 11 spots to No. 9 in the Top 25 released Tuesday, three days after they stunned Oklahoma 14-13 as three-touchdown underdogs.
Cougars quarterback Max Hall said the victory has energized Provo, Utah, and the BYU campus.
The top five of The Associated Press preseason poll:
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"For the first time there were people at the airport to greet the team. About 2,000 people were out there when we got back," he said. "The overall atmosphere has been really cool and we're enjoying it."
USC will be No. 3 when it visits No. 8 Ohio State on Saturday in one of the biggest nonconference games of the season. The Trojans moved up a spot this week and the Buckeyes fell after narrowly escaping with a 31-27 victory against Navy.
No. 5 Oklahoma State moved up four spots after an impressive 24-10 victory against Georgia. The Cowboys have their best ranking since October 1985. The loss dropped the Bulldogs eight spots to No. 21.
Oklahoma dropped 10 spots to No. 13 after losing, but all things considered the Sooners are probably feeling much better about their long-term outlook now than they were Saturday night at Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
Oklahoma lost Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford to a shoulder injury late in the first half against BYU. He is expected to miss two to four weeks, but will not need surgery and could be back by the time the Sooners play their next big game -- against Miami Hurricanes on Oct. 3.
5. Oklahoma State: Highest ranking since Oct. 8, 1985 (fifth). Cowboys have been in the top five on only four previous occasions.
6. Mississippi: Highest ranking since Oct. 12, 1970 (fourth).
8. Ohio State: 755th week Buckeyes have been ranked in the AP poll, breaking tie with Michigan (754 and not ranked) for most appearances all-time.
13. Oklahoma: First time out of top 10 since 2006 season.
23. Cincinnati: First Big East team to be ranked this season.
-- ESPN Stats & Information
BYU is no stranger to the top 10. The Cougars were ranked as high as eighth last season. But BYU stumbled in its biggest games, suffering lopsided losses to Mountain West Conference rivals TCU and Utah, then losing to Arizona in the Las Vegas Bowl.
"Our football team, we have three goals ... winning a conference championship, winning the state championship and going to a bowl game and winning it. We didn't do any of them," Hall said during a conference call with reporters. "Even though we won 10 games, we were upset with the way it ended."
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said the Oklahoma victory should give a boost to the whole Mountain West Conference, which has been fighting for more access to the Bowl Championship Series.
"I do think that the game and how we played helped our conference, helped our team and helped the exposure of the fight that we're all kind of engaged in as our league is trying to gain credibility," Mendenhall said.
Virginia Tech's opening loss dropped the Hokies seven spots to No. 14.
No. 15 Georgia Tech, was followed by TCU and Utah.
North Carolina was No. 19 and Miami moved into the poll at No. 20 after a thrilling 38-34 victory Monday night against Florida State in Tallahassee.
The Big 12 has six ranked teams, most of any conference.
Cincinnati, the defending Big East champions, is the first team from the conference to be ranked this season. The Bearcats started their season Monday with a 47-15 road victory against Big East rival Rutgers.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press