ECU Ranked for First Time Since 1999; USC Still at #1; OSU Falls to #5

College Football FanaticCorrespondent ISeptember 7, 2008

With their incredible start to the season, the Pirates of East Carolina have plundered their way into the Top 25 for the first time since 1999, coming in at #14.

The Pirates haven't been ranked this high since 1991, when they were #9. They certainly deserved it after using a blocked punt for a touchdown to beat #17 Virginia Tech 27-22 in the opener and completely dominating #8 West Virginia 24-3, the first time since a 45-3 loss to Miami (FL) in 2001 that they had been held without a touchdown.

USC stayed at #1 with a bye week and is preparing for their big game against #5 Ohio State next Saturday. Georgia is #2 after a 56-17 blowout of Central Michigan. Ohio State's sluggish play against Ohio (26-14 win; they were 34 point favorites) cost them two spots in the poll. Chris "Beanie" Wells did not play for the Buckeyes as he is still hurting from an injury in last week's 43-0 win over Youngstown State. Oklahoma moved to #3 after a 52-26 win over Cincinnati and Florida took #4 with a solid 26-3 victory over Miami (FL).

USC took 33 out of 65 possible first-place votes and received 1,577 points. Georgia received 23 first-place votes and 1,525 points. Five other teams received first place votes (Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio State, Missouri, and LSU).

Missouri stayed put at #6 with an easy 52-3 win over SE Missouri State. LSU is still at #7. They were scheduled to play Troy on Saturday but the game was moved to November 15 because of damage from Hurricane Gustav. Texas leapfrogged from #10 to #8 with a 42-13 win over UTEP. Auburn comes in at #9 with a solid 27-13 victory over Southern Mississippi. Wisconsin rounded out the top 10 with a 51-14 blowout of Marshall.

Alabama struggled a little with Tulane, but still jumped to #11 with a 20-6 win. #12 Texas Tech struggled with Nevada but pulled away late for a 35-19 win. Kansas moves up to #13 with a 29-0 shutout of Louisiana Tech. #14 is the aforementioned Pirates. Arizona State stays put at #15 with a 41-17 victory over Stanford.

Oregon is at #16 after a dominating 66-24 win over Utah State in which they set the school record for total offense with 688 yards, 408 of them rushing. Penn State is at #17 with a big 45-14 victory over Oregon State. BYU falls from #15 to #18 this week after struggling with Washington in a 28-27 victory in a controversial finish in which Washington was penalized 15 yards on a very questionable excessive celebration penalty, and the ensuing PAT was blocked. South Florida is at #19 this week after escaping Bright House Networks Stadium with a 31-24 OT victory over Central Florida. Wake Forest rounds out the top 20 after a 30-28 win over Ole Miss.

Fresno State had the week off and comes in at #21. Utah handled UNLV easily with a 42-21 victory and is ranked #22. #23 California just flat dominated Washington State 66-3, handing WSU their worst loss since 1978 and scoring the most points in a game for them since August 31, 2002 when they beat Baylor 70-22. Illinois easily beat Eastern Illinois 47-21 and is #24 this week. West Virginia closes out the Top 25 with an embarrassing 24-3 loss at the hands of #14 East Carolina.


Others Receiving Votes: UCLA(1-0) 150; Clemson(1-1) 73; Florida State(1-0) 50; Boise State(1-0) 22; Tennessee(0-1) 15; Georgia Tech(2-0) 14; Oklahoma State(2-0) 11; Vanderbilt(2-0) 7; Kentucky(2-0) 6; TCU(2-0) 6; Virginia Tech(1-1) 4; Tulsa(2-0) 3; Arizona(2-0) 2; South Carolina(1-1) 2; North Carolina(1-0) 1; Rice(2-0) 1; Connecticut(2-0) 1