Ole Miss, Mississippi State tied for No. 3 in AP poll, highest ranking ever for Bulldogs

October 6, 2014 in News, Sports

Mississippi State players including defensive lineman Ryan Brown (48), running back Josh Robinson (13) and defensive lineman Nick James (88) celebrate after their 48-31 win over No. 5 Texas A&M in an NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

Mississippi State players including defensive lineman Ryan Brown (48), running back Josh Robinson (13) and defensive lineman Nick James (88) celebrate after their 48-31 win over No. 5 Texas A&M in an NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

STARKVILLE, Mississippi (AP) — Mississippi’s Southeastern Conference teams have never been this good and this close.

Ole Miss and Mississippi State are tied for third in The Associated Press college football poll after a wild day of unexpected results brought major changes to the Top 25.

Just about the only thing that didn’t change this week was No. 1: Florida State is still top-ranked, with 35 first-place votes.

Auburn, the only other team in the top six to win, moved up three spots to No. 2 and received 23 first-place votes. Then came Ole Miss and Mississippi State, in the top five together for the first time after the Rebels beat Alabama and the Bulldogs beat Texas A&M on Saturday.

The Bulldogs received two first-place votes.

The Rebels haven’t been ranked this high since 1963, when they also were No. 3 and won their last SEC title. The Bulldogs have their best ranking ever. Their previous best was No. 7 in 1981 and their only SEC championship came in 1941.

Between them, the Rebels and Bulldogs have won the SEC West just twice since the league split into two divisions in 1992.

“You’ve never arrived, but I think we’ve changed the culture,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said Sunday. “And that was the goal coming in here, was we wanted to change the culture.”

Baylor rounds out the top five and Notre Dame is No. 6.

The USA Today coaches’ poll had Florida State, Auburn, Baylor, Ole Miss and Notre Dame in the top five. Mississippi State was sixth.

For the second time in the 78-year history of the AP poll, four of the top six teams lost and for the first time five of the top eight teams went down in a single regular-season week.

The top-eight teams to lose and poll reaction:

–Oregon dropped 10 spots after losing 31-24 at home to Arizona on Thursday night. The Wildcats went from unranked to No. 10, the biggest jump into the poll since the rankings went to a 25 teams in 1989. The previous best was No. 13 Iowa on Sept. 27, 2009.

–Alabama dropped four spots to No. 7.

–Oklahoma dropped seven spots to No. 11 after losing to TCU. The Horned Frogs moved up 16 spots to No. 9. They play at Baylor next week.

–Texas A&M dropped eight spots to No. 14.

–UCLA dropped 10 spots to No. 18 after losing 30-28 at home to Utah. The Utes moved into the rankings at No. 24.

Arizona State moved back into the Top 25 at No. 20 after beating Southern California 38-34 on a Hail Mary. Unbeaten Georgia Tech moved into the rankings for the first time this season at No. 23.

USC, LSU, BYU and Wisconsin all dropped out of the rankings after losses.

LSU, which lost 41-7 to Auburn, had its streak of 87 straight poll appearances snapped. It was the second-longest active streak behind Alabama, which is up to 105 in a row.

AP TOP 25

The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Oct. 4, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and previous ranking:

Record Pts Pv
1. Florida St. (35) 5-0 1,461 1
2. Auburn (23) 5-0 1,459 5
3. Mississippi 5-0 1,320 11
3. Mississippi St. (2) 5-0 1,320 12
5. Baylor 5-0 1,258 7
6. Notre Dame 5-0 1,186 9
7. Alabama 4-1 1,060 3
8. Michigan St. 4-1 981 10
9. TCU 4-0 979 25
10. Arizona 5-0 951 NR
11. Oklahoma 4-1 904 4
12. Oregon 4-1 888 2
13. Georgia 4-1 854 13
14. Texas A&M 5-1 731 6
15. Ohio St. 4-1 534 20
16. Oklahoma St. 4-1 527 21
17. Kansas St. 4-1 486 23
18. UCLA 4-1 460 8
19. East Carolina 4-1 344 22
20. Arizona St. 4-1 325 NR
21. Nebraska 5-1 283 19
22. Georgia Tech 5-0 235 NR
23. Missouri 4-1 212 24
24. Utah 4-1 206 NR
25. Stanford 3-2 143 14

Others receiving votes: Clemson 92, Marshall 78, Southern Cal 61, Louisville 36, LSU 35, BYU 26, West Virginia 18, Arkansas 14, Wisconsin 7, California 6, Penn St. 5, Kentucky 4, Rutgers 4, N. Dakota St. 3, Minnesota 2, South Carolina 1, Virginia 1.