Irish drop out of poll after 2nd loss
Notre Dame has dropped out of The Associated Press college football poll after losing its second game of the season, and Arizona State moved in after the Sun Devils' win prompted Southern California to fire coach Lane Kiffin.
Alabama remained No. 1 as the top five held their spots for the third consecutive week. The Crimson Tide received 55 of 60 first-place votes, and No. 2 Oregon got the rest from the media panel, one more than last week. Clemson is third, followed by Ohio State and Stanford.
Georgia moved up to No. 6 after its 44-41 victory against LSU, which slipped four spots to 10th.
No. 25 Maryland (4-0) is ranked for the first time since the final poll of the 2010 season, while Wisconsin fell out.
Notre Dame (3-2), coming off a loss in the Discover BCS National Championship, began the season No. 14 but is now out of the Top 25 after losing 35-21 at home to Oklahoma, which moved up three spots to 11th.
The Fighting Irish next play No. 22 Arizona State. The Sun Devils (3-1) beat USC 62-41 on Saturday night, and the Trojans fired Kiffin hours later. The game will be played in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in a "home" game for Notre Dame.
Oklahoma, which heads back into Big 12 play as the highest-ranked team in the conference with a home game Saturday against TCU, finally beat the Irish after a frustrating seven straight losses since 1956, including one that snapped its NCAA-record, 47-game winning streak in 1957 and cost the Sooners a shot at a third straight national title.
Even coach Bob Stoops, who spent the week saying his team didn't carry the burden of past Oklahoma failures -- including two of his own -- conceded the victory was special.
"Got to admit we were here in '99 and that's still a little bit of a sore spot that we were up 16 and lost," he said. "We were pretty determined not to let that happen again. Fortunately, it ended up the right way for us."
Some Irish players were booed by fans when they ran off the field after the loss, rather than stand in front of the student section for the singing of the alma mater. Coach Brian Kelly said he changed that practice two years ago but some players either forgot or didn't know because the Irish had won 10 straight at home.
"I just felt like in those situations after a loss there's a lot of emotions. It's important to get the team back in the locker room and get them under my guidance," Kelly said.
Alabama may have finally eased the fears of its anxious fans with a 25-0 victory against No. 24 Mississippi. The Tide had shown some flaws during a 3-0 start. Now Alabama settles into the softest part of its schedule with about a month to smooth things over before No. 10 LSU comes to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Nov. 9.
Georgia moved up three spots to No. 6, but don't blame Bulldogs fans if they're feeling their team is still underappreciated. No team has played a more difficult September schedule and the Bulldogs (3-1) emerged with two wins against three teams (Clemson, South Carolina and LSU) that were ranked in the top 10 at the time they played.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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