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Monday, October 2, 2023


Cougars drop out of AP Poll after second loss

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The Cougars are unranked for the first time since last year and have to go back to the drawing board after losing their second game of the season. | Reagan Earnst/The Cougar

The Cougars find themselves unranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time since Oct. 4, 2015 after a 38-14 blowout loss to Southern Methodist University on Saturday.

Coincidentally, UH debuted on the list last year following a 49-28 rout of SMU. Dating back to last year, the Cougars appeared on the AP Top 25 for 17-straight weeks and climbed as high as No. 6 before being knocked off after their second loss in three games.

Although Houston is still bowl-eligible after clinching its sixth win of the season against the University of Tulsa, their hopes of playing in a New Year’s Six Bowl could be over. As of now, Boise State University is the highest-ranked Group of Five school and would qualify for the occasion if the committee also places them above the other non-Power Five schools.

Overall shifts

The University of Alabama remains at No. 1 after their third-straight win over a ranked opponent. Texas A&M University was the latest team to fall to Alabama 33-14.

TAMU’s first loss of the season dropped them to ninth in the poll.

The University of Michigan moved up one spot to No. 2 after defeating the University of Illinois 41-8 following UM’s bye week.

Clemson University benefited from their bye week and moved up to the third spot for the second time this season. Clemson hits the road this week to take on Florida State University, which is currently ranked No. 12 and is coming off a 17-6 win over Wake Forest University.

The University of Washington also moved up one position to No. 4 after taking care of business against Oregon State University.

The University of Louisville hopped into fifth place and is the highest-ranked one-loss team.

Ohio State University fell four places after suffering their first loss of the season at the hands of Pennsylvania State University, who cracked the list for the first time this season and sit at No. 24.

The University of Nebraska and Baylor University each moved one spot to seventh and eighth. Baylor is now the highest-ranked team in Texas after TAMU’s loss.

For the first time this year, the Big 12 has two teams in the top 10 following West Virginia University’s win over Texas Christian University, bumping them into the 10th spot.

After losing two straight games against ranked opponents, the University of Wisconsin rebounded with a 17-9 win over the University of Iowa. The team is now the highest-ranked two-loss team at No. 11.

The University of Florida got their second week off in three weeks after their game against Louisiana State University was postponed. Florida also profited from a bye week as they stepped up one spot to No. 14.

Smooth sailing for Navy

Auburn University was one of two teams in the top 25 to leap six spots in the rankings after they defeated the University of Arkansas 56-3. LSU was the other team following their 38-21 victory over the University of Mississippi, who joined the Cougars in falling off the list.

The University of Oklahoma stayed at No. 16 despite winning an offensive record-breaking 66-59 game against Texas Tech University.

The University of Utah moved up two slots to No. 17, while the University of Tennessee remained at No. 18.

Western Michigan University is the second of three Group of Five schools remaining on the AP Poll, but remained at No. 20 following their 45-31 win over rival Eastern Michigan University.

The University of North Carolina moved up one spot to 21st, while the United States Naval Academy jumped two positions to No. 22. Navy is now the only undefeated team in American Athletic Conference play.

The University of Colorado and Virginia Polytechnic Institute reappeared on the list after falling off after week seven. Colorado is No. 23 and Virginia Tech rounds out the list at No. 25.

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