Boise State moves up; BYU, Utah move out

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Boise State moved up two spots to No. 8 in The Associated Press college football poll released Sunday. No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Texas held firm to their spots. They were followed by No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Mississippi and Penn State at No. 5. California is at No. 6, followed by LSU. BYU dropped out of the top 10 this week, falling from seventh to 19th after a 54-28 home loss to Florida State. BYU’s loss makes Boise State the highest ranked team from a non-BCS conference. Boise State beat Fresno State 51-34 on Friday and plays at Bowling Green on Saturday. Meanwhile, Bowl Championship Series hopes in the Beehive State have been busted three weeks into the college football season. Utah lost at Oregon on Saturday, ending the Utes’ winning streak at 16 games. A few hours later, BYU was blitzed by Florida State. The two Mountain West Conference rivals can now concentrate on winning a league title. The big-money bowl games are likely out of reach this season. The hope and hype that had building around BYU since an upset of Oklahoma in the season opener fizzled when the Cougars were routed at home 54-28 by the Seminoles. One loss was probably enough to knock BYU (2-1) out of the running for its first BCS berth. A lopsided loss only helped to seal the deal. The Cougars were trying to show that the season opener wasn’t a fluke, but it was the Seminoles (2-1) that did all the showcasing while ending the Cougars’ 18-game home winning streak. “I’ve tried not to acknowledge what was at stake, but it’s hard not to with all the attention,” BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. BYU tumbled from No. 7 in The Associated Press poll to 19th – an even bigger change than when the Cougars rose 11 spots after the win over Oklahoma. Utah (2-1), last season’s BCS busters and sole undefeated major college team, dropped out of the Top 25 altogether with a 31-24 loss to the Ducks. The Utes had been ranked since after the first week of last season and entered Autzen Stadium ranked No. 18. “It’s been almost two calendar years since we’ve been in this situation,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “Twenty-two months or whatever the time frame is. You know we all wish this could’ve gone on for infinity, but that wasn’t the case.” Utah never recovered after falling behind 21-7 and lost for the first time since the 2007 regular season finale against BYU. Quarterback Terrance Cain was making just his third start and struggled, completing 20 of 41 for 178 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The second was at the Oregon 5 late in the fourth quarter to end Utah’s comeback threat. Cain’s day wasn’t quite as bad as BYU’s Max Hall, who threw three interceptions and had one of them returned for a touchdown Saturday. Florida State forced five turnovers and took advantage of almost every one, most notably when freshman Greg Reid stepped in front of tight end Andrew George, grabbed Hall’s pass and ran untouched for a 63-yard touchdown early in the third quarter. Reid’s play gave Florida State a 37-14 lead barely two minutes into the second half and BYU’s implosion continued. George and Hall complained that Reid had tugged on George’s jersey before making the play, but there was no call. “It was frustrating to come out in the second half and to have a turnover made it that much more difficult,” Hall said. “Sometimes that happens.” BYU fans had been talking about a possible BCS berth – or even a spot in the national title game – since the upset of Oklahoma on Sept. 3. Florida State, which had struggled to run the ball in the first two games of the season, piled up 313 yards on the ground. Ty Jones ran for 108 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Christian Ponder added 77 rushing yards and a touchdown. Ponder also threw for 195 yards and two scores, completing 21 of 26 passes. “They were able to run the ball from the beginning of the night to the end of the night and that was the difference in the game,” Mendenhall said. “Their running game prevented us from getting the offense the ball.”

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