Rutgers rises in polls; so do S.C. and Florida

We are . . . Notre Dame? Irish coach Brian Kelly talks to his team - wearing new uniforms - during Saturday's 41-3 win over Miami.
We are . . . Notre Dame? Irish coach Brian Kelly talks to his team - wearing new uniforms - during Saturday's 41-3 win over Miami. (CHARLES REX ARBOGAST / Associated Press)
Posted: October 08, 2012

After a 19-3 victory over Connecticut, Rutgers moved up two spots to No. 20 in the Associated Press poll and to No. 19 in the USA Today poll on Sunday.

"I think it's fun for the fans, fun for the media and good for the school, but it really has no effect on what we do," Scarlet Knights coach Kyle Flood said during a a conference call with reporters.

South Carolina, Florida and West Virginia moved into the top five of the AP poll after a Saturday on which nine top-25 teams lost.

No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Oregon held their spots at the top of the rankings. Alabama was a unanimous No. 1 again.

But the rest of the top 25 got a makeover.

No. 3 South Carolina, off a 35-7 victory against Georgia, moved up three spots to its highest position since 1984. No. 4 Florida jumped six spots after beating Louisiana State, 14-6. No. 5 West Virginia moved up three positions with a 48-45 victory at Texas.

No. 6 Kansas State, No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 8 Ohio State also moved up. LSU dropped to No. 9, and unbeaten Oregon State came in at No. 10.

Irish coach happy with QB. The poised play of Everett Golson has Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly pleased with the quarterback's development heading toward a tough stretch of schedule.

The sophomore quarterback was 17 of 22 for 186 yards and ran for another 51 in a 41-3 victory against Miami on Saturday.

Kelly said Golson "grew up" before a sellout crowd at Chicago's Soldier Field.

His coming of age comes at just the right time, with 17th-ranked Stanford, Brigham Young and 13th-ranked Oklahoma up next for the 5-0 Irish.

Seminoles reeling. The mistakes - taking a bad sack, squandering timeouts, having a punt blocked - in a 17-16 loss at North Carolina State on Saturday all added up to deal a heavy blow to Florida State's hopes of contending for the national championship.

It has left Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher with no shortage of things to focus on in the coming days.

"In a game like that, there are a lot of wouldas, couldas, shouldas," Fisher said. "It comes down to execution and that comes down to coaching and we didn't do a good job, and it starts with me. We have to do a better job."

The Seminoles looked headed for an easy win when they led by 16-0 at halftime.

But N.C. State rallied and went ahead on a 2-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 16 seconds left, while EJ Manuel's desperation heave downfield was knocked away to end it moments later.

"This was a tough loss, a heartbreaking loss," Fisher said. "We have to forget it and move on."

Mountaineers climbing. West Virginia is off to a blistering start in its first Big Twelve season, piling up points behind quarterback Geno Smith.

But if the undefeated Mountaineers want to win the league and even challenge for a national title, they may have to eventually start playing some defense.

The Mountaineers rank No. 102 in total defense and scoring defense and surrender an average of 35 points per game.

West Virginia has torched Baylor and Texas for 118 points the last two weeks, but also surrendered 108 in two wild, heart-pounding games.

Smith doesn't seem to care, so long as he can keep pushing the Mountaineers into the end zone. Smith has 12 touchdown passes the last two weeks, with 24 on the season without an interception.

"We play as a team, we fight as a team. No matter what it takes to win the game, that's what we're going to do," Smith said after throwing for 268 yards and four TDs in a win over Texas that wasn't secured until the Mountaineers recovered an onside kick with 14 seconds to play.

West Virginia still has to play No. 13 Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, the top scoring offense in the country, and No. 6 Kansas State, which has topped 50 points three times this season.

Local star in Buckeyes rout. Nebraska gave up the fourth-most points in program history and most ever under fifth-year coach Bo Pelini in Saturday's 63-38 loss at Ohio State. Corey Brown (Cardinal O'Hara) scored on a 76-yard punt return for the Buckeyes.

Early entry for Navy? Big East commissioner Mike Aresco said Saturday he would talk to Navy about the possibility of the Midshipmen joining the conference earlier than their scheduled 2015 arrival as a football-only member.

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