Alabama, Ohio St pull away from Boise in AP poll

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NEW YORK (AP) — The combination of impressive victories by Alabama and Ohio State and a stunning loss by Virginia Tech led to Boise State losing all but one of its first-place votes in the AP Top 25.

The Broncos were still No. 3, behind the top-ranked Tide and No. 2 Buckeyes in the poll released Sunday, but the gap has widened.

Alabama received 52 first-place votes and 1,466 points. Ohio State had five first-place votes and 1,410 points and Boise State received one and 1,306.

TCU remained fourth and Oregon jumped two spots to No. 5 after winning 48-13 at Tennessee.

Michigan moved into the rankings for the first time this season at No. 20 after its dramatic 28-24 victory at Notre Dame.

After Boise State beat Virginia Tech last Monday night in Landover, Md., the Broncos received eight first-place votes from the media panel and were only 13 points behind No. 2 Ohio State.

Some of the luster came off the Broncos’ big nonconference victory when Virginia Tech was upset Saturday by James Madison, which plays in Division I’s second tier.

Add to that the Buckeyes’ 36-24 victory against Miami in Columbus, Ohio, and the Crimson Tide’s 24-3 win against Penn State in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and the top of the poll looks more like it did at the start of the season.

Pete DiPrimio of The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel in Indiana was the lone voter to keep Boise State No. 1 this week.

“I still think Virginia Tech is a good team and will make a bowl,” DiPrimio said in an e-mail Sunday. “Alabama and Ohio State haven’t been tested on the road like that.”

In the USA Today coaches’ poll, the top five was Alabama, Ohio State, Boise State, Texas and TCU.

Texas dropped a spot to No. 6 in The Associated Press poll and received one first-place vote. Oklahoma moved up three spots to No. 7 after beating Florida State, 47-17.

Nebraska, Iowa and Florida rounded out the first 10.

No. 11 Wisconsin was followed by Arkansas, South Carolina, Utah and LSU.

Another Southeastern Conference team, Auburn, was No. 16, giving the SEC six ranked teams, more than any other league.

No. 17 Miami slipped five spots and No. 18 Southern California dropped two after beating Virginia 17-14. Stanford moved up six spots to No. 19 after shutting out UCLA 35-0 on the Rose Bowl.

Michigan was followed by West Virginia, Penn State, which slipped four spots, and three teams that were unranked last week — No. 23 Houston, No. 24 Arizona and No. 25 Oregon State.

While Miami and Penn State remained in the rankings after losing their marquee games Saturday, Florida State dropped all the way out.

The Seminoles were one of three Atlantic Coast Conference teams to fall out of the poll this week, joining Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. The Hokies were unranked for the first time since Nov. 30, 2008, after becoming the second ranked FBS team to lose to an FCS team in the history of the AP poll.

The first was Michigan, which was No. 5 when it lost to Appalachian State to start the 2007 season. The victory caused The Associated Press to change its policy and allow voters to vote for teams in what used to be called I-AA.

James Madison received 11 points in this week’s poll, landing on the ballots of two voters — Ray Ratto of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area in California and Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury New.

Georgia also fell out of the rankings.

Michigan is ranked for the first time since last September. The Wolverines were ranked for three weeks during the first month of the 2009 season, before crashing in the second half.

With sensational sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson leading the way, Michigan is off to a 2-0 start again, adding a victory against Notre Dame to its opening win against Connecticut.