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Lou's Crew Makes Poll Debut

New Mexico map, couple hiking
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What a great day for the state of South Carolina.

Not only did South Carolina move into The Associated Press Top 25 college football poll for the first time since 1993, but Clemson broke into the top 10 for the first time since 1991.

The Gamecocks (4-0), in coach Lou Holtz's second season at Columbia, were ranked No. 23 in Sunday's balloting by the 71 sports writers and broadcasters on the AP panel. They beat Mississippi State 23-19 on Saturday and are off to their best start since 1988.

South Carolina was 0-11 in '99 and opened this season by snapping a 21-game losing streak.

Clemson (4-0), in coach Tommy Bowden's second season, moved up four places to No. 7 after a 31-10 victory over Virginia.

Both UCLA, a 29-10 loser at Oregon, and Wisconsin, which lost 47-44 in two overtimes to Northwestern, fell out of the top 10. The Bruins (3-1) tumbled from No. 6 to No. 15; the Badgers from No. 7 to No. 17. Oregon (3-1) moved into the poll for the first time this season at No 20.

Notre Dame (2-2), which lost to 27-21 to Michigan State, dropped out of the Top 25, as did Mississippi State (2-1).

Once again, Nebraska and Florida State were 1-2, but the Seminoles moved a little closer to the top spot.

The Cornhuskers (3-0), 42-13 winners over Iowa, received 39 first-place votes and 1,743 points, while the Seminoles (4-0), 31-0 winners over Louisville, had 30 first-place votes and 1,732 points. Last week, the Hukers led the Seminoles by 24 points; this week the lead is 11.

Florida (4-0) was No. 3 with one first-place vote and 1,603 points after its 59-31 win over Kentucky, with idle Virginia Tech (3-0) moving up a spot to No. 4 and Kansas State (4-0) dropping a notch to No. 5 after a 55-10 win over North Texas. The Wildcats received the other first-place vote.

Washington was No. 6, followed by No. 7 Clemson, No. 8 USC, No. 9 Michigan and No. 10 Miami.

Tennessee, which beat Louisiana-Monroe 70-3, improved two places to No. 11, followed by No. 12 Ohio State, No. 13 Texas, No. 14 Oklahoma, No. 15 UCLA, No. 16 TCU, No. 17 Wisconsin, No. 18 Michigan State, No. 19 Auburn and No. 20 Oregon.

Southern Miss was No. 21, followed by No. 22 Purdue, No. 23 South Carolina, No. 24 Illinois and No. 25 Georgia.

In the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll, the top five are: Nebraska, Florida State, Florida, Virginia Tech and Kansas State.

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