The Pac-10 ascent was led by UCLA, 23-20 winners over Michigan on Saturday. The Bruins (3-0), unranked in the preseason, jumped eight places to No. 6 after beating their second third-ranked team in three games. They also beat Alabama on Sept. 2.
Washington (3-0), a 17-14 winner at Colorado, moved up a spot to No. 8 and idle USC (2-0) also advanced a notch to No. 9. Not a bad start for a conference that finished the 1999 season with only one team - No. 19 Oregon - ranked in the Top 25.
Alabama (1-2) took one of the more amazing journeys out of the poll. Ranked No. 3 in the preseason, the Crimson Tide dropped to No. 13 after its loss at UCLA. A win over to Vanderbilt saw 'Bama drop to No. 15 and Saturday's 21-0 loss to Southern Miss knocked them out completely.
Last time something similar occurred was 1984, when Pittsburgh was No. 3 in the preseason, fell to No. 17 after opening with a loss and two polls later were out of the rankings.
The Cornhuskers (2-0), idle Saturday, had 43 first-place votes and 1,747 points, with the Seminoles (3-0) collecting 26 first-place votes and 1,723 points. Florida State beat North Carolina 63-14.
Kansas State and UCLA each received one first-place vote.
Mississippi State, a 44-28 winner over BYU last Thursday night, moved into the rankings for the first time this season.
In the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, the top five are: Nebraska, Florida State, Florida, Virginia Tech and Kansas State.
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