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Pac-10 Is Back, Tide Is Out

Bye-bye 'Bama, hello Pac-10.

Alabama fell all the way out of The Associated Press Top 25 on Sunday while Pacific-10 teams UCLA, Washington and Southern California find themselves in the Top 10.

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.

Nebraska and Florida State were still 1-2 in balloting by the 71 sports writers and broadcasters on the AP panel. Florida (3-0), a 27-23 winner at Tennessee, moved up three places to No. 3.

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 (3-0), a 76-0 winner over Ball State, was No. 4, followed by No. 5 Virginia Tech (3-0), No. 6 UCLA, No. 7 Wisconsin (3-0), No. 8 Washington, No. 9 USC and No. 10 Michigan (2-1).

Kansas State and UCLA each received one first-place vote.

Virginia Tech, which beat Rutgers 49-0, moved up three spots, while Michigan fell seven places with its loss to UCLA and Wisconsin dropped three places with a 28-25 overtime win against Cincinnati.

Clemson was up five places to No. 11, followed by No. 12 Miami, No. 13 Tennessee, No. 14 Ohio State, No. 15 Texas, No. 16 Notre Dame, No. 17 Oklahoma, No. 18 TCU, No. 19 Illinois, and No. 20 Auburn.

The Longhorns plummeted 10 spots after their 27-24 loss at Stanford. The Irish moved up five places with their 23-21 win over Purdue, which fell eight places to No. 21.

Southern Mississippi was No. 22, followed by No. 23 Michigan State, No. 24 Georgia and No. 25 Mississippi State.

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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