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Stanford Falls, SEC Sets Record

October 14, 2013
By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

The first preseason national championship contender has been upset. A couple more unbeatens are now among the beaten. Now that the season has reached the midway point, it seems the title chase has truly begun.

The first shake-up of the season produced significant changes to The Associated Press college football poll Sunday. The top four teams remained unchanged: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 Ohio State.

But Stanford, which had been top-five all season, lost 27-20 at Utah and dropped eight spots to No. 13. The Cardinal's Pac-12 and national title hopes took a serious hit, though they'll be able to get right back in the conversation next week by beating No. 9 UCLA at home. And there's still that big game against Oregon on Nov. 7.

The Cardinal have two problems: 1) Their rugged defense has been giving up big plays as both Washington and Utah have neutralized some of Stanford's "Party in the Backfield" defensive front by attacking the perimeter. 2) Quarterback Kevin Hogan hasn't taken a the big step many expected after his promising redshirt freshman season. Hogan is a good quarterback in a world with many great ones.

"This is a young quarterback that has a chance to be extremely good. So I don't worry about his confidence," Stanford coach David Shaw said.

The story behind the story is the Pac-12 has a lot of good teams and is the only league that can make a serious claim to being the equal of the Southeastern Conference.

Though Stanford's tumble puts just a little more shine on what was already shaping up as maybe the biggest football game in Atlantic Coast Conference history.

Florida State edged up a spot during its off week and will take a No. 5 ranking to Death Valley on Saturday for a top-five matchup against Clemson.

The ACC has two top-five teams and three top-10 teams - Miami is No. 10 - for the first time since Oct. 30, 2005. And soon-to-be ACC team Louisville, checks in at No. 8.

Moving Up

Talk about putting a damper on an otherwise awesome day. Missouri (6-0) stayed undefeated with its first statement victory since joining the SEC, a 41-26 victory against banged-up and defense-deficient Georgia.

But the Tigers lost quarterback James Franklin to a separated throwing shoulder. The senior will miss at least a week, although CBS.com reported it will be much longer. It's too bad for the Tigers because the road to the SEC East now goes throw Columbia, Mo. No. 22 Florida and No. 11 South Carolina play at Missouri the next two weeks.

Franklin's replacement is Maty Mauk, a redshirt freshman and big-time recruit. The Tigers have plenty of weapons to help bring him along, but no time for growing pains.

Moving In

Auburn moved into the rankings for the first time this season at No. 24, giving SEC fans yet another thing to boast about.

The SEC is the first conference to have eight ranked teams during the regular season. The SEC held the record, along with the ACC and Big Ten, of seven ranked teams - though the SEC had done it more than any other league.

The Tigers' rise was not well received among the many fans who have had it up to here with the SEC, winner of the last seven BCS championships. Auburn's 5-1 record, best win at home against Mississippi, doesn't look all that much better than Nebraska's, Michigan State's or Oregon State's, just to name a few.

 
 

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