Florida, K-State, Notre Dame move up in AP poll

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Breaking down the AP college football poll after Week 7 of the regular season.

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MAKING A STATEMENT

Don’t get comfortable, Florida. Same goes for you, Kansas State. Notre Dame, too.

For the second straight week, multiple top-five teams in The Associated Press football poll lost and the rankings got a shake-up behind No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Oregon.

South Carolina and West Virginia were the big losers this week, and the Gators, Wildcats and Fighting Irish were the beneficiaries.

Florida moved up a spot to No. 3 on Sunday after beating Vanderbilt 31-17. No. 4 Kansas State (which defeated Iowa State 27-21) and No. 5 Notre Dame (which beat Stanford 20-13 in overtime) each moved up two spots. All three of them have big challenges directly ahead.

Alabama continued to roll along, routing Missouri 42-10, and Oregon had an even easier week. The Ducks were off. The Crimson Tide is a unanimous No. 1 for the third straight week. The season’s first BCS standings were due out late Sunday and Alabama and Oregon were expected to be first and second in that, too.

Both are on the road this week _ Alabama at Tennessee and Oregon at Arizona State on Thursday night _ and there have been more than enough reminders recently that there are no sure things away from home.

South Carolina was handed its first loss at LSU, a 23-21 setback that dropped the Gamecocks to No. 9.

“That was Death Valley,” Tigers coach Les Miles said triumphantly afterward. “That was the place where opponents’ dreams come to die _ and it was spectacular.”

The Gamecocks’ next stop is Gainesville, Fla. The Gators are unbeaten and have their best ranking since the end of the 2009 season, Tim Tebow’s last playing at the Swamp.

South Carolina-Florida could very well determine who wins the SEC East.

Kansas State takes its best ranking since 2000 to Morgantown, W.Va., where the Mountaineers will be looking to bounce back from a startling 49-14 loss at Texas Tech. Kansas State is the only unbeaten team left in the Big 12, and Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein seems to have taken the Heisman Trophy front-runner status from West Virginia’s Geno Smith.

As for Notre Dame, the Irish are at home to face BYU (4-3), before a road trip to No. 10 Oklahoma on Oct. 27.

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