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MOVING DOWN

There were signs last week, in No. 13 USC’s 42-29 victory against Syracuse at MetLife Stadium, that the Trojans’ line play would be a problem.

Even before the season, there were fears that USC’s defensive line looked thin and the offensive line less-than-dominant. But there was so much talent and skill on both sides of the ball, including Heisman Trophy favorite Matt Barkley at quarterback, it was easy to overlook potential problems.

“We obviously did not have an answer (for their defense),” Barkley told reporters after the game.

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IN AND OUT

No. 24 Boise State and No. 25 Nebraska, after brief exits, are back in the rankings, and No. 23 Mississippi State is in the Top 25 for the first time in a bit more than a year.

The Bulldogs are 3-0 for the first time since 1999, though getting there was tougher than most probably expected. Mississippi State won 30-24 at Troy on Saturday.

“We jumped into the polls and we did not perform at our best. I hope it’s a real motivating factor,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said Sunday.

Falling out were Tennessee, BYU and Virginia Tech.

The Hokies suffered maybe the most surprising loss of the weekend, falling 35-17 to previously winless Pittsburgh.

Virginia Tech is unranked for the first time since October 2010, snapping a string of 29 polls.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

Florida State heads into maybe its biggest regular-season game of the year with its best ranking since Oct. 9, 2005.

Story Continues →