College football notebook: Mississippi teams move up in rankings

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Photo Credit: Sam Ortega | Daily Texan Staff

It could very well be that the state of Mississippi boasts the two best college football teams in the country. 

Fresh off its dominating 38-23 victory over Auburn, Mississippi State is ranked No. 1 for the first time in program history. The Bulldogs also became the fastest team to climb from unranked to No. 1 in the history of the Associated Press poll, accomplishing the feat in five weeks. They are the fifth team ever to defeat three top-10 teams in three consecutive weeks. 

Their rivals in Oxford, Mississippi, are sitting pretty as well. Ole Miss routed Texas A&M in College Station, 35-20, on Saturday. The Rebels are now ranked No. 3 in both the AP and coaches polls, their highest ranking since 1964.

The road only gets harder for Mississippi State — the team must travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Nov. 15 to play the Crimson Tide. It also finishes the season on the road against Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl. Ole Miss hosts the Auburn Tigers in a few weeks, but the Tigers are the only ranked opponent left on Ole Miss’ schedule until the aforementioned Mississippi State matchup.

Plenty will happen between now and the end of the season for both programs, but, if the teams enter the end-of-season matchup unscathed, they could very well find themselves in the College Football Playoff.

Big 12, SEC dominate top 15: 

The Big 12 and the SEC each landed five teams in the top 15 of the polls. The Big 12 is led by Baylor, which ranks fourth in both polls after a thrilling 61-58 victory over then-No. 9 TCU. Oklahoma comes in at No. 11 while TCU drops to No. 12. Kansas State and Oklahoma State round out the top 15 at Nos. 14 and
15, respectively.

The SEC, led by the aforementioned Bulldogs and Rebels, has three more teams in the top 10 this week. Auburn moved down to No. 6 in the AP poll, and Alabama and Georgia are ranked Nos. 7 and 10, respectively. 

Special teams cost Arizona:

Fresh off an upset win at Oregon, Arizona controlled its own destiny in the Pac-12 South race. The Wildcats jumped from unranked to No. 10 after the win, their highest ranking since 2010.

They had a chance to remain perfect after rallying to bring their score to within a field goal of USC this past weekend. But Arizona junior placekicker Casey Skowron, who had been struggling all night, missed a 36-yard field-goal that would have put the Wildcats ahead in the waning seconds. Arizona fell, 28-26, and Skowron finished the night having converted only two of his five field goal attempts.

Aggies set attendance record in loss:

A crowd of 110,633 people attended Ole Miss’ 35-20 drubbing of Texas A&M on Saturday. It was the largest ever football crowd in the state of Texas and the SEC. It didn’t help much, however, as the Aggies fell behind 21-0 at halftime and trailed 35-7 after three quarters before eventually falling 35-20.