AP Top 25: LSU re-enters at No. 18 ahead of visit from ‘Bama

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LSU re-entered The Associated Press College Football poll at No. 18 and No. 25 South Carolina earned a ranking for the first time in four seasons.

The first six teams in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank held their spots after either winning and not playing this past weekend.

Georgia is No. 1 for the third straight week, with No. 2 Ohio State gaining ground after it blew out Iowa. The Bulldogs, who were idle, received 31 first-place votes and 1,530 points, and the Buckeyes got 18 first-place votes and 1,513 points.

No. 3 Tennessee received 13 first-place votes. No. 4 Michigan, No. 5 Clemson and No. 6 Alabama also held their spots, with the Tigers receiving a first-place vote.

No. 7 TCU moved up a spot after remaining unbeaten with a second-half comeback against Kansas State. Oregon jumped two spots to a season-high No. 8 after routing UCLA.

Oklahoma State is No. 9, followed by Southern California and Wake Forest in a tie at No. 10.

The Demon Deacons had never reached the top 10 in the AP poll until peaking last season at No. 10. Now they have done it two years in a row.

LSU, in its first season under coach Brian Kelly, handed Mississippi its first loss of the season in emphatic fashion and moved back into the rankings ahead of its game against Alabama on Nov. 5 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The Tigers were ranked for a week earlier this month before losing to Tennessee. They improved to 6-2 by outscoring Ole Miss 42-3 after falling behind by 14 in the first half.

South Carolina, under second-year coach Shane Beamer, is ranked for the first time since a one-week stint after the opening weekend of the 2018 season. The Gamecocks beat Texas A&M to improve to 5-2. They have not been ranked this late in a season since 2013.

POLL POINTS

LSU moving into the rankings before its off week ensures that Tigers-Tide will be a matchup of ranked teams for the first time since the SEC West rivals played a 1 vs. 2 game in 2019.

Alabama is off next week, too.

The Tigers backslid after winning the national title in ’19 and were unranked when they played the Crimson Tide each of the last two seasons.

That snapped a string of 14 straight seasons in which LSU and Alabama were both ranked when they played.

-LSU and Tulane are both ranked for the first time since 1998, though the Louisiana schools were heading in different directions when they overlapped that season.

For two weeks at the beginning of October the Tigers and Green Wave were in the Top 25, but LSU fell out the next week and finished 4-7. The Green Wave went on to an unbeaten season and finished No. 7.

OUT

-Texas is unranked again after blowing a second-half lead at Oklahoma State. The Longhorns fell to 5-3.

-Mississippi State once again had the misfortune of catching Alabama immediately after a Tide loss and was knocked out of the rankings. The Bulldogs did score a touchdown in Tuscaloosa for the first time since 2014. It came on the last play of the game.

CONFERENCE CALL

SEC – 7 (Nos. 1, 3, 6, 15, 18, 19, 25).

ACC – 5 (Nos. 5, 10, 16, 21, 24).

Big Ten – 4 (Nos. 2, 4, 13, 17)

Pac-12 – 4 (Nos. 8, 10, 12, 14).

Big 12 – 3 (Nos. 7, 9, 22).

American – 2 (Nos. 20, 23).

RANKED vs. RANKED

After having a total of 11 games matching ranked teams the past two weeks, the next slate is not quite so juicy.

-No. 2 Ohio State at No. 13 Penn State. Sixth straight meeting with both ranked. The Buckeyes have won the previous five.

-No. 19 Kentucky at No. 3 Tennessee. Last time the Wildcats and Volunteers were both ranked when they played was 1951.

-No. 9 Oklahoma State at No. 22 Kansas State. The second meeting out of 65 matchups with both ranked. The first was 2011, when the Cowboys won 52-45.

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”