We all knew the Pitt Panthers would drop in the polls after last week's overtime loss to Utah. But was it possible to fall all the way out of the top 25?
The answer to that question is a big, loud, "YES", as the Panthers are now 28th in the AP Poll and eight spots below the team that beat them, 20th-ranked Utah. That seems a little harsh, but hey, you have to make room for teams like Stanford after their dramatic 52-17 home win over Sacramento State, and South Carolina, for their heroic 41-13 win over Southern Miss, the 98th-ranked team in the RPI. So much for the value of close road losses to good teams. North Carolina, which also dropped from the rankings, knows what I'm talking about.
Other rankings of local interest include opening-week schedule-padders Penn State (#18) and West Virginia (#23), which won by 30 and 31 points against their respective cupcake opponents. But hey, they're no dummies - they know the recipe to move up in the rankings.
A week after opening with Youngstown State, the Nittany Lions will face perhaps the ultimate test in college football right now, top-ranked Alabama, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide is currently 11.5 point favorites in this clash of college football titans.
Saturday's respective Pitt and West Virginia games have considerably less on the line and should both result in Ws for the Big East reps. The #5 team in the FCS, New Hampshire, comes to Heinz Field for the Panthers' home opener at 1 p.m., and West Virginia travels to Marshall for the state championship later that night at 7.
AP Top 25 [ESPN.com]