USF falls out of AP top 25
Add USF's string of Associated Press poll appearances to the list of casualties stemming from its 28-24 loss to Houston.
Saturday's loss to the Cougars dropped the Bulls (7-1) out of the top 25, ending a streak of 13 consecutive poll appearances dating to Week 14 of last season.
The loss also ended the Bulls' 12-game win streak -- longest in Division I-A -- and its national-record string of 24 consecutive games with at least 30 points.
Meantime, two American Athletic Conference peers -- UCF (7-0) and Memphis (7-1) -- leapfrogged USF in the poll. The Knights jumped three spots to No. 15 following a 73-33 romp of I-AA Austin Peay, and Memphis moved up two spots to No. 22 following a 56-26 romp of Tulane.
If the Knights and Tigers are the only two teams ranked ahead of USF in the initial College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night, the Bulls remain in control of their postseason destiny.
Should the Bulls win out in the regular season, ending with a victory against UCF on Black Friday in Orlando, then defeat Memphis in the AAC title game, they almost certainly clinch a New Year's Six bowl bid. That berth is awarded to the CFP committee's highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion.
Elsewhere in the AP poll, Miami (7-0) moved down one spot -- to ninth -- after a lackluster 24-19 win against 1-8 North Carolina. Georgia moved to No. 2 (behind Alabama) following its 42-7 embarrassment of Florida, giving the SEC the No. 1 and 2 teams for the first time since 2012.
Here is Tampa Bay Times staff writer Matt Baker's ballot.