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Bulldogs football break into both AP & Coaches' poll at No. 23




Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - The MSU football program is ranked this week for the first time in both of the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' poll in just over a calendar year. 


The Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0 in Southeastern Conference), which defeated Troy University 30-24 Saturday night in its first road trip of the 2012 season, was ranked in the 23rd spot in both polls. 


The last time MSU was ranked in either the AP or USA Today coaches' poll was Sept. 15, 2011 and fell out after losing 19-6 in Starkville to No. 1 Louisiana State University. 


The national AP voter with MSU ranked the highest on his Top 25 ballot was Los Angeles Daily News reporter Scott Wolf, who has the Bulldogs in the 17th spot. 


Six SEC teams (University of Alabama 1, LSU 2, University of Georgia 5, University of South Carolina 7, University of Florida 14 and MSU 23) were a part of the AP poll, which was the most of any league. The SEC, which has six consecutive national champions, has the top two spots and five teams in the Top 15. 


Alabama maintained its top spot in the poll after its dominating 52-0 at the University of Arkansas Saturday to receive 58 of 60 possible first place votes. The preseason top-ranked University of Southern California fell 11 spots to No. 13 after a 21-14 upset loss at No. 9 Stanford University Saturday allowing LSU, who earned the other two first-place votes, to move into No. 2 in the poll. The Tigers are followed by defending Pac 12 Conference champion Oregon with Florida State University and the University of Oklahoma rounding out the top five. 


Virginia Tech University is one of three teams to drop out after losses, along with the University of Tennessee and Brigham Young University. Moving back into to the poll along with MSU after being in the preseason rankings was Boise State University and the University of Nebraska. The Bulldogs received 106 voting points and were ranked in 31 of the 60 AP voters' ballots. 


MSU received 88 voting points and were ranked 23rd in the latest USA Today Coaches poll. The Bulldogs were one of two new members of the poll along with Oklahoma State University 


"We jumped into the polls and we did not perform at our best," Mullen said. "I hope it's a real motivating factor." 


Alabama maintained its top spot in this poll receiving 54 of 59 possible first place votes. LSU was the only other team with first-place votes with five. The defending Pac 12 Conference champion Oregon, Florida State, Oklahoma, Georgia, University of West Virginia, South Carolina, Clemson University and University of Texas rounded out the Top 10. 




All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.



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