October 8, 2012 5:38:44 AM
The MSU football program continues to move up in both major polls.
The Bulldogs, which defeated the University of Kentucky 27-14 Saturday night in its first road SEC test of the 2012 season, was ranked 18th in the USA Today Coaches' poll and one spot later at No. 19 in the Associated Press poll. Both rankings were released Sunday afternoon.
The national AP voter with MSU ranked the highest on his Top 25 ballot was Roanoke (Va.) Times reporter Doug Doughty, who was the only voter to have the Bulldogs in the top 10 at No. 10.
Seven Southeastern Conference teams (University of Alabama 1, University of South Carolina 3, University of Florida 4, Louisiana State University 9, University of Georgia 14, MSU 19 and Texas A&M University 23) were a part of the AP poll, which was the most of any league.
Alabama was the unanimous top choice in the AP poll garnering all 60 first place votes despite not playing this past week.. Defending Pac 12 Conference champion Oregon was second with SEC Eastern Division schools South Carolina and Florida moving into the top five after home wins against nationally-ranked LSU and Georgia last week. West Virginia, who defeated the University of Texas 48-45 on the road last week, rounded out the top five.
The Bulldogs received 450 voting points and were ranked in 59 of the 60 AP voters' ballots with only Harold Gutmann of the Herald-Sun newspaper in Durham N.C., to leave MSU off his ballot. MSU received 558 voting points and were ranked 23rd in the latest USA Today Coaches poll. The Bulldogs still have yet to play anybody ranked in either poll during the 2012 schedule but face a team Saturday that fell out of the rankings two weeks ago when the University of Tennessee (3-2, 0-2) come to Starkville (8 p.m., ESPN2)
"They're 3-2 but their two losses are to teams ranked in the top 10 in pretty close games," MSU coach Dan Mullen said Saturday. "In my mind, I don't think I get a vote, but I'd vote them as a top 25-type team. They've got that potential and that ability. It'll be a good battle for us."
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.
2. The Ups and Downs of Nelson's Pillar BOOK REVIEWS