October 28, 2012 2:14:26 PM
STARKVILLE - The Texas A&M University football program will be actually ranked higher than Mississippi State University in a matchup between two Top 20 programs at Davis Wade Stadium Saturday (11 a.m., ESPN).
After MSU (7-1, 3-1 in Southeastern Conference) lost to No. 1 University of Alabama 38-7, the Bulldogs moved down in both major polls released Sunday morning. MSU is now ranked 17th in the latest Associated Press poll and also 18th in the USA Today Coaches' poll.
Seven Southeastern Conference teams (University of Alabama 1, Louisiana State University 5, University of Georgia 7, University of Florida 8, University of South Carolina 11, Texas A&M 16 and MSU 17) were a part of the AP poll, which was the most of any league.
One pollster, Harold Gutman of the Herald-Sun in Durham, N.C., failed to put MSU on his Top 25 ballot.
Alabama (8-0, 5-0) garnered all 60 first place votes followed by defending Pac 12 Conference champion University of Oregon being placed second with Kansas State University and the University of Notre Dame rounding out the only undefeated four teams at the top.
MSU's fall of spots in the USA Today Coaches' poll was only the seventh biggest drop of a school with all the moving and shaking that occurred Saturday.
The Bulldogs received 559 voting points in the AP poll while receiving 569 voting points in the coaches' poll.
Alabama was the consensus top-ranked team among the 59-coach panel that vote in the USA Today Coaches' poll with same order of Top 5 teams as the AP poll.
Texas A&M (6-2. 3-2 in SEC) will likely be the second of three straight ranked opponents in row for the Bulldogs as they run through a gauntlet of Alabama, A&M and LSU.
"There are dominant teams in this conference, but there's a lot of them, so you know that during the course of your schedule you're going to have to play a stretch run at some point, and week in and week out you're going to have to play great teams back-to-back-to-back-to-back even at times during the course of the year," MSU head coach Dan Mullen said. "That's what makes this league the best league to coach in and play in and the most challenging league as well."
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.