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USF drops out of rankings after undefeated run ends

By Joey Knight
DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times Houston Cougars quarterback D'Eriq King (4) starts his touchdown running play during the fourth quarter of Saturdayâ\u0080\u009A\u0080\u0099s (10/28/17) game between USF and Houston at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The score put the Cougars into the lead and eventually won the game.

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 dropped the Bulls (7-1) out of the top 25 released Sunday, 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, American Athletic Conference peers UCF (7-0) and Memphis (7-1) leapfrogged USF in the poll. The Knights jumped three spots to No. 15 after a 73-33 romp of I-AA Austin Peay, and Memphis moved up two spots to No. 22 after a 56-26 romp of Tulane.

If the Knights and Tigers are the only two Group of Five 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 at 1-8 North Carolina. Georgia moved to No. 2 (behind Alabama) after its 42-7 embarrassment of Florida, giving the SEC the No. 1 and 2 teams for the first time since 2012.

The biggest fall came from Washington State, which lost to Arizona and dropped from 15th to 25th.

WAKE FOREST: Receiver Greg Dortch will miss the rest of the season with an abdominal injury.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.