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AP Top 25 risers and fallers: Miami moves up

Profile Picture: Jason Ence

September 22nd, 2020

As we enter Week 4 of the college football season, there has been some serious movement in the AP Top 25, thanks to some great games on Saturday.

Let’s break down which teams saw their stock rise and fall the most, as we prepare for the start of SEC play this week and the return of the Big Ten next week.

Rising: Miami Hurricanes

Last week's ranking: 17th. This week: 12th.

The Hurricanes shifted from underdogs to favorites before kickoff against Louisville, and they rewarded the betting public’s faith with a dominant performance.

Miami took big steps forward on offense. Quarterback D’Eriq King showing why so many were excited about his transfer. Miami hit some explosive plays, with 75-yard touchdowns on consecutive drives in the third quarter, and gained 18 yards or more on 10 plays.

The Miami defense also showed promise. It limited the dangerous Cardinals offense to just six points in the first half.

Now the Hurricanes look ahead to a matchup with rival Florida State — a game they should expect to win.

Falling: Louisville Cardinals

Last week's ranking: 18th. This week: 24th.

A week after the Cardinals beat hapless Western Kentucky, the Louisville defense showed many of the holes that were exposed over and over last season. The big Miami plays were quite concerning, as was their inability to score touchdowns in the first half.

The promising sign for Louisville was the more than 500 yards of offense it recorded, but the Cardinals only converted four of their 14 attempts on third down. That is something they must improve if they want to live up to their goal to compete for a spot in the ACC Championship Game.

They will look to rebound on the road against another ranked opponent this weekend, Pittsburgh.

Rising: Pittsburgh Panthers

Last week's ranking: 25th. This week: 21st.

The Panthers jumped up four spots after a 21-10 victory over Syracuse. 

Wide receiver Jordan Addison has broken out in the first two games of the season, and the freshman leads the team in receiving.

Defensive end Rashad Weaver also made an impact in his first ACC game in nearly two years. He recorded a pair of sacks in the Syracuse game.

The Panthers were fortunate that the Syracuse offense was unable to cash in on two first-quarter drives that started inside the Pitt 35-yard line, as the Orange were only able to come away with three points.

Those mistakes will prove costlier against Louisville, so the Panthers must take better care of the football.

If they can take care of business against the Cardinals, Pitt could end up 5-0 heading into a Week 6 matchup with Miami. 

Falling: Oklahoma State

Last week's ranking: 11th. This week: 15th.

It’s not often a team wins and slides four spots, but when your third-string quarterback has to lead a comeback against a heavy underdog, it’s not a good look.

The Cowboys trailed Tulsa 7-3 heading into the fourth quarter Saturday, but Shane Illingworth took over late in the third quarter, hit a pair of big passes right off the bat, and saved coach Mike Gundy plenty of blushes, after starting quarterback Spencer Sanders got injured just before halftime.

West Virginia will head into Stillwater on Saturday, off a week of rest, after the Mountaineers defeated Eastern Kentucky, 56-10, Sept. 12.

Sanders is in a walking boot, so if Illingworth has to go again, it could be another long day for the Cowboys.

Rising: Marshall

Last week's ranking: unranked. This week: 25th.

While it likely won’t last, with Big Ten teams eligible for the rankings next week, Marshall came thundering into the polls this week, for the first time in six years. The Thundering Herd defeated No. 23 Appalachian State, 17-7, on Saturday. It was Marshall's first home win over a ranked team in 44 years and pushed its record to 2-0.

Marshall won't play again until it travels to Western Kentucky in two weeks. The Herd's game against Rice this weekend was postponed because of COVID-19 issues. At least they will have this week in the national spotlight, before more of the big boys come out to play.