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             === Irish sit atop poll for first time in 19 years ===
 
 New  York,  NY (Sports Network)  - Notre  Dame has ascended  to the top of the
 latest Associated Press college football poll after a second straight Saturday
 of upsets.
 
 The  Fighting Irish  improved to  11-0  with a  38-0  rout of  Wake Forest  on
 Saturday afternoon, then watched both Oregon and Kansas State fall a few hours
 later.
 
 Notre  Dame received all 60 first-place votes and a total of 1,500 points from
 a  nationwide media  panel. The Irish were  last ranked No. 1 back in November
 1993,  and are now  a victory over Southern California away from a likely trip
 to the BCS National Championship Game.
 
 Alabama,  a week after  slipping to No. 4 following a loss to Texas A&M, moved
 up to second following a 49-0 thumping of Western Carolina. Georgia also moved
 up two spots to third. Should the Crimson Tide slip past a 3-8 Auburn squad in
 the  Iron Bowl next  Saturday, Alabama and Georgia will play for the SEC title
 the following week in Atlanta.
 
 Ohio  State,  which is also  undefeated after an  overtime win at Wisconsin on
 Saturday,  moved  up to fourth. The  Buckeyes, in their first year under Urban
 Meyer,  are ineligible  for postseason play in the wake of NCAA sanctions from
 Jim Tressel's tenure.
 
 Oregon dropped from first to fifth after a 17-14 overtime loss to Stanford and
 is followed by Florida, Kansas State, LSU, Texas A&M and Florida State. Kansas
 State tumbled five spots from second after a 52-24 thrashing at Baylor.
 
 The  second 10  consists of Stanford, Clemson, South Carolina, Oklahoma, UCLA,
 Oregon  State,  Nebraska, Texas,  Louisville and  Michigan. Stanford's big win
 vaulted  the  Cardinal three spots  from 14th, while  UCLA moved up two places
 following its 38-28 victory over arch-rival USC.
 
 Southern  California will stand in the way of Notre Dame's perfect season next
 Saturday at the Coliseum and will do so as an unranked squad. The Trojans were
 the  top  team in the  preseason poll, but have  dropped completely out of the
 rankings after Saturday's loss to UCLA.
 
 The  last teams  ranked this  week are  Rutgers, Oklahoma  State, Kent  State,
 Northern   Illinois,  Utah   State  and  Mississippi  State.  Utah  State  and
 Mississippi State, both among this week's newcomers, are tied for 25th.
 
 Oklahoma  State  moved into  the poll for  the first time  this season after a
 59-21  victory over  Texas Tech, which was  23rd last week and fell out of the
 poll.  Northern Illinois,  which has  won 10  straight since  a season-opening
 18-17 loss to Iowa, joins Kent State from the Mid-American Conference.
 
 Utah  State also  joined the  poll for  the first  time this  season, knocking
 Louisiana  Tech out  of the rankings with  a 48-41 overtime win in Ruston. The
 Bulldogs had been 19th. Mississippi State is back in the poll after a one-week
 absence,  rolling  to a 45-14 win  over Arkansas on Saturday after consecutive
 losses to SEC heavyweights Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU.
 
 Thanksgiving  week features  an abundance  of ranked  matchups, including  the
 annual  grudge match  between Michigan and Ohio State at the Horseshoe and the
 Civil  War  between Oregon  and Oregon  State in  Corvallis. The Bedlam Series
 between  Oklahoma  State and Oklahoma  takes place  this year in Norman, while
 Florida  and  Florida State square off  in Tallahassee with both teams at 10-1
 and clinging to slim hopes of reaching the BCS title game.
 
 Also Saturday, Stanford and UCLA meet in the Rose Bowl with a potential second
 matchup  set for  the following week in  the Pac-12 title game if the Cardinal
 first  beat the  Bruins. South Carolina and Clemson renew their annual rivalry
 in Death Valley.
 
 
 11/18 15:13:12 ET

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