Pirates Take Top 25 Poll By Storm - Debut At #14

NEW YORK (AP) -- East Carolina can't play the underdog role anymore.

After opening the season by upsetting two ranked teams, the Pirates earned themselves a place in the AP Top 25 for the first time in nine years.

East Carolina was No. 14 in the media poll released Sunday. Southern California remained No. 1 and Georgia was No. 2. Ohio State's sluggish 26-14 victory against Ohio, without star tailback Chris Wells, on Saturday cost the Buckeyes two spots in the rankings. They fell to No. 5 behind No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 4 Florida.

The Buckeyes will have a chance to move back up when they visit USC on Saturday.

USC received 33 of a possible 65 first-place votes and 1,577 points. Georgia got 23 first-place votes and 1,525 points. Oklahoma (two), Florida (four), Ohio State (one), No. 6 Missouri (one) and No. 7 LSU (one) also received first-place votes. The Buckeyes had 15 first-place votes last week.

Texas, Auburn and Wisconsin round out the top 10.

East Carolina's latest big win was its third straight against a ranked opponent, dating to last season's Hawaii Bowl victory against Boise State, and probably the Pirates' most impressive.

East Carolina manhandled previously No. 8 West Virginia 24-3, shutting down Pat White and the Mountaineers' speedy spread offense. That came a week after the Pirates took out Virginia Tech.

West Virginia dropped all the way to No. 25.

The last time East Carolina was on a roll like this was 1999, when the Pirates were ranked most of the season before falling out on the final poll of the season. East Carolina hasn't been ranked this highly since 1991, when the Pirates finished the season at No. 9.

The Pirates now shift to being the favorite instead of the underdog. They open Conference USA play at Tulane this week, then travel to rebuilding North Carolina State. Their next home game is against Houston before they have a week off.

The second 10 starts with Alabama, followed by Texas Tech, Kansas, and the Pirates.

Arizona State is No. 15 and Pac-10 rival Oregon is 16th. Penn State moved up two spots to No. 17 after blowing out Oregon State 45-14, and BYU slipped three places to No. 18 after needing a blocked PAT - and the help of a controversial penalty - in the final seconds to preserve a 28-27 victory against Washington.

No. 19 South Florida and No. 20 Wake Forest held their spots after dramatic victories.

The final five were Fresno State, Utah, California, Illinois and West Virginia.

Cal moved into the rankings for the first time since last season after a 66-3 victory against Washington State.

1. Southern Cal (33) 1-0 1,577 1
2. Georgia (23) 2-0 1,525 2
3. Oklahoma (2) 2-0 1,458 4
4. Florida (4) 2-0 1,438 5
5. Ohio St. (1) 2-0 1,347 3
6. Missouri (1) 2-0 1,336 6
7. LSU (1) 1-0 1,231 7
8. Texas 2-0 1,100 10
9. Auburn 2-0 1,067 9
10. Wisconsin 2-0 910 11
11. Alabama 2-0 865 13
12. Texas Tech 2-0 845 12
13. Kansas 2-0 825 14
14. East Carolina 2-0 762 --
15. Arizona St. 2-0 744 15
16. Oregon 2-0 616 18
17. Penn St. 2-0 607 19
18. BYU 2-0 537 15
19. South Florida 2-0 493 17
20. Wake Forest 2-0 404 20
21. Fresno St. 1-0 290 21
22. Utah 2-0 258 22
23. California 2-0 195 --
24. Illinois 1-1 164 24
25. West Virginia 1-1 163 8
Others receiving votes: UCLA 150, Clemson 73, Florida St. 50,
Boise St. 22, Tennessee 15, Georgia Tech 14, Oklahoma St. 11,
Vanderbilt 7, Kentucky 6, TCU 6, Virginia Tech 4, Tulsa 3, Arizona
2, South Carolina 2, Connecticut 1, North Carolina 1, Rice 1.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Chris Location: Greenville on Sep 8, 2008 at 02:13 PM
    The Pirates schedule strength is not going to let them stay in the top 25 for long.
  • by GoPirates Location: GVegas on Sep 8, 2008 at 07:28 AM
    This is the Pirates season...lets come out on top!!! WWWOOOOHOOO GO PIRATES!!!
  • by Reality Check Location: Nowhere on Sep 7, 2008 at 08:23 PM
    Sorry Melissa but I AM NOT a State, ECU, or Tarheel fan. I am a LSU Tigers fan.
  • by Melissa Location: Plymouth on Sep 7, 2008 at 06:51 PM
    Notice the one vote UNC got? Must have been Butch Davis. Too bad Roy Williams can't vote b/c Kansas would've got one more vote.
  • by Congrats Pirates Location: Greenville on Sep 7, 2008 at 06:45 PM
    Here's to a job well done Coach Holtz and team! It's a shame some of your fans are diminishing the pride we have towards ECU.
  • by Chris Location: Greenville on Sep 7, 2008 at 06:13 PM
    Whatever hater.
  • by MELISSA Location: PLYMOUTH on Sep 7, 2008 at 06:12 PM
    TO REALITY CHECK YOU MUST BE A STATE OR CAROLINA FAN SO I GUESS THAT MEANS YOU HAVE NOTHING TO ENJOY EXCEPT BEATING WILLIAM & MARY AND MCNEESE STATE BY A FLUKE. HAA HAAAAA HAAA HAAA

    Editor's Note: I know we're excited, but no SHOUTING please. All posts should be in upper and lower cases.

  • by Reality check Location: nowhere on Sep 7, 2008 at 04:29 PM
    Enjoy it "Nation" it won't last long.
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