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College Football

Stanford falls, SEC gets record 8 in AP poll

Quarterback Johnny Manziel did it all for Texas A&M again Saturday, rallying the Aggies past Mississippi.

Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

Quarterback Johnny Manziel did it all for Texas A&M again Saturday, rallying the Aggies past Mississippi.

The Southeastern Conference set a record for most schools in the Associated Press college football poll with eight ranked teams.

The Top 25 was shaken up Sunday after seven ranked teams lost, including five to teams that were ranked lower or unranked.

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Stanford dropped eight spots and Michigan fell from the poll.

The top four was unchanged, with No. 1 Alabama receiving 55 of 60 first-place votes. No. 2 is Oregon, followed by Clemson and Ohio State. Florida State moved up to No. 5.

Stanford lost, 27-20, at Utah and is now No. 13, becoming the first top-10 team this season to lose to an unranked team. Michigan dropped out after losing, 43-40, in four overtimes at Penn State.

No. 24 Auburn moved into the rankings for the first time this season to join SEC mates No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 11 South Carolina, No. 14 Missouri, No. 15 Georgia, and No. 22 Florida. Missouri jumped 11 spots after a 41-26 victory at Georgia (4-2).

The record for most teams from one conference in a regular-season poll had been seven, done many times, including this season by the SEC. The ACC and Big Ten have also reached seven ranked teams.

Johnny on the spot

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After Johnny Manziel and Josh Lambo provided the fourth-quarter heroics that helped Texas A&M escape Mississippi with a thrilling 41-38 victory, the No. 7 Aggies (5-1, 2-1 SEC) head back to Kyle Field for a four-game homestand that could vault the Aggies right back into the national championship discussion.

The conversation is possible because of an impressive comeback by Texas A&M. The Aggies fell behind, 38-31, with 6:05 remaining, but Manziel led a 75-yard drive, capped by his 6-yard touchdown run, to tie the game at 38 with 3:07 remaining.

After Texas A&M’s defense held, Manziel had runs of 12 and 13 yards during the Aggies’ final drive, and Lambo booted a 33-yard field goal as time expired for the victory.

It was another example of Manziel’s uncanny ability to rise to the occasion. The sophomore completed 31 of 39 passes for 346 yards and rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns.

He also fought off an injury in the first quarter. He rolled to his left and threw a pass before falling to the turf clutching his left knee. He limped to the sidelines, but missed just one play before rejoining the offense on the next drive.

‘‘The thing that makes him different — and I’ve said this before — is he’s so competitive,’’ Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said. ‘‘He plays on the edge. He only knows one way and that’s who he is.’’

Next up for the Aggies is No. 24 Auburn on Saturday, then it’s Vanderbilt (Oct. 26), UTEP (Nov. 2), and Mississippi State (Nov. 9) before the team’s next road game against LSU on Nov. 23.

Clowney returns

After spending much of the week answering questions about the health and commitment of All-America defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, perceptions changed about South Carolina (5-1, 3-1 SEC). A 52-7 win at Arkansas, the biggest margin of victory on the road in the Steve Spurrier tenure, can do that.

‘‘Right now, we’re in good shape,’’ the Gamecocks coach said following Saturday’s win. ‘‘The thing is, can we continue? We’re back with a chance.’’

Despite just making one tackle, Clowney was every bit as dominating as his usual self — wreaking havoc in the Razorbacks’ backfield on the game’s opening play and forcing Arkansas to double-team him for much of the game.

‘‘When I got back this week, I told the guys that we weren’t letting up,’’ Clowney said. ‘‘Everybody is talking about us right now, but we’re going to tune it out, man, and just have fun. I told them before the game let’s just have fun today.’’

Top-5 battle for ACC

After No. 3 Clemson’s great escape against Boston College, the Tigers can finally focus on No. 5 Florida State and the Atlantic Coast Conference’s first top-five showdown in eight years. While the Seminoles (5-0, 3-0) had the week off, Clemson (6-0, 4-0) needed two fourth-quarter scores to rally past the Eagles, and set up its second high-profile game in the season’s first two months. Saturday’s game in Death Valley is the ACC’s highest-ranked game since 2005 . . . Just after Penn State scored the winning touchdown to beat Michigan in the fourth overtime, coach Bill O’Brien sprinted down the field, arms raised, toward the sea of white in the south end zone. There, his team assembled in front of the adoring, screaming fans as the Blue Band prepared to play the alma mater so players and fans alike could sing along. It is scenes like that that O’Brien hopes motivates blue-chip recruits to commit to Penn State. ‘‘I’m not allowed to talk too much specifically about recruiting. I’ll tell you what I say. If you come to Penn State, you have a chance to play in front of 108,000 fans, you’re going to be on TV every week, and you’re going to get a fantastic education,’’ he said . . . No. 12 Baylor is the highest-ranked team in the Big 12 for the first time since the league started in 1996, taking advantage of Oklahoma’s loss to Texas. The Sooners fell six spots to No. 18.

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