Army returns to AP poll after 22 years
Army is ranked for the first time since 1996, moving into the Associated Press college football poll at No. 23 on Sunday as it begins preparations to face rival Navy on Dec. 8. The Cadets (9-2) are on a seven-game winning streak since losing in overtime at Oklahoma on Sept. 22.
Meanwhile, Boston College (7-4), which had been ranked No. 22, fell out of the Top 25 after losing at Florida State, 22-21.
Army’s appearance in the rankings has been a rarity since the early 1960s. From 1963-2017, there have been only two seasons in which the Black Knights appeared in the AP Top 25. In 1985, Army was No. 19 for one week on its way to a 9-3 season. In 1996, Army went 10-2 and was ranked in four of the final five polls of the season. Army managed just one winning record from 1997-2015.
But under coach Jeff Monken, who took over in 2014, Army has had three straight winning seasons. Led by unanimous No. 1 Alabama, the top six stayed the same as last week. Clemson was No. 2, followed by Notre Dame, Michigan, Georgia, and Oklahoma. Washington State moved up a spot to No. 7 and UCF jumped three spots to No. 8, season highs for both schools.
It was hard not to notice Washington State after Gardner Minshew threw a school-record seven touchdown passes in a 69-28 win over visiting Arizona. Minshew completed 43 of 55 passes for 473 yards and was not intercepted as Washington State (10-1) raced out to a 55-14 lead at halftime.
Also debuting in the Top 25 this season was Pittsburgh at No. 24. Army and Pitt became the 52nd and 53rd teams to be ranked this season, setting a record for the most ranked teams since the poll expanded to 25 in 1989. The previous high was 51 teams ranked in 2008.
Kansas turns to Miles, 65
Former LSU coach Les Miles, 65, has been hired to lead Kansas’s downtrodden football program. Kansas announced the hiring shortly after Miles arrived at the airport in nearby Topeka. Miles signed a five-year contract that could pay him as much as $15.125 million.
Miles spent 11 years at LSU, winning a national championship in 2007, before being fired four games into the 2016 season. His teams reached double-digit victories in seven seasons with the Tigers and reached another BCS title game in 2011. He also did a stint as head coach in the Big 12, rebuilding Oklahoma State and going 28-21 from 2001-04 in Stillwater.
Miles was considered the front-runner for the Jayhawks’ job from the moment David Beaty was told he would not be retained two weeks ago.
The Jayhawks, who lost to sixth-ranked Oklahoma on Saturday to leave Beaty with a 6-31 record in three-plus seasons, will finish out their year under their former coach Friday against Texas. The Jayhawks haven’t had a winning season or reached a bowl game since 2008, the year before Mark Mangino was forced to resign under pressure. Turner Gill won five games over two seasons before getting fired, and Charlie Weis managed six wins in two-plus seasons before he was let go.
Marshall may help Va. Tech
Marshall (7-3) has agreed to play a game at Virginia Tech (4-6) on Dec. 1 if the Hokies need an additional victory to become bowl eligible. The schools said the game will take place only if Virginia Tech (4-6) beats Virginia on Friday. Both schools lost games Sept. 15 because of Hurricane Florence.
The Hokies were scheduled to play East Carolina, but the Pirates decided not to make the trip amid concerns of the storm’s impact on their community. The Thundering Herd (7-3) were scheduled to play at South Carolina, but that game was canceled.
Virginia Tech has been to a bowl game for the last 25 seasons, the longest active streak recognized by the NCAA. An additional bowl appearance this season would give the program the third-longest bowl streak in NCAA history.
Colorado cans MacIntyre
Two years after he was named AP coach of the year, Mike MacIntyre’s run at Colorado ended Sunday when he was fired amid a six-game skid in his sixth season. MacIntyre was voted coach of the year after leading the Buffaloes to a Pac-12 South title and 10 victories. That was his only winning season at Colorado, going 20-40 overall and 6-38 in the Pac-12 in the other five. MacIntyre is due about $10 million from the five-year extension he signed after that 2016 season . . . Texas State fired coach Everett Withers after he guided the Bobcats to just seven victories in three seasons. The Bobcats fell to 3-8 on Saturday with a 12-7 loss to Troy. They were 2-10 in each of Withers’s first two seasons at the Sun Belt Conference school that has been playing at the FBS level since 2012