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Jacob Myers | NCAA.com | October 22, 2018

College volleyball rankings: Washington State, UCF on the rise; Nebraska falls four spots

Twitter | @wsuvolleyball Washington state cougars athletics

Stanford, Minnesota and Pittsburgh passed some of their toughest tests this season, further solidifying their status as elite teams this season.

Wisconsin and Missouri had the two most significant upsets in the past week’s action, which reflect in the most recent AVCA coaches poll.

Here are five takeaways from the new AVCA coaches top 25 volleyball poll.

         
RANK SCHOOL TOTAL POINTS 2018 RECORD PREVIOUS RANK
1 BYU (58) 1593 20-0 1
2 Stanford (6) 1542 18-1 2
3 Minnesota 1472 16-2 3
4 Penn State 1341 17-3 4
5 Pittsburgh 1297 22-0 6
6 Illinois 1260 18-3 7
7 Wisconsin 1205 14-4 9
8 Texas 1182 12-4 8
9 Nebraska 1127 15-5 5
10 Creighton 1016 18-4 10
11 Cal Poly 935 19-1 12
12 Michigan 837 18-3 13
13 Florida 798 18-4 11
14 Kentucky 771 14-4 15
15 Southern California 668 15-6 14
16 Oregon 630 13-7 16
17 Purdue 599 17-4 17
18 Marquette 549 19-4 18
19 Washington State 476 15-5 23
20 UCLA 384 11-6 20
21 Washington 297 13-7 19
22 Louisville 249 16-5 21
23 Arizona 190 16-6 25
24 Missouri 164 18-4 NR
25 UCF 44 18-3 NR

Biggest jump: Washington State

The Washington State Cougars had one of their best weekends in years with two straight ranked conference wins against Southern California and UCLA and subsequently had the biggest leap this week from No. 23 to No. 19. The Cougars are just a game back of USC for second in the conference, but perhaps most importantly, they are now the fourth-highest ranked Pac-12 team with a real shot of getting a national seed if it finishes in the top three of the conference.

Biggest fall: Nebraska

No team in the country has had a more difficult schedule than Nebraska in the past three weeks. The Cornhuskers have played Minnesota twice, at Penn State and at Wisconsin, losing this past week to the Badgers and Gophers away from the Devaney Center and dropping four spots to No. 9.

The Cornhuskers are 1-5 against top 10 opponents this year and 0-2 at home in those games. Obviously, Nebraska is going to continue to be a championship contender and the fall in the poll might just be temporary given the difficult road stretch it just faced.

RELATED: No. 9 Wisconsin takes down No. 5 Nebraska in five-set thriller

Pittsburgh gets deserved top-five ranking

The Pittsburgh Panthers are 22-0 after beating Louisville, the only other ranked team in the ACC, in their only meeting. After passing its greatest test left on the Panthers’ schedule, things are getting fun in Pittsburgh.

The Panthers started this season ranked No. 20 and have finally cracked the top five. Not much else can be said about Pittsburgh other than they continue to take care of business and beat the teams it’s supposed to beat. Not every team can say that about itself.

Big-12 down to one ranked team

Baylor and Kansas both fell outside the top 25 after losses to Kansas State this week, marking Texas as the lone ranked team in the Big-12. Baylor has continued to slowly fall down the poll after reaching its highest ranking of 12.

The two wins for Kansas State were the Wildcats first two wins in conference this season and lifted them to the team receiving the most votes outside the top 25. A perfect week this week should be enough to put the Wildcats into the top 25.

UCF gets first-ever ranking

The UCF Knights are 18-3, 9-0 in the American and have won 15 straight. It’s about time they get their first-ever national ranking.

The Knights received just five total points last week in the receiving votes, but their five-set road win at Cincinnati — which was on the brink of being ranked — was apparently enough to get them in at No. 25. In addition to the Bearcats, UCF has a quality win over Southern Cal this year. What will be interesting to watch is how far the Knights can climb. With a No. 9 RPI ranking, a national seed is not out of question at this point.

Other notable takeaways: 

Florida dropped from No. 11 to No. 13 this week after a loss to Missouri, which snapped a 14-game winning streak and sent the Tigers into the rankings for the first time this year at No. 24. Now, just one spot separates the Gators and SEC opponent No. 14 Kentucky as the top SEC team. Could the SEC championship decide which team earns a national seed and which one doesn’t? Time will tell.

Wisconsin’s jump of just two spots after knocking off Nebraska can likely be attributed to the Big Ten logjam inside the top 10. The Big Ten is competitive every year, but the top of the conference might be as tough as its ever been.

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