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Football: Napier’s 3-0 Ragin’ Cajuns nationally ranked in both Top 25 polls again

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Oct. 4, 2020

The Ragin’ Cajuns are nationally ranked again, reappearing in both the Amway Coaches Poll and the AP Top 25 at No. 23 on Sunday.

They did so without even playing a game Saturday.

The 3-0 Cajuns fell out of both the coaches poll and the AP writers poll following their 20-18 come-from-behind Sun Belt Conference home win over Georgia Southern on Sept. 26.

Related:‘It’s to be expected, right?’

UL was idle over the weekend and its Sun Belt game Wednesday night at Appalachian State was postponed until either Dec. 4 or 5 due to a coronanavirus (COVID-19) outbreak within the App State football program.

Its Oct. 17 home game against Coastal Carolina of the Sun Belt, however, was moved up to Saturday morning at Cajun Field (11 a.m., ESPN2) after their road game against the Mountaineers was postponed.

Related:UL football game at Appalachian State postponed due to COVID-19 issues

More:Ragin’ Cajuns reschedule football game with Coastal Carolina

Prior to Sunday, the Cajuns – who had been ranked in both polls for two weeks following their 31-14 season-opening upset win at then-No. 25, now-No. 24 Iowa State – were first among “Others Receiving Votes” in the coaches poll, which includes teams from the Big Ten and Pac-12 – neither of which has started its season yet due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Five teams have not played a game – No. 6 Ohio State, No. 8 Penn State, No. 14 Wisconsin, No. 7 Oregon and No. 16 Michigan – are among those ranked ahead of UL in the coaches polls.

Iowa State (2-1) moved back into the coaches poll with its upset home win Saturday over then-No. 16 Oklahoma.

The Cajuns popped back into that same poll after formerly No. 14 Mississippi State fell out following its loss to Arkansas, Oklahoma fell out, formerly No. 24 Memphis fell out following its loss to now-No. 21 SMU and formerly No. 25 Pittsburgh fell out following its loss to North Carolina State.

UL received 207 voting points in the coaches poll, 88 fewer than No. 22 Texas and 70 more than Iowa State.

Cajuns coach Billy Napier, incidentally, is among 68 head coaches, all from FBS programs, who vote in the coaches poll.

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More:UL nationally ranked in both Top 25 college football polls

UL, previously second among “Others receiving votes” in the AP poll, receiving 216 voting points from the writers, one more than Iowa State and 12 fewer than No. 22 Texas.

The Cajuns jumped back into the AP Top 25 after Oklahoma, Mississippi State, Memphis, Pitt and Central Florida all dropped out.

UCF, which had been No. 11, took the biggest tumble in the AP polls, falling all the way to unranked following its 34-26 loss to Tulsa. The Knights are, however, ranked No. 25 in the coaches poll.

UL has been ranked as high as No. 21 in the coaches poll and as high as No. 19 in the AP writers poll.

This season is the first since 1943, when they were in the AP Top 20, that the Cajuns, who have been idle since a 53-yard field goal by Nate Snyder as time expired beat Georgia Southern, have been nationally ranked.

Snyder nails game-winner for UL:‘I knew it was good’

More:Watch Louisiana’s game-winning 53-yard field goal vs. Georgia Southern

Unbelievable:Cajuns beat Georgia Southern on last-second, 53-yard field goal