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Maryland football moves closer to AP Poll top 25

The Terps didn’t earn a ranking on their bye week, but they’re three spots away.

NCAA Football: Towson at Maryland Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland football didn’t play on Saturday, but the Terps climbed in the rankings to three spots out of the AP Poll top 25, released Sunday.

After slotting 30th and 31st in the rankings each of the last two weeks, Maryland is 28th in the poll with 84 points. Only West Virginia and Colorado surpassed DJ Durkin’s team among programs outside the rankings. The Terps also picked up 48 points in the Coaches Poll, good for 29th.

Maryland is 2-0 with wins over Texas and Towson. It’s likely that the Longhorns’ performance against now-No. 5 USC, in which they took the Trojans to double-overtime, further altered perceptions of a Maryland team that scored 51 points in Austin on Sept. 2. It also helped that several teams at the bottom of the rankings picked up losses.

However, four teams played their way into the rankings with wins. Mississippi State is No. 17 after thumping LSU, while San Diego State, Utah and Oregon have moved into slots 22-24. The top 25 still includes the same four Big Ten teams: Penn State at No. 4, Michigan at No. 8, Wisconsin at No. 9 and Ohio State at No. 10.

The Terps’ next test comes Saturday, when they host UCF at 3 p.m. ET. If Maryland can hang on and enter Big Ten play undefeated, it’s likely the Terps will have a number next to their name for the first time since 2013 when they visit Minnesota at the end of the month.