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Victory over Stanford vaults Aztecs into national rankings

After catching the winning 8-yard touchdown in the final minute of Saturday night’s 20-17 victory over Stanford, after being in the middle of a field stormed by the student body and after a brief postgame celebration with his teammates in the locker room, San Diego State tight end David Wells was asked if the Aztecs deserved to be ranked in the top 25.

“I don’t see why not,” Wells said.

Those who vote in the nation’s top 25 polls agreed with him.

SDSU debuted Sunday morning at No. 22 in the AP poll and No. 25 in the Amway Coaches poll following the victory over Stanford, which boosted the Aztecs to a 3-0 start on the season. SDSU was ranked No. 25 in both polls to end the 2016 season, but had been listed in “others receiving votes” in previous weeks this season.

The Aztecs received 201 points in the AP poll, which is voted on by “a panel of 61 sports writers and broadcasters from around the country votes on the poll weekly.” No. 20 Florida (1-1, 308 points) and No. 21 South Florida (3-0, 272) are just ahead of the Aztecs. Rounding out the top 25 are No. 23 Utah (3-0, 194), No. 24 Oregon (3-0, 158) and No. 25 LSU (2-1, 153).

The Aztecs received 141 points in the Amway Coaches poll, which includes 65 coaches from FBS schools (SDSU head coach Rocky Long among them). The four teams just ahead of SDSU are No. 21 Utah (324 points), No. 22 Florida (312), No. 23 LSU (243) and No. 24 Oregon (208).

Stanford (1-2), which was ranked No. 19 in the nation coming into the game, fell out of the top 25 in both polls.

Last season, SDSU also debuted in the top 25 after a 3-0 start to the season, also checking in at No. 22 in the AP poll. It was the first time in 21 years that SDSU was ranked, dating back to Nov. 7, 1995, when the Aztecs were No. 25 in the AP poll. SDSU was ranked as high as No. 19 last season.

Before being ranked in 1995, the Aztecs reached No. 21 in the rankings during the 1992 season. Other rankings during the school’s Division I era (since 1969) date to the 1970s. SDSU peaked at No. 13 in 1975, No. 14 in 1970, No. 16 in 1977 and No. 20 in 1974. The 1977 team was the only one to finish the season in the Top 25, ranking 16th after going 10-1.

SDSU is 3-0 for the second straight season but only the third time in the past 36 years. The Aztecs open Mountain West play on Saturday at Air Force.

kirk.kenney@sduniontribune.com / on Twitter: @sdutkirKDKenney

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