UL nationally ranked in Amway, AP Top 25 polls

After upsetting then-No. 25 Iowa State 31-14 in its ESPN-televised 2020 season opener Saturday in Ames, Iowa, UL was ranked No. 21 in the Amway Coaches Poll released Sunday.

Coach Billy Napier’s Ragin’ Cajuns also appear at No. 19 in the AP writers poll, released later Sunday.

The two national rankings are the first in football for the Cajuns, known at the time as the Southwestern Louisiana Institute (SLI) Bulldogs, since they were No. 15 in the 1943 AP poll.

But it is the first national ranking for the Sun Belt Conference’s Cajuns in the coaches poll, and their first in either the coaches or the AP writers poll in the modern era of college football.

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Chris Smith helped UL to a 31-14 upset win at Iowa State on Saturday and a No. 21 national ranking Sunday with this kickoff return for a touchdown against the Cyclones.

The Amway Coaches Poll includes only teams who have played, or are planning to play, games this season, not ones whose season currently is canceled or on hold due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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Ditto for the new AP Top 25, whose preseason polls included teams from conferences not playing including the Big Ten and Pac-12.

The Cajuns declined to make Napier available for comment Sunday on the historic ranking for the program.

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