LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville football team’s rapid rise through the Associated Press Top 25 continued Sunday by matching highest ranking ever in that poll -- No. 3 nationally, behind No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Ohio State.

The Cardinals also received first-place votes -- six of them, in fact, second-most in the poll -- for the first time in school history. (It did receive one first-place vote in the preseason poll in 2005.) The ranking matches the school’s largest ever in one of the two major polls. The Cardinals jumped to No. 3 in the AP poll and in the BCS ratings in early November of 2006 after beating West Virginia. They’re also No. 4 in the current coaches poll.

Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, after his team’s 63-20 dismantling of Florida State on Saturday, didn’t have many thoughts on the kind of “statement” his team might’ve sent.

“I don't know, I mean, we just play,” he said. “We're just going out and playing and working to win games and we'll get prepared for next Saturday. We know it's a tough place to play on the road and it's our next game, so it's the most important one this year.”

Clemson, who Louisville will play in two weeks, is ranked No. 5 nationally. Most expect that if the Tigers can win at Georgia Tech Thursday night, the Top 5 teams will meet in Death Valley in a prime-time game a week from Saturday, with ESPN’s GameDay present. But no decision has been made on that, and Clemson needs to win at Georgia Tech, where it has lost its last five meetings.

Houston, a future Louisville opponent, remained at No. 6.

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