LSU and Penn State each moved up a spot in The Associated Press
Top 25, taking advantage of Miami's loss to move behind unbeaten
Southern California and Texas.
The Tigers were No. 3 with 1,449 points in the media poll
Sunday, ahead of the Nittany Lions' 1,390 points.
Penn State coach Joe Paterno's resurgent team, which had won a
total of seven games the past two seasons, won his second Big Ten
title on Saturday with a 31-22 victory at Michigan State. The
Nittany Lions (10-1) will play in the Bowl Championship Series for
the first time and they'll do it with their highest ranking since
they were No. 2 entering November of 1999.
LSU (9-1) beat Mississippi 40-7 and needs only a victory over
Arkansas to earn a spot in the Southeastern Conference title game
Top-ranked USC survived another scare, defeating Fresno State
50-42 for its 33rd straight victory. The Trojans have run their
record streak of No. 1 rankings to 31 straight polls, but their
fight to the finish against the Bulldogs cost USC six first-place
USC (11-0) received 50 first-place votes, and 1,616 points. No.
2 Texas, which has been on the Trojans' tail since the preseason,
received 14 first-place votes and 1,550 points.
Jeff Parson of the Wichita Eagle in Kansas switched his
first-place vote from USC to Texas this week, because the Longhorns
haven't played as many close games as the Trojans.
"Another factor for me is how good Ohio State is playing," he
said. "Texas won at their place and I think that's even more
impressive than [USC's] Notre Dame victory.
"It's really close to me but if they played right now I'd favor
Texas and this is the first time I've felt this way."
The Longhorns (10-0) were off Saturday and play next at Texas
A&M on Friday. The Trojans are off until Dec. 3, when they play
UCLA. A USC-Texas Rose Bowl for the national championship still
The closest competition was for the fifth and sixth. Virginia
Tech moved up after beating Virginia 52-14 to No. 5, two points
ahead of No. 6 Notre Dame.
No. 7 is Ohio State, followed by Oregon, Auburn and Miami, which
fell seven spots after losing 14-10 at home to Georgia Tech.
In the USA Today coaches' poll, USC lost six first-place votes
(49-13) to Texas. LSU, Penn State and Virginia Tech rounded out the
UCLA is No. 11, followed by West Virginia, Georgia and TCU. No.
15 Alabama fell six more spots after losing 28-18 to Auburn. It was
the Crimson Tide's second straight loss after a 9-0 start.
Fresno State held on to the 16th spot after pushing USC to the
edge. Louisville is No. 17, ahead of Texas Tech and Florida.
Georgia Tech moved back into the Top 25 with its upset at Miami.
The Yellow Jackets are No. 20.
Boston College is No. 21, Michigan slipped five spots to No. 22
after losing 25-21 in the closing seconds to Ohio State.
Florida State, Wisconsin and Clemson round out the Top 25.
Clemson also moved back into the rankings for the first time since
September with a 13-9 victory over rival South Carolina.
The loss dropped Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks out of the rankings
after a one week stay. UTEP also dropped from the rankings the week
after moving in for the first time this season. The Miners were
knocked off by UAB 35-23.