Alabama, Florida tops in AP poll to set up historic SEC title game

NEW YORK -- To earn a national championship, Alabama or Florida will have to win two games matching No. 1 vs. No. 2.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide and second-ranked Gators held their spots in the AP Top 25 Sunday, setting up the 41st game matching the highest ranked teams in the AP poll.

Alabama (12-0) and Florida (11-1) will play Saturday at the Georgia Dome in the Southeastern Conference title game. The winner is virtually guaranteed a spot in the BCS national championship game in Miami on Jan. 8.

No. 3 Texas slipped past No. 4 Oklahoma in the latest rankings, a week after the Sooners had jumped over the Longhorns.

The Crimson Tide received 62 first-place votes and 1,620 points from the media panel. The Gators received three first-place votes, up one from last week, and 1,516 points.

Texas had 1,488 points, eight more than Oklahoma.

There was little movement throughout the poll after a weekend when most ranked teams either won and were off.

No. 5 Southern California and No. 6 Penn State held their spots. No. 7 Utah jumped a spot ahead of No. 8 Texas Tech, after the Red Raiders had to rally to beat Baylor 35-28 at home.

No. 9 and unbeaten Boise State and Ohio State round out the top 10.

The 1 vs. 2 matchup in Atlanta will be the fourth in which Alabama has been involved, but the first not played in a bowl game and the first in which the Tide will be No. 1. The Tide are 2-1 in games matching the top two teams in the AP poll.

Florida also has appeared three times in a 1 vs. 2 matchup, going 2-1.

In 1 vs. 2 games, the top-ranked team is 23-15-2.

No. 11 is TCU, followed by unbeaten Ball State, Big East champion Cincinnati, and Oklahoma State, which slipped three spots after losing 61-41 at home to Oklahoma.

No. 15 is Georgia Tech and No. 16 is Oregon. Both the Yellow Jackets and Ducks had big wins against their in-state rivals on Saturday.

No. 17 Georgia lost to Georgia Tech 45-42.

No. 18 Boston College will play unranked Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday.

No. 19 Missouri dropped seven spots after losing 40-37 to Kansas and will play Oklahoma for the Big 12 title in Kansas City, Mo.

No. 20 BYU is followed by Michigan State, Mississippi, Pittsburgh, Northwestern and Oregon State, which dropped eight spots after losing 65-38 to Oregon.

Florida State was the only team to drop out of the rankings.