NEW YORK -- Ohio State has risen -- all the way to No 1.
A day after the top two teams in the AP Top 25 lost, the
Buckeyes jumped two spots Sunday in the media poll and became the
third school this season to hold the No. 1 ranking.
The last year three teams held the No. 1 spot during the regular
season was 2000, when Nebraska started No. 1, Florida State was
top-ranked for a week and Oklahoma took over late in the season.
The Buckeyes (7-0) beat Kent State 48-3 Saturday and have played
only one team that's been in the rankings at any point this season.
In a season in which 10 ranked teams have been beaten by unranked
teams, just avoiding the upset bug has been enough for Ohio State.
"We've improved each week but we understand that the only poll
that counts is the last one,'' Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said in
Ohio State was No. 1 last season from preseason until the final
poll, when the Buckeyes dropped to No. 2 after losing the BCS
national championship game to Florida.
An unpredictable season took a new twist Saturday when LSU, in
its second week as No. 1, was upset 43-37 in triple overtime by
Kentucky. A few hours later, California, poised to move up one spot
to No. 1 with a victory, lost at home 31-28 to Oregon State.
It was the first time in 11 years the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in the
AP poll lost on the same day.
The Buckeyes received 50 of a possible 65 first-place votes, and
were not the only team to advance. South Florida, which had never
been ranked before this season, moved up three spots to No. 2,
leapfrogging No. 3 Boston College.
Ohio State and South Florida were also held the top two spots in
the first BCS standings released Sunday.
The Bulls received 11 first-place votes after a 64-12 victory
over Central Florida.
"The big thing for me is being fluid and don't be afraid of
making drastic changes,'' said Kirk Bohls of the Austin-American
Statesman, who voted USF No. 1. "That's why I put USF one. I think
you have to look at the whole body of work.''
BC's workmanlike 27-14 victory over Notre Dame helped get the
Eagles one first-place votes. No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 5 LSU each
received one first-place vote, as did No. 12 Arizona State.
The last time six teams received first-place votes after the
first month of the season was Nov. 25, 1990.
The rest of the top 10 was No. 6 South Carolina, followed by
Oregon, Kentucky, West Virginia and Cal, which slipped eight spots
to No. 10.
Virginia Tech was No. 11, followed by Arizona State and Southern
California, which fell another three spots to No. 13.
USC was the preseason No. 1, but lost the top ranking three
weeks ago after a lackluster victory at Washington. The Trojans
slipped to No. 10 last week after being upset by Stanford.
Florida was No. 14, followed by Kansas and Missouri, which were
tied at No. 15. Hawaii, Auburn, Texas and Tennessee rounded out the
Georgia, Texas Tech, Cincinnati, Michigan and Kansas State were
the final five.
Michigan started the season at No. 5 and fell all the way out
after an opening loss to Appalachian State. The Wolverines have won
five straight after starting the season 0-2.
Texas Tech is making its first appearance in the poll this
season. Dropping out this week were Wisconsin, Illinois and Florida