Florida back at No. 1 in AP poll, ‘Bama falls to 2nd
Florida regained the top spot Sunday in The Associated Press poll from Alabama, which was ranked No. 1 for a week ahead of the Gators.
The Crimson Tide needed a blocked field goal on the last play to beat Tennessee 12-10 on Saturday, while Florida pulled away from Mississippi State in the fourth quarter for a 29-19 victory. The Gators received 30 first-place votes to Alabama’s 23.
The complete top 25
A change at the top and a Pac-10 team cracking the top 10 highlight this week’s AP rankings. See the full AP poll 25 here.
“I thought it was only fair that I use the same standard for Alabama that I did for Florida a week earlier,” said Mike Strain of the Tulsa World. “Florida barely won a home game against an unranked foe (Arkansas) and dropped from No. 1 on my ballot. This week, Alabama barely won a home game against an unranked foe (Tennessee) and dropped from No. 1 on my ballot.”
No. 3 Texas got seven first-place votes after its 41-7 victory at Missouri.
“I went with Texas No. 1, dropped ‘Bama from No. 1 to No. 2 and Florida from 2 to 3. Texas has not played as good a schedule as those two, but it has been dominant in virtually every game,” said Glenn Guilbeau of Gannett Louisiana News Service. “Alabama and Florida looked average against average teams Saturday. It’s close, but Texas is a shade better at the moment.”
The last time two teams flip-flopped in the top two spots of the AP Top 25 from one week to the next was 1992, when Miami and Washington did it.
Like Texas, No. 4 Southern California, No. 5 Cincinnati, No. 6 Boise State and No. 7 Iowa held their places in the latest media rankings.
TCU jumped two spots to No. 8 after a 38-7 victory at Mountain West Conference rival BYU. LSU stayed at No. 9 and Oregon moved up two spots to No. 10.
The Ducks host USC on Saturday in a game with huge Pac-10 championship implications.
In the BCS standings that came out Sunday night, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Iowa and USC were the top five.
Florida began the season as an overwhelming No. 1 in the AP poll. Alabama started five and steadily gained on the Gators before finally jumping past them last week, when Florida needed a field goal in the waning seconds to beat Arkansas at home.
Alabama All-America nose guard Terrence Cody blocked Daniel Lincoln’s 44-yard field-goal attempt on the final play Saturday to keep the Crimson Tide undefeated.
Florida led Mississippi State 16-13 in the fourth quarter, then scored two touchdowns 33 seconds apart to put the Bulldogs away.
No. 11 Georgia Tech starts the second 10, followed by Penn State and Oklahoma State. The Cowboys host Texas on Halloween night.
Virginia Tech is 14th and Houston is 15th.
Pittsburgh moved up four spots to No. 16 after a 41-14 Big East victory against South Florida. The Panthers have their highest ranking since they were 15th in October 2003.
Ohio State, Miami, Utah and West Virginia round out the top 20.
The final five includes three teams that were unranked last week. No. 21 South Carolina moved up two spots and No. 22 Oklahoma moved up three.
No. 23 Arizona is in the AP ranking for the first time since Oct. 22, 2000. No. 24 Mississippi and No. 25 Notre Dame re-entered the rankings.
BYU, Kansas and Texas Tech dropped out after losses.