Upsets benefit Sooners the most
Posted: Monday, September 29, 2008 5:12 pm
By: BY RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Oklahoma, where the No. 1 ranking rests again.
The Sooners sit atop the AP Top 25 on Sunday after the first upset-filled weekend of the season gave the media poll a powerful shake. Alabama was both a mover and a shaker, as the Crimson Tide rose to No. 2 after a surprising 41-30 pounding of Georgia.
Previously top-ranked Southern California lost at Oregon State to set the tone for a weekend that brought back memories of the topsy-turvy 2007 season.
On Saturday, two more top-five teams fell. Florida was stunned at home by Mississippi, 31-30. Georgia, which started the season No. 1, was down 31 points by halftime to Alabama and never recovered.
Overall, nine ranked teams lost, six to unranked foes.
The last time such a shake-up occurred? One year ago, when in the last week of September three of the top-five teams fell and seven ranked teams lost to unranked opponents.
“I think we talked (Friday) that anyone can beat anyone on any given Saturday, and that’s why you’ve got to come out and you’ve got to play on edge, full tilt every game because if not, someone’s liable to come in and beat you,” Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford said after the Sooners’ 35-10 victory over TCU on Saturday.
Oklahoma is No. 1 for the 96th time in the history of the AP poll, breaking a tie with Notre Dame for the most ever. The last time the Sooners were No. 1 was 2003, when they were atop the polls all season before losing the Big 12 title game to Kansas State.
Oklahoma received 43 of a possible 65 first-place votes and 1,599 points.
Alabama’s impressive performance jumped the Tide six spots. Alabama hasn’t been ranked this high since it was No. 2 for the first eight polls of the 1993 season.
The Tide received 21 first-place votes and 1,565 points.
LSU is No. 3, moving up two spots. No. 4 Missouri, which received a first-place vote, and No. 5 Texas also moved up two places and left the top five under the control of the Big 12 (three teams) and Southeastern Conference (two).
Penn State moved up six spots to No. 6 after its 38-24 victory against Illinois.
Texas Tech was idle, but took advantage of the attrition in the top 10 to move up to No. 7. BYU is eighth, USC dropped eight spots to No. 9 and South Florida is No. 10.
In the USA Today coaches’ poll, Oklahoma was No. 1, but LSU was No. 2, followed by Missouri, Alabama and Texas. In the Harris, poll which came out for the first time this season Sunday and is used in the ECS standings, Oklahoma was No. 1, followed by LSU, Alabama, Missouri and Texas.
Georgia and Florida each dropped eight spots in the AP poll. The Bulldogs are No. 11 and Florida is No. 12, followed by fellow SEC rival Auburn at 13th.
No. 14 Ohio State is followed by Utah, Kansas, Boise State and Wisconsin, which dropped nine spots after blowing a 19-point lead and losing to Michigan 27-25.
No. 19 Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech, which moved back into the rankings with 35-30 win at Nebraska, rounded out the top 20.
No. 21 Oklahoma State is ranked for the first time since 2004.
Fresno State, Oregon, Connecticut and Wake Forest, which was upset 24-17 at home by Navy, are the final five. UConn is in the rankings for the first time this season.
Clemson, Illinois, East Carolina, which lost its second straight game, and TCU all fell out of the rankings.