Archive for Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Miami strengthens hold on top BCS spot

November 26, 2002


Ohio State may be headed for the BCS national title game in the Fiesta Bowl, but Miami still sits atop the Bowl Championship Series standings.

The defending national champion Hurricanes increased their lead on the Buckeyes to 1.32 points Monday from 0.01 points last week when they moved ahead of Ohio State for the first time.

Miami, ranked No. 1 in the AP media and coaches' polls, has 2.89 points, 0.80 points better than last week's total. Ohio State has 4.21 points, with Oklahoma moving up to third with 9.09 points.

The Buckeyes (13-0) completed their regular season with a 14-9 victory against Michigan on Saturday. As one of only two unbeaten teams remaining - Miami (10-0) is the other - Ohio State assured itself of at least a second-place finish when the final BCS standings are released Dec. 8.

The top two teams in the final rankings head to Tempe, Ariz., for the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3.

If the Hurricanes win their final games against Syracuse (4-7) on Saturday and Virginia Tech (8-3) on Dec. 7, they will play the Buckeyes for the national championship.

A loss by Miami, and Oklahoma (10-1) stands the best chance of the one-loss teams to move into the title game. The Sooners, who beat Texas Tech 60-15, benefited most by Washington State's 29-26 triple overtime loss to Washington. The Cougars tumbled to eighth from third in the latest BCS standings.

Ohio State dropped farther behind Miami primarily because of Washington State's loss. The Buckeyes only received a 0.3 bonus-point deduction for an earlier win against the Cougars.

Miami, after a 28-21 win against Pittsburgh, was first in five of the seven computer polls and its computer average dropped to 1.17 from 1.33. The Hurricanes also saw their strength of schedule rank improve :quot; to 0.72 from 1.36.

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