Archive for Monday, October 11, 2004

OU gains on USC in this week’s poll

October 11, 2004

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The gap between No. 1 USC and No. 2 Oklahoma is smaller than it has been all season.

The Sooners' 12-0 shutout of Texas and Southern California's close call against California persuaded voters in the Associated Press Top 25 released Sunday to change their first-place vote.

USC received 41 first-place votes, a season low, and 1,601 points in the media voting. Oklahoma got a season-high 23 first-place votes and 1,582 points, leaving the Sooners 19 points behind the Trojans with the Bowl Championship Series standings just a week away from making their 2004 debut.

The BCS will release its newly formulated standings Oct. 18. The AP poll will count for one-third of a team's BCS points this year. The ESPN/USA Today coaches poll also will count for a third, and a compilation of computer rankings will make up the remaining one-third.

In the latest coaches poll, USC is No. 1, followed by Oklahoma, Miami, Auburn and Purdue.

The polls and rankings released Oct. 17 and 18 will determine the first BCS standings. The top two teams in the BCS standings at the end of the season will play in the Orange Bowl for the national title.

USC and Oklahoma have been 1-2 in the AP and coaches polls since the preseason, but before the Trojans' 23-17 victory over Cal on Saturday, the points differential between the teams was more than double what it is now.

Voters may have been impressed by the performance of Sooners freshman running back Adrian Peterson, who proved himself a more-than-capable complement to Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jason White by rushing for 225 yards against the Longhorns.

"We expected to be able to run the football, and it wasn't just Adrian," OU coach Bob Stoops said. "I think our offensive line and the way they played are all part of running the ball. We're improving with it."

Georgia had been No. 3, but a 19-14 loss at home to Tennessee dropped the Bulldogs to No. 12.

Idle Miami moved up one spot to No. 3. No. 4 Auburn received the remaining first-place vote, and Purdue moved up four spots to No. 5.

Auburn's ranking is the Tigers' best since Nov. 6, 1994. Purdue hasn't been ranked this high in 25 years. On Sept. 10, 1979, the Boilermakers were ranked fifth in the country.

Texas dropped four spots to No. 9, Oklahoma State is No. 16, and Texas A&M is No. 23.

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