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Archive for Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Texas moves up, sets up 1-2 bout

Notre Dame drops after narrow victory

September 6, 2006

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As if Ohio State at Texas wasn't already a big enough game, now it's No. 1 vs. No. 2.

The Longhorns moved up one spot to No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25 on Tuesday, right behind the top-ranked Buckeyes.

The two powerhouses will square off in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, a much-anticipated rematch of last year's 25-22 victory by Texas in Columbus, Ohio.

It'll be the first time since 1996 that the top two teams in the AP poll will meet in a regular-season game. That year, No. 2 Florida State beat No. 1 Florida, 24-21, in mid-November. The Gators and Seminoles met in a rematch in the Sugar Bowl about a month and a half later, and Florida won, 52-20, to earn its only national championship.

Southern California moved up three spots to No. 3 in this week's first regular-season media poll, and Notre Dame slipped two places to No. 4 after a 14-10 victory at Georgia Tech. The Fighting Irish share the fourth spot with Auburn.

Ohio State received 39 first-place votes and 1,568 points in the poll after opening its season with a 35-12 victory over Northern Illinois. Texas, which began its season with a 56-7 victory over North Texas, received seven first-place votes and 1,453 points.

Southern California and Auburn each received three first-place votes; Notre Dame got eight; and No. 6 West Virginia had five. The rest of the Top 10 is Florida, LSU, Florida State - up two spots after a 13-10 victory over Miami on Monday night - and Michigan.

No. 11 Tennessee made the biggest jump, rising 12 spots after a 35-18 victory over California. Cal, which had its best preseason ranking in more than 50 years, fell from No. 9 to No. 22 after the meltdown in Knoxville.

Last year's meeting between Texas and Ohio State was the first between the two storied programs. The Longhorns' comeback victory, led by Vince Young, allowed them to clear a major hurdle on the way to their first outright national title since 1969.

That was also the year Texas was last involved in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 regular-season matchup. Texas beat Arkansas in 1969 in one of the most famous games in that rivalry.

The Longhorns are 4-0 in No. 1-against-No. 2 games, the latest coming last season when they beat USC in the Rose Bowl for the national title as the second-ranked team.

Ohio State is 2-0 in 1-2 games, the last coming in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl. The No. 2 Buckeyes beat top-ranked Miami in that game to win their last national title.

Georgia came in at No. 12, followed by Louisville, Iowa, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Miami, Clemson, Penn State and Oregon. The 19th-ranked Nittany Lions play at Notre Dame in Saturday's other marquee game.

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