Sooners take sole possession of second

Updated: November 21, 2004, 4:36 PM ET
Associated Press

Oklahoma is the only No. 2 in both polls now.

After a week of sharing the No. 2 ranking with Auburn, Oklahoma edged ahead of the Tigers in The Associated Press Top 25 on Sunday.

No. 1 Southern California lost some support during a bye week, dropping three first-place votes to 48. Still, the Trojans have a comfortable lead in the rankings with 1,603 points.

Oklahoma has nine first-place votes, one more than last week, and 1,541 points. No. 3 Auburn got two more first-place votes than last week, increasing its total to eight, and 1,536 points.

The Sooners defeated Baylor 35-0 Saturday, and Auburn rallied in the second half to beat Alabama 21-13.

Oklahoma decided to rest its starters once it got a big lead against the Bears instead of piling it on to impress voters. Last week, Sooners coach Bob Stoops did the opposite against Nebraska.

"I'm comfortable in the fact that we chose to run the clock out," Stoops said. "Anyone that doesn't see the dilemma we're in is not being totally fair. We're in a bad, bad position right now."

In the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, USC is still No. 1 and No. 2 Oklahoma added two points to its lead over No. 3 Auburn.

The Tigers (10-0) needed to pull way out in front of the Sooners in the polls to make up ground in the Bowl Championship Series standings, a new version of which will be released Monday.

The Sooners are second behind USC in the BCS standings because of strong computer ranking. To make up for Oklahoma's large advantage in the computers, Auburn needs to be a clear No. 2 in the polls.

No. 4 California, No. 5 Utah and No. 6 Texas all held their positions from last week in the new rankings.

Louisville moved up to No. 7, followed by Georgia, Miami and Boise State. Florida State dropped 10 spots to No. 20 after losing to Florida, 20-13. The Gators moved back into the rankings at No. 25. Michigan, which was upset by Ohio State 37-21, dropped six spots to No. 13.

Virginia Tech is No. 11, and Iowa, the co-Big Ten champ along with the Wolverines, is No. 12. No. 14 is LSU, followed by Tennessee, Virginia, Boston College and Arizona State.

Wisconsin is down to No. 20 after its second straight loss, a 30-7 defeat at Iowa that dashed the Badgers Rose Bowl hopes.

No. 21 West Virginia, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and UTEP join Florida in the final five.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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