Florida, Oklahoma 1-2 in AP poll, leaving Texas on outside looking in

Updated: December 7, 2008, 9:16 PM ET
Associated Press

Florida was No. 1 and Oklahoma jumped Texas to become No. 2 in the AP Top 25, leaving the Longhorns little hope of winning a championship trophy.

The Longhorns were No. 3 in The Associated Press college football poll released Sunday, behind the two teams that will play in the BCS national title game Jan. 8 in Miami.

The Gators finished the season No. 1 in the AP poll two seasons ago, but before that Florida last led the media rankings in October 2001.

Poll Positions

The top five of The Associated Press poll released Sunday:

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For complete AP and USA Today polls, click here.

The final BCS standings had Oklahoma No. 1, Florida No. 2 and Texas third. The USA Today coaches' poll lined up that way, as well. The Harris poll had Florida on top, followed by Oklahoma and Texas.

The coaches' poll is obligated to rank the BCS title game winner No. 1. The AP poll is not. The last time the two major polls had different final No. 1 teams was after the 2003 season, when LSU won the BCS title and Southern California was No. 1 in the AP Top 25.

Tim Tebow and the Gators won the Southeastern Conference championship Saturday with a 31-20 victory against previously unbeaten and then-No. 1 Alabama.

Florida, which received 50 first-place votes in the AP poll, becomes the sixth team to be No. 1 this season. Georgia started there. Southern California took over after the first games were played and held the top spot for four weeks.

After USC lost at Oregon State, Oklahoma rose to No. 1 in the AP poll and stayed there for two weeks. The Sooners lost to Texas 45-35 on Oct. 11.

The Longhorns were No. 1 until losing 39-33 on a last-second touchdown at Texas Tech on Oct. 25. That made Alabama No. 1, where the Tide stayed until losing to the Gators and falling to No. 4.

The last season in which there were six No. 1 teams was 1984.

The Sooners won the Big 12 championship, a game many felt Texas deserved to be in instead of Oklahoma because of the head-to-head result, by routing Missouri 62-21 on Saturday night. The latest offensive barrage by the Sooners, who have set an NCAA record for points in a season with 702, helped OU move up two spots in the Top 25 and jump over Texas in another close vote.

Last week, Texas was ranked third, eight points ahead of Oklahoma. This week, Oklahoma is 10 points ahead of Texas.

Oklahoma received nine first-place votes. Texas had six. Last week, 40 voters had Texas ahead of Oklahoma in the AP poll, most by one spot. The Longhorns were ahead of the Sooners on 34 ballots this week.

The shift means it's unlikely Texas could finish No. 1 in the AP poll after the bowls are played -- the Longhorns are expected to be matched against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl -- no matter how the BCS title game between Oklahoma and Florida plays out.

The next and final AP Top 25 will be released hours after the BCS championship game.

The rest of the latest top 10 stayed the same the day after championship Saturday.

Southern California, Pac-10 champions for the seventh straight season, was No. 5 and the Trojans' Rose Bowl opponent Penn State was No. 6.

Undefeated Utah was No. 7, followed by Texas Tech and undefeated Boise State. The Utes, champions of the Mountain West Conference, and the Broncos, champs of the Western Athletic Conference, are the only unbeaten teams left in major college football.

Ohio State rounded out the top 10.

The next 10 started with TCU at No. 11, followed by Oklahoma State at 12. The Cowboys join Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech and give the Big 12 South a third of the top 12 teams in the country.

Big East champion Cincinnati was No. 13, followed by Georgia Tech and Oregon.

Preseason No. 1 Georgia was No. 16. BYU, Pittsburgh, Michigan State and Mississippi completed the top 20.

No. 21 Virginia Tech re-entered the rankings after beating Boston College to win its second consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference championship Saturday.

Ball State slipped 10 spots to No. 22 after losing for the first time this season. The Cardinals lost the Mid-American Conference championship game 42-24 to Buffalo on Friday night.

No. 23 Northwestern, Oregon State and Missouri, which fell six spots to No. 25, closed out the rankings.

BC was the only team to fall out of the Top 25 this week.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press