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Miami surrenders top spot to Oklahoma in AP Top 25

'Canes drop to No. 2 after close call, could create a shakeup in BCS standings.

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 4, 2002


A shaky win by Miami against one of the worst college football teams in the country Saturday became a big loss Sunday: The Hurricanes are out as No. 1.

Oklahoma replaced Miami as the top team in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, ending the Hurricanes' record streak of 21 polls at No. 1.

As usual, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops didn't do cartwheels upon hearing the news that his team was ranked No. 1.

"I know everybody'd like me to have something really good to say about it, but in the end -- I say this all the time -- they're not sending out any trophies this week, so I don't know what it means," he said.

Miami remained unbeaten with a 42-17 win over Rutgers but trailed by three entering the fourth quarter. Unbeaten Oklahoma was dominating in its 27-11 win over Colorado, ranked No. 13 before the game.

Miami takes over the No. 2 spot held by Oklahoma. Ohio State (10-0) moved from No. 6 to No. 3. Florida State moved up one to No. 17, and Florida moved back into the Top 25 at No. 23 after dropping out Oct. 13.

The defending national champion Hurricanes easily retained their No. 1 spot in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. The split No. 1s, plus Saturday losses by four previously unbeaten teams, could create a shakeup in the Bowl Championship Series standings to be released today. The top two teams in the final BCS standings Dec. 8 play for a national title Jan. 3 in the Fiesta Bowl.

Last week, OU was the BCS's No. 1 team and the Hurricanes led Notre Dame 6.69 to 6.99 for the No. 2 spot. The Buckeyes were fifth at 9.49, but they should move up considerably with their leap in the polls, and their computer rank average already was higher than Miami's.

Late Sunday, BCS analyst Jerry Palm went only as far as predicting Oklahoma would remain first but said it's too close to call for second between Miami and Ohio State.

"It's so tight you can't be totally accurate until all the data is in," Palm said. "All this has done so far is get us another week closer to being able to see more clearly. But it's just a crap shoot."

Last week, Notre Dame openly discussed its national title hopes. Up popped Boston College with a 14-7 win, despite which the Irish still have a shot at a trip to Tempe, Ariz.

After Pittsburgh's 28-21 upset of Virginia Tech and Florida's 20-13 win over Georgia, the Irish and a bunch of other one-loss teams, such as Texas, Washington State and Iowa, are still in the chase. All that needs to happen is for two of the three unbeatens to lose.

A few scenarios worth considering:

-- If the Sooners, Hurricanes and Buckeyes win out, who goes to the Fiesta Bowl? Palm says Oklahoma and "it's still too close to call between Miami and Ohio State, but Miami fans are already worried."

-- If the same three win out, as well as one-loss teams Georgia, Notre Dame, Texas and Washington State, and Florida State takes the ACC title, the BCS lineup could be: Miami vs. Oklahoma in the Fiesta; Ohio State vs. Washington State in the Rose; Notre Dame vs. Georgia in the Sugar; and Texas vs. Florida State in the Orange.

-- If there are no undefeated teams and seven or eight with one loss? "Total chaos, and it will come down to where they are ranked in the (media and coaches) polls," Palms says.

-- If Miami and Ohio State lose, how about an Oklahoma-Texas rematch?

-- Can Notre Dame play in Tempe? If the Irish win out against Navy, Rutgers and USC and two of the three top unbeatens lose, the Irish could get in as the top one-loss team. If not, they surely would end up in a BCS bowl.

The Top 5 in the New York Times computer poll are Oklahoma, Ohio State, Southern Cal, Miami and Notre Dame.

Oklahoma, the 2000 national champion, moved ahead of the Hurricanes by 14 points in balloting by the 74 sports writers and broadcasters on the AP panel. The Sooners, a co-No. 1 with Miami in the first regular-season poll, received 42 first-place votes and 1,818 points to Miami's 32 first-place votes and 1,804 points. Oklahoma picked up 28 first-place votes from a week ago, 27 from Miami and one from Notre Dame, which fell to No. 9 from No. 4.

Minnesota, a 34-3 loser to Ohio State, and Tennessee fell out of the Top 25. Newcomers are Pittsburgh at No. 22 and Florida.

Spartans hit by arrest, drug problem

DETROIT -- Michigan State tailback Dawan Moss was dismissed from the team Sunday after being arrested and accused of dragging a police officer with his car after a traffic stop.

The 22-year-old Moss, a captain and the team's leading rusher, was charged with fleeing and eluding a police officer, a felony, as well as misdemeanor drunken driving and having an open container of alcohol.

If convicted of all charges, Moss could be sentenced to up to two years in prison, Ingham County prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III said.

Also, quarterback Jeff Smoker has sought help for a substance-abuse problem.

Smoker, the third-leading passer in school history, was suspended indefinitely Oct. 24 for violating team rules. At that time, school officials declined to release specific reasons for the suspension.

BADGERS RB STABBED: Wisconsin running back Anthony Davis was stabbed in the left thigh during a domestic dispute in Madison. A 22-year-old woman was arrested.

BAYLOR FIRES COACH: Coach Kevin Steele was fired but agreed to finish out the season. Steele, in his fourth season with the Bears, is 9-33 with one Big 12 victory.

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