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Upsets lift Tigers in football rankings

Sunday, September 28, 2008 | 8:45 p.m. CDT; updated 10:45 p.m. CDT, Sunday, September 28, 2008

COLUMBIA - Without playing a game this weekend, Missouri jumped to No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 4 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The attrition from a weekend of upsets shuffled the polls significantly, with three teams dropping from the Top 5 and Oklahoma taking the No. 1 spot.

Former No. 1 Southern California fell to No. 9 after losing to Oregon State on Thursday. Alabama is now No. 2 in the AP and No. 4 in the Coaches poll after its win over last week's No. 3-team Georgia, which moved down to No. 11 in the AP poll and and No. 10 in the Coaches poll . Former No. 4 Florida was bumped to No. 12 and No. 13 in the polls following a loss to unranked Mississippi.

"I think across the board it was a case of we weren't functioning," USC coach Pete Carroll said in a press conference posted on the Trojans' Web site after the team's loss to Oregon State. "We weren't playing like we normally do."

In all, nine ranked teams in last week's top 25 lost, and six of those were to unranked opponents. As it did last year, the unpredictable outcomes boost the Tigers' chances for a BCS bowl game, and keeps the national championship within reach. After a bye week, Missouri received a first-place vote in the AP Poll, and landed just one vote behind No. 2 LSU in the Coaches Poll.

The Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences dominate the rankings, tied with six teams each. Texas moved up two places to No. 5 in both polls, giving the Big 12 three teams in the Top 5. Oklahoma State entered the polls this week at No. 21 in the AP poll and No. 22 in the Coaches poll, joining Texas Tech (No. 7 and No. 8) and Kansas (No. 16 in both polls). This is Oklahoma State's first-national ranking since 2004.

This week, Oklahoma became the most frequent No. 1 team in history. The Sooners have led the nation a total of 96 weeks, one week more than Notre Dame. After Oklahoma's win over TCU, coach Bob Stoops avoided any questions on what his team would be ranked.

"I don't have any (thoughts on it)," he said in a postgame press conference included on the team's Web site. "Nope. No. Talk to somebody else about it."

Missouri's first opponent, Illinois, dropped from the polls with a loss to Penn State, which soared six spots to No. 6. Virginia Tech entered the rankings after a 35-30 win over Nebraska.

The Tigers face the Huskers in their first conference game on Saturday night in Lincoln, Neb.

 


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