Missouri sinks again in polls

Sunday, October 19, 2008 | 6:10 p.m. CDT; updated 9:29 a.m. CDT, Monday, October 20, 2008
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel walks off the field at halftime of the Tigers' 56-31 loss Saturday at Texas.

COLUMBIA — When facing the No. 1 team in the country on its home field, you are not supposed to win anyway. That was the message the Missouri football team received from voters in the Associated Press and coaches' polls, who saw the Tigers' 56-31 loss to Texas on Saturday more as a coronation of top-ranked Texas than a demerit against Missouri.

After dropping eight spots last week, the Tigers fell only five spots to No. 16 in both polls. The Tigers' punishment was less harsh in the initial BCS rankings, which debuted with Missouri at No. 15, though that ranking is less important for Missouri after losing at Texas.

That means Missouri remains the highest ranked team in the Big 12 Conference's North Division, staying ahead of Kansas, who slipped to No. 19 in the AP poll and debuted at No. 23 in the BCS because of poor computer rankings.

Missouri and Kansas are the only two Top 25 teams who have lost two games this season. Neither team has lost to an opponent ranked outside the top 15.

Elsewhere in the conference, Texas garnered every first-place vote in the AP poll and all but three in the coaches' poll to remain No. 1. The Longhorns were one of four Big 12 South teams in this week's Top 10, joined by No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 7 Oklahoma State and No. 8 Texas Tech. The Cowboys were the only team with a different BCS ranking, settling at No. 6.

After a week with few upsets at the top of the polls, only four teams in the AP's Top 10 saw their ranking change. Oklahoma State and Texas Tech flipped spots after the Cowboys crushed Baylor, 38-6, while the Red Raiders struggled with Texas A&M for a half before cruising to a 43-25 victory.

Outside of the Big 12, Alabama, Penn State and Southern California rounded out the top five in the BCS rankings. Georgia followed Oklahoma State at No. 7, and Ohio State followed Texas Tech at No. 9. The biggest surprise in the BCS rankings was Florida, who was fourth in the AP poll but 10th in the BCS. A low computer ranking knocked the Gators to the edge of the Top 10. No team outside the AP's top 10 was ranked in the BCS's top 10.

LSU, Utah, Boise State, South Florida and TCU came in as the next five teams in the AP poll. The Horned Frogs made the biggest jump of anyone, going from unranked to No. 15 on the strength of their win over Brigham Young. Utah and Boise State continued to hold the inside track on stealing a BCS bid, which requires a ranking of No. 12 or higher in the final rankings. Utah came in at 11th in the BCS, giving them a slight edge for now over Boise State, who was 12th.

Pittsburgh, Brigham Young, Kansas and Ball State followed Missouri in rounding out the AP's top 20. The final five teams in the Top 25 were Georgia Tech, Tulsa, Boston College, Florida State and Minnesota.

Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Michigan State, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt and California all lost and dropped out of the rankings.


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