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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Gators Jump To Number 2

These are good days to be a Gator.

What's your Top 25?
Would you rank Florida No. 2? Now that you know what the Associated Press' Top 25 teams are, we want to know SportsNation's Top 25 team

Florida is the new No. 2 in The Associated Press Top 25, its highest ranking since Steve Spurrier left Gainesville, and by far the best team in the Sunshine State.

For the first time in 24 years, neither Miami nor Florida State is ranked.

Florida moved up three spots Sunday into second behind No. 1 Ohio State on the strength of a 23-10 victory over LSU on Saturday -- and with a lot help from Arkansas.

The Razorbacks pulled off the first stunner of the season, beating Auburn 27-10. The Tigers had held the No. 2 spot for three weeks. They became the first top-10 team to lose to an unranked team this season.

Arkansas is unranked no more.

The Razorbacks' big win moved them into the rankings for the first time since October 2003. With Arkansas at No. 17, the Southeastern Conference had six teams in the Top 25. Auburn fell to No. 11.

The Buckeyes have become a runaway No. 1, with 63 of 65 first-place votes and 1,623 points. Florida has 1,516 points and jumped over No. 3 USC, which had a second consecutive close call on Saturday, to become the fourth team to be No. 2 this season. Notre Dame and Texas have also been No. 2.

Mike Radano of the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, N.J., was one of many voters to move Florida ahead of USC this week.

"USC hasn't been its same dominant self," Radano said. "I thought they got a little fortunate yesterday."

The Trojans beat Washington 26-20, a game that ended when the Huskies couldn't get a play off from the USC 15 with 2 seconds left.

"I got to watch both (USC and Florida) and I was a little more impressed with Florida's offense right now," Radano said.

Michigan moved up two spots to No. 4 and West Virginia slipped a spot to No. 5, though the Mountaineers received two first-place votes.

Texas is sixth followed by Louisville, Tennessee, Notre Dame and California, which moved back into the top 10 after an impressive 45-24 victory over Oregon.

In the USA Today coaches' poll, Ohio State is No. 1 followed by USC, Florida, West Virginia and Michigan. In the Harris poll, the top five are Ohio State, USC, Florida, Michigan and West Virginia.

The Harris and coaches' poll are used in the Bowl Championship Series standings, along with computer rankings. The first BCS standings of the season come out Sunday.

Miami fell out of the rankings three weeks ago for the first time since 1999, and is still trying to work its way back. Florida State joined the Hurricanes among the unranked in the latest poll after losing 24-20 to North Carolina State on Thursday. The Seminoles and Hurricanes, who have combined for seven national titles since 1983, are both 3-2.

The last time neither was ranked was the final regular-season AP Top 25 of 1982, the year before Miami won the first of its five national championships.

Florida State was unranked for one week late last season.

The unbeaten Gators, in their second season under coach Urban Meyer, haven't held such lofty status in the media poll since 2001, the last season Spurrier was in charge at Florida. The Gators started that season No. 1 and finished it No. 3.

Florida was No. 7 in the preseason this year and had held steady at five for three weeks.

Auburn starts the second 10, followed by Clemson, Georgia Tech, LSU and Iowa.

Georgia dropped six spots to No. 16 after losing 51-33 to Tennessee. The Volunteers became just the second team to score 50 points at Sanford Stadium.

After Arkansas at No. 17, Oregon is 18th. Unbeatens Missouri and Boise State round out the top 20.

The final five are Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Rutgers and Wisconsin.

The Badgers are ranked for the first time this season. Boston College dropped out of the rankings without playing.


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