USC Remains No. 1 in BCS Rankings

Oct. 25, 2004

AP Sports Writer

Oklahoma moved up to No. 2 in the Bowl Championship Series standings Mondayand Utah is now sixth, a position that would guarantee the Utes a spot in oneof the four big-money bowl games if they can hold on to it.

The Sooners jumped ahead of Miami, which was a surprising second behindSouthern California in last week's initial BCS standings.

USC remains in first-place with a grade of .9843. Oklahoma's grade is .9325and Miami is third at .9239.

The top two teams will meet in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4 for the BCS title.

The BCS is using a new formula that relies more on The Associated Press Top25 and ESPN/USA Today coaches poll than ever before. The Sooners have been No.2 in both polls all season, but were a close third to the Hurricanes last weekin the BCS standings because of their relatively weak computer ranking.

A compilation of six computers are used to determine one-third of a team'sBCS grade, with a team's highest and lowest computer rankings thrown out.

Oklahoma beat Kansas 41-10 last Saturday, which helped improve its rankingin the computers from fifth to fourth.

Miami now has the best computer grade, just ahead of USC, which istop-ranked in both polls by a large margin. The Hurricanes are No. 4 in the APmedia poll and No. 3 in the coaches poll.

Auburn (.8983) is fourth in the BCS standings and Florida State (.7759) isfifth. Utah (.7217) moved up one spot to sixth, jumping ahead of unbeatenWisconsin (.7180)

A top-six finish in the BCS standings would guarantee Utah a spot in theFiesta, Rose or Sugar bowls, each with payouts of over $14 million. To even beconsidered for a BCS bid, a top-12 finish is required.

Utah is trying to become the first team from a conference outside the sixleagues - Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10,Southeastern Conference - that have automatic berths into the four BCS games.

The Utes (7-0), one of seven Division I-A teams with perfect records, beatMountain West Conference rival UNLV 63-28 on Saturday.

Boise State (7-0), the other unbeaten from a mid-major conference, moved upa spot from last week to 13th.

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