Nebraska No. 1 Again in AP Poll

Monday, October 9th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

It was a short stay away from the top for Nebraska.

The Cornhuskers got a gift from Miami and turned a close game into a blowout to reclaim their spot atop The Associated Press Top 25 after a one-week stint at No. 2.

Miami cleared the way for Nebraska's rise with a 27-24 win over Florida State. The Cornhuskers followed through with a 49-27 win at Iowa State, which started as the Seminoles-Hurricanes' game wrapped up.

Although the result was announced early in Nebraska's game, coach Frank Solich said it was not a topic the Cornhuskers discussed much at halftime when they trailed 14-13.

``We're really concerned about where we're at and what we're doing,'' Solich said. ``There's a lot of football to be played yet, so it makes no difference about who's sitting on top right now.''

Right now that's Nebraska, and by quite a margin. Of the 71 sports writers and broadcasters on the AP panel, 67 gave the Huskers first-place votes. Last week, Nebraska had 28 first-place votes to Florida State's 42.

Nebraska had dropped after giving up 492 yards of offense to Missouri the week before. The Huskers allowed 346 passing yards to Iowa State's Sage Rosenfels, but did tighten up on the run. The Cyclones rushed for just 37 yards, about 190 below their average.

The Huskers have 1,771 poll points, well ahead of No. 2 Kansas State's 1,640 and No. 3 Virginia Tech, which had 1,627.

Kansas State (6-0) moved up from fourth to No. 2 with a 52-13 win over Kansas. The Cornhuskers and Wildcats are the first 1-2 combination from the same conference since Nebraska was No. 1 and Oklahoma second in the 11th poll of the 1987 season.

The Huskers visit the Wildcats on Nov. 11, but before anybody starts talking about a 1-2 matchup both schools have to get past No. 8 Oklahoma (5-0). The Sooners, who were 10th last week, are at K-State this Saturday after stunning Texas 63-14.

Virginia Tech (5-0), a 35-13 winner over Temple, remained at No. 3 and had one first-place vote. Miami (4-1) moved up three spots to No. 4 and Clemson stayed at No. 5.

Ohio State's 23-7 win at Wisconsin knocked the Badgers out of the Top 25 and moved the Buckeyes (5-0) from eighth to No. 6. The Seminoles (5-1) fell to No. 7, followed by Oklahoma, Oregon (4-1) and Florida (5-1).

Just seven of the 115 I-A teams are unbeaten and all are ranked within the top 12. Miami is the highest-ranked team with one loss.

``There's only about half of the season gone. We've got a lot of football to play,'' Solich said. ``There's a lot of them dropping by the wayside as far as undefeated teams go.''

Following No. 4 Miami is No. 5 Clemson (6-0) , No. 6 Ohio State (5-0), No. 7 Florida State, No. 8 Oklahoma (5-0), No. 9 Oregon and No. 10 Florida.

Florida, which beat LSU 41-9, gave the Southeastern Conference a Top 10 team again after last week's absence — the first time since 1988 an SEC team was not ranked in the AP's Top 10.

Washington, a 33-30 winner over Oregon State, was No. 11, followed, in order, by TCU (5-0), UCLA, Georgia, Mississippi State, Southern Mississippi, Northwestern, Michigan, Auburn and Notre Dame.

Purdue, a 32-31 winner over Michigan, was back in the poll at No. 21, followed by Arizona, Oregon State, South Carolina and Texas.

Tennessee (2-3), which lost 21-10 to Georgia, fell out of the AP rankings for the first time since Dec. 4, 1994 — a streak of 94 consecutive rankings. Joining the Vols on the dropout list were Southern Cal and Wisconsin,

Arizona, Purdue and South Carolina are the new Top 25 teams this week.

In the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll, the top five were Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Kansas State, Clemson and Ohio State.