No change atop Top 25 poll

Sunday, November 19th 2006, 2:41 pm
By: News On 6

The game of the year didn't change the top of The Associated Press poll.

Ohio State was #1 and Michigan was #2 in the Top 25 on Sunday.

The Big 10 rivals have held the top two spots in the media poll since October 15th. After the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines 42-39 in Columbus on Saturday in their regular-season finale, the voters decided to keep them there.

The last 1 vs. 2 regular-season game that didn't change the top of the poll was the 1966 classic between #1 Notre Dame and #2 Michigan State, which ended in a 10-10 tie.

The last time #2 lost to #1 in the regular season and didn't drop was 1945, when Army beat #2 Navy 32-13.

Ohio State (12-0) moves on to play in the BCS national title game on January 8th in Glendale, Ariz. The Buckeyes have been #1 all season, and for the second time it was unanimous.

Michigan could still end up in the championship game, too, but that will depend on how the other contenders fare over the next two weeks.

Southern California moved up a spot to #3 with a 23-9 victory over California that gave the Trojans the Pac-10's BCS bid and kept them in the national title hunt. USC (9-1) is only 9 points behind Michigan.

Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express News covered Michigan-Ohio State, then watched USC pull away from Cal in the 2nd half. He had Michigan at #2 on his ballot this week and USC 3rd, but it was a close call.

``It's still really fluid,'' he said. ``For Michigan to play as well as they did in a hostile environment really impressed me.''

But he said USC could win back his support by playing a big game against Notre Dame on Saturday.

``It's that close,'' he said.

In the USA Today coaches' poll, Ohio State was #1 with USC 2nd and Michigan 3rd.

Florida (10-1) slipped a spot to #4 and Arkansas (10-1) remained #5. The Gators and Razorbacks meet in the Southeastern Conference championship game on December 2nd.

Notre Dame (10-1), which finishes its regular season at USC on Saturday, was #6.

West Virginia, Louisville, LSU and Wisconsin round out the top 10.

The only new team in the rankings was #25 Hawaii (9-2), in the Top 25 for the first time since the final poll of the 1992 season.

Texas led the second 10 at #11, followed by unbeaten Boise State, Oklahoma, Auburn and Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights fell eight spots after losing their first game, 30-11 at Cincinnati on Saturday.

#16 Georgia Tech was followed by Atlantic Coast Conference rivals Virginia Tech and Boston College. Tennessee was #19 and another ACC team, Wake Forest was 20th.

#21 was BYU, followed by Cal, Nebraska, Clemson and Hawaii.

Maryland fell out of the rankings after losing 38-16 to Boston College.