Tuesday, October 23, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 44



Stunned Ducks fall out of Top 10; Paterno wins No. 323

The AP Top 25

Ed De La Garza

At least Joe Pa's happy.

Needing just one win to tie Bear Bryant for most Division I victories, Penn State head coach Joe Paterno and the winless Nittany Lions headed into Evanston, Ill., to play
the then-No. 22 Northwestern Wildcats.

Freshman quarterback Zack Mills came off the bench to throw a touchdown pass with less than two minutes remaining, giving Penn State a 38-35 lead. And Paterno
finally got his 323rd win.

Much has been made about his time being done -- that the game may have finally passed him by. Florida State's Bobby Bowden may get to No. 324 first, but the
Seminoles' head coach hasn't had to withstand a disastrous season.

The 'Noles have been knocked down, but they've never slipped out of the Associated Press Top 25 poll. The rest of the Atlantic Coast Conference has caught up, but
Florida State is still going to win at least eight games and make it to a bowl game.

In other Top 25 news, underestimated Stanford took it to Oregon, in Eugene, Ore., beating the stunned Ducks, 49-42. Oregon fell out of the top 10 after rising to No. 4.
The unranked Cardinals jumped up to No. 20.

Fresno State's loss to Boise State sent it reeling all the way to No. 18 -- out of the hunt for the National Championship. No. 25 Toledo was sent packing after its loss to
Ball State, 24-20.

There'll only be one game that matters on Saturday. No. 2 Oklahoma will travel to No. 3 Nebraska. The winner will be in great shape for the Rose Bowl. The Huskers
have been able to pull away from their competition, but they've struggled early in games.

The Sooners haven't had that problem. But their toughest test came when they barely squeaked past the unranked Kansas State Wildcats. That said, Boomer Sooner.

And I suppose this column wouldn't be the same without mentioning Texas.

There you go.

BCS is nothing but

Poor, hapless, woeful, forgotten Miami.

They may only be fourth in the season's first Bowl Championship Series ranking, but provided they beat Virginia Tech, the No. 1 Hurricanes should be playing Jan. 3.

The Sooners debuted at No. 1, with Nebraska and UCLA trailing. Virginia Tech, sitting at No. 5, could be a factor if it beats Miami.

Those proud, classy Longhorns somehow fooled the computers into believing they're good enough to be No. 6. Michigan, Maryland, Tennessee and Washington
State round out the top 10.

Florida, Washington, Oregon, Stanford and those hard-charging South Carolina Gamecocks came in at Nos. 11 through 15.

If some of this seems wacky, it's because it is. The BCS may do a better job of picking out a No. 1 and No. 2, but Miami should have been playing Oklahoma last year.
And there's no way the Cougars should be in the top 10.

Of course, the perfect option, that of incorporating the bowls into some type of playoff format, makes absolutely no sense.

Gamecock update

The fighting Gamecocks staged an amazing comeback after faltering against Arkansas. South Carolina hammered the defenseless Vanderbilt Commodores, 46-14.
They rose back up the ranks to No. 12 after falling out of the top 15.

But the Gamecocks' strength will be tested as they go on the road to face the No. 9 Tennessee Volunteers. The Vols didn't play their best game of the season against
Alabama but did manage to win, 35-24.

Go Gamecocks.

The DC Baker's Dozen

Miami may still be No. 1 in both the AP and Coaches' polls, but Oklahoma became the first consensus No. 1 in Daily Cougar history. Our computing system is just as
complicated as the BCS, so don't ask how we come up with the baker's dozen. Just take it in. If you disagree tough.

All comments are welcome (and some may be printed). Send feedback to dcsports@mail.uh.edu.

1. Oklahoma, 7-0

2. Miami, 5-0

3. UCLA, 6-0

4. Nebraska, 8-0

5. Virginia Tech, 6-0

6. Florida, 5-1

7. Oregon, 6-1

8. Maryland, 7-0

9. Michigan, 5-1

10. Tennessee, 4-1

11. Texas, 6-1

12. Georgia, 5-1

13. Washington, 5-1

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