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Texas Tech jumps to No. 2, Florida Gators to No. 4 in BCS rankings

NEW YORK — Texas Tech gave the national championship race a makeover by defeating then-No. 1 Texas on Saturday and moving up to second place in Sunday's BCS standings.

Alabama is first, with Penn State third, Texas fourth and Florida (jumping three spots) fifth.

If the Red Raiders and Crimson Tide, both undefeated, win out, they will likely meet in the national championship game in Miami on Jan. 8.

Texas Tech was a close No. 3 behind the Nittany Lions in the coaches' poll and the Harris Poll. Alabama was a solid No. 1 in each poll.

However, the Red Raiders were tied with Alabama for first in the computer ratings, while Penn State was rated fourth in the compilation of six computer ratings that the Bowl Championship Series uses.

With Texas Tech facing ninth-place Oklahoma State and sixth-place Oklahoma in its next two games, plus a possible Big 12 title game, the Red Raiders should be in position to expand their lead over Penn State.

"Now the biggest game in history is Oklahoma State," Texas Tech coach Mike Leach said, "or the history of this year, anyway."

Leach rebuffed a question about whether Texas Tech is now contender or spoiler.

"I don't know," he said. "I don't do big picture questions."

Texas, Florida (.8268) and sixth-place Oklahoma all have one loss but will face tougher schedules than Penn State. The Nittany Lions have the most favorable path to an undefeated season with a trip to Iowa and home games against Indiana and Michigan State.

In the AP poll, FSU dropped eight spots to No. 24. Falling out were USF, Minnesota, Tulsa and Oregon. Alabama is No. 1 for the first time since after the 1992 season, the last of the Tide's six AP national championships. Alabama's last game as a No. 1 team was Oct. 27, 1980. The Crimson Tide is the fifth team this season atop the AP Top 25.

GEORGIA: The Bulldogs, the preseason No. 1, dropped to No. 14 in the AP poll. Coach Mark Richt pointed to a tough schedule and a young offensive line, and said of losing big to Florida and Alabama: "History might prove those two teams are the best teams in the country.''

UCF falls in overtime

ORLANDO — Central Florida played its first home game in a month Sunday. But the return to Bright House Networks Stadium didn't help.

The Knights couldn't hold a 10-3 lead and lost 13-10 in overtime to East Carolina. UCF (2-6, 1-3 Conference USA) hosts Southern Miss at 3:30 Saturday.

East Carolina (5-3, 3-1) tied it at 10 on a 2-yard run by tailback Norman Whitley, who rushed for 135 yards, with 1:51 left in regulation.

On the first play of overtime, UCF's Michael Greco (9-of-21 for 142 yards) threw an interception, and East Carolina's Ben Hartman made a 39-yard field goal to win it.

LATE SATURDAY: Utah struggled on offense after coming in averaging 39 points, but the defense made key stops in a 13-10 victory at New Mexico.

>>up next

FSU: vs. Clemson, 3:30

Saturday, Ch. 28

UF: at Vandy, 8 Saturday, ESPN2

USF: vs. Rutgers, Nov. 15, Time TBA

Miami: vs. Virginia Tech, 7:30 Nov. 13, ESPN

Texas Tech jumps to No. 2, Florida Gators to No. 4 in BCS rankings 11/02/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 8:40am]

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