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Penn State closer in BCS, but is it enough?

NEW YORK — Penn State surged in the Bowl Championship Series standings after its big win at Ohio State, closing the gap on first-place Texas and second-place Alabama on Sunday.

Still, the Nittany Lions are in danger of being unbeaten and left out of the BCS national title game.

The Longhorns were again first by far in all the polls and on top of all the computer rankings. The top two teams in the final BCS standings play for the national title.

Texas' .9981 BCS average is the third highest since the current formula, which counts the USA Today coaches' poll and Harris poll for two-thirds of the grade and a compilation of six computers for the other third, was put in place in 2004.

The Crimson Tide (.9499) was a solid second in the polls, and second in all but one of the computer ratings.

Penn State's average pushed to .9257. The problem is the perceived weakness of the Big Ten.

After a week off, Penn State plays at Iowa (5-3) and finishes the season with home games against Indiana (3-5) and Michigan State (7-2).

It's unlikely those opponents will help lift Penn State into one of the top two spots if the Crimson Tide wins the SEC and the Longhorns win the Big 12.

The rest of the top five remained the same, with Oklahoma (.8270) fourth and Southern California (.7822) fifth.

Georgia (.7703) is sixth, Texas Tech (.7431) is seventh and Florida (.7295) is eighth.

TEXAS TECH MOVES UP: Texas Tech has its highest ranking in the AP Top 25 in 32 years, moving to No. 6. A second straight weekend when highly ranked teams ruled produced little change at the top of the media rankings. Texas is a unanimous No. 1 for the second week in a row, followed by the same Top 5: Alabama, Penn State Oklahoma and Florida. Southern California slipped a spot to No. 7, and Georgia moved up a spot to No. 8. The Red Raiders moved up two spots to their best ranking since Nov. 15, 1976, when coach Steve Sloan had them 8-0.

Vitale at USF today

Dick Vitale, the longtime voice of college basketball, will be at the USF bookstore today from noon to 1 p.m. signing copies of his latest book, Dick Vitale's Fabulous 50 Players & Moments in College Basketball: From the Best Seat in the House During My 30 Years at ESPN.

Here are a few moments that hit close to home: No. 26 moment is Florida defending its NCAA title in 2007; No. 27 is Rick Pitino's Providence team, including sharpshooter Billy Donovan, reaching the 1987 Final Four; and No. 29 is UConn winning its first national title against Duke in the 1999 finale in St. Petersburg.

NORTH CAROLINA: Quarterback T.J. Yates, who broke his left ankle Sept. 20, will do light throwing during this off week but isn't expected to play Nov. 8 against Georgia Tech.

PITT: Quarterback Bill Stull was released from a hospital after receiving a concussion and a sore neck against Rutgers. His status for Saturday's game against Notre Dame is uncertain.

WISCONSIN: Tight end Travis Beckum is out for the season with a broken left leg.

LATE SATURDAY: Kevin Thomas had a drive-ending interception, Clay Matthews a comeback-snuffing sack and the defensive line a fourth-and-inches stuff as USC overcame two turnovers and a missed field goal to defeat host Arizona 17-10. The Trojans (4-1) are tied for first in the Pac-10 with Oregon, which routed Arizona State 54-20 on Saturday.

Basketball

UNC THE ACC PICK: North Carolina was a unanimous pick by media to win the ACC, followed by Duke, Wake Forest and Miami. FSU was 10th. Tar Heels center Tyler Hansbrough was picked as the conference's top player for a second straight time, joined on the first team by teammate Ty Lawson, Miami's Jack McClinton, Boston College's Tyrese Rice and Duke's Gerald Henderson.

Times staff writer Brian Landman contributed to this report.

Penn State closer in BCS, but is it enough? 10/26/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 5:33pm]
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