No. 1 Miami Widens Margin in BCS

From Associated Press

Ohio State may be headed for the BCS national title game in the Fiesta Bowl, but Miami still sits atop the bowl championship series rankings and USC still waits for its opportunity, moving up two places to No. 6.

The defending national champion Hurricanes increased their lead over the Buckeyes from 0.01 of a point last week, when they moved ahead of Ohio State, to 1.32 points Monday.

Miami, ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press media and coaches’ polls, has 2.89 points, 0.80 points better than last week’s total. Ohio State has 4.21 points, with Oklahoma moving up to third with 9.09 points.

The Buckeyes (13-0) completed their regular season with a 14-9 victory over Michigan on Saturday. As one of only two unbeaten teams remaining -- Miami (10-0) is the other -- Ohio State assured itself of at least a second-place finish when the final BCS standings are released Dec. 8.


The top two teams in the final rankings head to Tempe, Ariz., for the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3.

If the Hurricanes win their final games against Syracuse (4-7) on Saturday and Virginia Tech (8-3) on Dec. 7, they will play the Buckeyes for the national championship.

If Miami loses, Oklahoma (10-1) stands the best chance of the one-loss teams to move into the title game. The Sooners, who beat Texas Tech, 60-15, benefited most by Washington State’s 29-26 triple overtime loss to Washington. The Cougars tumbled to eighth in the latest BCS rankings.

While the Sooners are next in line to move up, other teams looking for help are No. 4 Georgia (10.07), No. 5 Iowa (12.43), No. 6 USC (13.37) and No. 7 Notre Dame (13.83).

The Fighting Irish (10-1) are guaranteed a spot in a BCS bowl if they finish in the top six of the final BCS standings. The Trojans (9-2) play Notre Dame on Saturday.

Ohio State’s margin behind Miami widened primarily because of Washington State’s loss. The Buckeyes received only a 0.3 bonus-point deduction for an earlier victory over the Cougars. Last week, the deduction was 0.8.

Miami, after a 28-21 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday night, was first in five of the seven computer polls, and its computer average dropped to 1.17 from 1.33.

The Hurricanes’ strength of schedule ranking also improved -- to 0.72 from 1.36.


Miami has 2.89 points -- one for poll average, 1.17 for computer-rank average, 0.72 for strength of schedule, zero for losses and no bonus-point deduction. Ohio State has 4.21 points -- two for poll average, 1.67 for computer-rank average, 0.84 for strength of schedule and a 0.3 bonus-point deduction.



BCS rankings


(Tabular data not included.)