Tigers Still Stuck As BCS Number Three

Auburn, Ala.—Despite winning 21-13 over arch-rival Alabama over the weekend in Tuscaloosa to finish the regular season with a perfect 11-0 record, the Auburn Tigers remained third in the latest Bowl Championship Series standings behind number one USC and number two Oklahoma.

Coach Tommy Tuberville, who is a veteran of the national championship race from his days at Miami (Fla.), says that everyone should be proud of the accomplishments of this team and not worry about the BCS. With one game remaining against Tennessee in the SEC Championship game, the Tigers still have a chance to improve and try to catch the Sooners in the race for the Orange Bowl.

"With all the polls, we've lost focus on what the kids have done," Tuberville says. "We've won 11 games and we're getting ready to play for the SEC Championship and everybody is talking about polls and the national championship. I think it will all work itself out. Hopefully everyone is fair about it. All the teams will make their final statement next week."

Jay Ratliff celebrates the Tigers' win over then 5th ranked Georgia two weeks ago at Jordan-Hare stadium.

The BCS average of the top five includes a score of .9789 for Southern California, .9642 for Oklahoma, .9356 for Auburn, .8504 for California and .8301 for Texas. The standings take into account both the Associated Press poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coach's Poll as well as a computer ranking gathered from six different services around the country.

Auburn is third in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls. The Tigers trail Oklahoma by five votes in the AP and four in the USA Today/ESPN poll. Southern California is ranked number one in both polls. The Tigers remain third in the computer rankings as well with Oklahoma one and USC number two.

Prior to the 1998 football regular season, the FedEx Orange, Nokia Sugar, Rose and Tostitos Fiesta Bowls joined with the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pacific-10 and Southeastern Conferences and Notre Dame to form the BCS.

This season, the national championship game will be played in the FedEx Orange Bowl on January 4. After the Orange Bowl matches the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked BCS teams, the other BCS games will make their selections. The Rose Bowl (Jan. 1) will host the Big Ten and Pac-10 champions. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 1) will host the Big 12 champion and the Nokia Sugar Bowl (Jan. 3) shall host the SEC champion, should those teams not be ranked No. 1 or No. 2.

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