Canes holding on to No. 2 BCS spot

The unblemished University of Miami football team lost ground in the Bowl Championship Series, but managed to hold onto their No. 2 status in the standings, released earlier this week.

The Hurricanes (8-0) received 7.31 points, good enough to stay ahead of No. 3 Oklahoma (7.89). No. 1 Nebraska leads the standings with a 2.20 average, while No. 4 Oregon (11.97) and No. 5 Florida (11.98) round out the top-5 BCS teams.

The system, with three standings still remaining in the season, will determine who plays in the No. 1 vs. No. 2 Rose Bowl in Pasadena for the national championship. The Hurricanes and the Cornhuskers would meet in the title game if they win the rest of their games.

The Cornhuskers remaining games are at Colorado (Nov. 23) and then the Big 12 championship game in December. After facing Syracuse this Saturday, the Hurricanes have dates remaining with Washington and Virginia Tech.

"Just another week. All I can continue to tell our players is to win football games," said University of Miami head coach Larry Coker. "If we do that we'll be where we want to be."

The Hurricanes, who had over a point advantage over Oklahoma last week, saw the Sooners close the gap this week. Miami, who lost their No. 1 ranking in the coaches poll to Nebraska, defeated Boston College 18-7 in a game that came down to the final seconds. The Cornhuskers defeated Kansas State after trailing 14-13 at the half. Florida State losing at home to Maryland didn't help Miami, either. The Seminoles were No. 10 in the BCS before losing 34-28 to the Terrapins.

Miami remained No. 1 in the Associated Press poll although a victory over Syracuse could help their BCS standing. The Orangemen, on a eight-game winning streak, are No. 15 in the current BCS standings with a 33.79 points average.

Coker isn't concerned with the manner in which the Hurricanes perform as long as it results in a victory. Earlier this week, he was asked if looking impressive and winning games by a certain margin was necessary.

"If we can win by one point that will be a very dominant victory because we're playing good teams," Coker said. "We're not going to be concerned with polls on Saturday trying to control Dwight Freeney and to stop the Syracuse offense. If we play well enough to win by a point, we'll be very, very happy."

"As we've said all along, the most important priority for us is to win our games. Our team understands that we can only accomplish our goals as long as we win. It serves no purpose for us to worry about anything else. The polls will take care of themselves. If we continue to win, we'll get the chance to play for the national championship."

A lot of people are keeping a close eye on the surging Gators. Florida (8-1) is one-hundredth of a point behind Oregon and could make a move towards the top before the end of the season.

Florida plays Florida State (6-3) on Saturday (Nov, 17) before meeting Tennessee at home Dec. 1. With a victory over the Vols, the Gators would play in the SEC Championship game.

"Florida is a dangerous team," Coker said.

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