Poll Report: It's No. 1 vs. No. 2

It hasn't happened in Division-I college football's regular season in 10 years, and it's never happened in the history of Memorial Stadium: Saturday's seismic tilt between Texas and Ohio State will pit the nation's top two football teams, following Tuesday's release of the Associated Press national rankings.

But, for the Longhorns, it marks the second time in three games that they will face college football's No. 1 team.

"We're proud the writers moved us up to No. 2," Brown said. "Now, No. 1 will be playing No. 2 unanimously. It's an exciting game for us, and the guys practiced really well."

The Horns opened the season ranked No. 2 in the USA Today (coaches poll) but at No. 3, behind Notre Dame, in the AP (sports media) poll. But following the Domers close call (14-10) at Georgia Tech, Notre Dame fell into a fourth-place tie with Auburn in this week's rankings. USC moved up to No. 3 following a 50-14 rout at Arkansas.

The Buckeyes are still the consensus favorite among sports media, awarded 39 first-place votes for 1,568 points. Texas received seven first-place votes, good for 1,453 points. USC and Auburn each received three first-place ballots, while Notre Dame garnered eight and No. 6 West Virginia received five.

"Last year, it was unusual for No. 1 and No. 2 to start and the season at those positions," Brown said. "It's so unique for this team and coaching staff to be coaching against two No. 1 teams in three games. It's just absolutely unheard of."

There hasn't been a regular season showdown between the nation's top two teams since No. 2 Florida State beat No. 1 Florida, 24-21, in November, 1996. But it's been much longer since a top-ranked team visited Austin. No. 7 Texas upset No. 1 SMU, 23-20, in 1950.

Other Big 12 Conference schools listed in the AP rankings are No. 25 Oklahoma, No. 21 Nebraska and No. 24 Texas Tech.

Saturday's game shapes up as the biggest home game in the history of Texas football. The last time teams ranked in the Top Five met in Austin was in 1970 when No. 1 Texas dismantled No. 4 Arkansas, 42-7, at the end of the regular season. Despite the fact that top-ranked Texas would lose to Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl, the Horns clinched the UPI national championship that December day because the final coaches poll was released before the post-season.

"I think it will be one of the most exciting games in the history of this school," Brown concluded.

AP TOP 25 (first-place votes in parenthesis)

1. Ohio State (39)
2. Texas (7)
3. USC (3)
4. Tie: Notre Dame (8), Auburn (3)
6. West Virginia (5)
7. Florida
8. LSU
9. Florida State
10. Michigan
11. Tennessee
12. Georgia
13. Louisville
14. Iowa
15. Oklahoma
16. Virginia Tech
17. Miami (Fla)
18. Clemson
19. Penn State
20. Oregon
21. Nebraska
22. California
23. TCU
24. Texas Tech
25. Arizona State


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