AP Poll Shows Big 12 Dominance

Texas and Oklahoma continue to trail only top-ranked Miami in both the AP and coaches Top 25 D-I football rankings released Sunday.

The Longhorns remained at the No. 2 spot in the coaches poll, picking up two first place votes while the Hurricanes grabbed the remaining 59 ballots. Meanwhile, the poll position for the Horns and the Sooners continues to be inverted in the AP rankings compiled by 74 sports writers and broadcasters. There, second-ranked OU tallied three first place votes to hold on to the nation’s runner-up spot while UT, on the strength of its 41-11 licking of Houston, has held steady at the No. 3 spot since the beginning of the season.

Florida’s surprising 30-13 win at Tennessee dropped the Volunteers from No. 4 to No. 11 in both polls. Florida State moved up a notch to No. 4 in both rankings, while Virginia Tech parlayed its 13-3 win at Texas A&M into the No. 5 position.

The AP Poll has a distinct Big 12 tone to it as six league teams are listed among the nation’s elite. In other words, one-in-four ranked teams hail from Big 12 country. Plus, Colorado is picking up some votes for its win at UCLA and, lo, it came to pass that even Baylor is 2-2 (although not receiving any poll votes). The only other conference that comes close to matching the Big 12’s swagger is the Pac-10 with its five ranked teams (its highest ranked team is No. 9 Oregon).

Here’s the kicker: Texas is the only nationally ranked Big 12 team scheduled to play all the other currently ranked Big 12 squads. In addition to second-ranked OU and third-ranked Texas, the AP Poll now has Kansas State listed at No. 15, Iowa State at No. 19, Nebraska at No. 20 and Texas A&M at No. 25. The Aggies fell out of the coaches poll to No. 26 this week, but will likely rebound with consecutive home games against Louisiana Tech and Texas Tech.

But the contenders will start to separate themselves from the pretenders when Big 12 play begins this week with what has suddenly become an intriguing match-up: Nebraska visits Iowa State and dangerous Cyclone QB Seneca Wallace this Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

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