Texas has taken a small step forward in the Bowl Championship Series standings, and the remaining unbeaten teams held down the first seven spots.
The Longhorns are back to No. 2 in The Associated Press rankings as well.
Texas jumped from third to second place Sunday in both polls, ahead of Alabama and behind Florida. It’s a cosmetic move in the BCS rankings, with Texas already in control of its destiny in that race. The Crimson Tide and Gators, if they both remain undefeated, will have to play each other in the Southeastern Conference title game.
Behind the top three in the BCS standings are Iowa, Cincinnati, TCU and Boise State, all unbeaten and hoping for the Gators, Crimson Tide or Longhorns to slip up.
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Notre Dame, which needs to be in the top 16 of the final standings to be eligible for a BCS at-large bid, is 22nd.
The Longhorns made their move up the polls on the heels of a 41-14 win at Oklahoma State in their best performance of the season.
Florida, No. 1 for all but one week this season, received 38 first-place votes in the AP poll after a 41-17 victory over Georgia.
The Longhorns started the season ranked second in the AP, but have been No. 3 behind the Gators and Crimson Tide the last three weeks. Texas received 13 first-place votes from the media panel. Many voters were swayed by the ease with which Longhorns handled Oklahoma State.
AP voter Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer jumped Texas from No. 3 to No. 1, past both Florida and Alabama.
“The Longhorns haven’t had the same type of struggles that Florida and Alabama have experienced in some down-to-the-wire games, and a blowout win over their toughest opponent of the season finally added some heft to the Longhorns’ schedule,” he said.
Cougs lose Nwachukwu
The battered Washington State Cougars will have to get along without starting strong safety Chima Nwachukwu during Saturday’s game at Arizona.
Coach Paul Wulff said Sunday that the junior suffered an ankle sprain early in Saturday’s game against Notre Dame. Nwachukwu averages a team-high 7.9 tackles per game.
Auburn safety done
Auburn strong safety Zac Etheridge will likely miss the rest of the season with a neck injury sustained against Mississippi.
Etheridge was hurt Saturday when he collided headfirst with teammate Antonio Coleman.
The latest BCS standings, with each team’s ranking in the Harris poll, USA Today poll, average among six computer rankings and BCS score:
7. Boise State423130.8116511760.797380.7500.78637
10. Georgia Tech1117750.6228119340.6332100.6300.628711
11. Penn State1018090.6347109660.6549120.5600.616612
12. Southern Cal1214150.4965137290.4942110.6100.53365
16. Ohio State1313690.4804127300.4949210.1600.378417
19. Oklahoma State186900.2421183710.2515210.1600.217914
22. Notre Dame206570.2305212810.1905230.1500.190323
23. Virginia Tech233330.1168241930.1308200.2200.155913
25. South Florida261760.068126650.0441240.1300.0786NR