Auburn completes unprecedented to climb to No. 1

By Ralph D. Russo

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 11 2011 1:07 a.m. MST

** CORRECTS SPELLING TO NEWTON, INSTEAD OF NEWTOWN ** Auburn's Cam Newton reacts after a touchdown during the first half of the BCS National Championship NCAA college football game against Oregon on Monday, Jan. 10, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz.

Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Auburn has finished No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll, completing an unprecedented climb to its first national title in 53 years.

The Tigers led the Top 25 after a 22-19 victory against Oregon in the BCS championship Monday night.

Auburn won its only other AP title in 1957, and the Tigers started 2010 further back than any champion since the poll expanded to 25 teams in 1989.

Auburn (14-0) began the season at No. 22. The previous lowest preseason ranking for a national champion in the Top 25 era was Oklahoma, which went from No. 19 to No. 1 in 2000. The Tigers received 56 of 59 first-place votes. One voter did not submit a ballot.

Undefeated TCU (13-0) will have to settle for No. 2. The Horned Frogs received the other three first-place votes.

Oregon finished third, a spot ahead of Pac-10 rival Stanford. Ohio State was fifth.

Auburn's title makes it five straight for the Southeastern Conference.

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