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Alabama runs No. 1 streak to school-best 8 weeks

By Ralph D. Russo

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Oct. 21 2012 3:50 p.m. MDT

"I'm not going to sit here and point fingers at anyone else," Smith said after a deflating night in Morgantown.

After two losses by a combined 76 points — coincidentally the same amount of points they received in the poll — should the Mountaineers be ranked at all? It's a fair question. Working in their favor is no team in the Top 25 has faced opponents with a better winning percentage than West Virginia's, who are 33-15 (.686).

Still, Toledo (7-1), which finished first among the others receiving votes with 49 points, has a reasonable gripe.

The Rockets handed Cincinnati its first loss on Saturday at the Glass Bowl in Toledo, and their only loss was in overtime at Arizona.

IN AND OUT

Cincinnati was the only team to fall out of rankings this week, a stiff penalty for its first loss.

The Bearcats didn't get much leeway from voters probably because they had played such a weak schedule. Cincinnati's one "big" win came against Virginia Tech. The Bearcats rallied with a late touchdown to beat the Hokies 27-24, but Virginia Tech is 4-4 after getting roughed up by Clemson on Saturday.

Cincinnati's other victories were against Pittsburgh, Miami, Ohio, and two FCS teams.

The Bearcats, though, could be back in the rankings soon. They play at No. 16 Louisville in a Friday night Big East game.

Those road trips to Mid-American Conference opponents have been tricky for the Big East. Earlier this season, South Florida lost at Ball State and Connecticut lost to Western Michigan.

Re-entering the rankings this week is Louisiana Tech. The nation's highest-scoring team beat Idaho 70-28. The Bulldogs had 839 yards, the most by an FBS team in game this season.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Oregon State moved up one spot to No. 7 and stayed unbeaten with a 21-7 victory over Utah.

The only other time the Beavers and Ducks have both been ranked in the top seven was the final poll of the 2000 season. Oregon State finished fourth and Oregon seventh.

ODDS AND ENDS

No. 9 Ohio State dropped two spots after needing a late rally and overtime to beat Purdue at home. The unbeaten Buckeyes go to Penn State, where the Nittany Lions have won five straight. Neither team is eligible for the postseason. ... Florida plays No. 12 Georgia in their annual rivalry game at Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday with the SEC East on the line. If the Gators win, they clinch the division and a spot in the conference title game. If Georgia wins, it only needs to beat Ole Miss and Auburn to win a second straight East division. ... No. 21 Boise State (Mountain West), No. 23 Ohio (MAC) and Louisiana Tech (Western Athletic Conference) give the conferences without BCS automatic qualifying bids three ranked teams, one less than the ACC and Big Ten combined.

Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphdrussoap

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