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Tide, Ducks still 1-2 in polls

By Ralph D. Russo

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Nov. 4 2012 9:58 p.m. MST

UCLA (4-2) is in first place in the Pac-12 South, with a half-game lead over the 21st-ranked Trojans (6-3, 4-3).

The last time UCLA had a better record than USC this late in the season was 2001, which was also the last time the Bruins finished with a better record than the Trojans. The last time UCLA and USC were both ranked and the Bruins were ranked higher was 2000.

UCLA won the Pac-12 South last year by default because USC was ineligible for the postseason. The Bruins play USC in the Rose Bowl on Nov. 17 in a game that could give UCLA a title with no strings attached.

GOING DOWN: LSU probably deserves better after nearly beating No. 1 Alabama, but the Tigers' second loss of the season sent them tumbling four spots in the rankings to No. 9.

The Tigers finish with consecutive home games against No. 22 Mississippi State and Mississippi, before closing the regular season at Arkansas.

Mississippi State also has been heading in the wrong direction lately. The Bulldogs have lost two straight to Alabama and No. 15 Texas A&M after a 7-0 start, and done so in humbling fashion, by a combined score of 76-20.

After reaching as high as No. 13 in the rankings, Mississippi State is now No. 22.

IN AND OUT: For all of the angst in Austin this season, No. 19 Texas has won three straight and is back in the rankings.

After barely beating Big 12 lightweights Baylor and Kansas, Texas won 31-22 at Texas Tech on Saturday to improve to 7-2 and 4-2 in the conference.

David Ash re-established himself as the No. 1 quarterback for Texas and the defense played reasonably well — at least in comparison to recent standards.

With home games ahead against Iowa State and TCU, before finishing the season at Kansas State, the Longhorns have a chance to put together a season that could look more than respectable.

Though if the K-State game goes anything like the Oklahoma game — 63-21 Sooners — nine wins will feel rather empty for Mack Brown's team.

No. 23 Toledo and No. 24 Rutgers also moved into the Top 25.

Falling out were Arizona, West Virginia and Boise State, which was upset at home by San Diego State.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Toledo moved into the rankings at No. 23, the first time since the final poll of 2001 that the Rockets have been ranked.

Toledo (8-1) also becomes the second Mid-American Conference team to be ranked this season, joining Ohio. The MAC is currently the only conference with four teams with at least eight victories. Northern Illinois (9-1), Kent State (8-1) and Ohio (8-1) all received votes from the media panel.

ODDS AND ENDS: Texas A&M gets another shot at knocking off one of the SEC's elite teams next weekend. The Aggies (7-2, 4-2) have made a nice transition from the Big 12, but they have lost to Florida and LSU. A&M goes to Alabama on Saturday. ... No. 13 Oregon State is at No. 16 Stanford in a game that will go a long way toward determining if the Beavers can grab a BCS at-large bid. ... Georgia and Ohio State are tied for No. 5 in the rankings this week. Texas and Louisiana Tech are tied for 19th.

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