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Ohio State leaves no doubt as to who's Number 1



Published: Mon, September 11, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Buckeyes received 59 of the 65 possible first-place votes by the media.

NEW YORK (AP) -- There's little doubt about Ohio State after a convincing victory in the 1 versus 2 showdown with Texas.

The Buckeyes were No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 released Sunday, tightening their hold on the top spot the day after beating the defending champion Longhorns 24-7.

Ohio State received 59 of a possible 65 first-place votes, up from 39 last week, and 1,614 points in the media poll.

Notre Dame is back at No. 2 off its 41-17 victory over Penn State. The Fighting Irish slipped two spots last week when Texas moved up to No. 2.

Other first-place votes

Notre Dame received three first-place votes. No. 3 Auburn got two first-place votes and Southern California had two first-place votes is just one point behind the Tigers.

No. 5 West Virginia also received two first-place votes. No. 6 is LSU, which plays at Auburn on Saturday. No. 7 Florida also has a big Southeastern Conference game as the Gators visit No. 13 Tennessee.

The Longhorns slipped to No. 8 after having their 21-game winning streak stopped by the Buckeyes. The Longhorns' ranking is their lowest since they were No. 8 on the Oct. 24, 2004 poll.

No. 9 Florida State and Georgia rounded out the top 10.

Everyone knew Ohio State had a championship-caliber offense, with Troy Smith and Ted Ginn Jr. leading the way. The questions about the Buckeyes centered on their rebuilt defense with nine new starters.

The new guys gave the Buckeyes' D some bite to go with their quick-strike offense, but they weren't quite dominant.

Made two big plays

Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis made two of the game's biggest plays, forcing a fumble by Billy Pittman at the Ohio State 2 in the first half that defensive back Donald Washington returned to midfield. A few plays later Ohio State was in the end zone with a 7-0 lead.

Laurinaitis came through again in the third quarter with an interception that set up a field goal.

On the down side, Texas ran for 172 yards against the Buckeyes. But the Longhorns managed only a touchdown after scoring at least 40 points in 12 consecutive games.

"Anytime you hold someone to seven points in their stadium, incredible," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said.

Michigan No. 11

No. 11 is Michigan followed by Louisville, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Iowa, Miami, Oregon, Nebraska and TCU.

The final five are California, Arizona State, Boston College, Texas Tech and Penn State.

Boston College entered the rankings for the first time this week.

The two SEC showdowns highlight a schedule with several games matching ranked teams on Saturday. Michigan is at Notre Dame; Louisville hosts Miami; No. Nebraska visits USC; Oklahoma is at Oregon; and Texas Tech meets TCU.

The one team to drop out of the Top 25 this week, Clemson, plays at Florida State.




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