NEW YORK (AP) – Texas is No. 1 – by a whisker – in Bowl Championship Series standings.

The Longhorns slipped past Southern California into first place Monday thanks to a stellar showing in the BCS computer rankings.

Second last week, Texas’ BCS average of .9763 out of a possible 1.000 was just ahead of second-place USC (.9756), the slimmest margin between Nos. 1 and 2 in the eight-year history of the organization.

The top two teams in the final standings play in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4 for the BCS title. USC is top-ranked in The Associated Press media poll, the USA Today coaches’ poll and the Harris Interactive poll. The coaches’ poll and the Harris poll make up two-thirds of a team’s BCS grade. A compilation of six computer rankings account for the other third, with the highest and lowest ranking for each team dropped.

Texas is second in all three polls, but gained a few points on USC from voters after a 52-17 victory over previously unbeaten Texas Tech on Saturday. Computer polls, however, weigh heavily on strength of schedule and the win over the Red Raiders gave Texas a big boost.

USC’s 51-24 victory over Washington (1-6) did nothing to help the Trojans in the computer rankings. Struggling Arizona State (3-4) – which was ranked when USC won at Tempe on Oct. 1 – is also hurting the Trojans in the strength-of-schedule category.

USC was atop one computer ranking and second in three others. One computer had the Trojans fourth; another fifth.

Despite the slip in this week’s BCS rankings, if the Trojans can maintain their strong grip on No. 1 in each poll, they’ll be tough to catch.

Virginia Tech is still in third. Georgia and Alabama were next, holding their spots from last week. UCLA moved up three places to sixth, putting the nation’s six unbeaten teams at the front of the BCS standings.

Miami, LSU, Penn State and Florida State round out the top 10.

AP-ES-10-24-05 1550EDT


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