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Published: Monday, 10/19/2009

Florida, Alabama top 2 in first BCS

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK - Florida, Alabama, and Texas hold the top three spots in the first Bowl Championship Series standings and control their fates in the national championship race.

The Gators (.988) are in first, just ahead of the Crimson Tide (.952). Texas (.891) is third.

Boise State (.808) is fourth, but the Broncos still seem to be a long shot to play for a national championship.

Florida is No. 1 in the two polls used by the Bowl Championship Series - the USA Today coaches' poll and Harris poll - and rated highest by the computers. The polls make up two-thirds of a BCS grade and a compilation of six computer ratings accounts for the other third.

Alabama is second in all the components. Texas is third in the two polls and sixth in the computer ratings.

With the strength of their remaining schedules, the Gators, Tide and Longhorns just need to win out to reach the BCS title game on Jan. 7 at the Rose Bowl, according to BCS analyst Jerry Palm.

Alabama and Florida would play each other in the Southeastern Conference championship game if each remains undefeated.

While the top teams in the standings are in good position, history is not on their side.

In the first 11 years of the BCS, the top two teams in the first standings have reached the title game once. Texas and Southern California did it in 2005 season. Overall, 10 of the 22 teams that were ranked first or second in the first standings made it all the way to the championship game.

NEW YORK - After a steady climb, Alabama has reached the top of the AP poll.

The Crimson Tide jumped Florida and landed at No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25.

The unbeaten Gators had been in the top spot since the preseason, but the Crimson Tide has been gaining ground for weeks by winning more convincingly than the Gators.

The final surge came after Alabama beat South Carolina 20-6 and Florida needed a field goal in the waning seconds to beat Arkansas 23-20 at home.

The Crimson Tide, which received 10 first-place votes last week, got 39 out of 59 from the media panel. Florida received the other 20 first-place votes.

Texas is No. 3, followed by Southern California, Cincinnati, and Boise State at No. 6. The Broncos dropped a spot.

Unbeaten Iowa moved up four places after beating Wisconsin 20-10 on the road. Miami, LSU, and TCU round out the top 10.

Ohio State fell out of the top 10, dropping from No. 7 to No. 18 after losing at Purdue.

STORRS, Conn. - A Connecticut football player who was an expectant father was stabbed to death early yesterday after an on-campus dance, just hours after helping his team to a homecoming victory.

Jasper Howard, 20, of Miami and another student were stabbed during a fight after a fire alarm was pulled during a university sponsored dance at the UConn Student Union.

Police had not identified a suspect or released the name of the other victim.

Connecticut coach Randy Edsall said the team was heartbroken and devastated over the loss of Howard, a junior and the team's starting cornerback who came to the school to get away from the violence on the streets of his hometown. He became the first person in his family to go to college.

UConn Police Major Ronald Blicher said this is the first homicide at the university in the more than 30 years he has been associated with the school.

Blicher said Howard was stabbed following a fight between two groups that included students and nonstudents, which broke out just after a fire alarm went off in the student center, forcing the evacuation of about 300 people.



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