Bama extends run as No. 1 to 8 weeks

Updated: October 21, 2012, 4:16 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Alabama has run its streak of weeks at No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll to eight, the longest stay atop the rankings by the Crimson Tide.

Alabama received 59 of 60 first-place votes from the media panel. The Tide has twice previously been No. 1 for seven consecutive weeks -- in 1979 when Bear Bryant coached Bama to a national title and in 1980 when the Tide finished sixth.

Oregon is No. 2 for the fifth consecutive week, though the gap between the Ducks and No. 3 Florida, which received the other first-place vote, narrowed after the Gators beat South Carolina 44-11 on Saturday. Alabama had gone three straight weeks as unanimous No. 1.

The rest of the top six was also unchanged after No. 4 Kansas State, No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 6 LSU all won.

South Carolina dropped from ninth to No. 17.

Alabama (7-0, 4-0 SEC) has won each of its games by at least 19 points, but the Tide have greater challenges ahead. Alabama's next three games are all against ranked SEC Western Division rivals: No. 13 Mississippi State, No. 6 LSU and No. 22 Texas A&M. The Mississippi State and Texas A&M games are at home, but Alabama will have to travel to LSU.

LSU coach Les Miles is already giving Alabama something to think about, two weeks from their showdown in Death Valley.

The Tigers (7-1, 3-1) head into November with one loss or fewer for the sixth time in eight years after Saturday's 24-19 win over Texas A&M. LSU has an open date before hosting top-ranked Alabama on Nov. 3,

The Crimson Tide wasn't on Miles' mind moments after LSU rallied to beat the Aggies at Kyle Field.

"We're going to get on the plane," Miles said. "We're going to head home. We're going to find us a big flat-screen TV somewhere. Eat heavily, watch the games, and probably tomorrow sometime we'll likely meet with the team and describe the game and kind of fix it, talk about the things we did good and the things we didn't."

LSU beat Alabama 9-6 in overtime in Tuscaloosa last Nov. 5. The Crimson Tide then dominated the Tigers 21-0 in the BCS Championship Game.

"We can't look into that right now," running back Michael Ford said. "We have to go and make corrections from this game."

And there will be plenty of those, particularly from the first quarter and a half. The Aggies (5-2, 2-2) and their no-huddle offense kept the Tigers off balance early and dropped LSU into a 12-0 deficit, its biggest since last year's championship game.

LSU's offense would like to help the defense a bit more. The Tigers failed to score a touchdown in the first quarter for the third straight game, and they're averaging only 16 points in their four SEC games.

"Our job as an offensive group is we have to start clicking more, start scoring points earlier," LSU receiver Kadron Boone said.

LSU plays its next three games at home before wrapping up the regular season at Arkansas. The Tigers have won 22 straight games in Death Valley, the nation's longest current streak and the longest in school history.

No. 4 Kansas State, meanwhile, is rolling through a tough conference schedule and turning away all challenges. The latest victim: the Mountaineers.

"I'm very proud of our guys and how we've been able to hang together in adversity and prosperity," quarterback Collin Klein said. "And we just have to keep moving forward."

That means returning home for games against No. 15 Texas Tech (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) on Saturday and Oklahoma State on Nov. 3.

Kansas State (7-0, 4-0) went 3-0 over a four-week stretch of road games that included wins at No. 8 Oklahoma and Iowa State. The Wildcats seem to be improving with each game.

West Virginia? Things are going downhill fast. The offense is broken down, the defense is nonexistent and the Mountaineers (5-2, 2-2) have plummeted from No. 5 to No. 25 in The Associated Press poll in two weeks.

Against West Virginia, the Wildcats made it look easiest of all, scoring on their first eight possessions and winning 55-14 Saturday night.

Kansas State has not allowed an opponent to score more than 21 points all season.

"I think we all felt comfortable," Klein said. "The coaches did a great job of building a game plan and putting us in positions to succeed."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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