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Sunday, October 17, 2004
Wisconsin rises to No. 7


Wisconsin handed Purdue its first defeat of the season en route to a top-10 berth in the latest ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, which was released Sunday.

The Badgers (7-0) capitalized on a late turnover by Boilermakers quarterback Kyle Orton, returning a fumble 40 yards for a touchdown in a 20-17 win Saturday that propelled them five spots to seventh in the poll of Division I coaches. [All rankings in this article are from the ESPN/USA Today poll.]

Purdue (5-1), which had jumped five spots in each of the two previous weeks, fell seven places into the No. 12 ranking previously held by Wisconsin.

Southern California (6-0) maintained its top ranking after a 45-7 rout of Arizona State, which was No. 19 entering the week. Matt Leinart threw for 224 yards and four touchdowns for the Trojans, who claimed 50 of a possible 61 first-place votes for 1,514 points. The Sun Devils (5-1) fell to 23rd.

Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jason White also threw four touchdown passes as Oklahoma (6-0) remained at No. 2 with a 31-21 victory over Kansas State in a rematch of last year's Big 12 Conference championship. The Sooners claimed 10 first-place votes and are 44 points behind behind USC.

Miami (5-0) rallied from a 17-point deficit to defeat then 17th-ranked Louisville, 41-38, on Thursday and retained third. The Hurricanes, who have 1,380 points, claimed the final first-place vote while the Cardinals (4-1) slipped one spot to No. 18.

Auburn (7-0) rolled to a 38-20 victory over Arkansas on Saturday and maintained the fourth spot, followed by Florida State (5-1), which moved up two spots after a 36-3 rout of Virginia. The Cavaliers (5-1) suffered the biggest drop of all ranked teams, falling nine spots to 15th.

Georgia (5-1) ascended two spots into Virginia's previous ranking following a 33-3 triumph over Vanderbilt.

California (4-1) used a 45-28 victory over UCLA to climb one spot to eighth. The Golden Bears are followed by Texas (5-1) and Utah (6-0).

Michigan (6-1) posted a 30-19 victory at Illinois, moving up two spots to No. 11. Tennessee (5-1) is ranked 13th, followed by West Virginia (5-1).

On the strength of a last-second field goal, Boise State (6-0) extended its winning streak to 17 games with a 45-42 win over Tulsa and moved up two spots to 16th. The Broncos are followed by Louisiana State (4-2).

Florida (4-2) moved up three spots to No. 19 after routing Middle Tennessee State, 52-16.

Previously unranked Texas A&M (5-1) defeated previous No. 15 Oklahoma State, 36-20, and entered the poll at No. 20. The Cowboys slipped six spots to No. 21.

Virginia Tech (5-2) pummeled Florida A&M, 62-0, and moved back into the poll at No. 22. Texas Tech (4-2) and Notre Dame (5-2), which extended its winning streak over Navy to 41 games, also debuted at Nos. 24 and 25, respective.

Minnesota, 20th last week, fell out of the rankings after a 51-17 loss to Michigan State. Ohio State, Missouri and Southern Mississippi were also bounced.