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SOONERS, HUSKERS 1-2 IN BCS RANKINGS

Miami, No. 1 in the Associated Press poll and the coaches' poll, was fourth in rankings that determine which teams will play for a national championship at the Rose Bowl in January.

The Hurricanes, thanks to a first-half schedule ranked 92nd of 117 teams, were behind Oklahoma, Nebraska and UCLA in the first Bowl Championship Series standings released on Monday night.

Unbeaten Miami is on the outside looking in because its first five opponents have a combined 8-19 record against major colleges. The second-half schedule gets tougher, with season-ending games against Washington (5-1) and Virginia Tech (6-0).

"I don't need a computer. Teams are going to fall," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "The month of November is as critical as December. We saw three undefeated teams fall last week. The only thing we can control is to make sure we're not one of them."

The BCS rankings are based on a formula that incorporates the AP poll plus the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll, eight computer rankings, strength-of-schedule and number of losses.

New this year are bonus points for a win over a team in the BCS' top 15. Final standings will be released Dec. 9, with the top two teams playing in Pasadena on Jan. 3.

With the standings out a week later than originally planned, the timing couldn't be better for the BCS -- the Sooners (7-0) visit the Cornhuskers (8-0) on Saturday.

Oklahoma and Nebraska are ranked 2-3 in the AP poll and coaches' poll this week.

Virginia Tech is fifth in the BCS standings, followed by Texas, Michigan, Maryland, Tennessee and Washington State.

Expect lots of shuffling in next week's standings.

Besides Oklahoma-Nebraska on Saturday, UCLA (6-0) visits Stanford (4-1); Florida (5-1) plays Georgia (5-1) in Jacksonville, Fla.; South Carolina (6-1) is at Tennessee (4-1); Maryland (7-0) at Florida State (4-2); and Oregon (6-1) at Washington State (7-0).

USC coaches take blame for bungled play

LOS ANGELES -- USC's coaching staff took the blame Monday for the botched punt play that cost the Trojans dearly in Saturday's loss at Notre Dame.

"It's not the young man's fault," special teams coordinator Kennedy Pola said. "It's my fault."

Pola said it was his decision to have punter Mike MacGillivray run the play "Rugby," which called for MacGillivray to run to his right and punt to avoid the Notre Dame rush. Notre Dame stopped MacGillivray at the USC 28 and needed only four plays to score a touchdown to cut USC's lead to three points.

USC coach Pete Carroll said he and Pola had discussed using the play, but Pola said they did not talk immediately before the second-quarter fourth down because Carroll, who doubles as defensive coordinator, was preparing his defense to take the field.

"It was my fault," Carroll said. "I knew (Pola) was thinking about it and I should've called it off."

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