Saturday, January 4, 2003

AP Poll: OSU unanimous No. 1



The Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. - Ohio State won its first national title in 34 years, receiving all 71 first-place votes in the final Associated Press media poll.

The Buckeyes (14-0) finished the season as the nation's only major unbeaten team with a 31-24 double-overtime victory over Miami in the Fiesta Bowl on Friday night.

In the final, post-bowl AP poll, the No. 1 votes from the sports writers and broadcasters gave the Buckeyes 1,775 points.

For the second time in 11 seasons, Miami was denied a repeat one game short of a title. The Hurricanes, who have won five titles in the past 20 seasons, also lost the Sugar Bowl 34-13 to Alabama in 1993.

Miami also had its 34-game winning streak snapped. It was the longest streak since Toledo won 35 in a row from 1969-71 and 13 wins shy of Oklahoma's record set from 1953-57.

Miami was second, followed by Georgia, Southern California, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas State, Iowa, Michigan and Washington State. The coaches poll had the same top five teams.

"Our guys know what they're capable of when they all work together," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "And I was confident they would do the thing they know how to do."

Tressel, in his second year at Ohio State, joined Woody Hayes and Paul Brown as the only coaches to lead the Buckeyes to the national title. Brown did it in 1942 and Hayes won it in 1954 and '68.

The Buckeyes became the first team in major college football history to win 14 games in a season.

Ohio State's four titles are tied with Minnesota and Nebraska for fifth place all-time. Notre Dame leads all schools with eight.

The Buckeyes became just the second Big Ten team to win the national title since 1968, joining the 1997 Michigan team. The Wolverines shared that title with Nebraska, which won the coaches' poll.

There have been eight different champions in the past eight seasons, the longest stretch since 1956-63. Nebraska (1994-95) is the only team to win back-to-back titles since the Crimson Tide did it in 1978-79.

After going 7-5 in Tressel's first year, the Buckeyes ranked 10th in the country. They moved into the top five on Sept. 29 after beating Indiana 45-17.

Ohio State moved into the No. 2 spot on Nov. 10 after No. 1 Oklahoma lost to Texas A&M.

Tenth-ranked Washington State was followed by Alabama, North Carolina State, Maryland, Auburn, Boise State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and Colorado.

Florida State, Virginia, Texas Christian, Marshall and West Virginia rounded out the poll.

The Big Ten, Big East, Big 12 and ACC all had four teams in the poll. The SEC had three.

Traditional powers Nebraska, Florida and Tennessee all finished out of the rankings.




FIESTA BOWL
Buckeyes are the champs with 31-24 victory
Photo Gallery | Game Statistics
Daugherty Column: Buckeyes win with heart and cool
MVP Krenzel leads Buckeyes with steady hand
Final Polls: AP: OSU unanimous No. 1 | USA Today/ESPN
OSU plans to feat champions next week
Columbus celebration peaceful
Clarett steps up when Buckeyes need him most
Tressel proves nice guys don't always finish last
Miami QB struggles in final game
Ref's late call nullifies Miami victory
McGahee's injury may postpone jump to NFL

REDS
Opening Day moved to 4:10 p.m.
Reds 2003 Schedule

BENGALS-NFL
Coughlin believes Bengals can win
Palmer returns USC to glory; Bengals next?
Mark Curnutte's NFL Playoff Picks
Hall of Fame coach Sid Gillman dies

XAVIER MUSKETEERS
Alabama is job one for Xavier

UC BEARCATS
Savvy Moore sparks a battle at the point
Former UC tackle killed

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
UK game here not sold out
UK's Daniels discovers comfort zone
RedHawks upbeat despite poor record
Ohio State tests Louisville

'TIPOFF' SECTION
Ex-Bearcat Blount finds NBA niche
5 Questions with C-USA official Ted Hillary
UC/XU Q&A: Practice not perfect, but it's Huggins' way
Must-See TV Games
Player of the Week: Kyle Korver, Creighton
Setta's World: Better shooting needed
Sweet 16 Rankings
Tipoff Top 5: Best Venues
Who's Hot & Who's Not

HIGH SCHOOLS
No. 1 Princeton struggles past Hamilton
Ohio Boys Basketball Reports
Ky. Boys Basketball Reports
Hanser-less Pandas fall to Lady Rebs
Ky. Girls Basketball Reports

HOCKEY
Mighty Ducks, Cyclones win

TV-RADIO
ESPN programming bumps 'Wildman' show from WCKY
Weekend TV-Radio Sports