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October 18, 2009

Tide a close second in BCS standings

TUSCALOOSA _ The University of Alabama still isn't considered the college football team to beat this season, but it also depends on whom you ask.

The Crimson Tide (7-0 overall, 4-0 SEC) was narrowly out of the top spot when the first Bowl Championship Series rankings of the season were revealed Sunday afternoon. Just behind Florida, Alabama was listed ahead of Texas.

Earlier Sunday, Alabama leapfrogged defending national champion Florida into the No. 1 spot of the Associated Press poll, which is not included in the BCS standings. Alabama received 39 first-place votes, with Florida netting 20.

Last week the Tide had just 10 first-place votes, compared to the Gators' 50. Saturday, Alabama beat No. 22 South Carolina 20-6, while Florida edged Arkansas 23-20 on a last-second field goal.

However, the Tide was second in the coaches' poll, with Florida getting 49 first-place votes and Alabama receiving nine.

The BCS standings will determine the two teams that will play for the national title Jan. 7 in Pasadena, with the Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar bowls falling in line.

Alabama spent five weeks at No. 1 last season, but not until after it defeated Arkansas State 35-0 on Nov. 1, just before its showdown with LSU. That helped set up a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown with Florida in the SEC Championship Game.

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