By RALPH D. RUSSO, Associated Press
LSU and Alabama are the top two teams in the country one month before their game in Tuscaloosa.
The SEC West rivals held the first two spots in The Associated Press college football poll released Sunday as the second-ranked Crimson Tide jumped past No. 3 Oklahoma.
Alabama's rise gives the Southeastern Conference the top two teams in the country for the 10th time in the last four seasons. And for the first time since 2000, the Nos. 1 and 2 teams reside in the same division. That season Nebraska and Kansas State of the Big 12 North held the top two spots in the AP poll for one week.
The Tide beat Florida 38-10 on Saturday night in Gainesville, then received 12 first-place votes in the media rankings.
LSU remained No. 1 for a second straight week, receiving 40 first-place votes and 1,473 points. Alabama had 1,435 points. The Tigers play the Tide on Nov. 5 in a game that could ultimately decide the division – and much more.
Oklahoma, which started the season No. 1 before slipping behind LSU last week, got seven first-place votes.
Wisconsin also moved up after a big victory, jumping three spots to No. 4 after a 48-17 win against Nebraska.
Boise State, which had one first-place vote, slipped a spot to No. 5.
Oklahoma was No. 1 in the USA Today coaches' poll, followed by LSU, Alabama, Stanford and Wisconsin.
The top eight in the AP poll were all undefeated, with No. 6 Oklahoma State followed by Stanford and Clemson.
Oregon was ninth and Arkansas was No. 10.
Three more unbeaten teams were next: No. 11 Texas, which faces rival Oklahoma on Saturday in Dallas, No. 12 Michigan and No. 13 Georgia Tech.
Nebraska fell six spots to No. 14 and Auburn jumped back into the poll all the way to No. 15 after the Tigers beat South Carolina 16-10 on the road. The defending national champions have fallen out of the rankings twice this season.
No. 16 West Virginia is the only Big East team in the rankings.
No. 17 Florida dropped five spots after getting thumped by Alabama and No. 18 South Carolina dropped eight spots.
No. 19 Illinois has its best ranking since the final regular-season poll of 2007. No. 20 Kansas State is ranked for the first time since Oct. 14, 2007.
The final five were Virginia Tech, Arizona State, Florida State, Texas A&M and Baylor.
Falling out after losses were TCU and South Florida.
5 Boise State
6 Oklahoma State
13 Georgia Tech
16 West Virginia
18 South Carolina
20 Kansas State
21 Virginia Tech
22 Arizona State
23 Florida State
24 Texas A&M