Missouri debuts at No. 5 in BCS standings
By TOD PALMER
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Undefeated Missouri found itself ranked fifth Sunday when the first Bowl Championship Series standings of the season were released.
The Tigers, 7-0, check in behind Alabama, Florida State, Oregon and Ohio State. It is the program’s highest BCS ranking since vaulting to first late in the 2007 season after beating Kansas 36-28 in a showdown at Arrowhead.
Missouri is first in the Colley Matrix, one of six computer rankings that make up one-third of the BCS standings formula.
Kenneth Massey’s rankings have the Tigers second, while three other computer rankings placed coach Gary Pinkel’s squad third.
Missouri is sixth in Richard Billingsley’s ranking, its lowest spot in the computer polls.
Earlier Sunday, the Tigers, who were unranked until early October, moved up to fifth in The Associated Press top 25 college football poll.
Missouri, which hadn’t been ranked in the top five since mid-October 2008, received 1,197 votes and slotting in behind Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State.
The Tigers, who beat Florida 36-17 for back-to-back wins against ranked teams for the first time since 1973, leapfrogged fellow unbeaten Baylor and Miami to move up nine spots after being ranked 14th last week.
A week after the Southeastern Conference set a record with eight ranked teams, five ranked SEC teams lost, knocking two out of the rankings — Georgia and Florida, both Missouri victims
No. 6 Baylor led four Big 12 teams and jumped to its highest ranking since 1980. Texas Tech is 10th, Oklahoma 17th and Oklahoma State 19th.
No. 21 Central Florida made the AP poll for the first time since the final 2010 poll after handing Louisville its first loss of the season on Friday night. No. 24 Michigan and No. 25 Nebraska moved back into the rankings.
Of course, the AP poll is no longer part of the BCS formula.
Voter weren’t quite so generous in the USA Today Coaches Poll, which makes up one-third of the BCS rankings.
The Tigers, who were unranked until last week in that poll, moved up to No. 7 but remained behind Baylor (fifth) and Miami (sixth).
Missouri is sixth in the Harris Poll, which also makes up one-third of the BCS rankings.
The Tigers face South Carolina, which debuted at No. 21 in the BCS rankings, at 6 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Columbia.
Missouri is 3-0 in SEC play and has a two-game lead in the loss column, giving it an inside track to the SEC East division title and a berth in the conference’s championship game against the West Division winner Dec. 7 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.