Southern California’s run at No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 reached a record-breaking level and Oklahoma, the team USC replaced in the top spot almost two years ago, was unranked for the first time since 1999.
With the Trojans top-ranked in the AP media poll released Sunday, USC has now been No. 1 for 22 straight polls, besting the record set by Miami from 2001-2002.
USC received 57 of 65 first-place votes. No. 2 Texas received the other eight first-place votes. LSU is No. 3 followed by Virginia Tech and Florida, rounding out the top five.
The Trojans took over the top spot Dec. 7, 2003, after then-No. 1 Oklahoma lost the Big 12 title game to Kansas State.
The Sooners are out of the rankings for the first time since Bob Stoops’ first season as coach after a 41-24 loss to UCLA on Saturday.
No. 25 UCLA is one of four teams to move into the rankings this week, along with Oregon, Alabama and Michigan State.
The Spartans jumped all the way to No. 17 off their 44-41 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday.
Dropping out along with Oklahoma were Clemson, an overtime loser to Miami, Boston College and Fresno State.
In the USA Today coaches’ poll, the top five is identical to the AP poll – USC, Texas, LSU, Virginia Tech and Florida.
The second half of the top 10 in the AP poll starts with No. 6 Florida State. Georgia is seventh, Ohio State is eighth, Louisville ninth and Tennessee is No. 10 after losing 16-7 at Florida.
No. 11 Purdue is followed by Miami, California, Michigan, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame, which dropped six spots to No. 16 after its first loss under head coach Charlie Weis.
After No. 17 Michigan State is Arizona State, Texas Tech at Alabama at No. 20.
Iowa, Iowa State, Virginia, Oregon and UCLA are the final five.
Russia beats France for Fed Cup
The Russians won the Fed Cup title for the second straight year when Elena Dementieva won both her singles matches in the best-of-5 final and teamed with Dinara Safina to capture the deciding doubles for a 3-2 victory in Paris. The Russian duo beat Mary Pierce and Amelie Mauresmo 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
“It’s not Dementieva’s victory,” Dementieva said. “We win as a team and lose as a team.”
In the day’s singles matches, Pierce rallied past Anastasia Myskina 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to even the series at 2-2. Dementieva defeated Mauresmo in the opener 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
“She carried the team this weekend,” Mauresmo said. “She was so solid.”
Dementieva sank to her knees in celebration after Mauresmo hit a forehand long on match point in the doubles finale at Roland Garros. Russia beat two-time champion France 3-2 in the final last year in Moscow.
“I’ve been waiting so long for this,” Dementieva said. “I’m so happy.”
France captain Georges Goven found new respect for the eighth-ranked Russian.
“I knew she was a great athlete,” Goven said. “But this time she was exceptional, gave everything she had and fought until the end.”
•Lindsay Davenport overpowered Italy’s Francesca Schiavone 6-2, 6-4 to win the Wismilak International in Bali, Indonesia.
•Rafael Nadal cranked up his game after losing the first set, beating Guillermo Coria 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 to win the China Open in Beijing on a noisy, festive night for his 10th title this year.
•Unseeded Florent Serra of France defeated Russia’s Igor Andreev 6-3, 6-4 to win the BCR Open in Bucharest, Romania, for his first ATP title.
Hornets may play in Oklahoma
Oklahoma City officials are drafting a proposed lease agreement that will bring the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets to the Ford Center to play at least part of their 41-game home schedule.
An announcement is scheduled as early as today on plans to temporarily relocate the Hornets to Oklahoma City after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, making it unfeasible for the team to play its season, which starts in November, in its hometown. It is still not known how many games, if any, might be played in Louisiana.
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said a city council meeting will be scheduled Wednesday morning to review the proposed contract.
NBA representatives toured the Ford Center, which seats 19,675 when configured for basketball games, and met with Oklahoma City officials on Sept. 9.
•Unrestricted free agent Peter Bondra, 37, signed a one-year contract with the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers. The deal was thought to include a base salary of around $500,000 and he could earn another $2.9 million if the Thrashers win the Stanley Cup.
•Julio Cesar Chavez announced his retirement Saturday night after he quit following the fifth round of his bout with journeyman Grover Wiley. The 43-year-old fighter lost the scheduled 10-round welterweight fight, complaining of pain in his right hand. The Mexican’s handlers said his hand was broken, and promoter Bob Arum said Chavez told him he would not fight again.
•Leavander Johnson was in a drug-induced coma following emergency brain surgery he underwent just minutes after losing his IBF lightweight title defense to Jesus Chavez the night before. Tests showed improvement in his brain and gave doctors hope Johnson would survive.
•Olympian Deena Kastor set a new American women’s record for the half marathon with a time of 1 hour, 7 minutes, 53 seconds in the 28th annual Philadelphia Distance Run.
In the men’s race, Gudisa Shentema, 25, of Ethiopia, led 16 Africans in the top 17 spots. He opened up a lead in the final mile and finished in 1:02.23, beating Kenya’s Simon Kiprop by 11 seconds.
•Defending champion Roberto Heras of Spain became the first rider to win the Spanish Vuelta four times, completing an 85-mile ride around Madrid for an easy victory over Denis Menchov of Russia.
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