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Michigan is football's top dog

By Richard RosenblattAssociated Press Published: November 10, 1997 12:00 AM

After a 34-8 romp over Penn State, Michigan vaulted into the top spot in The Associated Press' Top 25 college football poll on Sunday, replacing undefeated Nebraska.

Michigan's last No. 1 ranking was the week of Oct. 8, 1990, after a win over Wisconsin. On Oct. 13, the reign ended with a 28-27 loss to Michigan State.

On Saturday, the Wolverines (9-0) are at No. 23 Wisconsin (8-2) in a game that could determine the Big Ten champion.

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Michigan, which was ranked fourth last week, moved up to receive 44 first-place votes and 1,723 points from the panel of 70 sports writers and broadcasters.

"I really cannot have an interest in the polls at this time," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "I don't know how other teams in the country are playing. All we can control is how we prepare for Wisconsin."

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The Cornhuskers (9-0), despite a 45-38 overtime win against Missouri, fell to No. 3, with just three first-place votes and 1,623 points.

Florida State (9-0), a convincing 20-3 winner over North Carolina, moved up a spot to No. 2 with 23 first-place votes and 1,693 points.

Last week, Michigan got one first-place vote and was behind Nebraska, Penn State and Florida State in the poll. The Huskers had 46 first-place votes last week.

Penn State (7-1) fell four places to No. 6, while North Carolina (8-1) dropped three spots to No. 8.

Ohio State (9-1) moved up three places to No. 4, followed by Tennessee, Penn State, Georgia, North Carolina, UCLA and Kansas State.

Washington, a 31-28 loser to Oregon, fell out of the top 10, dropping six spots to No. 13.

Michigan became the fourth team to hold the top spot this season _ Penn State, Florida and Nebraska were the others _ and the third to replace a No. 1 team which did not lose the previous week.

Penn State was the preseason No. 1 pick, but lost the spot to Florida after four regular-season polls. A month later, the Lions replaced the Gators, who lost to LSU, for a week before Nebraska took over for three weeks.

LSU, a 27-0 winner over Alabama, moved up three places to No. 11, followed by Florida, Washington, Washington State, Arizona State, Auburn, Mississippi State and Texas A&M. Purdue and Virginia Tech were tied at No. 19, followed by No. 21 Syracuse, Iowa, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State and Missouri.

In the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, the top 5 were: Florida State, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and Tennessee.

Toledo (8-1), a 35-3 loser to Ball State, not only lost an unbeaten season, but dropped out of the Top 25, along with Southern Mississippi, which lost to Tennessee 44-20.

Newcomers this week were Wisconsin (8-2), 13-10 winners over Iowa, and Missouri (6-4), which lost to Nebraska after a fluke play resulted in a Huskers' touchdown in the final seconds that forced overtime.

Missouri made the Top 25 for the first time since November 1983.

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