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USC passes Texas for BCS No. 1 slot

USC's Dwayne Jarrett helped the Trojans beat Washington State 55-13 on Saturday.
USC's Dwayne Jarrett helped the Trojans beat Washington State 55-13 on Saturday.
Kevork Djansezian, Associated Press

NEW YORK — Texas had a short stay at No. 1 in Bowl Championship Series standings.

Southern California jumped over the Longhorns on Monday, returning to first place after a one-week absence. The margin between USC and Texas is still small — only .0038 — though up from last week when the margin separating first and second was the slimmest in the eight-year history of the BCS.

Third-place Virginia Tech gained on the top two, but the Trojans and Longhorns remain on course for a Rose Bowl showdown.

The top five teams in the BCS are unbeaten, with Alabama fourth and UCLA moving up a spot to fifth. It's the second straight season that the BCS top 10 has five unbeaten teams with five weeks to go in the regular season.

USC has been No. 1 in The Associated Press, coaches' and Harris Interactive polls all season, but last week Texas inched ahead in the BCS standings because the computer rankings favored the Longhorns. It marked the first time in the past two seasons USC was not No. 1 in the BCS standings.

Both the coaches' and Harris polls make up a third of a team's BCS average. A compilation of six computer rankings makes up the final third, with best and worst grades thrown out for each team. A perfect BCS average is 1.000.

Texas is tops in the computer rankings again this week, but USC's 55-13 victory over Washington State helped boost the Trojans' computer score enough for them to reclaim first. The Longhorns rallied from 19 points down to beat Oklahoma State 47-28 Saturday.

Southern California's BCS average is .9767. Texas is at .9729, and for the first time the top two teams in the BCS standings flipped positions in consecutive weeks.

The top two teams in the final BCS standings play in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4 for the national title.

Virginia Tech is now .0435 behind second-place.