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COLLEGE FOOTBALL : Media, Coaches Agree: Cornhuskers Are No. 1

November 07, 1994|From Times Wire Services

College football's two major polls now agree: Nebraska is No. 1.

The Cornhuskers, already No. 1 in the Associated Press media poll, replaced Penn State as the top team in the USA Today-CNN coaches' poll Sunday.

After Nebraska routed Kansas, 45-17, and Penn State looked sluggish in a 35-29 victory over Indiana on Saturday, the Cornhuskers gained ground in both polls.

Twelve coaches shifted their first-place votes from Penn State to Nebraska, giving the Cornhuskers a 42-20 advantage. Six media members pulled the same switch, increasing Nebraska's first-place margin to 39-22.

In total points, Nebraska leads Penn State by 18 in the AP poll and 27 in the USA Today-CNN poll.

Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne said he was surprised by the big swing in the coaches' poll.

"I thought it would be close and we might possibly be rated ahead in both polls, but I wasn't sure that we would," he said.

A week ago, a split national championship seemed like a distinct possibility. Now Nebraska (10-0) is in the driver's seat in both polls.

"Now we control our own destiny," linebacker Ed Stewart said. "If we play like we are capable of the rest of the season, we should be in good shape."

If Nebraska beats Iowa State and Oklahoma, then defeats No. 5 Miami or No. 8 Florida State in the Orange Bowl, it would probably be the consensus champion. If the Cornhuskers don't lose, tie or play poorly in a close victory, Penn State could go undefeated and not win any share of the title for the fourth time under Joe Paterno.

Penn State spokesman Jeff Nelson said Paterno would not comment on the polls Sunday.

The Nittany Lions (8-0) have games remaining against Illinois, Northwestern and Michigan State before a probable Rose Bowl appearance against the Pacific 10 Conference champion. No. 13 Arizona, No. 15 Oregon and No. 17 USC are tied for the Pac-10 lead.

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