Sports

Conference call: Who's up, who's down

Big 12

RISING: Last season, Texas couldn't come up with interceptions, finishing with a league-low six. After four in a 41-14 romp at Oklahoma State, the Longhorns have 16. Earl Thomas and Curtis Brown each collected a pick-six, giving Texas three interception returns for scores this season.

FALLING: Colorado needed a home victory over Missouri to save its season. What happens? The Buffaloes fall behind 33-0 before losing 36-17.

SEC

RISING: Tennessee busted out the black jerseys, very Halloween with the orange pants, and knocked out South Carolina with another terrific defensive effort. The Vols have surrendered two offensive touchdowns in the past three games.

FALLING: Georgia broke out black helmets for the first time and black pants, but the motivation wasn't enough to stop a third loss in four years to Florida.

Big Ten

RISING: Illinois won't go winless in the Big Ten. The Illini piled up 500 total yards and hammered Michigan 38-13. The Wolverines are one victory away from qualifying for a bowl game but are ninth in the Big Ten standings.

FALLING: Things couldn't have gone better for Indiana through three quarters. The Hoosiers had picked off Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi five times and they led by 10 entering the fourth quarter. But the Hawkeyes roared back for a 42-24 win, sending Indiana to its fifth loss in six games.

Others

RISING: Temple. Booted from the Big East five years ago, no winning season since 1990 and no bowl game since 1979. But a hard-fought 27-24 victory against Navy gave the Owls their sixth victory and makes them bowl eligible.

FALLING: New Mexico, Rice, Eastern Michigan and Western Kentucky need a victory, fellas.

Pac-10

RISING: After dropping out of sight with two hideous losses, California has re-entered the polls after collecting its third straight victory, 23-21 against Arizona State. Quarterback Kevin Riley had a career-best 351 passing yards.

FALLING: It would take a series of crazy happenings for Southern Cal to win its eighth straight conference crown. The 27-point loss at Oregon was the program's worst since 1997.

ACC

RISING: Duke, ACC power broker. How does that sound? The Blue Devils' third straight victory, 28-17 against Virginia, keeps them tied with Georgia Tech in the loss column, and Duke plays host to the Yellow Jackets in two weeks. The Devils appear headed for a bowl game.

FALLING: Virginia Tech's home loss to North Carolina pretty much dashes the Hokies' BCS bowl hopes. After rising to No. 4 in the polls, Tech is hanging on to its ranking by a thread.

Big East

RISING: Cincinnati quarterback Tony Pike likely would be in the thick of the Heisman race had it not been for an arm injury. Still, the Bearcats haven't missed a beat with reserve Zach Collaros at the controls. He threw for four touchdown passes in the 28-7 victory at Syracuse.

FALLING: West Virginia's loss to South Florida ends the Mountaineers' momentum, but they're not out of the league chase with games remaining at Cincinnati (Nov. 13) and against Pittsburgh (Nov. 27).

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