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Weekend's best

Published November 18, 2002

Death in the Valley: Tiger Stadium, commonly known as "Death Valley," is regarded as one of the most hostile environments in college football.

On Saturday night, one could hear a pin drop.

That's because Louisiana State fans were shocked as their 14th-ranked Tigers were embarrassed, 31-0, by Alabama in their worst shutout loss since 1950.

Santonio Beard led the way with 109 yards and two touchdowns for the Crimson Tide.

"We could not stop the run," Louisiana State coach Nick Saban said.

Sparty smack: Michigan State's resurgence proved to be short-lived.

The Spartans (2-5 Big Ten, 4-7 overall) were once favorites to finish atop the conference. Now, after losing in a 45-42 shootout to Purdue at home, Michigan State can't play in a bowl.

In a wild game with 875 yards of total offense and eight turnovers, the Spartans fell short when Purdue backup quarterback Kyle Orton threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to John Standeford on 4th-and-8 with just three minutes to go.

"We didn't always play smart,"interim head coach Morris Watts said.

How the AP top 25 fared

Associated Press Poll for week of November 12.

All games played November 16.

Team: Last week: This week:

1. Miami (Fla.) idle vs. Pittsburgh

2. Ohio State beat Illinois 23-16 (OT) vs. Michigan

3. Washington State idle vs. Washington

4. Texas lost to Texas Tech 42-38 idle

5. Oklahoma beat Baylor 49-9 vs. Texas Tech

6. Iowa beat Minnesota 45-21 idle

7. Georgia beat Auburn 24-21 idle

8. Southern Cal. beat Arizona State 34-13 at UCLA

9. Notre Dame idle vs. Rutgers

10. Alabama beat Louisana State 31-0 vs. Auburn

11. Kansas State beat Nebraska 49-13 at Missouri

12. Michigan beat Wisconsin 21-14 at Ohio State

13. Virginia Tech idle vs. West Virginia

14. Louisana State lost to Alabama 31-0 vs. Mississippi

15. Florida State beat North Carolina 40-14 at North Carolina State

16. Penn State beat Indiana 58-25 vs. Michigan State

17. Colorado beat Iowa State 41-27 idle

18. Pittsburgh idle at Miami (Fla.)

19. Maryland beat Clemson 30-12 at Virginia

20. Florida beat South Carolina 28-7 idle

21. Colorado State beat San Diego State 49-21 vs. New Mexico

22. North Carolina State lost to Virginia 14-9 vs. Florida State

23. Oregon lost to Washington 42-14 at Oregon State

24. Auburn lost to Georgia 24-21 at Alabama

25. Texas Christian idle at East Carolina