AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn’s run atop the Bowl Championship Series rankings — through no fault of its own — was a short one.
Despite beating Ole Miss 51-31, the Tigers dropped to No. 2 in the latest BCS rankings, a week after claiming the top spot for the first time in school history.
Oregon, which got a boost from the computers after beating Southern California on Saturday, moved up to No. 1.
Auburn (9-0, 6-0 SEC) went from .0302 points ahead to .0178 points behind Oregon in the rankings, which were released Sunday evening.
“I don’t really have the energy for it, to be honest with you,” Tigers coach Gene Chizik said of the rankings before they were released. “I’m just trying to get better every day along with the rest of our team.”
Although it dropped a spot overall, Auburn still solidified its standing. The Tigers were a unanimous No. 1 in the six computer rankings and moved past Boise State to No. 2 in the two human polls factored into the formula — the USA Today coaches’ and Harris Interactive.
But Oregon made a major move. The Ducks, who have been No. 1 in the polls the last two weeks, went from eighth to second in the computer rankings to improve .0708 points in the standings and take the top spot.
It means little right now. Experts have projected that if Auburn wins out, it will finish in one of the top two spots by the end of the season, when the rankings determine who plays for the national championship.
“Our job is to keep winning,” Chizik said. “None of that is in our control. We’re playing to the best of our ability, we’re coaching to the best of our ability. If we weren’t doing that, then I’d have a concern.”
Up next for Auburn is a home game against Chattanooga, a Football Championship Subdivision team the Tigers have beaten in all 20 of their previous meetings.
Auburn is using the week for some self-study, looking back at what its strengths and weaknesses were from a tough October stretch that included games against Kentucky, Arkansas, LSU and Ole Miss.
“We’re going back and working on us,” Chizik said. “That’s what this week is going to be about. It’s going to be about Auburn.”
The players have turned the page on October, echoing something defensive line coach Tracy Rocker is fond of saying.
“We play for November,” defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker said. “November is here. This is what we play for. This is where the grind of football comes.
“If you do good all the way up to November, and you finish November strong, it’s going to be a pretty good year.”
Notes: The Tigers didn’t practice Sunday, taking a day off after busing back from Oxford, Miss., the previous night.
The players had fun with a Halloween costume contest that was judged by the coaches’ wives.
Running back Mario Fannin was the winner for his interesting take on former Atlanta Hawks basketball player Dominique Wilkins, a costume complete with an afro, fake teeth and some excessive padding under the jersey.
Quarterback Cam Newton joined the fun, dressing in a fairy outfit. He had a wand, slippers, halo and, yes, a dress.
“It was crazy,” Whitaker said. “Just seeing 6-6, 250 in a dress, that was scary, man. That was scary.”
Pictures of Newton went up on the Internet quickly. How long does Whitaker think they’ll follow him around?
“Forever,” he said with a laugh. “I’m going to make sure of that.”