MIAMI -- Despite a 33-7 victory over Syracuse on Saturday, Miami dropped to third in yesterday's Associated Press sportswriters' poll, while Georgia Tech, idle last weekend, jumped to second.
Miami players were so angered by the news that they broke coach Dennis Erickson's week-old ban on talking publicly about bowls or polls.
"Look at Georgia Tech's schedule," defensive tackle Mark Caesar said. "Their one claim to fame is against a three-loss Virginia. On any given day, we would beat Tech. I bet Lou Holtz had something to do with this."
The Notre Dame coach didn't have anything to do with it -- Miami remained No. 2 in the United Press International coaches' poll -- but sportswriters and broadcasters did. Miami, ahead of Georgia Tech by 11 points last week, is now six points behind the 9-0-1 Yellow Jackets. Tech received 10 first-place votes while Miami (8-2) got only two.
Reasons for the change of heart regarding Miami vary. Some voters suddenly don't want a team with two losses winning the championship. Some want to reward a team for going unbeaten in this parity-riddled season. And some are punishing Miami athletic director Sam Jankovich for incessant lobbying.
"I think all Sam's talking indirectly hurt Miami," said Don Burst of The Tacoma News Tribune. "When people lobby for No. 1, you look at them harder. I looked at Miami harder this weekend and found I originally overrated them. I don't think they deserve to win it."