The envelope please! Computer taps Wildcats as #1

(c) Copyright the News & Observer Publishing Co. and The Associated Press, 1994

NEW YORK (AP) -- The writers say Florida is No. 1. So do the coaches. What does the computer say?

Kansas State!

The undefeated Wildcats (4-0) jumped from No. 6 to the top spot -- ahead of Florida, Nebraska, Penn State and Colorado -- in the New York Times' computer rankings released Tuesday. The Gators (5-0) are ranked seventh by the computer, up three spots from last week.

In The Associated Press writers' poll, Kansas State is 16th, while the USA Today-CNN coaches poll has the Wildcats 11th.

The Times' computer is based on an analysis of each team's scores, with emphasis on who won, by what margin and against what quality of opposition.

Kansas State beat Southwestern Louisiana 34-6, Rice 27-18, Minnesota 35-0 and Kansas 21-13. Those opponents have a combined record of 10-7 not counting the losses to the Wildcats.

Florida beat New Mexico State 70-21, Kentucky 73-7, Tennessee 31-0, Mississippi 38-14 and LSU 42-18. The Gators' opponents have a combined record of 9-13 not counting the losses to Florida.

Why Kansas State?

"Teams are rewarded not only for the won-lost record, but for the quality of opponent at the time they played," Times sports editor Neil Amdur said. "And as a result, a team like Florida, ranked No. 1 in both other polls, is seventh because its schedule really includes teams of less quality than teams that are ahead of them."

Kansas State's reaction?

"Our football players have a great deal of confidence in themselves," coach Bill Snyder said. "We're at a point in the program where we don't put limitations on ourselves. I think every time we do something, it's another step, another threshold, it's another step ahead."

The next, and perhaps biggest, step comes Saturday when the Wildcats play host to Nebraska, a team they last beat in 1968.