West Virginia University’s 2006 football team finished No. 10 in both major polls on Tuesday.

It marks the first time in the school’s 114-year grid history that it wound up in the nation’s Top 10 in back-to-back years.

The Mountaineers finished No. 5 in The Associated Press and No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today rankings last season with an 11-1 record. They capped that campaign with the memorable 38-35 upset of No. 8 Georgia in the Nokia Sugar Bowl at Atlanta.

Last week WVU made its record 11-2 by disposing of Georgia Tech by exactly the same score in the Toyota Gator Bowl at Jacksonville, Fla. What’s more, this is only the fifth time that Mountaineer teams have finished among the nation’s Top 10.

The other three such feats were No. 7 and No. 6 in 1993, No. 5 in 1988, and No. 10 and 13th in 1953. The ’88 and ’93 teams coached by Don Nehlen remain the only ones that went undefeated/untied in the regular season.

You have to go back to 1988-89 for the last time West Virginia was ranked nationally in consecutive years. The ’89 team (8-3-1) finished 21st in The AP, UPI and CNN/USA Today polls.

That was a hefty 16 notches drop from that fifth-place finish in all polls the previous year.

Other final rankings by WVU in The AP poll: 1954 (12), 1955 (19), 1969 (17), 1975 (20), 1981 (17), 1982 (19), 1983 (16), 1984 (18), 1989 (21) and 2002 (25).

UPI (no longer active): 1953 (15), 1955 (17), 1969 (18), 1975 (17), 1981 (18), 1982 (19), 1983 (16), and 1984 (18).

The only other in ESPN/USA Today was 2002 (20).

For the first time in Big East history, that conference has three teams in the Top 12.

Besides WVU, Louisville is sixth and Rutgers 12th in The AP ratings. In the ESPN/USA Today listings, Louisville is No. 7 and Rutgers 12th.

By comparison, the Atlantic Coast Conference didn’t fare nearly so well. Wake Forest, its champion, was ranked 18th by The AP and 17th by the coaches. Virginia Tech was next at 19 and 18, followed by Boston College 20th in both polls.

The Big East also strengthened its status as a major conference by winning all five bowl games in which its teams competed.

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