College Football: Southern Cal’s reward: Top spot in Top 25
NEW YORK ó By staying away from the cupcakes, Southern California earned itself a slim new ranking.
No. 1 always seems to fit USC.
Southern California jumped two spots to No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 on Tuesday, rewarded by voters for opening the season with a dominant performance on the road against a BCS conference opponent.
Georgia and Ohio State, the preseason Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, started their seasons with glorified scrimmages at home against FCS (formerly I-AA) teams. USC, however, traveled across country to face Virginia 1 and could not have been more impressive in a 52-7 victory.
Georgia fell to No. 2 and Ohio State to No 3.
Since reaching No. 1 on Dec. 7, 2003, the final-regular season AP poll of that season, USC has been No. 1 in 39 polls, by far the most of any team during that time.
As for Ohio State, the Buckeyes play at USC on Sept. 13 before getting into the Big Ten schedule.
The next four teams in the new Top 25 stayed the same: No. 4 Oklahoma (two first-place votes), No. 5 Florida (five first-place votes), No. 6 Missouri (one first-place votes), No. 7 LSU (one first-place votes) and No. 8 West Virginia.
No. 9 Auburn and No. 10 Texas each moved up a spot, taking advantage of Clemson’s big drop. Clemson, ninth in the preseason, fell out after losing 34-10 to Alabama on Saturday.
Also falling out after losses were Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and Tennessee.
Moving into the rankings were No. 21 Fresno State, No. 22 Utah, No. 23 UCLA and No. 24 South Carolina.
Alabama moved up 11 spots after its big victory over Clemson.
The second 10 started with No. 11 Wisconsin, followed by Texas Tech, Alabama, Kansas and BYU and Arizona State were tied for 15th. Rivals BYU and Utah are both ranked for the first time since 1996.
South Florida was No. 17, ahead of Oregon, Penn State, and Wake Forest at No. 20.
The final five were all the teams to move into the ranking, except for Illinois, which dropped four spots and tied South Carolina for No. 24.
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