Alabama still No. 1, USC takes tumble in USA TODAY poll

3:48 PM, Sep 16, 2012   |    comments
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Though it isn't quite unanimous, Alabama's hold on the No. 1 ranking in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll is getting stronger every week.

Only one team currently ranked, Mississippi State, stands between Nick Saban's Alabama team and its meeting Nov. 3 with No. 2 LSU.

The Crimson Tide received 54 of 59 first-place votes this week, inheriting most of the top nods from Southern California.

LSU, the Tide's SEC West rival, claimed the other five firsts. The Crimson Tide and Tigers meet Nov. 3 in Baton Rouge.

Alabama also received 58 of 60 No. 1 votes in the Associated Press media rankings after its road demolition of a short-handed but nevertheless overmatched Arkansas. LSU got the other two first-place votes in AP.

MORE: Complete USA TODAY Sports Coaches poll

USC, which can't seem to solve Pac-12 rival Stanford, fell nine places to No. 12. The Cardinal climbed five spots to No.11 after their prime-time upset of the Trojans.

Oregon moved up a spot to No. 3 in the coaches poll. It hosts No. 21 Arizona this week.

Florida State, which posted an impressive shutout of its own against Wake Forest, leapffrogged idle Oklahoma to grab the No. 4 position. The Seminoles host No. 9 Clemson this week, the first meeting of top 10 Atlantic Coast Conference teams in five years, according to the league.

Though the SEC lost one ranked squad with Arkansas falling out, the conference gained another with the season debut of Mississippi State at No. 23.

No. 25 Oklahoma State also returned to the poll after a week's absence. Virginia Tech was the other dropout, falling from the No. 13 position after a loss at previously winless Pittsburgh.

by Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY Sports

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