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USC's stay is now longest at No. 1

Posted: Monday, September 19, 2005

Southern California's run at No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 reached a record-breaking level and Oklahoma, the team USC replaced in the top spot almost two years ago, was unranked for the first time since 1999.

With the Trojans top-ranked in the AP media poll released Sunday, USC has now been No. 1 for 22 straight polls, besting the record set by Miami from 2001-2002.

USC received 57 of 65 first-place votes. No. 2 Texas received the other eight first-place votes. LSU is No. 3 followed by Virginia Tech and Florida, rounding out the top five.

The Trojans took over the top spot Dec. 7, 2003, after then-No. 1 Oklahoma lost the Big 12 title game to Kansas State.

USC won the Rose Bowl to finish the season No. 1 in the AP poll, then began last season in the same spot.

The Trojans became just the second team to go wire-to-wire as No. 1 in 2004, started this season as the overwhelming top-ranked team and have done nothing prove the voters wrong so far.

USC improved to 2-0 Saturday night with a 70-17 win over Arkansas at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and the Trojans have scored 133 points.

But holding on to No. 1 is about to get tougher over the next two weeks as USC hits the road. The Trojans play No. 24 Oregon in Eugene next week and at No. 18 Arizona State on Oct. 1.

The Sooners are out of the rankings for the first time since Bob Stoops' first season as coach after a 41-24 loss to UCLA on Saturday.

No. 25 UCLA is one of four teams to move into the rankings this week, along with Oregon, Alabama and Michigan State.

The Spartans jumped all the way to No. 17 off their 44-41 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday.

Aditi Kinkhabwala of The Bergen Record in New Jersey had Michigan State 10th on her ballot, giving the Spartans extra credit for winning on the road.

''What it came down to is they're 3-0 and they won at Notre Dame, a place that was all revved up and excited about Charlie Weis,'' she said. ''To go in there and withstand a charge, and beat a good team was very impressive.''

Dropping out along with Oklahoma were Clemson, an overtime loser to Miami, Boston College and Fresno State.

In the USA Today coaches' poll, the top five is identical to the AP poll — USC, Texas, LSU, Virginia Tech and Florida.

The second half of the top 10 in the AP poll starts with No. 6 Florida State. Georgia is seventh, Ohio State is eighth, Louisville ninth and Tennessee is No. 10 after losing 16-7 at Florida.

No. 11 Purdue is followed by Miami, California, Michigan, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame, which dropped six spots to No. 16 after its first loss under Weis.

After No. 17 Michigan State is Arizona State, Texas Tech at Alabama at No. 20.

Iowa, Iowa State, Virginia, Oregon and UCLA are the final five.



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