Monday, November 27, 2006

Southern Cal moves to second in AP poll


Southern California is the new No. 2.

The Trojans advanced one spot to overtake Michigan in The Associated Press Top 25 on Sunday, a day after their 44-24 victory over Notre Dame. USC, the sixth team to be ranked No. 2 this season behind No. 1 Ohio State, leads the Wolverines by 36 points in the poll.

Michigan, which completed its season with a 42-39 loss to Ohio State on Nov. 18, fell to No. 3. The Wolverines (11-1) are 63 points ahead of No. 4 Florida, which beat Florida State 21-14 to improve to 11-1.

Ohio State (12-0) was a unanimous No. 1 for the second consecutive week and third time this year. The Buckeyes received 65 first-place votes from the media panel.

While the Buckeyes have been top-ranked since the preseason, No. 2 has changed frequently. Notre Dame, Texas, Auburn and Florida have also held the second spot. Michigan's six-week run there was the longest of any team this season.

Michigan had a nine-point lead on USC in last week's poll, but the Trojans changed the minds of numerous voters on Saturday night.

"I was pretty sure I was going to keep Michigan No. 2 until I watched USC," said John Hoover of the Tulsa (Okla.) World.

"Part of the reason (the Trojans) struggled in the middle of the season and lost was because Dwayne Jarrett wasn't healthy," he said.

Jarrett caught three touchdowns against Notre Dame.

The rest of the Top 25 took a major reshuffling after a week with several upsets.

LSU moved up four spot to No. 5, a season-high for the Tigers, after a 31-26 victory over Arkansas on Friday.

No. 6 Louisville moved up two spots and No. 7 Wisconsin jumped three places. The Badgers have their highest rankings since November 2004, when they were No. 4.

No. 8 Arkansas dropped three spots after its first loss since the opening week of the season. Oklahoma is tied with the Razorbacks after moving up five spots.

Boise State (12-0), which beat Nevada 38-7 to complete an unbeaten regular season, cracked the top 10 for the second time in school history at No. 10. The Broncos were also 10th late in the 2004 season.

Auburn is No. 11, followed by Notre Dame, which dropped six spots after losing to USC.

Rutgers is 13th, Virginia Tech is 14th and West Virginia dropped eight spots to 15th after being upset 24-19 at home by South Florida.

Wake Forest, heading to the Atlantic Coast Conference title game to face Georgia Tech, moved up four spots to No. 16.

Texas, which lost its second consecutive game on Friday to Texas A&M;, and Tennessee are tied at No. 17. The last time the Longhorns were ranked this low was October 2003, when they were 19th.

No. 19 Nebraska plays Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game. Mountain West Conference champion BYU was No. 20.

California was No. 21 and Texas A&M; was back in the ranking at No. 22 after a 12-7 victory against the Longhorns.

No. 23 Georgia Tech dropped seven spots after losing 15-12 to Georgia. No. 24 was Hawaii and No. 25 Boston College slipped seven spots after losing 17-14 at Miami on Thanksgiving night.


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