USC jumped by Alabama in AP rankings

USC beats Hawaii 49-10, proceeds to drop 1 spot in the AP rankings. Fair or foul?

9/4/12 in NCAAF   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Sep 1, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans receiver Marqise Lee (9) is pursued by Hawaii Warriors defensive back Ne'Quan Phillips (20) on an 100-yard kickoff return in the third quarter at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Hawaii 49-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRELast week, USC was the top ranked college football team in the nation. Then they went out and beat Hawaii 49-10 in a game that was a blowout before the 2nd quarter even started.

Alabama was ranked #2. They went out and did pretty much the same thing as USC, beating Michigan 41-14. The score after the first quarter? Alabama was already up 21-0.

The biggest difference: Hawaii is unranked, and has extremely low expectations this year. Michigan was ranked #8, and actually received a first place vote in the preseason poll.

This week, Alabama has jumped over USC in the AP rankings, and is ranked #1, while USC has dropped to #2.

ESPN LA's Arash Markazi is one of a few people who are a little peeved about the flip-flop. In the nature of full disclosure, it should be mentioned that Markazi received his journalism degree from USC, and is an unabashed homer for all things LA.

Still, does he have a point? Let's check out his twitter rant from earlier today:

Blog Photo - USC jumped by Alabama in AP rankings


Clearly, Markazi isn't all that happy with the change in voting, and I suppose I understand his logic.

USC was thought to be the best team coming into the season, and they won convincingly in week 1. There's really no reason to drop them, right?

Unfortunately, he forgot a few things that most likely played a major factor in the top of the rankings.
  1. Preseason rankings are meaningless -- USC was ranked #1 to start the year based on nothing but pure conjecture. This week's rankings are based on 1 week of play. They certainly don't mean that much, but they mean a lot more than preseason rankings.
  2. The difference between #1 and #2 is literally nothing -- If both Alabama and USC win out, they'll play each other in the National Championship game. If USC is #1, they'll play Alabama in the title game. If they're #2, they'll play... that's right, you guessed it... Alabama in the title game. Regardless of who's #1 or #2, the winner will be #1.
  3. The "previous week" is all we have -- Markazi asks if we're ranking teams based on who looked the most impressive in the previous week. This would be a valid argument if USC had put together 7 or 8 straight wins to put them in the #1 spot, and then Alabama suddenly had 1 impressive week and leapfrogged them. But right now, that "previous week" isn't just an aberration or a knee-jerk reaction. It's all we have.
People love to question the rankings, and we'll definitely do our fair share of that around here. But anyone who watched Alabama dismantle Michigan on Saturday night knows that once again, they're looking like the best team in the country, and there's really no intelligent way to debate that. Yet.

But hey... anything can happen, right?
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9/6/12   |   Basscat02   |   193 respect

USC did not belong there to begin with. Offense does not win championships, and that appears to be all they have. The Trojans are probably a top 10 team but not a top 5 team. They cannot stand up against the top 4 or 5 SEC teams, certainly not against LSU , Alabama, or Georgia, and probably not Arkansas or South Carolina. But I would not mind seeing a USC-LSU BCS Championship Game, a great offense against a great defense..
Great article.
Oh, by the way, LSU will win the SEC when they beat Bama in Death Valley in November.

9/6/12   |   huskerdoug2009   |   2790 respect

Alabama's win was important, although I do believe Michigan was a bit overrated based on last season's performance.  The Big 10 looks suspect again this year as Michigan, Michigan St, Wisconsin and Nebraska all look like their offense's will struggle at times against non big 10 teams.  I would be shocked to see any Big 10 team with less than 2 losses and no chances of being undefeated.

9/4/12   |   GeorgeMon   |   159 respect

The spread was 43 points and USC couldnt cover that. Bama had a 14 point spread and won by 27 against a ranked team. USC should have shut out Hawaii but they let them score 10.  OSU and LSU both looked better than USC.

9/4/12   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

USC won 49-10.

9/4/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

I think it's fair. It isn't about what USC did, but rather what Alabama did to surpass them. Teams should be rewarded for playing well and playing well against good teams.