Bama back at No. 1 means rare USC drop

September, 4, 2012
9/04/12
1:09
PM ET

Matthew Emmons/US Presswire
Alabama cornerback C.J. Mosley (32) celebrates after returning an interception for a touchdown with safety Vinnie Sunseri (3) in Saturday's 41-14 win over Michigan.
Nick Saban will be hard pressed to match Paul “Bear” Bryant’s mark of six national championships at Alabama, but he has now accomplished something in Tuscaloosa that Bryant never did.

On the heels of their 41-14 blowout victory over Michigan, the Crimson Tide are atop the new Associated Press Top 25 Poll, the fifth consecutive season Saban has led Alabama to the top of the AP Poll.

In the last 40 years, only one other team has pulled off this feat, as Miami did it seven straight seasons from the late 80s to the early 90s, but this is the first time it’s been done in one of college football’s active conferences.

This doesn’t necessarily make Alabama the most dominant team of the SEC’s current national championship run, however.

This week’s ranking pulls the Tide even with Florida and LSU for most weeks as the AP No. 1 since the SEC’s streak began in the final poll of the 2006 season. Each of those schools has done it 16 weeks. The next-highest mark belongs to USC with 10.

Alabama’s win necessitated USC's fall, despite the Trojans’ 49-10 win over Hawaii.

USC becomes the first No. 1 ranked team to win a game by more than 35 points and fall from the top spot in the AP poll since Penn State in 1997. Penn State beat Louisville, 57-21, and fell to No. 2. That same week, Florida jumped from No. 3 to No. 1 with a 33-20 win at fourth-ranked Tennessee.

In fact, the last two times a No. 1 fell after winning by more than 35 points, it was Penn State who fell. In 1994, the Lions fell to No. 2 after a 63-14 win over No. 21 Ohio State. No. 3 Nebraska beat No. 2 Colorado, 24-7, and jumped to No. 1, which was significant, as Penn State would finish undefeated, but without a share of the national title (which was won by Nebraska).

The only No. 1 to win their opener by more than 35 and fall from No. 1 was Florida in 1994. The Gators beat New Mexico State, 70-21, and fell to No. 2 behind Nebraska. Nebraska had shut out No. 24 West Virginia 31-0 the previous week in the Kickoff Classic.

Falling completely out of the top 25 was Boise State, which was ranked 24th entering last Friday’s 17-13 loss to now 11th-ranked Michigan State.

It’s the first time the Broncos have not been ranked in the Top 25 since the week of September 14, 2008. Boise State had been ranked in the top 25 for 62 straight weeks, which was the second-longest active streak behind Alabama’s now 67-week streak.

The new second-longest streak now belongs to LSU, which is up to 50 straight weeks.

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