LSU unanimous No. 1 in AP rankings

NEW YORK, NY -- No doubt about it, LSU is No. 1.

As for the rest of the Top 25, five wild weeks of college football have taken quite a toll.

The Tigers were a unanimous choice for the top spot in The Associated Press rankings released Sunday, receiving all 65 first-place from the media panel. The last unanimous No. 1 during the regular season was Ohio State in December.

LSU is one of just four teams that started the season ranked in the top 10 and remain there. The others are No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 8 West Virginia and No. 10 Southern California, which became the latest team to take a tumble after a startling loss to an unranked opponent.

The Trojans fell to Stanford 24-23 on Saturday, then dropped eight spots in the rankings.

California is the new No. 2, with its best showing in the AP Top 25 since 1951, when the Golden Bears were No. 1.

Ohio State is No. 3 and No. 4 Boston College has its highest ranking since Doug Flutie had the Eagles fourth in 1984. South Florida, which entered the poll for the first time three weeks ago, is now No. 5.

A week before the first Bowl Championship Series standings are released, LSU is a unanimous No. 1 in all the major polls. In the coaches' poll, the rest of the top five is California, Ohio State, Boston College and Oklahoma and South Florida are tied for fifth.

In the Harris poll, the top four are the same as the AP and coaches' poll, but Oklahoma holds the No. 5 spot all to itself with USF sixth. The Harris and coaches' polls are part of the formula to determine which teams will play in the BCS national title game Jan. 7 in New Orleans.

On Saturday, a week after half the top 10 and nine ranked teams lost, another four top-10 teams and 11 ranked teams overall went down Saturday.

As a result, there are 10 teams in the latest rankings, including four in the top 10 (BC, USF, No. 7 South Carolina and No. 9 Oregon), that were unranked to start the season.

Coach Steve Spurrier has led South Carolina to its highest ranking since Dec. 12, 1984, when the Gamecocks were also seventh.

"It's nice, very nice," Spurrier said Sunday. "We appreciate it. Obviously it's good for our football program, for our university and all that. But we realize that it's almost exactly halfway through the season, six games. A lot can happen in the next six."

The second 10 starts with No. 11 Missouri, which has its highest ranking since 1981, when the Tigers were No. 8.

No. 12 Virginia Tech is followed by Florida and then three unbeaten teams -- Arizona State, Cincinnati and Hawaii. No. 17 Kentucky fell nine spots after losing at South Carolina 38-23 on Thursday.

Five teams fell from the rankings this week. Illinois, which beat No. 5 Wisconsin 31-26, and unbeaten Kansas, which won at Kansas State for the first time since 1989, moved into the poll for the first time this season.

The Illini are No. 18 and ranked for the first time since 2001. Kansas is No. 20 and ranked for the first time since 1995. In between is No. 19 Wisconsin, which dropped 14 spots after its first loss of the season.

No. 21 Florida State, winners of four straight, moved back into the Top 25, as did No. 22 Auburn. No. 23 Texas benefited from so many other ranked teams losing and stayed in the poll after a second consecutive loss. The Longhorns fell to Oklahoma 28-21.

No. 24 Georgia dropped 12 spots after a 35-14 defeat to Tennessee, and the Vols moved back into the rankings at No. 25, giving the Southeastern Conference seven ranked teams, the most of any conference.

Falling out of the Top 25 were Nebraska, Clemson, Kansas State, Rutgers and Purdue.


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