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Pulling rank

Top-ranked teams in AP preseason poll with the most losses during the season and how USC has fallen.

November 15, 2012
  • USC head coach Lane Kiffin walks off the field after losing to Stanford in Palo Alto on Sept. 15, 2012.
USC head coach Lane Kiffin walks off the field after losing to Stanford in… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

Since the Associated Press' first preseason college football poll in 1950, only four of the teams that were ranked first in a season's first poll have finished with more losses than USC (7-3) already has:

1950; Notre Dame; 4-4-1

1961; Iowa; 5-4

1964; Mississippi; 5-5-1

1984; Auburn; 9-4

A look at USC's plunge in the AP poll this season:

Poll; result; record; position

Preseason; --; 0-0; 1

Week 2; def. Hawaii, 49-10; 1-0; 2

Week 3; def. Syracuse, 42-29; 2-0; 2

Week 4; lost to Stanford, 21-14; 2-1; 13

Week 5; def. California, 27-9; 3-1; 13

Week 6; -- 3-1; 13

Week 7; def. Utah, 38-28; 4-1; 11

Week 8; def. Washington, 24-14; 5-1; 11

Week 9; def. Colorado, 50-6; 6-1; 10

Week 10; lost to Arizona, 39-36; 6-2; 18

Week 11; lost to Oregon, 62-51; 6-3; 21

Week 12; def. Arizona State, 38-17; 7-3; 21

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