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USC's fall (and rise!) in the college football rankings

September 04, 2012|By Chris Dufresne
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USC dropped one spot in Tuesday's Associated Press poll and moved up one position in the USA Today coaches' index — for the same 49-10 victory over Hawaii.

This, folks, is one reason why we're going to a four-team playoff in 2014.

First, realize that none of this is that important in the early scheme of the season. And that the common denominator in all this was Alabama's dominating, 41-14 win over ranked Michigan.

Still, what happened Tuesday just shows you how silly polls can be and why they have been, for decades, a hilariously unreliable way to determine champions.

To recap: USC started the season No. 1 in the preseason AP poll and opened with a resounding 39-point win over Hawaii at the Coliseum.

Three days later, USC fell to No. 2 in the AP poll. Maybe the writers weren't happy the Trojans failed to cover the 40-point spread? Have you ever seen a writer who just lost a bet?

On the same Tuesday, the USA Today coaches poll moved USC up one spot, to No. 2. The coaches jumped Alabama from No. 2 to No. 1 and dropped LSU two spots to No. 3.

Hey, LSU barely survived that home opener to North Texas, um, 41-14.

What does it mean for USC? Being No. 2 in the USA Today poll is more important than being No. 2 in the writers' poll.

The AP poll is no longer a part of the BCS formula.

The coaches' poll, however, is one of the three components that will be used in determining the top two participants in this year's BCS title game.

As USC discovered in 2003, you don't want to be No. 3 in the BCS standings.

So, condolencescongratulations to USC for Tuesday's poll results. We're extremely sorryhappy for you.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

twitter.com/DufresneLATimes

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