USC needed a soft landing pad after falling hard in Sunday's latest college football polls. Saturday's 21-14 loss to Stanford cost the Trojans valuable rankings real estate.
Stanford cracked the AP top 10, at No. 9, and is No. 11 in the USA Today poll. UCLA moved up to No. 19 in both indexes.
Alabama, a 52-0 winner over unranked Arkansas, now has a stranglehold at No. 1. The Crimson Tide received 58 out of a possible 60 first-place votes in the AP and 54 out of 59 in USA Today.
Louisiana State is second in both polls, setting up a scenario similar to last year when the two SEC West powers dominated college football, playing a rematch in the BCS title game.