After USC’s 21-14 loss to Stanford on Saturday night that propelled thousands of Cardinal faithful to rush the field, the Trojans woke up on Sunday a tad lower than their initial AP No. 1 ranking, falling to 13th the AP and 12th in Coaches’ Poll.
Stanford took a big step forward in the polls, leap-frogging the Trojans in both, as the Cardinal are now 9th in AP Poll, while the Coaches(or Sports Information Directors) have David Shaw’s team at 11th, just one spot ahead of USC.
Also ahead of USC this week is Notre Dame, who jumped to 11th in the AP Poll after beating Michigan State soundly on Saturday. With the Irish ranked higher, the Trojans now have up to three games left on the schedule against teams ranked higher: Notre Dame and two hypothetical games with Oregon.
Despite losing to Stanford, the Trojans have the benefit of a Novemeber that could see them beat a likely undefeated Oregon team, and two should-be Top 15 teams in UCLA and Notre Dame. Although SC will be hard pressed to win judging by their performance against Stanford, there are opportunities for the Trojans to still get a shot at a National Title, especially if Florida State or Oklahoma/West Virginia/Texas all end the season with at least one loss.
Meanwhile, a 52-0 win over Arkansas has cemented Alabama’s No. 1 ranking, as the Tide now have all but two first-place votes in the AP Poll.
In addition to USC, Oregon and Stanford, the retaining of UCLA and Arizona in the polls keep five Pac-12 teams ranked for another week, with Oregon State in the unofficial 26th spot, as the leaders of the ‘others receiving votes’.