Southern California made it into the top five in The Associated Press’s college football poll for the first time in five years on Sunday.
Georgia received 62 of the 63 votes for first place in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank as the top four teams maintained their places after playing variously close games on Saturday.
No. 2 Ohio State received the other first vote. Michigan was again No. 3, followed by TCU.
The fifth-place Trojans moved up two spots after a thrilling win over rivals UCLA. The last time USC finished in the top five was September 2017 when it started at No. 4 but spent most of the season in their teens before finishing 12th.
Lincoln Riley’s first season as USC coach produced one of the best turnarounds in the country, with the Trojans going from four wins to 10 and the regular-season finale against No. 13 Notre Dame and a Pac-12 championship game that pending .
“If you had told me at the end of last season that I was here now with this group of guys and could play for a league, I would have called you a dead liar. I’m just being totally honest,” USC fourth-year receiver Kyle Ford told reporters after the UCLA game. “I’m just so grateful for everyone on this team.”
LSU stayed at No. 6. Clemson moved up two spots to No. 7. Alabama stayed in eighth and Tennessee fell four spots to 9th after getting upset over a blowout in South Carolina.
In their 63-38 win, the Gamecocks scored more points against a top-five team as an unranked team than any other in AP Poll history.
Oregon rounded out the top 10 after the Ducks defeated Utah in the Pac-12’s other marquee game on Saturday night.
Georgia set a school record with its 10th appearance at No. 1 this season. Last year, the Bulldogs had nine No. 1s, the most in school history.
Georgia has ranked No. 1 a total of 34 times, tying Michigan for 12th most in the history of the AP poll, which goes back to 1936.
Southern California is in the top five for the 283rd time in the polls’ history. That’s seventh place, 13 behind Nebraska.
The top 5 within the top 5: Alabama (451), Oklahoma (430), Ohio State (418), Notre Dame (318), and Michigan (306).
The 24th-ranked Longhorns, who started the season unranked, have advanced into the top 25 four times. They didn’t manage to stay there for more than two weeks.
A stunning win over Kansas put the Longhorns back in the standings as they head towards a season finale against Baylor.
Oklahoma State lost its rivalry game to Oklahoma, falling to 7-4 and falling out of the rankings again.
Pac-12 – 6 (#5, 10, 12, 14, 17, 22)
SEC – 5 (#1, 6, 8, 9, 20)
ACC — 3 (#7, 16, 18)
American – 3 (Nos. 19, 21, 25)
Big Ten – 3 (Nos. 2, 3, 11)
Big 12 — 3 (#4, 15, 24)
Sun Belt — 1 (#23)
Independent — 1 (No. 13)
Rank vs Rank
High Stakes Rivalry Weekend:
- #19 Tulane at #21 Cincinnati, Friday. The winner hosts the UK Championship match
- No. 10 Oregon at No. 22 Oregon State. For the first time since 2012, both are counted
- #3 Michigan in the state #2 Ohio. The best combined finish between the two was also 2-3 en route to 2016, which was decided by a fourth-place finish in overtime
- No. 13 Notre Dame at No. 5 USC. Both are ranked for the first time since 2017