Fighting Irish are No. 10 in the AP media poll

Updated: September 12, 2005, 12:35 AM ET
Associated Press

Notre Dame is a top-10 team for the first time in three years, and Southern California has matched Miami for the longest stay at No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25.

Southern California now has been No. 1 for 21 straight polls, a run that dates back to late in the 2003 season and matches the record set by Miami from 2001-2002.

Charlie Weis' Fighting Irish are No. 10 in the AP media poll released Sunday, jumping 10 spots after upsetting Michigan 17-10 on Saturday to improve to 2-0.

"I think too many times rankings are based off of reputation, not off what really happens," Weis said Sunday when asked if he thought he had a top-10 team. "So maybe if you go by what you see, maybe the answer is yes. I'm not there to judge that."

Weis is the first Notre Dame coach since Knute Rockne in 1918 to win his first two games on the road, helping the Fighting Irish to their highest ranking since they were seventh in late November 2002.

In 2002, Tyrone Willingham's first season as coach, Notre Dame started 8-0 and reached as high as No. 4 in the AP poll before finishing 17th in the final poll. The Fighting Irish started the 2003 season ranked 20th, but were out of the poll for good by Sept. 14. They were ranked 24th twice in 2004.

Southern California now has been No. 1 for 21 straight polls, a run that dates back to late in the 2003 season and matches the record set by Miami from 2001-2002.

USC was idle this week, and Texas' impressive 25-22 win at Ohio State helped the Longhorns make up some ground on the Trojans.

USC received 56 of 64 first-place votes, down from the 61 it had last week. Texas pulled in eight first-place votes, up from four in the first regular-season poll.

"I was just so impressed with Texas coming into Ohio State and playing as well as they did," said Doug Harris of the Dayton Daily News, who moved the Longhorns past USC. "In covering Ohio State for six years, I haven't seen team speed quite like that. The only team that I can compare it to is Miami the year Ohio State played them in the national championship game."

No. 3 LSU moved up two spots on the strength of a dramatic 35-31 win at Arizona State. The game was moved from Baton Rouge to Tempe to accommodate the recovery efforts for Hurricane Katrina going on in Louisiana's capital city.

Virginia Tech is No. 4, the Hokies' highest ranking since Oct. 19, 2003. Tennessee will be No. 5 when it plays at No. 6 Florida next Saturday. It'll be the first time since 2002 the Vols and Gators will both be in the top 10 when they play.

No. 7 Georgia and No. 8 Florida State are followed by Ohio State and Notre Dame in the top 10.

In the USA Today coaches' poll, Southern California, Texas and LSU are the top three. Tennessee and Virginia Tech are tied for fourth and Georgia is sixth.

In the AP poll, Michigan dropped 11 spots to No. 14 as the upper echelon of the Big Ten took a hit on Saturday. The Big Ten went into the weekend with three teams in the top 10, but now has one.

Ohio State fell five spots to No. 9 after losing to Texas, and Iowa tumbled 14 spots to No. 22 after a 23-3 loss to Iowa State. The Hawkeyes played most of the game without quarterback Drew Tate, who left with a concussion but is expected to be back in the lineup next week.

No. 11 Louisville is followed by Purdue and Miami. Then come Michigan and California, ahead of No. 16 Georgia Tech, Boston College, Arizona State, Texas Tech and Clemson.

Oklahoma dropped three more spots to No. 21 after struggling for three quarters to beat Tulsa. It's the Sooners' lowest ranking since they were No. 24 in October 1999. Iowa is 22nd, followed by Fresno State, Iowa State and Virginia at No. 25.

A week after jumping into the poll at No. 22 by upsetting Oklahoma, TCU is out of the rankings after SMU knocked off the Horned Frogs, 21-10.

Iowa State is the lone new team in the rankings. The Cyclones were last ranked in October 2002.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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