USC, Texas hold top spots for entire regular season

Updated: December 4, 2005, 6:21 PM ET
Associated Press

For the second straight year, the two teams that started at the top of The Associated Press poll held those spots for the entire regular season.

Southern California was No. 1 and Texas No. 2 on Sunday in the Top 25, just like they were in the preseason.

USC received 56 first-place votes and 1,616 points, a day after winning its 34th straight game, 66-19 over UCLA. Southern California has been No. 1 for a record 33 straight polls.

Texas got nine first-place votes and 1,569 points after beating Colorado 70-3 in the Big 12 title game, the Longhorns' 20th straight win.

USC and Texas will play for the national title on Jan. 4 in the Rose Bowl.

In 2004, USC and Oklahoma started and ended the regular season as Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, marking the first time in the seven-decade history of the media poll that the top two went through the regular season unchanged. But for one week last season, the Sooners were co-No. 2 along with Auburn.

This season, USC and Texas have hardly been challenged for the top two spots. No other team has received a first-place vote during the season.

Behind the Big Two, Penn State, Ohio State and Notre Dame rounded out the top five.

Florida State was back in the Top 25 after falling out last week for the first time in four years. The 22nd-ranked Seminoles upset Virginia Tech, 27-22, in the inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference title game Saturday.

Fresno State, which was No. 16 after nearly upsetting USC two weeks ago, fell out of the rankings on the heels of a second straight loss. The Bulldogs were beaten at home 40-28 by Louisiana Tech. The loss denied Fresno State a share of the Western Athletic Conference championship.

In the USA Today coaches' poll, the top four is the same as the AP poll, but Oregon is No. 5 instead of Notre Dame.

Oregon is No. 6 in the AP poll, the Ducks highest ranking since finishing the 2001 season No. 2.

Auburn is seventh, followed by Southeastern Conference champion Georgia, Miami and LSU, giving the SEC three top-10 teams.

Big East champion West Virginia is No. 11. Virginia Tech slipped seven spots to No. 12 after falling to Florida State.

At No. 13, TCU is the highest ranked team from a conference without an automatic bid to the Bowl Championship Series.

No. 14 Alabama is followed by Louisville, Florida and UCLA, which dropped six spots after losing to USC.

No. 18 is Texas Tech, followed by Boston College and Michigan.

The final five are Wisconsin, Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Iowa.

The ACC has six teams in the last regular-season rankings. The Big Ten and SEC each have five ranked teams.

The final AP rankings will be released after the Rose Bowl.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press