Alabama claims top spot ahead of USC in AP poll

On Monday, Alabama coach Nick Saban was quick to say nothing had changed after his team's dismantling of No. 8 Michigan. But come Tuesday morning something had changed — the Crimson Tide's ranking.

Thanks to that 41-14 win, Alabama moved ahead of USC in the Associated Press poll to become the nation's top team. This is the fifth consecutive season Alabama has held the top spot.

Did USC deserve the demotion? That's debatable.

The Trojans beat Hawaii 49-10 in their opener and quarterback Matt Barkley looked in midseason form. But since the Trojans didn't play as high profile of an opponent, voters seemed to give preference to the Tide. Alabama received 45 first-place votes while USC received 11 and LSU, which held on to the No. 3 spot, received four.

But Saban is the first to shake off any notion that the Crimson Tide are somehow different than they were when they were ranked No. 2 prior to the Michigan game.

"Everyone thought we were too young, too inexperienced, couldn't handle success," Saban said Monday. "Everybody was saying all those things about our team. Now, people are saying something different. But my question is what's different? Nothing.

"We're still young, we're still inexperienced. We've still got things to work on. It's going to be all about the maturity that the team has to be able to focus on what they need to do to correct the deficits that we have."

Unless something unexpected happens, Alabama and USC should remain No. 1 and 2 for at least another week since they play Western Kentucky and Syracuse, respectively. However, that third week the ranking could change again. Alabama plays SEC rival Arkansas and USC plays Stanford.

Here's how the entire poll looks heading into the second week:

1. Alabama (45)
2. USC (11)
3. LSU (4)
4. Oregon
5. Oklahoma
6. Florida St.
7. Georgia
8. Arkansas
9. West Virginia
9. South Carolina
11. Michigan St.
12. Clemson
13. Wisconsin
14. Ohio St.
15. Virginia Tech
16. Nebraska
17. Texas
18. Oklahoma St.
19. Michigan
20. TCU
21. Kansas St.
22. Notre Dame
23. Louisville
24. Florida
25. Stanford

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