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Alabama, LSU take top spots in poll

Sept. 10, 2012 at 7:19 AM

MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Alabama tightened its hold on the No. 1 spot in the USA Today Coaches football poll while SEC-foe Louisiana State climbs to No. 2 this week.

Alabama (2-0) heads into its first big test of the season -- going to No. 21 Arkansas -- this week after increasing its number of first-place votes from the USA Today Board of Coaches. The Crimson Tide pulled in 42 first-place mentions this week, after getting 37 a week ago.

Louisiana State (2-0) moves from third to No. 2 after getting five first-place votes. Southern California (2-0), No. 2 a week ago, goes to third in the poll despite 11 first-place votes. The other first-place vote belongs to No. 4 Oregon (2-0).

There was one other change in the Top 10 other than the LSU-Southern Cal switch as Michigan State (2-0) goes from 11th to No. 10 after Arkansas (1-1), stunned in overtime by Louisiana-Monroe, plummets to 21st.

Also seeing big drops are Wisconsin (1-1), which goes from 13th to No. 22 and Nebraska (1-1), which falls 10 places to 24th; and Oklahoma State (1-1), which was 16th last week and is now unranked.

Two teams -- Kansas State and Florida -- improve their rankings six places this week and two others -- Virginia Tech and Stanford -- are up five.

Oklahoma (2-0) is again fifth followed by Florida State (2-0) in the No. 6 place and seventh-ranked Georgia (2-0). West Virginia (1-0) stays in the No. 8 spot and South Carolina (2-0) is ninth.

Michigan State is followed by Clemson (2-0), up one rung to No. 11. Texas (2-0) is up three to 12 ahead of No. 13 Virginia Tech (2-0) and 14th-ranked Kansas State (2-0). Texas Christian (1-0) comes in at No. 15.

Stanford (2-0) is 16th this week and Florida (2-0) is close behind in the 17th spot. Michigan (1-1) is No. 18 while Notre Dame (2-0) is up to 19th and the 20th spot is occupied by Louisville (2-0).

New entries this week are No. 23 UCLA (2-0) and No. 25 Arizona (2-0). Oklahoma State and Boise State (0-1) drop out of the Top 25.

Key games this week have Alabama at Arkansas, Southern California at Stanford and Notre Dame at Michigan State.

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