Alabama is football's new No. 1

Sept. 4, 2012 at 1:04 PM
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MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Alabama, which defeated a Top 10 team in its season opener, has moved into the No. 1 spot in the USA Today Coaches football poll, which was updated Tuesday.

Alabama, which won the BCS championship last season, beat eighth-ranked Michigan 41-14 at Arlington, Texas. The result was impressive enough for the Crimson Tide to move past pre-season No. 1 Louisiana State and become the No. 1-ranked team in the country.

Alabama pulled in 37 of the 59 first-place votes from the poll's Board of Coaches and has a solid edge over second-ranked Southern California, which received 14 first-place votes. Alabama got 20 first-place mentions in the pre-season and USC had 18.

In that poll, however, the Crimson Tide trailed LSU, which, despite a 41-14 win over North Texas, falls from No. 1 to third in the poll. The Tigers were still first on seven ballots. The other first-place vote went to No. 4 Oregon, which opened the season in the No. 5 spot.

Michigan was one of three ranked teams to lose last week but three all dropped games to higher-ranked teams. The Wolverines fell to Alabama and plummet 11 places to No. 19 in the rankings while Boise State, which lost to Michigan State, goes from 22nd to No. 25 and Auburn, a 26-19 loser to Clemson, is unranked after being 25th in the pre-season poll.

All the ranked teams this week are 1-0 -- except Michigan and Boise State, both 0-1, and Texas Christian, which opens its season this week.

Oklahoma slips one place to fifth this week ahead of sixth-ranked Florida State and Georgia, which trade the Nos. 6 and 7 spots this week. West Virginia (1-0) is up three spots to eighth while South Carolina and Arkansas, respectively, keep the ninth and 10th places.

Michigan State comes in at No. 11 and Clemson is 12th, with Wisconsin voted to the 13th position. Nebraska goes from 16th to No. 14 this week, jumping over No. 15 Texas.

Oklahoma State improves three places to 16th and TCU holds onto the 17th rung. Virginia Tech is up two to 18th ahead of Michigan and No. 20 Kansas State.

Stanford drops to No. 21 from 18th but Notre Dame is up two to 22nd. Florida remains 23rd while Louisville, the lone newcomer to the Top 25 this week, is 24th and Boise State completes the list.

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