Gamecocks 9th, Tigers 14th as ‘other USC’ ranked No. 1

At long last, USC is No. 1 … but not the one that folks in the Palmetto State associate with “USC”.

Southern California, not South Carolina, is ranked atop the preseason Associated Press college football poll released Saturday. But the Gamecocks are not far behind, nor are their instate rival Clemson Tigers.

South Carolina is ranked No. 9 in the AP Poll, just as it is in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll released last month, giving the Gamecocks their first-ever preseason top 10 ranking in the major polls.

Making an impressive 1-2 punch from the Palmetto State, Clemson is ranked 14th, also the same as its coaches poll ranking. It’s the highest combined ranking for the two schools since both polls have been in effect.

Southern Cal edged out Alabama and LSU for the top spot, although those two SEC powerhouse programs played for the national championship last season.

The SEC has won six straight BCS titles and, with six SEC teams ranked in the top 10, has a strong shot to make it seven in a row.

No. 4 Oklahoma, Oregon, Georgia, Florida State and Michigan beat out the No. 9 Gamecocks, with Arkansas rounded out the top 10. No. 11 West Virginia, Wisconsin and Michigan State edged No. 14 Clemson

No. 15 Texas, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Stanford, Kansas State, Florida, Boise State and Louisville round out the top 25.

Photo courtesy of USC Athletics

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