Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/6/12

USC Head Coach Lane Kiffin’s response was the typical one, and the safe one considering who his Trojans may face for a National Championship.

When asked about the Alabama Crimson Tide leapfrogging USC and capturing the top spot in the AP poll, Kiffin praised the SEC behemoth’s performance against a good Michigan Wolverines squad and summed up his opinion of the poll and standings with this gem: “Whatever.”

No to put words in Coach Kiffin’s mouth, but what he’s likely trying to convey is that at this point in the season, the poll is next to utterly meaningless.

All the Trojans can do to prove their mettle is to win, convincingly.  USC did that on Saturday, steamrolling the University of Hawaii Warriors in a 49-10 trouncing.

That appeared to matter little to poll voters who clearly watched Alabama make their own statement in an impressive 41-14 win over then-ranked No. 8 Michigan. 

The Crimson Tide managed to make Wolverines’ quarterback and Heisman hopeful Denard Robinson look like a piker in the bargain, holding him to a paltry 14 completions on 31 attempts for 188 yards with four interceptions thrown in for good measure.

USC QB Matt Barkley perhaps put the Trojans’ situation in a more unambiguous light when he said his team is seeking “perfection.” 

USC might not quite need perfection this week as they travel to face a much improved Syracuse team from the one they clobbered 38-17 last year.

However, by season’s end, the Trojans will nearly need divinity to match up with Alabama, LSU or any of the other four SEC teams currently in the AP top ten, all of whom have a legitimate shot at the title game.

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