Found September 04, 2012 on
Fox Sports West:
LOS ANGELES -- Clearly a 35-0 halftime lead and a 39-point win aren't enough to hold onto the No. 1 spot, at least according to the voters of the AP Poll.
With the newest poll released Tuesday now former No. 1 USC (1-0) fell to the No. 2 spot in favor of Alabama (1-0). The Crimson Tide were a 41-14 winner over Michigan on Saturday in the Cowboys Classic.
USC head coach Lane Kiffin, who gave up his vote in the coaches' poll before the start of the season, says he doesn't care about the poll but he supports the AP voters' decision.
"I would agree with that. I didn't watch any of the (Michigan vs Alabama) game," Kiffin said. "From what I heard they played a really good Michigan team in a big matchup and played really well, so whatever."
Alabama received 45 first-place votes in the AP poll. USC received 11 first-place votes and LSU received four.
The loss dropped Michigan (0-1) 11 spots to No. 19.
Rounding out the top five is No. 3 LSU (1-0), No. 4 Oregon (1-0), and No. 5 Oklahoma (1-0). Stanford was the only other Pac-12 team to make the top 25. The Cardinal narrowly defeated San Jose State and dropped three spots to No. 25.
The players, who were on the practice field when the new poll was released on Tuesday morning, are unfazed by being bounced from the No. 1 spot.
"It's nothing to us," said wide receiver Robert Woods. "They're going to rank whoever they want to rank. We just play our game (and) play well."
Added quarterback Matt Barkley, "I've said from the get-go it doesn't mean anything to me. They're deserving of that if they're on top. I know they're a great team. Right now it doesn't mean anything to us, 1 or 2 or wherever we are."
The focal point for the season continues to be "Prep Not Hype" for the Trojans. With the coaches serving that as a constant reminder to the players, their biggest battle is with themselves and not the AP voters. Despite the 39-point win over Hawaii last Saturday, there was a sense that a whole lot more could have been done on their part.
Barkley said the team could've scored "100 points in the first half, it seemed like." The Trojans had a lot of missed opportunities which resonate a lot more than the rankings do.
"I don't care about it, so it doesn't motivate me," said Barkley. "A ranking doesn't motivate me. I think being perfect is what motivates us. Rankings and all that stuff will fall into place."
USC's initial thoughts following the Hawaii win are how can they be sharper? When it came time for grades to be handed out after Hawaii, Kiffin says he was pleased with his defense but wouldn't give out any higher than a B-minus to the offense.
"The coaches still preach to us it's all about the prep," Woods said. "We had a good first half, I would say, in the Hawaii game. As soon as Kiffin came in for halftime, he's yelling at us, dogging us. 'We missed out on this, we missed out on that.'
"The whole mindset with this team is we can do more."
The No. 2 Trojans will try to do more when they travel east to take on Syracuse (0-1) on Saturday at MetLife Stadium.
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