The Norman Transcript

National Sports

October 8, 2012

Upsets shake up top 25 polls

NORMAN — Signature victories, statement games, surprisingly easy wins and one stunning upset.

Nine ranked teams lost Saturday and the Top 25 underwent an extreme makeover Sunday, with South Carolina, Florida and West Virginia moving into the top five.

No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Oregon held their spots at the top of the rankings. Alabama is a unanimous No. 1 again.

No. 3 South Carolina, off a 35-7 victory against Georgia, moved up three spots. No. 4 Florida jumped six spots after beating LSU 14-6. No. 5 West Virginia moved up three with a 48-45 victory at Texas.

No. 6 Kansas State, No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 8 Ohio State also moved up. LSU dropped five to No. 9 and unbeaten Oregon State is No. 10.

Florida State fell from No. 3 to No. 12 after losing 17-16 on a last-minute touchdown at North Carolina State.

The last time nine ranked teams lost in one week was Oct. 18, 2008.

No team was more impressive than South Carolina.

Coach Steve Spurrier has the Gamecocks ranked higher than they have been in 28 years.

“Have we ever been that high before? How about ‘84?” Spurrier asked during his conference call with reporters Sunday. South Carolina reached No. 2 late in the 1984 season.

“Well, we’ve still got a ways to go,” he added.

The ball coach loves to talk about doing things they’ve never done before with the Gamecocks. It’s what led him to take over a program with no Southeastern Conference championships after overgrown expectations at Florida drew him to the NFL.

Behind pass-rushing terror Jadeveon Clowney and hard-running Marcus Lattimore, the Gamecocks have emerged as the leading contender in the SEC to knock off Alabama — if South Carolina can get a crack at the Tide.

They don’t play in the regular season, but could meet in the SEC championship game.

But that’s a long way away — especially with South Carolina heading to LSU next Saturday and Florida the week after. The Gamecocks finish, as usual, with No. 16 Clemson.

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