USC rises to No. 5 in latest AP, Coaches Polls

Ric Tapia - The Sporting Tribune
Following their 56-10 domination of Stanford on Saturday night, the Trojans rose one spot to No. 5 in the latest AP and Coaches Polls.

LOS ANGELES — After dominating Stanford 56-10 Saturday night in the final Pac-12 matchup between the two storied rivals, USC rose one spot to No. 5 in the latest AP and Coaches Polls.

The Trojans jumped ahead of then-No. 3 Alabama, who fell to No. 10 in both polls following their stunning home loss at the hands of then No. 10 Texas. In the AP poll, however, the Longhorns leapfrogged the Trojans, jumping all the way up to No. 4. In the Coaches Poll, the Longhorns came in at No. 6.

In the AP poll, Ohio State held at No. 4 despite an uninspiring 35-7 win over FCS foe Youngstown State. In the Coaches Poll, the Buckeyes fell behind the Trojans, coming in at No. 6.

Georgia and Michigan held their spots as the consensus No. 1 and 2 teams, respectively, while Florida State rose two spots to No. 3 in both polls.

Eight Pac-12 teams ranked

In its final year of existence, the Pac-12 certainly isn’t going out quietly. The Conference of Champions had eight of its 12 teams ranked in the latest AP poll, by far the most of any conference.

USC led the way at No. 5, followed by No. 8 Washington, No. 12 Utah, and No. 13 Oregon. Oregon State and Colorado rose to No. 16 and 18, respectively, while both No. 23 Washington State and No. 24 UCLA entered the rankings for the first time this season.

Through two full weeks of action, the Pac-12 is a remarkable 18-3 in nonconference play.

Arizona State kickoff time announced

On Monday morning, the Pac-12 announced the kickoff time and television network for USC’s week four road matchup against Arizona State. The game will kick off at 7:30 PM PDT on Saturday, September 23. It will air on Fox.

While East coast Trojan fans will be less than thrilled with the late start time, Tempe can get dangerously hot during the daytime, especially early in the season. Hence, playing a night game is definitely the right move in order to protect the health and safety of the players and fans in attendance.

The Trojans will have two weeks to prepare for the matchup with the Sun Devils, as USC is on bye this week.

Branch named Special Teams Player of the Week

Following his impressive performance against Stanford on Saturday night, USC freshman wide receiver Zachariah Branch was named the Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week.

Branch returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, one of seven touchdowns that the Trojans scored in the first half Saturday night.