Coaches Poll top 25: USC cruises into top five, Notre Dame, Oregon jump in updated college football rankings

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USC secured bragging rights with a thrilling 48-45 win over crosstown rival UCLA on Saturday, but the Trojans also earned so much more in the process. They clinched a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game and moved up to No. 5 in the new Coaches Poll released Sunday.

A stunning loss for Tennessee at South Carolina opened the door for USC to climb into the top five of the new ranking as the Trojans prepare for a showdown with Notre Dame to close the regular season. The Volunteers dropped from No. 5 to No. 11 because of their 63-38 loss to the Gamecocks.

Though USC still has work to do in order to qualify for the College Football Playoff, the Trojans’ rise in the polls is a good sign of their viability on the national stage. With quarterback Caleb Williams looking like a Heisman Trophy contender, the Trojans will have the nation’s attention as they take on the No. 15 Fighting Irish this week before playing yet another quality opponent in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Dec. 2. 

Oregon was among the big winners from the poll this week as the Ducks rose four spots to No. 9 following their win over Utah. If Oregon beats No. 22 Oregon State in a rivalry game this week, it will set up a top-10 clash in the Pac-12 title game between the Ducks and USC.

Georgia stayed atop the poll at No. 1 this week after a 16-6 win at Kentucky, with No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 TCU each staying put as well following narrow victories in Week 12.

Check out the full top 25, as voted on by the 63 FBS coaches who make up the Coaches Poll. First-place votes are in parenthesis. 

Coaches Poll top 25Georgia (59)Ohio State (1)Michigan (2)TCU USC LSU Alabama Clemson Oregon Penn State Tennessee Washington Kansas State Utah Notre Dame Florida State North Carolina UCLA Ole MissTulane Cincinnati Oregon State Coastal Carolina Texas UTSA

Others receiving votes: UCF 41; Troy 39; South Carolina 38; Pittsburgh 17; Wake Forest 16; Iowa 15; Louisville 9; Boise State 9; South Alabama 8; Illinois 8; Air Force 6; Purdue 5; Washington State 3; Liberty 3; Georgia Tech 2; Mississippi State 1. 

Dropped out: No. 18 UCF; No. 24 Oklahoma State; No. 25 NC State.

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