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USC interim coach Ed Orgeron
The AP voters don't seem to agree with the coaches when it comes to the Nos. 25-21 grouping, which explains why USC and Duke are the only two teams in that slot in both polls.
But before we get to the differences, let's consider how amazing it is that the Trojans and Blue Devils are ranked.
USC is no stranger to the rankings, and perhaps it feels weird not seeing 'ol Troy slotted up near the Top 10, a place it has called home for so many years. But the Trojans lost to Washington State back in September by a score of 10-7. The Cougars' only touchdown came on a pick-six by quarterback Cody Kessler. On Saturday, Kessler led his squad to a victory over the Stanford Cardinal. The turnaround is nothing short of remarkable.
And yet, it pales in comparison to what Duke has accomplished recently, and the Blue Devils' 48-30 victory over Miami, coupled with Georgia Tech's loss to Clemson, means that David Cutcliffe's team controls its own destiny to the ACC Championship Game. For a program with such a bleak recent history, being ranked has to put the players on top of the world today.
As for the differences between the two polls, the Coaches has Minnesota, Arizona State and Northern Illinois, while the AP voters selected Ole Miss, Oklahoma and Louisville.
Both Ole Miss and Minnesota are more than deserving, so seeing each team left off one of the polls is odd, but it's also difficult to make a case for their inclusion over the other teams listed.
The only real drama in this group might be who has the best chance to rise into the Top 15 before the end of the season, and Arizona State, with just one loss in conference play and a path to the Pac-12 title game, seems like the clear answer. Don't be surprised, however, if Duke continues to climb in the polls until it reaches the conference championship game.