USC Takes Top Spot in AP Polls

Geoff TownsendAnalyst ISeptember 2, 2008

Keep smiling, Pete.  You have every reason to do so.

The pollsters got it wrong in the preseason. 

Georgia, while they definitely deserve some votes, should never have been the top team. The Trojans of Southern California are the most deserving team of the top spot in college football's FBS, and they proved that on Saturday.

After watching Quarterback Mark Sanchez pick apart the defense of a Virginia defense that produced the likes of Chris Long only a season ago, it became remarkably clear that Pete Carroll and his Trojans reign supreme in college football.

After a 21-0 first quarter, many would assume that the Trojans would hit the cruise control button and glide into a still dominant victory.  Not only did the defense continue to punish Virginia's offense, the offense of USC, who amassed 555 total yards, drubbed the Cavaliers 52-7.

Mark Sanchez showed very little after-effects of a dislocated knee cap suffered only three weeks prior to his first start of the season.  Sanchez completed 26 of his 35 attempts and passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns.

C.J. Gable was equally as impressive in his 2008 debut.  After an injury plagued 2007 campaign, Gable opened this season with a 73 yard effort-all of which came in only nine carries, one of which he scampered 33 yards for the Trojan's third touchdown of the first quarter.

Despite that fact that pressure from Virginia was non-existent, the Trojans did exactly what a good team is supposed to do.  They handled their business from the first snap to the last.

Regardless of the outcome, Virginia was no cupcake.  Georgia played Georgia Southern.  Ohio State played Youngstown State.  If either was to lose that game, the preseason ranking system would fall under even more criticism than it already has.

By stepping up and playing a team that can hold its own against some talent, USC solidified its spot on top of the FBS.

They moved the ball down the field on offense and controlled the flow of Virginia's offense-all characteristics of a National Championship caliber team.

One down and 11 to go, but it does not get any easier for Carroll and his Trojans.  Ohio State rolls onto campus in two weeks for what may be the best game of the season.