Photo courtesy of Cal Athletic Media Relations.STARKVILLE, Miss. – California garnered all 30 first-place votes in the latest USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll, released by the Association on Tuesday, to become the first unanimous No. 1 of the 2012 regular season.
California (33-1) received all 30 first place votes for the first time since Arizona State made the clean sweep in the preseason poll earlier this year. The Sun Devils were also the last team to be a unanimous top pick in the regular season, doing so on May 10 of last year.
Alabama (35-1) remained at No. 2 for the second consecutive week, while Texas (31-2) moved into the top five, at third, for the first time this season. Washington (32-4) dropped from third to fourth in the latest poll after being swept by California, while Oklahoma (30-4) jumped from seventh to fifth to round out the top five.
The final two teams in last week’s poll, No. 24 Auburn (26-12) and No. 25 New Mexico (22-10), both dropped from this week’s poll, allowing two storied programs to make their respective returns in the process. LSU (27-8) returned to the poll for the first time since Feb. 21 at 24th, while Oregon State (26-10) came in at 25th to earn a spot in the rankings for the first time since February 2, 2008.
Oregon State’s return to the poll also marks the first time since March 21, 2007 that eight Pac-12 teams have been ranked at the same time. The Beavers joined top-ranked Cal, No. 4 Washington, No. 7 Arizona State (32-4), No. 13 UCLA (25-7), No. 14 Stanford (27-8), No. 17 Arizona (23-9) and No. 18 Oregon (23-7) in this week’s poll. The only Pac-12 team not ranked is first-year member Utah (23-8), however the Utes were receiving votes earlier this season.
The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 30 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference
To view the entire poll, click here.