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Cal falls in the polls despite hanging tough with the #5 team

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Unranked in one and slipping in the other poll.

Arizona State v California Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

For three quarters, the California Golden Bears kept it tight with the #5 USC Trojans. So, how does that affect the perception of a team previously ranked in the low 30s? On the one hand, we played them close for three-quarters of the game, so we can’t be that bad, right? Alternatively, is a loss nothing more than a loss?

Well, there’s a pretty clear answer from the official pollsters—across the AP Top 25 and the Coaches Poll, the Bears lost 30 of the 37 points we had earned last week by beating the Ole Miss Rebels. Personally, I was more impressed that the Bears showed little separation with the Trojans than when they beat the Rebels, but I’m not the one getting paid for this.

Cal’s 2017 ranking

. Pre 2 3 4 5
. Pre 2 3 4 5
AP Top 25 - Points 0 2 2 19 7
AP Top 25 - Rank NR 40 39 32 33
Coaches - Points 0 5 0 18 0
Coaches - Rank NR 45 NR 33 NR

Cal didn’t receive any votes in the Coaches Poll, but are still ranked #33 in the AP Top 25. In the latter poll, there are four Pac-12 teams in the Top 25. For the teams ranked #26–40, there are four more Pac-12 teams. Cal’s in the middle of a Pac-12 sandwich with the Stanfurd Cardinal (#32, 8 points) and the Colorado Buffaloes (#34, 5 points) and the Oregon Ducks—our next opponent—are a little further down (#38, 3 points).