After the Gamecocks held steady at #9 in the AP poll released today, John Whittle of The Big Spur noted that the Gamecocks appeared in a school record 33rd consecutive ranking in the same week Boise State's school record of 63 consecutive appearances came to an end. The two led me to wonder where South Carolina's streak ranks among other active streaks.
These schools have all dropped from the rankings since Carolina's streak began with a 41-13 win over Southern Miss in the 2010 season opener. Many other national powers have bounced in and out of the rankings, as have local rivals Georgia and Clemson.
In fact, South Carolina's streak is bettered by only a handful of programs:
Alabama: The Tide have appeared in 67 straight rankings, dating to the 2008 preseason poll. It is always tough to judge by OOC warm-up games, but the yawner at Jerry's World seems to indicate the end is nowhere in sight for Alabama. How dominant is Alabama? They are the only school in the country to never appear in the rankings below South Carolina during our program-best streak, though we all remember they came in second to Carolina when it counted.
LSU: The Bayou Bengals' streak began with the 2009 preseason rankings, and reached 50 today. They are second to Alabama.
Oregon: The Nike Dress Up Dolls (HT: TKK) reentered the polls during Week 4 of the 2009 season, and they have not yet departed. Oregon has appeared in 46 straight rankings, making them almost as good as the best of the SEC.
Wisconsin: Grrr! Gritty! Cold! Fat men blocking and running! GG sleeping! Northern Iowa screwing it up for everybody! They've been doing this for 36 consecutive rankings. Wisconsin streak ends at 36 with 10-7 loss to Oregon State. Arkansas and Oklahoma: Both of these schools have have the edge over South Carolina by virtue of appearances in the 2010 preseason poll, giving each of them 34 straight. One of them will likely drop from the rankings at some point this year. Don't even try to guess which one. Arkansas streak ends at 34 with 34-31 loss to Louisiana-Monroe.
Our season is likely as fragile as Conner Shaw's shoulder. Though this streak could carry into 2013, it could also end at any time.* Enjoy Marcus Lattimore and the Gamecocks every chance you get.