The UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans both had trouble finishing their seasons, and both find themselves out of the top 25 to finish 2012. UCLA finished 31st in AP voting and 27th in the Coaches Poll. USC received no votes.
UCLA had a strong start to 2012, going 9-2 to start the season. Other than a home loss to Oregon State and a bizarre defeat to 3-9 Cal, the Bruins were impressive, beating Nebraska, Arizona, and USC. But UCLA stumbled two straight weeks against Stanford and lost out on an opportunity to go to the Rose Bowl in the second meeting in the Pac-12 Championship game. UCLA then got blown apart in the Holiday Bowl against Baylor.
USC's season nosedived even further. After starting the season first in the AP poll and third in the USA Today poll, the Trojans were upset by Stanford and then fell apart in November, losing to Arizona, Oregon, UCLA and Notre Dame. The Trojans bowed out of 2012 with a feeble loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.