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College Football Rankings: USC Trojans Drop One Spot To No. 6 In Final AP Poll

USC has finished ranked No. 6 or higher by the Associated Press eight times in the last 10 years.

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The final Associated Press poll of the college football season has been released, and the USC Trojans dropped one spot to No. 6 after being absent during bowl season. As expected after their 21-0 destruction of the LSU Tigers in the BCS Championship Game, the Alabama Crimson Tide was voted No. 1, capturing 55 of 60 first-place votes in the AP poll.

USC is one of three Pac-12 teams in the top seven, joining the No. 4 Oregon Ducks and No. 7 Stanford Cardinal. Stanford was ranked No. 4 in the final AP poll of the regular season, but fell three spots after losing an overtime heartbreaker to the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Fiesta Bowl on January 2. It seems hard to justify Stanford being ranked below USC, as both schools finished with two losses and Stanford beat USC in Los Angeles on October 29. Here is the full AP top 10:

  1. Alabama (55 first place votes)
  2. LSU (one first place vote)
  3. Oklahoma State (four first place votes)
  4. Oregon
  5. Arkansas
  6. USC
  7. Stanford
  8. Boise State
  9. South Carolina
  10. Wisconsin

This is the first time the Pac-12 has had three teams ranked in the AP final top seven since 1982, when the final AP poll features the UCLA Bruins at No. 5, the Arizona State Sun Devils No. 6, and the Washington Huskies No. 7.

The Trojans finished with their highest end-of-season ranking since 2008, when the 12-1 Trojans finished No. 3 behind the BCS Champion Florida Gators and undefeated Utah Utes. Here are the year-end AP rankings for the Trojans over the last 10 years.

USC Trojans Final AP Poll Rankings
Year AP Rank
2011 6
2010 NR
2009 22
2008 3
2007 3
2006 4
2005 2
2004 1
2003 1
2002 4

With quarterback Matt Barkley returning for his senior season in 2012, the Trojans are expected to be ranked at or near the top of the preseason polls next year.

For more USC football news and information, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.