TAMPA, Fla. — Clemson finished atop The Associated Press College football poll Tuesday, knocking Alabama from the spot it held all season, and Southern California became the first team to finish as high as No. 3 with three losses.
The Tigers were voted No. 1 in the final poll for the first time since 1981. The Crimson Tide was trying to become only the third team to go wire-to-wire as No. 1, but lost 35-31 to Clemson on Monday night in the College Football Playoff championship game.
Utah (9-4) ended the season ranked No. 23 in the AP poll after beating Indiana 26-24 in the Foster Farms Bowl. The Utes received 222 votes, jumping back into the rankings after falling out following a loss to Colorado in the regular-season finale.
It's the third straight season Utah ended the year ranked in the AP Top 25. In 2015, Utah finished 17th in the poll and in 2014, they ended the year ranked 21st in the AP.
BYU (9-4), which defeated Wyoming 24-21 in the Poinsettia Bowl, received nine votes in the final AP poll, the first time the Cougars received votes since Week 8 of the regular season.
USC, which started the season 1-3 — including a 52-6 opening loss to Alabama — jumped from all the way from ninth in the final regular-season rankings to third.
Washington was fourth and Oklahoma finished fifth.
Ohio State was sixth and Penn State seventh, followed by Florida State at eighth.
Wisconsin was No. 9 and Michigan 10th.
AP Top 25
The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, final records, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and previous ranking:
|1. Clemson (60)||14-1||1500||3|
|3. Southern Cal||10-3||1292||9|
|6. Ohio St.||11-2||1240||2|
|7. Penn St.||11-3||1130||5|
|8. Florida St.||10-3||1105||10|
|11. Oklahoma St.||10-3||920||13|
|15. W. Michigan||13-1||619||12|
|16. Virginia Tech||10-4||610||18|
|18. West Virginia||10-3||368||14|
|19. South Florida||11-2||358||25|
|25. San Diego St.||11-3||113||NR|
Others receiving votes: Kansas St. 83, Georgia Tech 47, Nebraska 38, W. Kentucky 32, Air Force 30, Pittsburgh 21, Boise St. 19, Iowa 14, Minnesota 12, Tulsa 10, BYU 9, Temple 8, Houston 8, North Carolina 8, Navy 1, Washington St. 1.