TAMPA, Fla. -- Clemson finished atop The Associated Press college football poll Tuesday, knocking Alabama from the spot it held all season, and USC 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 were 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.
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.