USC won't be ranked in coaches' poll

This will be an unranked season for USC in USA Today's football coaches' poll.

Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, told USA Today that because the school is under major NCAA sanctions and prohibited from playing in a bowl, it will be ineligible for the poll.

USC filed an appeal with the NCAA last month, asking that several sanctions of its football program be reduced because they are "too severe" and "inconsistent with precedent."

USC appealed only certain aspects of the NCAA's ruling. Among the penalties were a two-year bowl ban, four years of probation, scholarship losses and removal of several victories. The school will accept a bowl ban for the upcoming season and certain scholarship penalties in football, but believes the full sanctions were unduly harsh.

According to USA Today, it was expected that USC would be eligible for the coaches' poll in 2010 because it planned to appeal, but because the school accepted the postseason ban for this season, it became ineligible for the poll.

Teaff released a statement in which he said the AFCA informed USC athletic director Mike Garrett, USC coach Lane Kiffin, Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott and BCS executive director Bill Hancock that the Trojans would be ineligible for the 2010 coaches' poll.

The coaches' poll is one of the rankings used in the formula to determine the BCS standings.

"American Football Coaches Association policy dictates that AFCA members who serve on the board of voters to determine national ranking shall not vote on any institution on major probation," Teaff said in the statement.

"Penalties imposed by the NCAA, or a representative conference, are classified as 'major' if the penalties include loss of postseason bowl participation and/or television appearances, and/or loss of 20 percent or more of grants in aid."

The NCAA's sanctions will not prevent USC from being considered for The Associated Press' poll, which is not part of the BCS formula.

In an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times last month, in which she said USC would keep its 2004 AP national title, AP sports editor Terry Taylor said: "The poll is intended to measure on-field performance. If teams are allowed to play, they're allowed to be ranked and USC certainly played in 2004."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.