USC tops Associated Press preseason poll | College football
USC is No. 1 and defending national champion Alabama is second in the Associated Press preseason poll.
NEW YORK — USC is No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25, tossing off the weight of NCAA sanctions and returning to a familiar place in the rankings — with a boost from Louisiana State's woes.
USC earned the top spot in the AP preseason poll for the seventh time in school history and the first time in five seasons, edging No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 LSU.
The Trojans, who were banned from postseason play the past two seasons, received 25 of a possible 60 first-place votes from a media panel. USC had 1,445 points. Defending national champion Alabama had 17 first-place votes and 1,411 points. LSU got 16 first-place votes and 1,402 points.
As for Pac-12 schools other than USC, Oregon was fifth and Stanford was 21st.
Washington was 27th in the voting.
LSU, ranked No. 1 in the coaches poll, was poised to start the season No. 1 before Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu got kicked off the team.
In light of that development, the AP extended the voting deadline. Before cornerback Mathieu was dismissed, reportedly for failed drug tests, LSU had received 28 of a possible 60 first-place votes and USC was second with 22 first-place votes.
The first AP preseason poll was in 1950. Ten preseason No. 1 teams went on to win the national title.
• Ex-North Carolina standout Julius Peppers confirmed it was his academic transcript posted on the university's website and insists there was "no academic fraud." The Chicago Bears' defensive end released a statement through his agent saying "I'm terribly disappointed in the fact that my privacy has been violated ... "
According to the Raleigh News & Observer, which published the transcript, Peppers — who played football and basketball from 1999 to 2001 — never raised his grade-point average above 1.95 on a 4.0 scale.
|Top 25 rankings|
|The Associated Press preseason college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses and 2011 final ranking:|
|1. USC (25)||6|
|2. Alabama (17)||1|
|3. Louisiana St. (16)||2|
|4. Oklahoma (1)||16|
|7. Florida St.||23|
|8. Michigan (1)||12|
|9. South Carolina||9|
|11. West Virginia||17|
|13. Michigan St.||11|
|16. Virginia Tech||21|
|18. Ohio St.||NR|
|19. Oklahoma St.||3|
|20. Texas Christian||14|
|22. Kansas St.||15|
|24. Boise St.||8|
|Others receiving votes: Notre Dame 83, Washington 55, Auburn 53, North Carolina 32, Utah 30, Georgia Tech 25, Brigham Young 22, Tennessee 15, South Florida 11, Baylor 9, Texas A&M 5, Central Florida 4, Cincinnati 3, Missouri 3, North Carolina St. 3, Houston 1, Louisiana Tech 1, Mississippi St. 1, Northern Illinois 1.|