RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — 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.
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.
6. Ohio State
7. Penn State
8. Florida State
15. Western Michigan
16. Virginia Tech
18. West Virginia
19. South Florida
25. San Diego