In its first eligible year since the NCAA imposed a bowl ban in 2010, USC is heading into the college football season with the number one ranking.
USC received 25 of 60 first place votes to land at the top of the annual Associated Press pre-season poll.
“To be handed down what they said could be a death penalty, could take USC 10 years to come back from, then to have this recognition and be preseason No. 1 is very exciting for our fans because a lot people thought two years ago that this would not be possible for USC.”
Kiffin said that the sanctions made his his players more mature, and he’s excited to see what they can do during the 2012 season.
“The stuff that happened made these kids, whether it was first-round draft choices last year, Matt Khalil and Nick Perry, or the guys still here, it made them better… Having a lot of that stuff taken away from them is a valuable life lesson.”
Fox News reports that the Defending National Champion, Alabama, will start the season ranked second. LSU took the number three seed. Oklahoma and Oregon finish out the top five.
Here are the top 25 teams in college football.
7. Florida State
9. South Carolina
11. West Virginia
13. Michigan State
16. Virginia Tech
18. Ohio State
19. Oklahoma State
22. Kansas State
24. Boise State
Do you think USC deserves the number one spot?