In the wake of a thrilling national championship game, it is no surprise to see
The big surprise was No. 3. And No. 7.
There was more good news for the Pac-12 Conference —
Which takes us to that other surprise, No. 7.
Penn State, which played USC toe to toe in the
Strange that the Nittany Lions wouldn't be right behind USC and ahead of both Ohio State and Washington, especially when you compare results and consider that the Trojans squeaked past Penn State but dealt Washington a lopsided loss on its own home field.
San Diego State, with record-setting running back Donnel Pumphrey, was No. 25.
Besides Alabama, no other Southeastern Conference team finished in the top 10.
The Atlantic Coast Conference, which had a strong bowl season, finished with a handful of teams in the Top 25, including No. 8 Florida State.
"I think all you media folks need to change your stories," Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney said. "I've been in this league a long time, and this league has never gotten the respect that it deserves."
11:33 a.m.: This article was updated with additional information and analysis of Penn State's placement in the final poll.