USF 19th in final AP poll, among 4 state schools ranked
Bulls fans awoke Tuesday morning to a milestone: For the first time ever, USF has finished a college football season ranked in the Associated Press poll.
The Bulls (11-2) were 19th in the final rankings released in Tuesday's wee hours, shortly after the conclusion of the College Football Playoff national title game.
No other American Athletic Conference team finished in the top 25. USF, a 46-39 overtime winner against South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl, was one of only two AAC teams to win in the postseason (Tulsa was the other).
The Bulls are almost certain to be ranked in the '17 preseason poll. Sixteen players who started in Birmingham are expected back next season, including reigning AAC Offensive Player of the Year Quinton Flowers.
FSU and Florida also surged on the heels of impressive bowl triumphs. The 'Noles (10-3) moved up two spots to eighth following their Orange Bowl triumph against Michigan, while the Gators (10-4) jumped six spots to 14th following their 30-3 Outback Bowl rout of Iowa.
Miami (9-4) re-entered at No. 20 in the wake of its 31-14 victory against West Virginia in the Russell Athletic Bowl.