The USC Trojans will start the year ranked No. 25 after The Associated Press released its preseason Top 25 poll on Saturday.
The Trojans earned a total of 160 votes and found themselves in the last spot in the AP Top 25, edging out two other prominent programs, Texas (114 votes) and Penn State (75 votes) for the bottom spot of the Top 25.
It was a major drop-off from last season, when USC began the year ranked 14th overall in the 2010 AP Top 25 after receiving a total of 590 votes. However, the ranking is immaterial to a Trojans squad that once again, because of NCAA sanctions, aims to play for school pride and the role of spoiler in the Pac-12 Conference.
Speaking of the Pac-12, two other schools besides USC are represented on this year's AP Top 25.
Last year's national championship runner-ups, the Oregon Ducks, received four first-place votes and start the year ranked No. 3 (1330 votes), right behind the Alabama Crimson Tide (No. 2, 1439 votes) and the Oklahoma Sooners (No. 1, 1464 votes).
Then Andrew Luck-led Stanford Cardinal will begin the year at No. 7 in the AP poll after receiving a total of 1091 votes.
© 2011 Neal J. Leitereg -- All Rights Reserved