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Pacific Takes Top 25 2016-17 final rankings: Washington and USC finish in Top 4

Five Pac-12 teams finished ranked in all.

NCAA Football: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl-Alabama vs Washington RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Clemson 14-1
  2. Alabama 14-1
  3. Washington 12-2 - I went back and forth between Washington and USC so many times here. Keep in mind, I rank teams based on overall year, not who I necessarily think would beat each other should they play at the end of the season. The Huskies lost to USC in Seattle so it is really hard to put them ahead of USC even though they lost one less game and won the Pac-12, but I am still going to do it. Plus, I don’t think USC beating Penn State 52-49 in LA shows me more than Washington’s defense keeping them tight with a historically great defense basically on the road, so I am keeping the Huskies here
  4. USC 10-3 - USC was probably one of the four best teams in the nation at the end of the season and I would have been interested to see what they could have done against Alabama or Clemson, but you can’t open up the way they did and expect to get a shot at the end of the season. They picked up a very nice win in the Rose Bowl and a late-season win over Washington really helps their cause. I have a feeling they would be the next team after Alabama on the list of programs no one would want to play in a game.
  5. Penn State 11-3
  6. Ohio State 11-2
  7. Oklahoma 11-2
  8. Michigan 10-3
  9. Wisconsin 10-3
  10. Florida State 10-3
  11. Oklahoma State 10-3
  12. Florida 9-4
  13. LSU 9-4
  14. Stanford 10-3 - The Cardinal snuck out of El Paso with a win without Christian McCaffrey to crawl to 10 wins. Hitting double-digit wins in nice and they got a nice early-season win over USC which looks good on paper, but overall the Cardinal probably hope this was a bit of a rebuilding season despite what the experience and departing talent on their roster suggests.
  15. Western Michigan 13-1
  16. West Virginia 10-3
  17. Tennessee 9-4
  18. Virginia Tech 10-4
  19. Colorado 10-4 - Rough end to a magical season in Boulder as the Buffs got manhandled in their final two games, but it doesn’t overshadow what they did overall. This season was the best at Colorado in a long, long time and laid the foundation for the program’s first real stability and respectability in more than a decade.
  20. Louisville 9-4
  21. Kansas State 9-4
  22. Utah 9-4 - The Utes held on and avoided finishing the season with disaster. Joe Williams coming back may have saved their season, so it was fitting he was everything for them (along with his grossly underrated offensive line) in their final game.
  23. Minnesota 9-4
  24. Miami 9-4
  25. Auburn 8-5

On the edge

Pittsburgh, Iowa, Nebraska, South Florida, Georgia Tech