The 2016 college football season is officially over as Clemson defeated Alabama in a 35-31 thriller at Raymond James Stadium to claim the national championship.
The final AP poll of the season was released this morning, and look at who checks in at #19:
Good morning Bulls fans!— USF Football (@USFFootball) January 10, 2017
Bulls land in Final AP Top 25 rankings for FIRST TIME in program history. #BullsUnite pic.twitter.com/wCFTInRBEW
The ESPN coaches’ poll was released a few hours later, with the same ranking for the Bulls.
After finishing the season 11-2, including a victory over South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl, USF finishes the season ranked for the first time in the program’s history.
With a roster loaded with returning starters and a relatively weak non-conference schedule, USF will more than likely begin the 2017 season ranked. They will also be a popular preseason pick to take the Group of Five slot in the New Year’s Six bowls.
In their way too early 2017 projections, the SB Nation college football mothership has USF playing none other than Clemson at the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the Peach Bowl, which yeah, let’s go ahead and actually make that happen.
The ball is now in Charlie Strong and his coaching staff’s court to continue crossing off more program check marks and build upon the foundation that was laid in 2016.