Football finishes 17/18 in polls

USC No. 1 in final rankings

The University of Wisconsin football team finished No. 17 in the final Associated Press poll and No. 18 in the final USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll. Both polls were released Wednesday morning.

It is the Badgers' highest end-of-season ranking since finishing No. 4 in each poll following the 1999 season.

Wisconsin finished its season 9-3 after a 9-0 start. Georgia (10-2), which beat UW 24-21 in the Outback Bowl Saturday, is ranked No. 7 in the AP and No. 6 on the coaches' final list.

USC (13-0) is No. 1 in each poll, taking all but one first-place vote in the AP. Coaches were mandated to select USC No. 1 after the Trojans dismantled Oklahoma 55-19 in the Bowl Championship Series title game Tuesday night.

Auburn (13-0) and Oklahoma (12-1) finished 2-3 in each poll. Texas (11-1) was fourth in the coaches and fifth in the AP, while Utah (12-0) was No. 4 in the AP and No. 5 in the coaches.

The Badgers are one of four Big Ten teams to crack the final rankings. Iowa (10-2) was the top Big Ten team, finishing No. 8 in each poll. Michigan (9-3, No. 14 AP, No. 12 coaches) and Ohio State (8-4, 20/18) also represented the conference.

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