NEW YORK (AP) -- Southern California is No. 1 in the AP Top 25 after two years of NCAA sanctions that kept the Trojans out of bowl games.
USC earned the top spot in the preseason college football poll for the seventh time and the first time in five seasons, edging out No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 LSU.
The Tigers were poised to start the season No. 1, but Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu was dismissed from the team last week.
The Trojans received 25 of a possible 60 first-place votes from a media panel in a close vote. Defending national champion Alabama had 17 first-place votes and LSU got 16 first-place votes.
Oklahoma was fourth with a single first-place vote and Oregon was fifth. No. 8 Michigan also received a first-place vote.