- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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TCU finished No. 2 in the final Associated Press and coaches' polls, leading the non-AQ charge after its second undefeated season in school history.
The Horned Frogs (13-0) got three first-place votes in the AP poll and one in the coaches' poll-- even though coaches are required to vote for the champion of the BCS national championship game (TCU coach Gary Patterson does not have a vote). They finished only three points ahead of Oregon in the final coaches' poll and 13 ahead of Oregon in the AP poll -- indicating TCU was No. 3 or lower on ballots.
Five non-AQ teams finished ranked in each of the polls, but there were differences:
Boise State (12-1) finished No. 7 in the coaches' poll and No. 9 in the AP poll.
Nevada (13-1) finished No. 11 in the AP poll and No. 13 in the coaches' poll.
UCF (11-3) finished No. 20 in the coaches' poll and No. 21 in the AP poll.
Utah (10-3) finished No. 23 in the coaches' poll.
Tulsa (10-3) finished No. 24 in the AP poll.
I ranked all six of those teams in my final power rankings, which should be up later today. The most interesting ranking to me is Nevada. Even though the Wolf Pack lost just once and beat Boise State, they finished outside the top 10, proving once again that non-AQs have to earn their way to respect with consecutive seasons of sustained success.
One more point: The Mountain West, WAC and C-USA each had two teams ranked in final polls. The Big East, with an automatic bid, had none.
1dMax Olson and Jake Trotter