USC was No. 1 at the start of the year, and Matt Barkley was a contender for the Heisman Trophy. But the year ended with the injured Barkley on the sideline and the Trojans losing to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.
Tevin Washington had a touchdown pass and ran for a score to lead the triple-option Yellow Jackets (7-7) to a 21-7 win on Monday in El Paso, Texas.
USC's Max Wittek had a 9-yard touchdown pass to Silas Redd but also threw three interceptions.
"It was a really surprising day," Trojans coach Lane Kiffin said. "The storyline came down to our inefficiency on offense, and obviously it starts with the head coach."
USC (7-6), which finished with 10 first downs and eight punts, became the first preseason No. 1 team to lose six games.
Chick-fil-A Bowl: Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 14 Clemson (11-2) a 25-24 win over No. 9 LSU (10-3) in Atlanta. Clemson took possession on its 20 with 1:39 left. Tajh Boyd completed a pass for 26 yards to DeAndre Hopkins on fourth-and-16 during the decisive 10-play drive. Hopkins, who had 13 catches for 191 yards and two touchdowns, also had receptions for 7 and 13 yards in the final drive. LSU's Greg Reid was flagged for pass interference while defending Hopkins.
Music City Bowl: Jordan Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score as Vanderbilt (9-4) capped its best season since 1915 with a 38-24 win over North
Liberty Bowl: Trey Watts ran for 149 yards, Alex Singleton ran for three scores and Tulsa (11-3) beat Iowa State 31-17 in Memphis, Tenn., avenging a 38-23 season-opening loss to the Cyclones (6-7).
Columbia: Former Stanford quarterback Brett Nottingham told Scout.com that he intends to transfer to Columbia, depending on his admission to the Ivy League school. Nottingham (Monte Vista High-Danville) would be eligible to play in the fall if he's admitted to the Football Championship Subdivision school. He decided to transfer in mid-December. In two games this season, he completed 5 of 8 passes for 22 yards.
NFL draft: USC wide receiver Robert Woods said he's giving up his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. Other juniors entering the draft included Nevada running back Stefphon Jefferson and Texas A&M defensive lineman Damontre Moore, who is rated as the No. 2 overall prospect by ESPN.
Boise State: The Broncos backed out on a commitment to join the Big East and will remain in the Mountain West -- and San Diego State could be next to reverse course. Boise State was set to join the Big East next year for football only. But more recent defections from the Big East made the Broncos reconsider. And they also were able to cut a sweet TV deal with the Mountain West that could allow them to cash in on their football program.
"We will continue to evaluate the situation," Aztecs athletic director Jim Sterk said.