West Virginia's thrashing of Clemson in the Orange Bowl helped it climb in the final AP poll of the season.
The West Virginia Mountaineers finished the 2011/12 NCAA season ranked No. 17 in the final AP Top 25 poll, which was released Monday following the Alabama Crimson Tide's rout of the LSU Tigers in the BCS Championship. That's an improvement from where they ended the regular season (No. 23) and from where they began the season (No. 24). Crushing the Clemson Tigers, 70-33, in the Orange Bowl certainly helped their standing; Clemson dropped from No. 14 to No. 22 in the final AP Poll.
Alabama was a nearly unanimous No. 1 in the year-end poll, receiving 55 of a possible 60 votes. LSU (one vote) ranked No. 2, with the Oklahoma St. Cowboys ranked No. 3 and receiving four first-place votes. The Oregon Ducks and Arkansas Razorbacks round out the Top 5.
The Mountaineers compiled a 10-3 record, with one of those losses coming against No. 2 LSU. A narrow victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats, who finished No. 25 in the final AP poll, on the road started a four-game win streak to close out WVU's season.
For more on the Mountaineers, please visit The Smoking Musket, SB Nation's WVU blog.