The 2018 college football season has come to an end with Clemson crowned as champions. The 5th season of the College Football Playoffs and Alabama still rules the SEC but didn’t top the rankings, and for the 3rd time we had a non-SEC champion.
1. Clemson Tigers, 15-0 (61 First place votes): Clemson are the first team since the 19th century to go 15-0 in a season, winning the ACC before taking their 2nd national championship in 3 years and third overall in program history. They beat Alabama 44-16 to close out a historic season.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide, 14-1: Alabama dropped one spot with their first loss of the season, which happened to come at the wrong time – losing to Clemson 44-16 in the National Championship Game.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes, 13-1: The Big Ten champions didn’t make it into the College Football Playoff, but the Urban Meyer tenure ended with a 28-23 win over Washington in the Rose Bowl.
4. Oklahoma Sooners, 12-2: Oklahoma won the Big 12, beating Texas in the championship game, leading them to the College Football Playoff semifinal, where they lost 45-34 to Alabama.
5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 12-1: An undefeated regular season for the Irish ended in their first CFP appearance, losing 30-3 to Clemson in the semi final held in Dallas.
6. LSU Tigers, 10-3: The Tigers went just 5-3 in conference play, but ended the season on a sweet note by humbling UCF 40-32 in the Fiesta Bowl.
7 (tied). Florida Gators, 10-3: Another 5-3 team during SEC play which meant they didn’t play for the conference title. Going bowling went well for them, dismantling Michigan 41-15 in the Peach Bowl.
7 (tied). Georgia Bulldogs, 11-3: Georgia won the SEC East and once again lost a close one to Alabama, this time in the SEC title game. They went on to lose 28-21 to Texas in the Sugar Bowl as well.
9. Texas Longhorns, 10-4: The Longhorns’ best season since Mack Brown left the HC position, losing in the conference title game to Oklahoma but following it up by beating Georgia 28-21 in the Sugar Bowl.
10. Washington State Cougars, 11-2: A terrific season for the Cougs, going 7-2 in conference play. Not enough to play for the Pac-12 title, yet their 28-26 win over Iowa State in the Alamo Bowl was a nice way to close out the season.
11. UCF Knights, 12-1: An undefeated regular season and winning the conference title again didn’t help UCF get in the playoffs. They faced LSU in the Fiesta Bowl, losing 40-32.
12. Kentucky Wildcats, 10-3: A fantastic season for Kentucky (5-3 in the SEC), winning their last 3 games of the year including at Louisville, followed by beating Penn State 27-24 in the Citrus Bowl.
13. Washington Huskies, 10-4: Washington won the Pac-12 in an ugly 10-3 win over Utah, but followed that by going to the Rose Bowl and losing 28-23 to Ohio State.
14. Michigan Wolverines, 10-3: After losing the season opener in South Bend, Michigan won 10 consecutive games, until they met Ohio State, as Jim Harbaugh lost to Urban Meyer again. The season ended in a 41-15 loss to Florida in the Peach Bowl.
15. Syracuse Orange, 10-3: A terrific season for Syracuse, with two of their losses coming against teams ranked #3 at the time. They beat West Virginia 34-18 in the Camping World Bowl for a nice finishing touch.
16. Texas A&M Aggies, 9-4: Expectations are always high at College Station, but the Aggies did win their final four games of the season including a historic 74-72 win over LSU. They also won the bowl game, beating North Carolina State 52-13 in the Gator Bowl.
17. Penn State Nittany Lions, 9-4: PSU went 6-3 in the Big Ten, leaving them outside the championship talk. They lost their bowl game 27-24 to Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl.
18. Fresno State Bulldogs, 12-2: A strong season for the Bulldogs, beating Boise State for the Mountain West championship (lost to them in the regular season), followed by a bowl win over Arizona State, 31-20 in the Las Vegas Bowl.
19. Army Black Knights, 11-2: Army’s best season in 60 years, finishing it with 9 consecutive wins, including 17-10 over Navy and crushing Houston 70-14 in the Armed Forces Bowl to make it a historic 2018.
20. West Virginia Mountaineers, 8-4: The Mountaineers looked like legit Big 12 contenders for a while, but the season ended with 3 straight losses, including both Oklahoma teams and Syracuse in the Camping World Bowl.
21. Northwestern Wildcats, 9-5: An 8-1 season for Northwestern in the Big Ten took them to the conference title game where they lost to Ohio State. The bowl game vs Utah went very well, beating the Utes 31-20.
22. Utah State Aggies, 11-2: A late November loss to Boise State denied the Aggies a chance to play for the MWC title. Still, a terrific season ended sweetly, beating North Texas 52-13 in the New Mexico Bowl.
23. Boise State Broncos, 10-3: As mentioned above, the Broncos lost to Fresno State in the Mountain West title game, followed by playing only a few minutes of their bowl game vs Boston College before the weather had the whole thing cancelled.
24. Cincinnati Bearcats, 11-2: A 6-2 record in conference play wasn’t enough to play for titles, but the Bearcats did leave their mark with a 35-31 win over Virginia Tech in the Military Bowl.
25. Iowa Hawkeyes, 9-4: After a perfect non conference start to the year, Iowa struggled in the Big Ten (5-4). Still, the ended didn’t end badly, beating Mississippi State 27-22 in the Outback Bowl.
Big Ten: 5
Big 12: 3
Mountain West: 3