The College Football season is over with Alabama as national champions, which gives them the number one spot on the final rankings, followed by runners-up Clemson at number two, Rose Bowl champions Stanford at number three and Ohio State, probably the second best team in the country at least, settling for the Fiesta Bowl and the number four spot. Navy and Western Kentucky make rare appearances in the AP Top 25, and the same goes for Houston and Iowa (despite the loss), finishing the season in the top 10.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (61 First Place Votes), 14-1: National champions for the fourth time in seven years, this is once again the age of Alabama, who destroyed Michigan State in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff before proving to be too much for Clemson in the final, winning 45-40.
2. Clemson Tigers, 14-1: Couldn’t finish the perfect season against an Alabama team that made too many big plays, resulting in a 45-40 loss in the national championship game, with the ACC title not much of a consolation.
3. Stanford Cardinal, 12-2: Funny how things work, but Stanford, thanks to dominating Iowa in the Rose Bowl and their Pac-12 title jump to the #3 spot without playing in the playoffs. That 45-16 win over the Hawkeyes sure made an impression.
4. Ohio State Buckeyes, 12-1: In my opinion, the only team that could have stopped Alabama, but couldn’t even play for the Big Ten title. Ohio State finish the season with a 45-28 win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.
5. Oklahoma Sooners, 11-2: Won the Big title after a while of being out of it, but lost to Clemson in the Playoff semifinal 37-17 to make it a bitter finish to a very good season.
6. Michigan State, 12-2: Won the Big Ten, but were embarrassing in their loss 38-0 to Alabama in the playoffs semifinal.
7. TCU Horned Frogs, 11-2: Rose four spots from the pre-Bowl game rankings by beating Oregon 47-41 in a triple overtime game in the Alamo Bowl.
8. Houston Cougars, 13-1: What a season for Houston, winning the American conference and then running over Florida State in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, winning 38-24 to climb six spots on the final poll.
9. Iowa Hawkeyes, 12-2: After a 12-0 season, lost in something of a tragic fashion to Michigan State in the Big Ten title game and then got run over by Stanford in the Rose Bowl.
10. Ole Miss Rebels, 10-3: Another weird season for Ole Miss, with some big wins and unnecessary losses. They finished on a high note, destroying Oklahoma State 48-20 in the Sugar Bowl.
11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 10-3: A good season could have been great had it not been for that loss against Clemson, and maybe their starting quarterback injury. Lost 45-28 to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.
12. Michigan Wolverines, 10-3: Made a five-spot climb following their 41-7 beatdown of Florida in the Citrus Bowl, in what was an excellent debut season for Jim Harbaugh with his alma mater.
13. Baylor Bears, 10-3: Another five spot riser despite the disappointing regular season, thanks to beating North Carolina 49-38 in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
14. Florida State Seminoles, 10-3: Dropped five spots on the final poll due to their 38-24 loss to Houston in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl.
15. North Carolina Tar Heels, 11-3: A season that ends with two consecutive losses; one in the ACC title game and then 49-38 to Baylor in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
16. LSU Tigers, 9-3: Climbed six spots after their drubbing of Texas Tech, 56-27, in the Texas Bowl.
17. Utah Utes, 10-3: Blew it late in the season and missed out on the Pac-12 title game, but dominated the Holy War against BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl, winning 35-28 to climb three spots on the final poll.
18. Navy Midshipmen, 11-2: Another fantastic season for the premier program in the military academies, beating Pittsburgh 44-28 in the Military Bowl, getting its first ranked finish since 2004.
19. Oregon Ducks, 9-4: The first time since 2007 Oregon win less than 10 games, losing to TCU in the Alamo Bowl 47-41 (triple overtime).
20. Oklahoma State Cowboys, 10-3: Dropped like a rock after the 48-20 loss to Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl, falling seven spots.
21. Wisconsin Badgers, 10-3: All in all, not a bad season for the Badgers, finishing with a 23-21 win over USC in the Holiday Bowl.
22. Tennessee Volunteers, 9-4: Another step forward for the Volunteers, beating Northwestern 45-6 in the Outback Bowl.
23. Northwestern Wildcats, 10-3: Dropped 11 spots due to their game against Tennessee, which ended miserably for them in the Outback Bowl.
24. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, 12-2: The Conference USA champions are ranked for the first time in 40 years thanks to their 45-35 win over South Florida in the Miami Beach Bowl.
25. Florida Gators, 10-4: Lost three consecutive games to end the season against Florida State, Alabama in the SEC title game and Michigan in the Citrus Bowl.