The curtain has dropped on the 2018 college football season, and so has the final Associated Press Top 25.
Last year at this time, the AP voters were causing a mini-uproar as they didn’t make College Football Playoff winner Alabama a unanimous selection as the No. 1 team in the country, instead giving unbeaten UCF four of the 61 first-place votes. This year there was no acknowledgment of Cinderella as Clemson, which wallopped preseason No. 1 ‘Bama in the championship game Monday night, received all 61 of the first-place votes.
Alabama, which suffered its first loss after 14 straight wins to open the 2018 season, clocked in at No. 2 to finish an AP poll ranked in the Top Five for the 54th straight week, just one away from tying Miami’s record streak of 55 straight set in the early aughts. Fellow playoff participants Oklahoma and Notre Dame finished Nos. 4 and 5, respectively, with Rose Bowl winner Ohio State claiming the No. 3 ranking.
The remainder of the Top 10 was filled out by LSU at No. 6, Florida and Georgia tied at No. 7, Texas at No. 9 and Washington State at No. 10.
With six teams, including four in the Top 10, the SEC led all conferences, with the Big Ten right behind with five. The Big 12 had three — same as the Mountain West — while the ACC and Pac-12 had two each — same as the AAC.
At No. 11, UCF, which saw its 25-game winning streak snapped by LSU in the Fiesta Bowl, was the highest-rated Group of Five school. Another non-Power Five program, Army, finished with its highest ranking in six decades (1958) as it heads into the 2019 offseason ranked No. 19.
Alabama was the highest-rated one-loss team (out of four) at No. 2; Oklahoma the highest-rated two-loss team (out of six) at No. 4; LSU the highest-rated three-loss team (out of seven) at No. 6; Texas the highest-rated four-loss team (out of six); while Northwestern, at No. 21, the lone five-loss team to appear in the poll.