Final AP Top 25 College Football Rankings Released

Baylor Bears running back Abram Smith running with the ball against the Oklahoma Sooners. | Image from Baylor Football Twitter

The final Associated Press Top 25 college football rankings were announced following the national championship game on Monday.

Georgia (14-1), the national champions, unsurprisingly take the top ranking after winning their first title since 1980. The Bulldogs were a mainstay as the No. 1 team, unanimously receiving all 61 first-place votes in the AP poll for the ninth time this season.

The team they defeated for the championship, Alabama (13-2), slid down just one spot to No. 2. The top two teams in the final AP poll are from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) for the third time since 2011.

The semifinal losers, Michigan and Cincinnati, finished No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. For Michigan (12-2), it is their first top ten finish since 2006, and for Cincinnati (13-1), it is their best-ever finish in the final AP rankings.

Rounding out the top five is the Baylor Bears (12-2). The No. 5 final AP ranking is the best in Baylor’s school history. Their previous highest-ever final ranking was No. 7 in 2014. Baylor gets the final ranking after completing arguably its most outstanding football season in school history. The Bears won the Big 12 championship, the Sugar Bowl, and 12 wins, the most they have ever achieved in a single season.

Ohio State (11-2) comes in at No. 6, following their win in the Rose Bowl, ahead of the next highest Big 12 school, Oklahoma State, which ranks at No. 7.

Oklahoma State (12-2) lost the Big 12 championship to Baylor but still finished the season on a high note, defeating then-No. 5 Notre Dame 37-35 in the Fiesta Bowl. Oklahoma State trailed 28-7 but scored 30 unanswered points to secure the win. That was the largest comeback in school history; their previous record was a 20-point comeback win against Colorado in 1979. Oklahoma State won 12 games this season for the first time under head coach Mike Gundy, who has been at the school for 17 years.

After the Fiesta Bowl loss, Notre Dame (11-2) dropped to No. 8, with Michigan State (11-2) following at No. 9 and the last ranked Big 12 team Oklahoma rounding out the top ten. The Sooners’ No. 10 ranking makes three top ten teams in the Big 12. Oklahoma (11-2) vaulted from No. 14 to No. 10 following their impressive 47-32 win over then-No. 15 Oregon in the Alamo Bowl.

Other regional teams in the rankings include the Houston Cougars (12-2) at No. 17 and the Arkansas Razorbacks (9-4) at No. 21. Texas A&M (8-4) was listed as the first team outside the Top 25 rankings. The Aggies were No. 23 in the previously released rankings but dropped out after withdrawing from the Gator Bowl due to COVID-19 issues within the football program.

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