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With a 44-16 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff title game Monday night, the Clemson Tigers earned the No. 1 spot in the final 2018-19 Associated Press Top 25 poll.
Clemson garnered all 61 first-place votes, and the Crimson Tide, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners and Notre Dame Fighting Irish rounded out the Top Five:
1. Clemson Tigers (15-0)
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (14-1)
3. Ohio State Buckeyes (13-1)
4. Oklahoma Sooners (12-2)
5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-1)
6. LSU Tigers (10-3)
T7. Georgia Bulldogs (11-3)
T7. Florida (10-3)
9. Texas (10-4)
10. Washington State (11-2)
*Full Top 25 can be viewed on the Associated Press’ official website.
Unlike last year, there’s no argument over the No. 1 spot. Clemson was the lone FBS squad to run the table and became the first team since 1897 to go 15-0, according to SportsCenter. The Tigers had just two games decided by one possession, winning by an average of 31.1 points per contest.
After earning a spot in the College Football Playoff, Clemson made it clear it was the nation’s best team with a 27-point route of then-No. 3 Notre Dame and a 28-point blowout of then-No. 1 Alabama.
That earned the Tigers their second championship in three seasons.
The next-most notable jump came from the Buckeyes, who rose two spots to No. 3. Ohio State narrowly missed the CFP field after it went 12-1, took the Big Ten title and finished sixth in the committee’s rankings. However, Urban Meyer‘s squad seized a 25-point lead over the Pac-12 champion Washington Huskies in the Rose Bowl before it hung on for a 28-23 victory.
Notre Dame fell out of the Top Four despite participating in the CFP. The Fighting Irish’s dreams of a perfect season ended with a 30-3 loss to the eventual national champs in the Cotton Bowl.
The UCF Knights (12-1) finished at No. 11 after they saw their 25-game winning streak end against LSU in the Fiesta Bowl.
Also of note, the Texas Longhorns finished in the Top 10 for the first time since 2009. In their second season under Tom Herman, the Longhorns went 10-4 with an appearance in the Big 12 title game and a 28-21 victory over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
Of note, the SEC finished with four teams in the final Top 10 and six in the Top 25.