Now, certainly there will be a number of people in and around Buckeye Nation that believe that they should have been there before the College Football Playoff began, but following last night’s National Championship Game, the final AP Poll of the 2018-19 college football season found the Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 3.
Obviously the Clemson Tigers received all 61 of the first-place votes following their 44-16 demolition of the Alabama Crimson Tide, but the Buckeyes were just 98 points behind the Nick Saban’s squad. The Oklahoma Sooners remained at No. 4 following their 45-34 loss to Alabama in the Orange Bowl, and Notre Dame dropped two spots to No. 5 following their 30-3 beating in the Cotton Bowl to Clemson.
The top-5 finish was the fifth in Urban Meyer’s seven seasons in Columbus (the Buckeyes finished 12th in 2013 and sixth in 2016), and tied the undefeated 2012 team for Meyer’s second best finish at OSU behind the 2014 National Championship season. As Doug Lesmerises pointed out at cleveland.com, OSU has now finished in the top-five in 12 of the last 17 seasons under Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer, with a season of Luke Fickell in between.
Other Big Ten teams to finish the season in the top 25 were Michigan at No. 14, Penn State at No. 17, Northwestern at No. 21, and Iowa at No. 25; Wisconsin also received votes. OSU’s Rose Bowl opponent, the Washington Huskies, dropped from No. 9 to No. 13 in the final poll.
Ryan Day’s second game as Ohio State’s full-time head coach this fall will be against Fickell’s Cincinnati Bearcats on Sept. 7, and Coach Fick had UC in the top 25 to end the year at No. 24.
Check out the complete, year-end AP Poll below:
Final 2018-19 AP Poll
|3||Ohio State||Big Ten||13-1||1,364|
|5||Notre Dame||Division I FBS Ind||12-1||1,286|
|17||Penn State||Big Ten||9-4||492|
|18||Fresno State||Mountain West||12-2||466|
|19||Army||Division I FBS Ind||11-2||418|
|20||West Virginia||Big 12||8-4||296|
|22||Utah State||Mountain West||11-2||188|
|23||Boise State||Mountain West||10-3||184|