Sporting News has unveiled its final college football Power Rankings for the 2018 season.
The clear No. 1 at the end of the season is Clemson, which became the first team to go 15-0 with its 44-16 demolition of Alabama in Monday’s College Football Playoff championship game. Alabama finishes the season at No. 2, but there are several other shakeups in the top 25 after a wild bowl season.
Here are Sporting News’ final Power Rankings for 2018:
SN’s college final football Power Rankings
|No. 1||Clemson||2 (+1)||15-0|
|No. 2||Alabama||1 (-1)||14-1|
|No. 3||Ohio State||5 (+2)||13-1|
|No. 5||Notre Dame||3 (-2)||12-1|
|No. 6||Florida||9 (+3)||10-3|
|No. 7||Georgia||6 (-1)||11-3|
|No. 8||LSU||12 (+4)||10-3|
|No. 9||Texas||13 (+4)||10-4|
|No. 10||UCF||7 (-3)||12-1|
|No. 11||Washington||8 (-3)||10-4|
|No. 12||Washington State||14 (+2)||11-2|
|No. 14||Kentucky||18 (+4)||10-3|
|No. 16||Syracuse||17 (+1)||10-3|
|No. 17||Texas A&M||(NR)||9-4|
|No. 18||Penn State||11 (-7)||9-4|
|No. 20||Mississippi State||17 (-3)||8-5|
|No. 21||Appalachian State||21||11-2|
|No. 22||Fresno State||22||12-2|
|No. 24||Boise State||24||10-3|
(Dropped out: Utah, West Virginia, N.C. State)
Biggest move up: Texas
We won’t ask that seemingly perennial question surrounding Texas, but the Longhorns’ 28-21 win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl was one of the biggest steps forward we’ve seen from this team in a long time. With the win — against a team many thought belonged in the Playoff — Texas earned its first 10-win season since 2009. That caps off a season in which the Longhorns split games with Oklahoma, made their first Big 12 title game and won their first New Year’s Day bowl since 2008. Consider that Sam Ehlinger comes back and a top-10 recruiting class comes to Austin next year, and the future looks bright under Tom Herman.
Biggest move down: N.C. State
The Wolfpack had a decent shot at landing among Sporting News’ final top 25 for the 2018 season — until they were blown out of the water by Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl, 52-13. Ryan Finley completed 19 of 32 passes for 139 yards and one touchdown to two interceptions. The defense gave up 401 combined rushing yards and was wholly incapable of stopping the Aggies from scoring. The Wolfpack finish the season 9-4, but their performance dropped them just outside the final rankings. The bright side: N.C. State has all offseason to stew about this loss and make up for it next season.