NCAAF Teams
Mitch Sherman, ESPN Staff Writer 75d

Final 2018 college football Power Rankings

College Football, Clemson Tigers

As the first FBS team in 121 years to finish with a perfect record over 15 games, Clemson sits undisputed atop the final college football Power Rankings for the 2018 season.

The SEC placed seven teams in the top 25, including five of the top 10 after a 6-6 bowl season.

Here is the full rundown:

1. Clemson (15-0, 8-0 ACC)
These Tigers deserve consideration among the best teams of all time. So said Coach Dabo Swinney after Clemson romped previously top-ranked Alabama 44-16 on Monday night to win its second national championship in three years. Clemson's ferocious defensive front held the Crimson Tide scoreless after the first minute of the second quarter, and freshman QB Trevor Lawrence alongside fellow rookie Justyn Ross at wideout left no doubt about who was best in the 2018 season.

2. Alabama (14-1, 8-0 SEC)
Bama ran roughshod through the best division and best conference and won 12 straight games by more than 20 points, a feat unmatched in modern college football history. But when adversity struck this week, there was no backup QB to bail out the Tide. History will remember Nick Saban's 12th team in Tuscaloosa as one of the best ever to not win a title.

3. Ohio State (13-1, 8-1 Big Ten)
Urban Meyer emerged victorious from his first postseason trip to Pasadena in his last game as coach of the Buckeyes. Dwayne Haskins threw for three more touchdowns to close a record-breaking season in his last game at Ohio State. With that, a storied chapter in school history closed on New Year's Day, as the Buckeyes held off Washington 28-23 to finish as just the third Ohio State team with more than 12 wins.

4. Oklahoma (12-2, 8-1 Big 12)
Another Big 12 title led to a second straight College Football Playoff appearance, but the Sooners failed again to topple an SEC giant, as Alabama scored the first 28 points, denying OU even as it converted six of its final seven drives in the Capital One Orange Bowl. Nonetheless, it has been a remarkable start for coach Lincoln Riley, with a Heisman Trophy-winning QB in each of his two seasons in Norman.

5. Notre Dame (12-1)
Time helps heal wounds. After Clemson routed Alabama, the Tigers' semifinal stomping of the Fighting Irish appears more understandable. It hurts no less, though, as Notre Dame entered with high hopes after its first unbeaten regular season since 2012. The 30-3 defeat marked its lowest point total in 37 all-time bowl games but did nothing to undermine the progress made in two years since a 4-8 finish.

6. Florida (10-3, 5-3 SEC)
The Gators did the SEC proud with a 41-15 rout of Michigan in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. QB Feleipe Franks accounted for a pair of TDs, and Florida increased its win total by six games over a year ago. Coach Dan Mullen, in his first season, positioned Florida as a contender nationally in spite of losses to Kentucky and Missouri in division play.

7. LSU (10-3, 5-3 SEC)
The Tigers overcame a sluggish start on New Year's Day to topple UCF 40-32, ending the Knights' 25-game win streak as Joe Burrow threw for a career-best 394 yards and four touchdowns. For the Tigers, it marked a fourth win over an AP top-10 foe, their most in a single season, and secured their first 10-win campaign since 2013.

8. Texas (10-4, 7-2 Big 12)
They're baaa-aack. Behind Swinney's aforementioned proclamation, this was perhaps the loudest statement delivered during bowl season, courtesy of QB Sam Ehlinger after the Longhorns upset Georgia 28-21 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The sophomore QB was brilliant in engineering the victory, which was forewarned by Bevo, the longhorn steer mascot, who appeared to take aim at Uga the bulldog in pregame festivities.

9. Georgia (11-3, 7-1 SEC)
The Bulldogs came out as timid as their seemingly overmatched mascot in New Orleans and never matched Texas' intensity. It was a disturbing finish to an otherwise strong season under third-year coach Kirby Smart that included a near-upset of Alabama as Georgia fell short of a second straight SEC title while serving notice that it remains a force on the conference and national stage.

10. Kentucky (10-3, 5-3 SEC)
A 10-win season and bowl victory over Penn State to cap a season that featured a takedown of Florida as the signature win in a 7-1 start is cause for celebration in Lexington. Benny Snell Jr., a generational player for the Wildcats, ran for 144 yards in his final game and kept the ball away from the rallying Nittany Lions to secure Kentucky's first win on New Year's Day since 1952.

11. UCF (12-1, 8-0 AAC)
The Knights were game in battling bigger and deeper LSU. But without injured QB McKenzie Milton, another New Year's Six upset of an SEC West power was out of reach. Still, it was quite a run: 25 straight wins over two seasons that turned UCF into the face of the Group of 5 bid for playoff expansion. It'll likely happen someday, and this bunch deserves a load of credit.

12. Washington State (11-2, 7-2 Pac-12)
The sad state of the Pac-12 and a soft nonconference slate kept the Cougars from breaking into the top 10, even after a 28-26 win over Iowa State in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Wazzu's school-record win total and a Pac-12-record 4,779 passing yards by Gardner Minshew will be remembered as the league's top accomplishments of the season.

13. Texas A&M (9-4, 5-3 SEC)
The Aggies closed the season right on track, outlasting LSU in seven overtimes, then blasting NC State 52-13 in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. Sure, many hurdles await clearance if Jimbo Fisher is to meet the enormous expectations ahead, but he has started on a strong note with the Aggies, who enter next season on a four-game win streak.

14. Washington (10-4, 7-2 Pac-12)
The Pac-12 champ Huskies deserve some credit for winning four straight in November, then coming back from 25 points down to push Ohio State. But it amounted to a third straight New Year's Six defeat for Chris Petersen's team, which allowed the Buckeyes and Haskins to snap the Huskies' FBS-best, 65-game streak without allowing more than two touchdown throws.

15. Fresno State (12-2, 7-1 MWC)
The Bulldogs' reward for winning the Mountain West? To play in the Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl, first up on the postseason slate. They handled the quick turnaround with ease, earning a program-record 12th victory 31-20 over Arizona State as freshman Ronnie Rivers ran for 212 yards. Two wins over the Pac-12 -- it beat UCLA in September -- were a first for Fresno State since 2003.

16. Syracuse (10-3, 6-2 ACC)
What a feel-good finish to the season for coach Dino Babers, who took the Orange from 4-8 in his second season to 10 wins a year later for the first time since 2001. It wasn't a bad way to go out for QB Eric Dungey, who surpassed Ryan Nassib for the most passing yards in school history by throwing for 303 in a 34-18 defeat of West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl.

17. Michigan (10-3, 8-1 Big Ten)
No suitable explanation exists for the Wolverines' two-game collapse to close the season, other than to say it looked like what happened a year earlier against Wisconsin, Ohio State and South Carolina. But this time it was worse. After the Florida debacle, Michigan has lost 19 of its past 20 games against AP top-10 foes and nine of 10 under fourth-year coach Jim Harbaugh.

18. Army (11-2)
The Black Knights pounded Houston so resoundingly -- 70-14 in the Armed Forces Bowl as Army rushed for 507 yards and did not throw an incomplete pass -- that it led to the firing of UH coach Major Applewhite barely a week later. Army, which also defeated Navy for the third consecutive year, featured a legit star in QB Kelvin Hopkins Jr. and set a program record with 11 wins.

19. Auburn (8-5, 3-5 SEC)
The Tigers rocketed back into the Power Rankings on the strength of a 63-14 rout of Purdue in which Jarrett Stidham threw for 373 yards and five touchdowns in his collegiate finale. Auburn scored an all-time bowl-record 56 points in the first half, raising questions about the potency of its offense if Gus Malzahn had been calling plays all season.

20. Penn State (9-4, 6-3 Big Ten)
Trace McSorley deserved a better sendoff. The record-setting senior QB fought through injury to lead the Nittany Lions back from 20 points down, only to spend the final four minutes on the sideline as Kentucky milked the clock. That November loss by five touchdowns to Michigan -- not to mention an October setback against Michigan State -- look worse after the postseason.

21. Northwestern (9-5, 8-1 Big Ten)
The Wildcats got a nonconference win, their first of the season, in the last game of the season. True to form for this team, it was unorthodox. Northwestern scored four touchdowns in the third quarter of a 31-20 victory over Utah on New Year's Eve to overcome a 17-point halftime deficit, its largest comeback win since 2009.

22. Boise State (10-3, 7-1 MWC)
The Broncos' shot to reach 11 wins for the 12th time since 2002 was lost with the cancellation of the SERVPRO First Responders Bowl. The threat of severe weather in Dallas halted play as Boston College led 7-0 in the first quarter.

23. Cincinnati (11-2, 6-2 AAC)
A 35-31 win over Virginia Tech in the Military Bowl, the Bearcats' first bowl victory since 2012, secured the third 11-win season in school history. It came on the heels of two straight 4-8 finishes for Cincinnati, which lost only to Temple in overtime and to UCF under second-year coach Luke Fickell.

24. Oregon (9-4, 6-3 Pac-12)
Hey, a win's a win. The Ducks beat Michigan State 7-6 in the Redbox Bowl. Oregon became the first team to score fewer than 10 points in a bowl victory since 2008 as QB Justin Herbert threw a touchdown in his 28th straight game. For coach Mario Cristobal, nine wins in his first season rates as a positive step.

25. Iowa (9-4, 5-4 Big Ten)
The Hawkeyes' 27-22 win over Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl marked the lone victory for the Big Ten in four postseason matchups with the SEC. The Bulldogs held Iowa to minus-15 rushing yards, the fewest by any team to win a game in the past two seasons. But QB Nate Stanley threw for 214 yards and three scores as Iowa surpassed eight wins for the second time in the past nine years.

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