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Clemson is No. 1 for 3rd time in AP poll after championship win

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Clemson finished No. 1 in The Associated Press poll for the third time after routing Alabama in the national championship game.

The Tigers received all 61 first-place votes. The Crimson Tide, which was trying to become just the third team to go wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the country, finished second. Clemson beat Alabama 44-16 in the College Football Playoff national championship Monday night. Clemson also finished No. 1 in 2016 and 1981.

The Tide did extend its streak of top-five appearances to 54 weeks, one short of Miami’s record set from Oct. 8, 2000-Oct. 26, 2003.

Ohio State finished third. Oklahoma, which lost to Alabama in the Orange Bowl semifinal, was fourth. Notre Dame, which lost to Clemson in the Cotton Bowl semifinal, was fifth.

LSU was sixth and Southeastern Conference rivals Florida and Georgia were tied for seventh.

Texas was ninth, its best final ranking since 2009 when the Longhorns finished second after losing to Alabama in the BCS championship game.

No. 19 Army finished ranked for the first time since 1996 and had its best final ranking since 1958 when it was No. 3.

No. 10 Washington State finished as the highest-ranked Pac-12 team for the first time in the history of the conference. There were more Mountain West teams (three) than Pac-12 (two) in the last rankings.

UCF finished 11th after having its 25-game winning streak snapped in the Fiesta Bowl by LSU. No. 12 Kentucky finished with its highest ranking since 1977 when the Wildcats were No. 6. No. 15 Syracuse was last ranked in the final poll in 2001, when the Orange were 14th.

No. 21 Northwestern became the first team to start the season 1-3 and finished ranked since Miami did it in 1995.

AP TOP 25

The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses and final records

1. Clemson (61) 15-0

2. Alabama 14-1

3. Ohio St. 13-1

4. Oklahoma 12-2

5. Notre Dame 12-1

6. LSU 10-3

7. Florida 10-3

7. Georgia 11-3

9. Texas 10-4

10. Washington St. 11-2

11. UCF 12-1

12. Kentucky 10-3

13. Washington 10-4

14. Michigan 10-3

15. Syracuse 10-3

16. Texas A&M 9-4

17. Penn St. 9-4

18. Fresno St. 12-2

19. Army 11-2

20. West Virginia 8-4

21. Northwestern 9-5

22. Utah St. 11-2

23. Boise St. 10-3

24. Cincinnati 11-2

25. Iowa 9-4

Others receiving votes: Appalachian St. 96, Stanford 52, Mississippi St. 45, Utah 43, UAB 32, Iowa St. 26, Auburn 15, Oregon 11, Missouri 10, Troy 6, Georgia Southern 6, Oklahoma St. 3, Wisconsin 2, NC State 2.

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