SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) —  National Champion Clemson tops AP poll.

 

SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 07: Christian Wilkins #42 and head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers celebrate their teams 44-16 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

 

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.

 

SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 07: Damien Harris #34 of the Alabama Crimson Tide dives for the end zone against the Clemson Tigers in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

 

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.

 

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – DECEMBER 01: Dwayne Haskins Jr. #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs the ball against the Northwestern Wildcats in the fourth quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 01, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

 

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.

 

BERKELEY, CA – SEPTEMBER 17: The Texas Longhorns celebrate a touchdown against the California Golden Bears in the first quarter on September 17, 2016 at California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California. Cal won 50-43. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

 

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.

 

GLENDALE, ARIZONA – JANUARY 01: Quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. #8 of the UCF Knights throws a pass during the second quarter of the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl between LSU and Central Florida at State Farm Stadium on January 01, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

 

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 2014, 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.

CONFERENCE CALL

SEC — 6 teams (2, 7, 7, 8, 12, 16).

Big Ten — 5 (3, 14, 17, 21, 25).

Big 12 — 3 (4, 9, 20).

Mountain West — 3 (18, 22, 23).

ACC — 2 (1, 15).

American — 2 (11, 24).

Pac-12 — 2 (10, 13).

Independent — 2 (5, 19).

 

© 2019 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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