College football season has certainly had its ups and downs, and in the weeks leading up to the end of the season, the AP poll rankings also had a bit of a rollercoaster ride as well – with a few exceptions. While Alabama spent most of the season at No. 1 (until the last two weeks), other teams weren’t quite as consistent. Let’s take a look.
Ranking ‘Em High
The Alabama Crimson Tide, as mentioned, spent the overwhelming majority of the season at the top of the AP poll standings, only dropping out of the No. 1 spot in week 14 (to No. 5) and gaining a spot in week 15 (to No. 4). The other three teams in this year’s college playoff haven’t been quite as consistent all season long, at least according to the AP Poll.
Let’s take a look at the team that nabbed the final No. 2 spot – the University of Oklahoma. Oklahoma was in the top four over the last month of the season, but before that, they spent some time a little farther south. Week 7, for example, found the Sooners ranked No. 12, followed by No. 9, No. 10, and then No. 8. The last four weeks, however, saw them sitting pretty at No. 3 for two weeks, before finally moving into the No. 2 spot on the final week of the season.
The Georgia Bulldogs are another team that didn’t spend a lot of time near the top until they started to heat up just as the season winded down. They started off week 1 at No. 15 and slowly but surely navigated their way near the top of the pack. They first reached No. 3 in week 8, and while they bounced around a bit after that (reaching No. 2 in weeks 10 and 11 before dropping down to No. 7 in weeks 12 and 13), they found their way back to the No. 3 spot by week 15.
The Clemson Tigers nabbed the No.1 ranking at the end of the season, but they too spent some time bouncing around the rankings as the season progressed. They were ranked No. 5 at the beginning of the season (week 1) and slowly crept up into the top three, where they remained until week 7. They then fell to No. 7, but didn’t stay there long (nor did they fall below that point during the season). In week 11, they were ranked No. 4, and in week 14, they landed in the No. 1 spot, which is where they remained until the season was over.
Make It Rain … With Total Points
When we look at a season-long accumulation of points, it’s immediately apparent why Alabama spent most of the season atop the poll – they amassed over 22,200 points, and over 2,000 more than Clemson, who followed right behind them in overall points.
Points are awarded weekly by the AP poll voters (a panel of 61 sportswriters from around the country who vote in the poll every week). Teams receive 25 points for each first-place vote, then 24 for the second, and 23 for the third, all the way down to 1 point for teams who get a 25th place vote. Alabama, then, got the most first-place votes all season long but ended the season ranked No. 4.
Oklahoma received the third most points of the season, racking up over 19,100 points. Georgia was fourth in this category, with over 17,600 points, followed by Penn State (17,559 points), Wisconsin (17,318 points), Ohio State (16,934 points), and Washington (14,542 points).
Seeking a Championship Victory
The College Football Playoff began Jan. 1, 2017 with a couple of semifinal bowl games. The Allstate Sugar Bowl saw the Alabama Crimson Tide (No. 4) take out the Clemson Tigers (No. 1), while the Georgia Bulldogs (No. 3) defeated the Oklahoma Sooners (No. 2) in the Rose Bowl.
The College Football Playoff National Championship takes place on Jan. 8 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, where the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide will compete to win the national title.
This format is relatively new in college football. This will only be the fourth national championship game. Interestingly, Alabama and Clemson have both played in the championship twice, when they faced each other at the end of the 2015 and 2016 seasons – Alabama won the first meeting, and Clemson the second. While this year won’t see another rematch based on the seeding, it’ll be a rousing match between two SEC powerhouses.
Get Your Gear
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