SportsPulse: From Levi’s Stadium, our college football insiders breakdown Clemson’s demolishment of Alabama and if the title game was a passing of the baton from one dynasty to another.
The final Amway Coaches Poll of the 2018 season is quite drama free as far as the top two ranks are concerned.
Clemson is the unanimous No. 1 choice of the voters, with Alabama likewise claiming all the second-place votes to finish at No. 2. The voters were then left to sort out the bowl results along with the total body of work of the other College Football Playoff participants to form the rest of the top five.
In the end, Rose Bowl champion Ohio State will close the campaign at No. 3, outpacing semifinalists Oklahoma and Notre Dame. The Sooners will finish at No. 4 with the Fighting Irish checking in at No. 5.
The rest of the top 10 has a heavy SEC flavor. Florida is No. 6 after its Peach Bowl demolition of Michigan. LSU will finish at No. 7 after ending Central Florida’s bid for another undefeated season in the Fiesta Bowl. Georgia, despite a Sugar Bowl loss to Texas, will finish just ahead of the Longhorns at No. 8. Texas and Washington State conclude the top 10, with another SEC member, Kentucky just outside at No. 11.
Central Florida finishes 12th, the highest for a Group of Five team, after is only loss of the season in the Fiesta Bowl.
In other results, No. 20 Army finishes the campaign with its highest ranking since USA TODAY began administering the coaches poll in 1992.
No. 15 Syracuse, which gave eventual champion Clemson its biggest scare of the regular season, concludes with its highest ranking since a 14th-place finish to the 2001 campaign.
Joining in the final week of the poll is No. 23 Cincinnati. Falling out is Utah.