AP College Football Poll 2014: Post-BCS Championship Rankings Released

Alex KayCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2014

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The Associated Press has released its Top 25 poll for Week 20. It should come as little surprise that the organization unanimously declared Florida State its national champion. 

While crowning the undefeated Seminoles is far from controversial, fans may take umbrage with how the AP ranked the remainder of the teams at the conclusion of bowl season.

Let’s take a look at the updated standings, compare those results to Bleacher Report’s final Top 25 poll and recap the most impactful games that shaped this season-ending list.

Associated Press Top 25 Poll, Final Rankings
RankTeamRecordVotesPreviousB/R Rank
1Florida State (60)14-01,50011
2Auburn12-21,42823
3Michigan State13-11,38542
4South Carolina11-21,24785
5Missouri12-21,23694
6Oklahoma11-21,205116
7Alabama11-21,11437
8Clemson11-21,078128
9Oregon11-2974109
10UCF12-19591511
11Stanford11-3936510
12Ohio State12-2816713
13Baylor11-2778612
14LSU10-37171414
15Louisville12-16931816
16UCLA10-36321715
17Oklahoma State10-35981317
18Texas A&M9-44592018
19USC10-4299NR20
20Notre Dame9-42562523
21Arizona State10-42551619
22Wisconsin9-42451921
23Duke10-41902222
24Vanderbilt9-4117NRNR
25Washington9-4109NR25
AP

FSU clearly deserves the No. 1 spot in the AP Top 25 poll and every other sort of college football ranking system under the sun. The team dominated throughout the 2013 campaign and capped off its run with a thrilling victory in the BCS Championship Game against No. 2 Auburn.

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 06:  Fullback Chad Abram #41 of the Florida State Seminoles celebrates in the endzone after he scores a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers in the fourth quarter of the 2014 Vizio BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl on J
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston deserves much of the credit for taking his team this far. He delivered a coup de grace in the form of a two-yard touchdown strike with 13 seconds left on the game clock.

Rob Carlin of CSNWashington.com was excited about Kelvin Benjamin’s catch:

The Tigers put up a strong fight before submitting. Star running back Tre Mason bullied his way to 195 yards rushing and two total touchdowns, including a 37-yard run to put his team ahead with just over a minute left to play.

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn heaped praise on his players after the contest, as per Seminoles.com: "I told them in the locker room, we put together the biggest turnaround in the history of college football. We were on the brink of making it one of those magical seasons.”

Unfortunately for the Tigers and their fans, they will have to settle for the No. 2 spot in the final AP poll.

Following the two championship-game teams is No. 3 Michigan State, which narrowly edged No. 11 Stanford in a 24-20 thriller that fittingly took place during the 100th edition of the Rose Bowl. The Spartans finished the year 13-1 and delivered the Cardinal their third loss of the 2013 campaign.

South Carolina comes in at No. 4 in the latest rankings, vaulting up four spots after a convincing win over No. 22 Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl. The Gamecocks' second-half rally allowed them to beat the Badgers by double digits in Orlando.

Missouri rounds out the Top Five, as the SEC runner-up won a shootout against No. 17 Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl. The Tigers had a better-than-expected season and will have much to build on heading into 2014.

Oklahoma jumped up to No. 6, just ahead of the No. 7 Alabama team it beat in the Sugar Bowl. The Sooners took care of business against a sluggish Crimson Tide team, even though they were a major underdog at kickoff.

Jan 2, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA;  Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban against the Oklahoma Sooners during the second quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

Clemson takes the No. 8 spot after dispatching a slumping Ohio State squad in the Orange Bowl. The Buckeyes fell to No. 12 and ended their season on a two-game losing streak.

Oregon and UCF round out the Top 10, with the No. 9 Ducks capitalizing on an Alamo Bowl blowout over Texas and the No. 10 Knights proving they belong with a convincing BCS win over Baylor. The Bears dropped to No. 13 after the 10-point loss in the Fiesta Bowl.

It was a thrilling college football campaign and featured outcomes that almost no one would have predicted at the start of the season. 2014 promises to be even more exciting, but first fans must survive the long offseason.

At least they will have something to debate in the form of this final, Week 20 Associated Press Top 25 poll.