NCAA Football Rankings: Final AP Standings for 2013-14 Season

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NCAA Football Rankings: Final AP Standings for 2013-14 Season
Kelvin Kuo-Oncea-USA TODAY Sport

After a legendary send-off to the BCS series, courtesy of Auburn and Florida State in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game, the Associated Press released its final rankings for the 2013-14 season and there were a few surprises at the top. 

In case you missed it (sorry for your loss), Florida State won the championship in thrilling fashion. The Seminoles came back from a 21-3 deficit to win by three points, thanks to a tremendous fourth-quarter rally led by Jameis Winston.

Therefore, it's not surprising that FSU earned the top spot in these final rankings, but the rest of the list offers plenty of reason for debate.

Associated Press Top 25 Poll, Final Rankings
Rank Team Record Votes Previous B/R Rank
1 Florida State (60) 14-0 1,500 1 1
2 Auburn 12-2 1,428 2 3
3 Michigan State 13-1 1,385 4 2
4 South Carolina 11-2 1,247 8 5
5 Missouri 12-2 1,236 9 4
6 Oklahoma 11-2 1,205 11 6
7 Alabama 11-2 1,114 3 7
8 Clemson 11-2 1,078 12 8
9 Oregon 11-2 974 10 9
10 UCF 12-1 959 15 11
11 Stanford 11-3 936 5 10
12 Ohio State 12-2 816 7 13
13 Baylor 11-2 778 6 12
14 LSU 10-3 717 14 14
15 Louisville 12-1 693 18 16
16 UCLA 10-3 632 17 15
17 Oklahoma State 10-3 598 13 17
18 Texas A&M 9-4 459 20 18
19 USC 10-4 299 NR 20
20 Notre Dame 9-4 256 25 23
21 Arizona State 10-4 255 16 19
22 Wisconsin 9-4 245 19 21
23 Duke 10-4 190 22 22
24 Vanderbilt 9-4 117 NR NR
25 Washington 9-4 109 NR 25

AP

 

It's easy to see why Auburn would retain the No. 2 spot, given how close the Tigers played the Seminoles in the title game. After Tre Mason's 37-yard run put Auburn up by four points with just 1:19 left on the clock, it appeared the Tigers would win the championship.

Winston and the Seminoles then capped off the biggest comeback win in the history of the BCS National Championship Game, as detailed by ESPN Stats & Info:

It's hard to argue Michigan State shouldn't be No. 3 after the Spartans knocked off Stanford, and one could make the argument the Spartans deserve the No. 2 spot. This team was ranked No. 4 in the BCS Rankings heading into the Rose Bowl, and Stanford was No. 5. Meanwhile, No. 3 Alabama lost in the Sugar Bowl, leaving that spot vacant. 

Which team deserves the No. 4 spot?

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However, it's not as easy to argue South Carolina as a better team than Missouri or Oklahoma. 

Yes, the Gamecocks beat the Tigers in overtime back in late October, but Mizzou has been formidable since that loss.

Oklahoma looked like one of the best teams in the nation against Alabama too, and you can be sure fans of both schools believe wholeheartedly that their team deserves the No. 4 spot. Oklahoma, in particular, was dominant down the home stretch, taking down Oklahoma State and 'Bama in consecutive weeks to cap off a four-game winning streak.

Freshman quarterback Trevor Knight emerged as an elite national quarterback, making incredible plays like this one, shown by ESPN:

Clemson grabbed the eighth spot in the rankings after an impressive 40-35 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl. Tajh Boyd capped off his stellar career with a signature performance, passing for 378 yards with five touchdowns and rushing for 127 yards and another score. 

Stanford and Ohio State both dropped significantly after losing their respective bowl games, to nobody's surprise. But as both teams were ranked near the top when the season began, it's safe to say both programs will be disappointed with their final results. 

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

No. 18 for A&M: Too high, too low or just right?

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There weren't many surprises after the Top 10, though some may argue Texas A&M is a bit high at No. 18, given that horrid defense. However, Johnny Manziel's offense managed to put up 52 points, 35 of which came in the second half, against Duke to win by just four points.

Next year's season would do well to match the 2013-14 campaign which was full of upsets and thrilling finishes featuring remarkable teams and individual performances. 

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78.

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