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|
|1||Florida State (60)||14-0||1,500||1||1|
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.
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.
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.
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