AP College Football Poll 2016: Final Rankings Unveiled for Top 25 Teams

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2016

Alabama defensive back Marlon Humphrey (26) celebrates with defensive back Ronnie Harrison (15) after recovering an onside kick during the second half the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. Alabama won 45-40. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

On the heels of their 45-40 win over the Clemson Tigers in Monday night's College Football Playoff National Championship Game, the Alabama Crimson Tide were recognized as the top college football team in the nation Tuesday.  

According to the final Associated Press Top 25 poll of the season, Bama overtook Clemson for the No. 1 ranking, although the Tigers did nab the No. 2 spot after playing the Tide tough in a highly entertaining title game.

Stanford and Ohio State took the No. 3 and No. 4 positions, respectively, with convincing bowl victories, while Oklahoma rounded out the Top Five despite losing to Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

Here is a full rundown of the AP's final Top 25 rankings with the 2015 college football season now officially in the books:

Final AP College Football Top 25 Poll
4Ohio State7
6Michigan State3
10Ole Miss16
11Notre Dame8
14Florida State9
15North Carolina10
20Oklahoma State13
24Western Kentucky25
Associated Press

While no argument can be made against the top two spots, considering how competitive the national championship game was, the next four positions figure to ignite debate regarding the CFP's selection process.

Both Michigan State and Oklahoma earned their right to take part in the playoff, but they were both beaten handily, while the likes of Stanford and Ohio State looked entirely capable of hanging with and potentially defeating Alabama and Clemson.

The Cardinal had arguably the best player in the country on their side in the form of running back Christian McCaffrey, and the Buckeyes had perhaps the most talented overall team following a national title win last year.

Those factors were recognized by the Associated Press at the end of the season, but that is little consolation for Stanford and OSU considering they didn't get an opportunity to prove themselves against the best.

The CFP committee may not have set up the most competitive CFP semifinal matchups it could have, which will almost certainly lead to increased support for College Football Playoff expansion in the near future.


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