By Ralph D. Russo
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Georgia was No. 1 in the final Associated Press Top 25 college football poll, becoming the 12th back-to-back national champion in the history of the rankings after routing TCU on Monday night.
The Horned Frogs were No. 2, their best final rankings since the 2010 season. Michigan was No. 3, followed by Ohio State and Alabama.
Georgia received all 63 first-place votes in the poll, which is presented by Regions Bank.
The Bulldogs won the College Football Playoff national championship game 65-7 to secure their third AP title overall. Their first came in 1980. Georgia also became the 14th school with as many as three AP national titles.
“Man, we hold ourself to a high standard,” Georgia cornerback Kelee Ringo said after the historic blowout of TCU at Sofi Stadium.
The last team to finish consecutive seasons No. 1 in the AP Top 25 was Alabama in 2011 and ’12.
Tennessee was No. 6, giving the Southeastern Conference half of the top six teams.
Penn State was No. 7, the first time the Nittany Lions have finished a season ranked since 2019. No. 8 Washington finished ranked for the first time since 2018.
Tulane was ninth, its first appearance in the final poll since the Green Wave finished seventh in 1998.
Utah rounded out the top 10, giving the Utes a top-10 finish for the first time since they were No. 2 in the final 2008 rankings.
No. 11 Florida State is back in the final Top 25 for the first time since 2016. No. 12 USC was followed by Clemson, Kansas State and Oregon at No. 15.
LSU was No. 16 and No. 17 Oregon State finished ranked for the first time since 2012.
At No. 19, Troy has its best ranking in school history and its first in the final AP Top 25.
Mike Leach’s final team at Mississippi State finished the season at No. 20. Leach died suddenly of a heart condition last month before the the Bulldogs won their bowl game against Illinois to finish 9-4.