Last Word On College Football Top 25 Final 2017-2018 Rankings

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2018 Preseason Top 25
Stock Photo/Getty Images. Every team in the nation is playing for the College Football Playoff Championship Trophy.

And just like that, it’s over. The 2017-2018 college football season ends with Alabama beating Georgia to claim the College Football Playoff and the national championship. It’s Alabama’s fifth national title in the last nine seasons. Alas, it wouldn’t be college football without gridiron drama. With UCF completing the perfect season as American Athletic Conference and Peach Bowl Champions, there is sure to be renewed discussion in the off-season. We will start that debate with the final Last Word on College Football Top 25 for the 2017-2018 season.

Last Word on College Football Top 25

Most of that discussion will revolve around the legitimacy of UCF’s national championship claims. Most of those discussions won’t last very long. But the conversation about the process will. Will the razor-thin margin between Alabama and Ohio State continue to fuel an 8-team playoff contention? UCF’s perfect season and defeat of Auburn, who, of course, beat both Georgia and Alabama, will help fan those flames.

But that’s for the offseason. Let’s see how the Last Word On College Football staff rank the teams now that every game is complete.

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LAST WORD ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOP 25

FINAL 2017-2018 SEASON RANKING

Rank


 Team


Points


Previous


1.

ALABAMA (13-1)  (18)

450 4
For the second time in three seasons, and fifth time in nine seasons, the Crimson Tide are the national champions. Has a team dominated a decade like Nick Saban’s Alabama teams? Not in the modern era — not even close.


2.

GEORGIA (13-2)

432 3
The Bulldogs were looking for their first championship in almost forty years. but alas, they couldn’t get past Kirby Smart’s old boss. Even after an instant classic Rose Bowl, it’s a familiar refrain in Athens: “Wait till next season.”


3.

OKLAHOMA (12-2)

408 2
Oklahoma ended their season in heartbreaking fashion in the Rose Bowl, losing to Georgia 54-48 in 2OT. Oklahoma must pick up the pieces and improve a disappointing defense while looking at what the post-Mayfield era looks like.


4.

CLEMSON  (12-2)

392 1
Clemson went into the CFP as the prohibitive favorite. The rubber match with Alabama was anti-climatic, as the Tide handled the Tigers offense with relative ease. Is Clemson at program “machine”-level, or will they have to rebuild?


5.

UCF (13-0)

382 9
America’s darling team resides in Orlando. While the Knights claim to a national title is tenuous, at best, their undefeated season and resounding win against Auburn in Atlanta, gives fans plenty to discuss in the coming offseason.

6.

OHIO STATE  (12-2)

363 5
The Big Ten champs dominated the Pac-12 champs in the Cotton Bowl. Buckeyes fans will continue to contend that they deserved the final CFP spot. Regardless, the Buckeyes finish in the top six for the fourth straight season.


7. (T)

PENN STATE  (11-2)

332 10
The Nittany Lions capped off an 11-2 season with a 35-28 victory over Washington in the Fiesta Bowl. Despite Saquon Barkley and OC Joe Moorehead departing, PSU will be in the early Big Ten title conversations.


7. (T)

WISCONSIN  (13-1)

332 6
How strong is the Big Ten? The Badgers, at one loss, are the third ranked Big Ten team in the top eight. Wisconsin is seven points away from an undefeated season.


9. (T) 

NOTRE DAME  (10-3) 

278 15
The Irish responded to a disappointing 2016 with a ten win season. Brian Kelly has a little bit of breathing room now, but pressure in South Bend is only a loss away. All three of Notre Dame’s losses were to top 25 teams.


9. (T)

AUBURN  (10-4)

278 8

You don’t often see a four-loss team in the top ten. But Auburn has losses to three of the top five teams in the nation. And two wins against the top two teams. That’s a tough resume to judge in the end.


11. 

TCU (11-3)

277 13
Two loses to Oklahoma sunk TCU’s playoff hopes. The Horned Frogs, the Big 12 runner-ups, completed the comeback in the Alamo Bowl to defeat the Pac-12’s runner up and finish a very solid bowl season for the Big 12 Conference.


12. 

MIAMI (10-3)

259 12
Miami failed down the stretch, losing their last three games after a 10-0 start. That includes the ACC Championship Game and the Orange Bowl. Is “The U” back? Or just taking advantage of a weak division?


13.

USC (11-3)

233 7
The first appearance from a Pac-12 team comes at 13 with the Trojans. Ugly losses to Notre Dame and Ohio State — albeit both good teams — and a perception of a weak conference, hurt USC’s standing.


14.

MICHIGAN STATE (10-3)

210 16
The Spartans finished the season strong, winning the Holiday Bowl over Washington State 42-17, to improve to 10-3. Can Michigan State make a run in the best division in college football in 2018?


15. (T)

OKLAHOMA STATE (10-3)

171 18
A tremendously talented Cowboys team couldn’t survive a tougher-than-expected Big 12 this season. A late season loss to Kansas State doomed the Pokes. What will Gundy do next season after losing Mason Rudolph?


15. (T)

WASHINGTON (10-3)

171 14
The Huskies got off to a terrible start against Penn State. They mounted a valiant comeback, but fell short, ending a disastrous Bowl season for the Pac-12.


17. 

NORTHWESTERN  (9-3)

162 19
The quietest 10-win team in the nation resides in Chicago. A weak division and an early season loss to Duke likely prevents the Wildcats from being ranked in the top half of the final Top 25.


18.

STANFORD (9-5)

138 12
Stanford played a thrilling Alamo Bowl, but ran out of gas in the second half, succumbing to TCU. The Cardinal will now wait to see if Heisman runner-up Bryce Love will return in 2018.


19. 

 USF (10-2)

94 NR
Charlie Strong rode Quinton Flowers to a ten win season in his first year in Tampa. Of the Bulls two losses, one was to UCF; this is a very strong G5 resume. Where will they go next season without Flowers?


20.

BOISE STATE (11-3)

77 24
UCF might be America’s darling team, but Boise State has been doing this for two decades now. Just another double digit win total for the Boise Blue Fielders as they continue to play above their weight class.


21.

MISSISSIPPI STATE (9-4)

72 23
The Bulldogs bounced back from an Iron Bowl loss with an impressive win against Louisville to salvage the SEC’s bowl season. But without Mullen and questions about Nick Fitzgerald, where does Mississippi State go in 2018?


22. (T)

SOUTH CAROLINA (9-4)

43 NR
The Gamecocks upset the Big Ten’s perfect bowl record in their last game after beating Michigan in the Outback Bowl. Will Muschamp has overachieved in Columbia. Can South Carolina stay in the second spot in the SEC East?


22. (T) 

LSU (9-4)

43 23
If there’s one thing constant in Baton Rouge, it’s drama. Almost immediately after LSU’s disappointing last minute collapse against Notre Dame, OC Matt Canada parted ways with the Tigers. A lot of questions going into 2018.


24.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE (9-4)

41  25
The Wolfpack continue to fight their way up a competitive ACC. An impressive bowl win against Arizona State will have expectations high for 2018. Can they finish ahead of Louisville and Florida State again?


25.

FLORIDA ATLANTIC (11-3)

39  NR
Lane Kiffin’s Owls finished with an impressive record, but didn’t have many quality wins. Clearly Conference USA isn’t the AAC, but with Kiffin’s track record and ten-year deal, you can expect the Owls to get better.

 


Others Receiving Votes: Army (37), Washington State (37), Memphis (35), Virginia Tech (24), Iowa State (12), Iowa (11), Troy (7), Louisville (7), Utah (2), Toledo (1).


 

 

About the Poll: Eighteen LWOCFB writers rank the Top 25 teams across the nation weekly to determine the best teams from around the country. LWOS awards our Championship and Runner-Up to the CFP National Championship Game winner and runner-up, respectively.

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