Alabama won the national championship in dominating fashion last night and was clearly and obviously the best team in college football this season. The final AP poll has been released this morning:
2. Ohio State
4. Texas A&M
5. Notre Dame
9. Iowa State
14. Coastal Carolina
18. North Carolina
20. Oklahoma State
23. Ball State
24. San Jose State
A few quick takeaways:
1) Texas A&M finishing ahead of Notre Dame is interesting. I had previously argued that they should’ve made the playoff ahead of Notre Dame. However, I can’t imagine their result against Alabama would’ve been much different than the Irish’s performance, nor much different from the Aggies’ 28-point loss earlier in the season.
2) The biggest what-if from the college football season for me is Oklahoma. The Sooners had early season losses to Iowa State and Kansas State before ripping off eight wins in a row, including a revenge victory over Iowa State in the Big 12 Championship and a win over Florida in the Cotton Bowl. The last few months of the season, Oklahoma was playing some great football. If there were an eight-team playoff, it would’ve been cool to see what they could do.
3) Northwestern and Indiana finishing Nos. 10 and 12 is great for these programs. As a Wisconsin alum, I’m happy for them, and I also feel a little bit threatened by them.
4) Other fun schools to see finish in the top 25: Coastal Carolina, Louisina-Lafayette, Liberty, Ball State, San Jose State, and Buffalo. Kudos to all of those programs for their performances this season.