Alabama, Clemson lead NCAA Re-Rank 1-127 after conclusion of regular season
Alabama remains No. 1, Clemson moves up to No. 2 and Notre Dame falls to No. 4 in the final USA TODAY Sports NCAA Re-Rank 1-127 of the regular season.
Alabama outscored Florida 52-46 in one of the memorable games in SEC championship history. After being in control for much of the first half and into the third quarter, Alabama had to fend off the Gators' late charge and won for the second time this season when allowing 40 or more points.
Clemson avenged an earlier loss to Notre Dame by beating the Fighting Irish 34-10 in the ACC championship game. No. 3 Ohio State was pushed by Northwestern but responded in the fourth quarter to win 22-10.
There were several options at No. 4. One was No. 5 Cincinnati, which remained unbeaten by hitting a late field goal to beat Tulsa 27-24. Another was No. 6 Texas A&M, which dominated Tennessee in a 34-13 win and ended the regular season with just one loss.
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Outside of the top six, Oklahoma rose six spots to No. 8 after beating Iowa State 27-21 to capture the program's sixth straight Big 12 championship. San Jose State moved up to No. 15 after beating Boise State to win the first conference title in program history. No. 25 was up eight spots after beating Southern California in the Pac-12 championship.
The preseason 1-127, which included only the 76 teams then planning to participate in the regular season (which excluded teams from the Big Ten, Pac-12 and other leagues), had Clemson No. 1, Alabama No. 2, Georgia No. 3, Oklahoma No. 4 and Notre Dame No. 5.
The next and final re-rank will come after the end of the postseason. The national championship game is scheduled for Jan. 11.