The college football season came to an end Monday night with Alabama’s 26-23 overtime win over Georgia, and the debate won’t stop.
Yes, Alabama did not play in its conference championship game. But the Crimson Tide finished with one loss and beat the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds in the College Football Playoff in back-to-back weeks.
That’s why I went with them as the No. 1 team in my final AP ballot. But I also went with UCF as my No. 2 team.
The Knights beat Auburn, who beat Alabama and Georgia (of course, the Tigers also lost to Georgia once, and to Clemson and LSU). UCF twice beat a really good Memphis team and a South Florida team that I like a lot. They were the only undefeated team, and I put them a spot ahead of Georgia, which blocked a field goal to force OT against Oklahoma and saw Alabama miss one to force it Monday.
I’ll say this about UCF, though: I covered Boise State’s undefeated run in 2009, and I think those Broncos would’ve won against this UCF squad. Boise State (and Alabama) were the only undefeated teams that year, and the Broncos finished No. 4 in the AP poll.
Speaking of Boise State, I have the Broncos finishing in the top 20, at No. 19. The Broncos won 11 games, and that defense really impressed the final two games. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Broncos enter 2018 ranked right around where I had them Monday.
Here’s my final vote:
6. Ohio State
8. Penn State
11. Oklahoma State
12. Notre Dame
14. Michigan State
15. Miami (Fla.)
17. Mississippi State
19. Boise State
21. North Carolina State
23. South Florida
24. Virginia Tech