Ohio State coach Urban Meyer declared that his team would be a top-five team after its 24-7 win over USC in the Cotton Bowl.
That assertion proved true on Tuesday morning, when the Buckeyes were ranked fifth in the final AP poll of the year.
Alabama took the spot in the end-of-season AP Top 25 after its 26-23 overtime victory over Georgia in Monday night's national championship game. The four teams who made the College Football Playoff ended the season in reverse order of their pre-playoff rankings, as Georgia finished second followed by No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 4 Clemson.
UCF, despite finishing the year as college football's only undefeated team, claiming a national championship for itself and receiving four first-place votes, finished sixth in the end-of-season AP poll, one spot behind the Buckeyes.
Overall, the Big Ten finished with five teams in the AP poll's top 17. Wisconsin and Penn State took the seventh and eighth spots after their respective wins in the Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. Michigan State checks in at No. 14 after beating Washington State in the Holiday Bowl, while Northwestern finished 17th after capping its season with a Music City Bowl win over Kentucky.
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