After the most dominant College Football Playoff National Championship performance that we’ve seen in the format’s five-year history, Clemson replaced Alabama as the No. 1 team in the season-end CBS Sports 129.
Our comprehensive ranking of every FBS team, compiled by voters from across CBS Sports and 247Sports, put the 2018-19 campaign to bed this week with our final balloting. After the champs and runner-up Crimson Tide, Oklahoma finished at No. 3 ahead of previously unbeaten Notre Dame, which finished at No. 4. Ohio State checked in at No. 5, one spot ahead of Georgia, which did not see its status change much after the loss to Texas in the Sugar Bowl. That’s not the case for the Longhorns, though, who moved up five spots to No. 8 in the final balloting after knocking off the Bulldogs as double-digit underdogs.
Florida was bumped up a few spots to No. 7 after routing Michigan, LSU finished the year at No. 9 after beating UCF (which dropped four spots to No. 11), and Washington State rounds out the top 10 of the rankings after beating Iowa State. That means the Gators and Longhorns went from just inside the top 25 to open the season to top-10 teams by year’s end, and the Cougars made a huge leap from well outside the top 25 to No. 10 at the end of the campaign.
College football experts from CBS Sports and 247Sports contribute ballots each week, which are averaged together for our rankings. You can see the top-25 below, and 26-129 on our rankings page.
- Army (+9): The fallout from Army’s blowout win against Houston wasn’t just a change in the Cougars’ head coach but also nearly a double-digit jump in the CBS Sports 129.
- Auburn (+8): So much for motivation being a question in the bowl game. Auburn thumped Purdue from the start in an epic performance that left no questions about the explosive ability of Gus Malzahn’s offense.
- Iowa (+6): Beating a team from the SEC West (like the Hawkeyes did against Mississippi State) will do wonders do your profile when it comes time to split hairs among the eight-win and nine-win teams in the rankings.
- Texas (+5): Sam Ehlinger is going to be an iconic Texas quarterback, and his performance in the Sugar Bowl might as well have entrenched his status as the face of Tom Herman’s early years in Austin.
- Kentucky (+5): It wasn’t just getting to 10 wins for the first time since 1977 that saw the Wildcats move up, but it was that 10th win, in a close thriller against Penn State, that impressed our voters. Interestingly enough, Penn State didn’t move but one spot in the rankings.
- Utah (-6): Not a lot of love for a banged-up Utes team that never recovered from three third quarter turnovers and Northwestern’s 21 points off those turnovers in an 11-point loss to the Wildcats in the bowl game.
- West Virginia (-6): An questionable drop considering if the bowl loss to a good Syracuse team came without star quarterback Will Grier and star wide receiver Gary Jennings in the lineup.
- Pitt (-7): An ACC Coastal win got the Panthers as high as No. 35, but after the bowl loss to Stanford, the experts have slid Pitt back down in the pecking order to No. 42.
Check out the rest of the CBS Sports 129: Teams ranked 26-129