College football rankings: With LSU at No. 1, SEC dominates with four of top seven teams

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The final edition of the CBS Sports 130, our comprehensive ranking of every FBS team, reflects the shake ups that come from a crazy bowl season. Still, there are no surprises as it pertains to the No. 1 team in the nation. That is LSU, which earned the top spot in our rankings heading into the postseason and retained it after winning the College Football Playoff National Championship by beating Oklahoma and Clemson by a combined 52 points.

Clemson jumped ahead of Ohio State thanks to its Fiesta Bowl semifinal win against the Buckeyes to finish at No. 2, and the top five was rounded out by Sugar Bowl champion Georgia and Rose Bowl champion Oregon

With Florida at No. 6 and Alabama at No. 7, the SEC is responsible for four of the top seven and five of the top 15 teams in the rankings. Both the SEC and the Big Ten have six teams in the top 25, by far the most among the conferences. The Big 12 and the AAC are the closest competitors with three teams each in the top 25. 

The representation of the Group of Five reflect a season where the best teams from those leagues were right in line with the best teams in all of college football. The AAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt combined to have as many teams (six) in the top 25 of the final CBS Sports 130 as the combined total of the Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC. 

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 26-130 on our rankings page.

3Ohio State13-12
9Penn State11-212
13Notre Dame11-214
19Appalachian State13-120
20Navy 11-222
21Cincinnati 11-321
22Boise State12-218
23Air Force11-227
24Texas A&M8-532
25Oklahoma State8-523

Biggest movers 

  • No. 24 Texas A&M (+8): Somehow, someway we always end up with Texas A&M on the edge of the top 25. The next step in the hype routine is to label the Aggies as a darkhorse in the SEC West in July and then tune in eagerly to see if they can disrupt the balance of power in college football's fiercest division. To be fair, Texas A&M did have one of the toughest schedules in the country, so maybe this was a 9-win or 10-win team with an 8-win schedule. 
  • No. 34 Tennessee (+7): Another candidate for offseason hype, the Vols capped a strong finish to the season with a tough bowl win against Indiana. Prior to the postseason, our voters were still a little hesitant with Tennessee just outside the top 40, but a full-season review has them as one of the biggest movers in the rankings. 
  • No. 27 Washington (+6): Confidence is surging about the future with Jimmy Lake after the Huskies totally dominated Boise State in Chris Petersen's farewell. After taking a step back in 2019, look for Washington be right back in the Pac-12 North title race in 2020. 
  • No. 23 Air Force (+4): A strong season for Troy Calhoun's squad was capped with a Power Five win against Washington State in the bowl game. The Falcons' only losses this season were to Boise State and Navy, and now they join those teams in the high 20s of the CBS Sports 130. 
  • No. 30 USC (-5): Our voters had the Trojans at No. 25 going into the postseason, well positioned to make a jump up with an impressive win against Iowa. Instead, the Hawkeyes put USC in a blender and rolled to a 49-24 Holiday Bowl win. That has the Trojans going the other way, falling to the edge of the top 30. 
  • No. 15 Utah (-5): A disappointing performance in the Pac-12 Championship Game was followed by another against Texas in the Alamo Bowl. Utah fans know this year's team was better than those performances, but last impressions are lasting and our rankings have Kyle Whittingham's team falling from the ranks of the top 10.

Check out the rest of the season-end CBS Sports 130: Teams ranked 26-130

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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