College football rankings: Georgia finishes unanimous at No. 1, Ohio State at No. 2 in postseason CBS Sports 131

The upper echelon of the final college football rankings of the season is often the easiest to decide, and that rings true again this season. Coming off a historic 58-point victory in the College Football Playoff National Championship, the Georgia Bulldogs were easily, unanimously picked as the No. 1 seed in the final CBS Sports 131, our comprehensive rankings of all FBS teams.

In a season where the Bulldogs had the most wins in the country while finishing 15-0, there’s an argument to be made that Georgia could take the top two, or even the top three spots. But the razor-thin margin between Georgia and the team it defeated 42-41 in the Peach Bowl semifinals, Ohio State, contributed to why our voters end the year with the Buckeyes in second place.

TCU, which received some second-place votes, checks in at third. The lopsided loss in the title game certainly hurt their final placing, though the Horned Frogs entered the postseason in the same spot.

In terms of movement within the top of the standings, the final update after the bowl games brings some of the biggest shakeups we’ve seen since the opening weeks of the season. These non-conference matchups between bowl-eligible teams can sometimes be important data that confirm or challenge season-ending opinions about a program’s status in the sport.

Tulane, for example, saw a seven-spot jump from No. 16 to No. 9 after winning its 12th game of the year against USC. Washington and Florida State also saw jumps into the top 10 after impressive bowl wins against Power Five conference opponents with the Huskies jumping four spots to No. 8 and the Seminoles moving up three spots to No. 10. Teams like Utah (No. 11) ), Kansas State (No. 13) and Clemson (No. 14) each took a bump in the rankings after not only losing New Year’s Six bowl games, but by double digits. LSU, meanwhile, moved back into the top 15 thanks to a 56-point win against Purdue, its biggest win of the season … until Monday’s national title game.

But those aren’t the only changes in our voter rankings following the results of the bowling season. For more information on the biggest adjustments since the end of the regular season standings, check out the Mover’s Report below the top 25 table.

College football experts from CBS Sports and 247Sports submit ballots each week, which together form the average for our rankings. You can see the top 25 below and 26-131 on our rankings page.

1 Georgia 15-0 1
2 Ohio State 11-2 4
3 TCU 13-2 3
4 Michigan 13-1 2
5 Alabama 11-2 6
6 Tennessee 11-2 5
7 Penn State 11-2 8
8 Washington 11-2 12
9 Tulane 12-2 16
10 State of Florida 10-3 13
11 Utah 10-4 7
12 USC 11-3 10
13 Kansas State 10-4 9
14 Clemson 11-3 11
15 LSU 10-4 18
16 State of Oregon 10-3 15
17 Oregon 10-3 14
18 Notre Dame 9-4 20
19 Troy 12-2 23
20 UCLA 9-4 17
21 Mississippi State 9-4 24
22 Texas 8-5 19
23 South Carolina 8-5 21
24 UTSA 11-3 22
25 Pittsburgh 9-4 32

The biggest drivers

  • No. 37 Air Force (+12): The Falcons won 10 games for the second straight season and the third time in the last three years that the Mountain West has played a full schedule. But Troy Calhoun’s consistency didn’t contribute as much to this rise as a double-digit victory against Baylor in the Armed Forces Bowl.
  • 29. Fresno State (+11): Jeff Tedford’s return to Fresno State was an undeniable success, and the finish led to a big jump in our rankings. First, the Bulldogs went to Boise and took down the Broncos for the Mountain West title. Then, in the bowl season, he absolutely dominated Washington State in the Los Angeles Bowl victory with 23 points.
  • no. 9 Tulane (+7): A transformational season for Tulane football results in a top-10 finish in our rankings as the Green Wave are rewarded not only for their epic comeback against USC in the Cotton Bowl, but also for a 12-win campaign that established Tulane as the team to win the American Athletic Conference moves forward.
  • 25 Pittsburgh (+7): Without multiple key players on both sides of the ball, Pitt’s resilience showed as the Panthers came out on top in a back-and-forth battle against UCLA. This team was 4-4 heading into November, but finished the season on a five-game winning streak, giving Pat Narduzzi a total of 20 wins over the past two seasons.
  • 26 Duke (+7): ACC Coach of the Year Mike Elko showed the award was handed to the right man as Duke emerged with better preparation and a better performance in the Military Bowl victory to finish with nine wins in Elko’s first year.
  • 35 Cincinnati (-8): A disappointing end to the year for Cincinnati ended with a rainy and cold Fenway Bowl loss to a team led by its next head coach. After finishing 9-4 in the American Athletic Conference last year, the Bearcats are now headed to the Big 12 for 2023.
  • no. 40 Purdue (-9): The availability of several key starters plus the absence of Jeff Brohm contributed to LSU’s loss, but this adjustment could also be water finding its level after our voters pushed the Boilermakers forward to win the Big Ten West.
  • No. 59 Baylor (-11): The flip side of our voters making Air Force one of the biggest movers in the final rankings is a rebound adjustment for the Bears, who finished the season 6-7 a year after winning the Big 12.

Check out the rest of CBS Sports 131: Teams Ranked 26-131

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