Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence celebrates after the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. Clemson beat Alabama 44-16. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
It’s been a decade, but Oklahoma and Texas have returned to being Top 10 programs.
The final Associated Press poll released Tuesday had Oklahoma at No. 4, and Texas at No. 9. The last time the two premier programs of the Big 12 landed in the Top 10 at the end of the season?
2008 when Texas checked in at No. 4 and Oklahoma at No. 5.
Oklahoma isn’t the surprise. The Sooners have been perennial national championship contenders, reaching the College Football Playoff the past two seasons.
But Texas has struggled to field a consistently competitive team of late. But Tom Herman has seemingly got the Longhorns going in the right direction in his second season.
Texas knocked off Georgia in the Sugar Bowl to win 10 games for the first time since the 2009 season.
West Virginia (20) is the only other Big 12 to land in the Top 25. Iowa State and Oklahoma State received votes in the final poll.
Of course, Clemson is the unanimous No. 1 overall team on the heels of its dominating national championship win over Alabama on Monday. The Tigers also landed in the top spot of the Star-Telegram’s way-too-early 2019 poll.
Other items of note -- Ohio State finished No. 3, two spots ahead of Notre Dame (5). Notre Dame is the only playoff team that didn’t finish in the top four. ... Texas A&M finished at No. 16 in Jimbo Fisher’s first season. ... TCU finished unranked for the second time in three years (2016 and 2018). But in 2014, 2015 and 2017, the Frogs finished in the Top 10.
1. Clemson (61)
3. Ohio State
5. Notre Dame
10. Washington State
16. Texas A&M
17. Penn State
18. Fresno State
19. Army West Point
20. West Virginia
22. Utah State
23. Boise State