Unfortunately, for the first time since 1999, we fall into the "Others Receiving Votes" category in the final AP poll. We finished 1 point (typical) outside of the top 25, right behind West Virginia who received 91 points. Five losses is not in and of itself apparently a barrier to being included in the poll as Clemson finished 24th in the poll after not being ranked before the bowl season. I guess a win over a SEC powerhouse like Kentucky is what pushed them over the top? Or less snarky, maybe it was their win over Miami (40-37 in OT) that gives them the nod. All in all, a disappointing way to finish a very disappointing season as I had hoped that we would maybe sneak into the polls.
Our five losses came to the following ranked teams (all final AP ranks):
#2 - Texas - 16-13
#12 - Brigham Young - 14-13
#14 - Nebraska - 10-3
#19 - Miami - 21-20
#21 - Texas Tech - 41-13
Final AP Poll at ESPN
Clemson' five losses came to the following teams (all final AP ranks):
#6 - TCU - 14-10
# 13 - Georgia Tech - 30-27, 39-34 (ACC Championship game)
UNR - Maryland - 24-21
UNR - South Carolina - 34-17
Also, Kirk H. puts us in the pre-season top 5 for next year.
Another feature from ESPN - "Way-Too-Early College Football Top 25" puts us at a somewhat more plausible (in my mind) #12.