The final Associated Press Top 25 of the season has a familiar look.
LSU is No. 1 after winning the national championship. Add Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma and Alabama and you have seven of the preseason top 10 teams finishing in the top 10 five months later. In fact, for the first time since 2006 every preseason top 10 team finished the season ranked. Here’s one last look at the AP Top 25, with an eye toward next season:
No. 1 LSU (15-0)
Key returnees: WR Ja’Marr Chase; WR Terrace Marshall Jr.; CB Derek Stingley Jr.; DT Tyler Shelvin.
Key departures (x-likely): QB Joe Burrow; CB Kristian Fulton; S Grant Delpit-x; DT Rashard Lawrence.
Reality check: The loss of Burrow creates enough uncertainty to take the Tigers out of the running for preseason No. 1.
No. 2 Clemson (14-1)
Key returnees: QB Trevor Lawrence; WR Justyn Ross; DT Tyler Davis; OT Jackson Carman.
Key departures (x-likely): WR Tee Higgins-x; RB Travis Etienne-x; Isaiah Simmons-x; K’Von Wallace.
Reality check: The Tigers had never been preseason No. 1 until this season. They’ll likely make it two in a row.
No. 3 Ohio State (13-1)
Key returnees: QB Justin Fields, WR Chris Olave; DB Shaun Wade; DE Zach Harrison.
Key departures: DE Chase Young; CB Jeff Okudah; RB J.K. Dobbins; CB Damon Arnette.
Reality check: Despite huge losses on defense, the Buckeyes are likely a preseason top-three team.
No. 4 Georgia (12-2)
Key returnees: WR George Pickens, RB Zamir White; LB Nolan Smith; CB Eric Stokes.
Key departures: QB Jake Fromm; RB D’Andre Swift; S J.R. Reed; DT Tyler Clark.
Reality check: Should start in the top five for the third straight season.
No. 5 Oregon (12-2)
Key returnees: OT Penei Sewell; DE Kayvon Thibodaux; RB CJ Verdell; S Jevon Holland.
Key departures: QB Justin Herbert; LB Troy Dye; OG Shane Lemieux; OT Calvin Throckmorton.
Reality check: The Ducks will easily be the highest ranked Pac-12 team to start the season, somewhere in the back of the top 10.
No. 6 Florida (11-2)
Key departures: DEs Jonathan Greenard and Jabari Zuniga; CB C.J. Henderson; RB Lamichal Perine.
Key returnees: QB Kyle Trask; TE Kyle Pitts; CB Kair Elam; S Marc Wilson.
No. 7 Oklahoma (12-2)
Key returnees: RB Kennedy Brooks; C Creed Humphrey; DE Ronnie Perkins; QB Spencer Rattler.
Key departures: QB Jalen Hurts; WR CeeDee Lamb; LB Kenneth Murray; DT Neville Gallimore.
No. 8 Alabama (11-2)
Key returnees: WR DeVonta Smith; LB Dylan Moses; WR Jaylen Waddle; CB Patrick Surtain.
Key departures: QB Tua Tagovailoa; WR Jerry Jeudy; OLB Anfernee Jennings; S Xavier McKinley.
No. 9 Penn State (11-2)
Key returnees: LB Micah Parsons; QB Sean Clifford; RB Journey Brown; TE Pat Freiermuth; C Michael Menet.
Key departures: WR K.J. Hamler; DE Yetur Gross-Matos; DE Shaka Toney; S Garrett Taylor.
Reality check: The Nittany Lions will be a trendy alternative to Ohio State to pick out of the Big Ten and should land in the back half of the preseason top 10.
No. 10 Minnesota (11-2)
Key returnees: QB Tanner Morgan; WR Rashod Bateman; S Jordan Howden; OT Daniel Faalele.
Key departures: S Antonio Winfield; WR Tyler Johnson; De Carter Coughlin; CB Chris Williamson.
Reality check: For the first time since 2004, the Gophers will start the season ranked.
No. 11 Wisconsin (10-4)
Key returnees: LB Jack Sanborn; NT Keeanu Benton; TE Jake Ferguson.
Key departures: RB Jonathan Taylor; OLB Zack Baun; LB Chris Orr.
Reality check: The Badgers won’t have much buzz, but they are a reliable mid-teens pick.
No. 12 Notre Dame (11-2)
Key returnees: QB Ian Book; S Kyle Hamilton; WR Braden Lenzy.
Key departures: WR Chase Claypool; TE Cole Kmet; DE Julian Okwara.
Reality check: Four 10-win seasons in five years give the Irish top-10 credibility to start the year.
No. 13 Baylor (11-3)
Key returnees: QB Charlie Brewer; WR Tyquan Thornton; LB Terrel Bernard.
Key deparures: DE James Lynch; DT Bravvion Roy; QR Denzel Mims.
No. 14 Auburn (9-4)
Key returnees: QB Bo Nix; WR Seth Williams; LB Owen Pappoe.
Key departures: DT Derrick Brown; DE Marlon Davidson; OT Prince Tega Wanogho.
No. 15 Iowa (10-3)
Key returnees: RB Tyler Goodson; WR Tyrone Tracy Jr.; LB Djimon Colbert.
Key departures: QB Nate Stanley; DE A.J. Epenesa; OT Tristan Wirfs.
Reality check: The Hawkeyes might get a bowl bump into the preseason top 15.
No. 16 Utah (11-3)
Key returnees: TE Brant Kuithe; LB Devin Lloyd; DE Mike Tafua.
Key departures: QB Tyler Huntley; RB Zack Moss; DE Bradlee Anae.
No. 17 Memphis (12-2)
Key returnees: QB Brady White; RB Kenneth Gainwell; S La’Andre Thomas.
Key departures: DE Bryce Huff; RB Patrick Taylor; WR Antonio Gibson.
No. 18 Michigan (9-4)
Key returnees: WR Nico Collins; RB Zach Charbonnet; DE Kwity Paye.
Key departures: QB Shea Patterson; OLB Josh Uche; CB Lavert Hill.
Reality check: The Wolverines will likely be ranked to start the season behind four or five other Big Ten teams.
No. 19 Appalachian State (13-1)
Key returnees: QB Zac Thomas; RB Marcus Williams.
Key departures: LB Akeem Davis-Gaither; RB Darrynton Evans; DL George Blackstock.
No. 20 Navy (11-2)
Key returnees: RB Jamale Carothers; LB Diego Fagot; DB Kevin Brennan.
Key departures: QB Malcolm Perry; OL David Forney; LB Paul Carothers.
No. 21 Cincinnati (11-3)
Key returnees: QB Desmond Ridder; WR Alec Pierce; CB Ahmad Gardner.
Key departures: RB Michael Warren II; TE Josiah Deguara; LB Bryan Wright.
No. 22 Air Force (11-2)
Key returnees: QB Donald Hammond III; RB Kadin Remsberg; LB Demonte Meeks.
Key departures: S Jeremy Fejedelem; DT Fifita Mosese; OT Scott Hattok.
No. 23 Boise State (12-2)
Key returnees: QB Hank Bachmeier; LB Demtri Washington; RB George Holani.
Key departures: DE Curtis Weaver; WR John Hightower; DB Kekoa Nawahine.
No. 24 UCF (10-3)
Key returnees: QB Dillon Gabriel; RB Greg McRae; DT Kalia Davis.
Key departures: WR Gabriel Davis; DE Brendon Hayes; CB Nevelle Clark.
No. 25 Texas (8-5)
Key returnees: QB Sam Ehlinger; LB Jospeh Ossai; OT Samuel Cosmi.
Key departures: WR Devin Duvernay; DT Malcolm Roach; C Zach Shackelford.