For much of Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T, a new top Dawg had emerged in college football, primed to lead off the final power rankings.
Nick Saban and Tua Tagovailoa made sure that wouldn't happen. Alabama's strong second half and Tagovailoa's overtime heroics claimed the national title for the Tide, ensuring they ended the season where they started it.
At No. 1.
Sorting the top four was relatively easy, as none of the CFP teams deserved to drop out. The toughest decision, not surprisingly, concerned the other "national champion," undefeated UCF, which outclassed SEC runner-up Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Although the SEC produced the top two teams, the Big Ten finished as the strongest conference. Filling the final five spots also proved tricky, as there were several deserving candidates.
Before closing the book on the 2017 season, here are the last power rankings: