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The Great CFB Final Power Rankings: Top 16

[lead align=”default”]After a week of looking at the teams starting with number 128, we’ve finally arrived at the very top of The Great CFB Final Power Rankings for 2016.[/lead]

Without a doubt, the teams here were the sixteen best of the 2016 college football season. Maybe you disagree with the order, but that’s your problem. These were the teams to beat this season.

The Great CFB Final Power Rankings: The Top 16

[alert heading=”16. Virginia Tech Hokies (Atlantic Coast, 10-4)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]The Hokies were the ACC Coastal champions, giving Clemson a good game before grabbing their tenth win in a huge turnaround against Arkansas. Bud Foster’s defense isn’t elite, but it’s still pretty good.[/alert]

[alert heading=”15. Stanford Cardinal (Pac-12, 10-3)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Stanford started off in the top ten, and the management of this time felt that early on, they were a serious College Football Playoff contender. After losing to both Washington and Washington State, they fell out of the top 25 completely. It took a six-game win streak to get their mojo back, and the win over UNC was a good one.[/alert]

[alert heading=”14. Colorado Buffaloes (Pac-12, 10-4)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Even though the Buffs ended on consecutive losses, the Pac-12 title game and the Alamo Bowl, this was a hell of a season. Colorado was 4-9 in 2015, so 10-4 and a division title is a major improvement.[/alert]

[alert heading=”13. LSU Tigers (Southeastern, 8-4)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]LSU started with Les Miles and finished with Ed Orgeron. They lost four games, all to teams currently ranked. LSU was also one of the few teams to give Alabama a game.[/alert]

[alert heading=”12. Florida Gators (Southeastern, 9-4)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]The Gators won the SEC East and the Outback Bowl this season, though they did lose to in-state rivals Florida State. Florida had one of the nation’s best defenses, but their offense, not so good.[/alert]

[alert heading=”11. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12, 10-3)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]It was a great year for the Pokes at 10-3 and a second-place finish in the Big 12. They dumptrucked Colorado in the Alamo Bowl to get their final win. Their #17 offense put 38.6 points on the board per game.[/alert]

[alert heading=”10. Michigan Wolverines (Big Ten, 10-3)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Michigan started 9-0 but lost three of their last four games. The first, a big shock, was at Iowa. The second was their double-overtime thriller at Ohio State that they should have won. Finally, they lost by one point to FSU in the Orange Bowl.[/alert]

[alert heading=”9. Florida State Seminoles (Atlantic Coast, 10-3)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]It all worked out in the end for the Seminoles. They began the year in playoff position, fell out of it, but worked back into the top ten. FSU played a very difficult schedule and beat several ranked teams. They’ll be right up there with Clemson next season.[/alert]

[alert heading=”8. Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten, 11-3)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Wisconsin could have been the Big Ten champion, but they’ll settle for winning the Cotton Bowl. They didn’t get blown out once this season and hung with every top team they played, thanks largely to their excellent defense.[/alert]

[alert heading=”7. Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten, 11-2)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]The Buckeyes came so close this season. OSU lost a lot of talent in the offseason, but the young team came together quickly. After a crazy loss at Penn State, they bounced back and made the College Football Playoff. They lost some cred with the voters by getting killed by Clemson.[/alert]

[alert heading=”6. Penn State Nittany Lions (Big Ten, 11-3)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]The Big Ten champions lost a wild Rose Bowl to the USC Trojans, but this was the season Penn State’s waited for for a long time.[/alert]

[alert heading=”5. Oklahoma Sooners (Big 12, 11-2)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]OU got off to a bad start, thanks to Houston and Ohio State, but recovered quickly. Their defense was mediocre, but the offense was more than good enough. Oklahoma closed on ten straight wins to take the Big 12 and the Sugar Bowl.[/alert]

[alert heading=”4. Washington Huskies (Pac-12, 12-2)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]U-Dub got closer to the title than anyone could have dreamed, even though people knew they would be good in 2016. Washington made the playoff as the one-loss Pac-12 champion, thanks in part to Jake Browning. Alabama got them, as expected, but you can’t argue with their season.[/alert]

[alert heading=”3. USC Trojans (Pac-12, 10-3)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Sam Darnold saved USC’s season; there’s no two ways about it. The switch to him as quarterback completely changed the Trojans’ fortunes, leading to a Rose Bowl victory. Had he started the season, 1-3 might never have happened. Washington’s probably glad they didn’t get to play them a second time. While they were arguably one of the hottest teams in the nation at the end of the year, those September games count, too, and a three-loss team was never getting in the Playoff.[/alert]

[alert heading=”2. Alabama Crimson Tide (Southeastern, 14-1)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]The tables were turned this year: Alabama was the undefeated number one team, and they got beat. Kudos to them, though, because they were still very clearly the second-best team. In fact, Alabama looked damn near unbeatable until they played Clemson.[/alert]

[alert heading=”1. Clemson Tigers (Atlantic Coast, 14-1)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Dabo Swinney did it by bringing a national championship to northern South Carolina.[/alert]

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