Ohio State football finishes 2021 season at No. 6 in final Associated Press poll

Joey Kaufman
The Columbus Dispatch
Sat., Jan. 1, 2022; Pasadena, California, USA; Teammates celebrate with Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) after he scored a touchdown during the second quarter of the 108th Rose Bowl Game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Utah Utes at the Rose Bowl.

Ohio State finished No. 6 in the Associated Press top-25 poll, sliding up a spot in the final rankings released early Tuesday morning.

It was the first time in five seasons that the Buckeyes were left outside the top-five of the final AP poll. They were also ranked sixth at the end of the 2016 season. But the ranking did mark their eighth straight top-10 finish.

Sitting atop the poll was Georgia, which won its first national championship in 41 years after a 33-18 win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff final held Monday night.

The Crimson Tide was No. 2 with Michigan at No. 3, Cincinnati at No. 4 and Baylor at No. 5 to round out the top-five.

In the season’s second-to-last AP poll, put out before the bowl games and playoff, Notre Dame had been at No. 5 before its loss to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl opened up a spot in the top-five.

Baylor, which prevailed over Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl, remained ahead of the Buckeyes to grab the final No. 5 ranking. Both of them moved ahead of the Fighting Irish.

Ohio State ended its season with a 48-45 comeback win over Utah in the Rose Bowl, giving it an 11-2 overall record.

The rest of the top-10 included Oklahoma State at No. 7, Notre Dame at No. 8, Michigan State at No. 9 and Oklahoma at No. 10.

Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at jkaufman@dispatch.com or on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.

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