clemson photo

Clemson's Ben Boulware celebrates after the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. Clemson won 35-31. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Associated Press

This isn't Hollywood, so sequels can actually live up to the hype.

One week after Iowa's football season ended there, that proved to be the case at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium on Monday night in the drama-filled College Football Playoff national championship game between Clemson and Alabama.

The rematch of last year's match-up proved to be a terrific conclusion to a terrific year of college football.

The parity in the game created by scholarship reductions has led to some memorable games this season.

From the Ohio State-Michigan game to the more local Hawkeye win over the Wolverines, there has been no shortage of the moments which make the college game unique.

Signing day is three weeks from Wednesday, spring ball is a couple of months away and the new season kicks off in 233 days.

Clemson and Alabama fill the top two spots on my final ballot of the 2016 season for the Associated Press poll.

I'm sticking with Ohio State in the third spot, one notch ahead of an Oklahoma team I considered but the two did meet head to head in Norman back in September.

I have Rose Bowl winner USC in the fifth slot, just ahead of a Washington team it beat during the regular season and the Penn State team it beat in Pasadena.

Wisconsin, Florida State and Michigan round out my top 10.

Four of the top five teams on this ballot were in the top five on my preseason ballot back in August.

I took a shot at Oklahoma at No. 1 on that ballot and quickly dropped them after a humbling season-opening loss to Houston. I had Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Ohio State in the next four spots.

Bowl losses by Iowa, Pitt, Auburn, Nebraska and Temple dropped those teams off my final ballot of the season.

Replacing them are Miami (Fla.), Georgia Tech, Tennessee, San Diego State and Utah.

Here is my ballot for this week's AP poll:

1. Clemson

2. Alabama

3. Ohio State

4. Oklahoma

5. USC

6. Washington

7. Penn State

8. Wisconsin

9. Florida State

10. Michigan

11. Oklahoma State

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12. Stanford

13. Miami (Fla.)

14. LSU

15. West Virginia

16. Virginia Tech

17. Florida

18. Colorado

19. Western Michigan

20. South Florida

21. Georgia Tech

22. Tennessee

23. San Diego State

24. Utah

25. Louisville