Tennessee Volunteers

AP Top 25 Heat Check: How will top teams fare in 2017?

The teams that started the season Nos. 1 and 2 finished as the top two of 2016.

Just not in that order.

Clemson was No. 1 in the final AP college football poll , knocking preseason No. 1 Alabama from the top spot when it counted the most. The Tigers beat the Crimson Tide 35-31 Monday night. There was no doubt that the best two teams in college football had played the last game of the season.

The rest of the Top 25 included a big jump by Southern California to No. 3 and four Big Tens in the top 10, just not quite as highly ranked as it seemed like they would be when the bowl season started.

A look at the final AP Top 25 of the 2016 season, with an eye toward how...