University of Miami

Hurricanes get highest final AP Poll ranking since 2004, but still end up behind Irish

Miami Hurricanes Trent Harris (33) and Michael Pinckney (56) tackle Notre Dame’s Josh Adams at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Nov. 11, 2017. The Hurricanes, who finished 10-3, have a No. 13 final AP ranking — two places below Notre Dame, which also finished 10-3 but is ranked 11th in the final AP Poll.
Miami Hurricanes Trent Harris (33) and Michael Pinckney (56) tackle Notre Dame’s Josh Adams at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Nov. 11, 2017. The Hurricanes, who finished 10-3, have a No. 13 final AP ranking — two places below Notre Dame, which also finished 10-3 but is ranked 11th in the final AP Poll. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

The Miami Hurricanes beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 41-8 on the field Nov. 11, but they lost to them in the final rankings.

After Alabama beat Georgia in overtime Monday to win the College Football Playoff National Championship, the Associated Press released its final college football poll for the 2017 season.

The Hurricanes, who finished 10-3 after starting the season 10-0, have a No. 13 final AP ranking — two places below Notre Dame, which also finished 10-3 but are ranked 11th in the final AP Poll.

UM’s ranking, however, is its highest ranking in the final AP Poll since 2004.

The Canes were ranked as high as No. 2 in the AP after they defeated Notre Dame and Virginia the next week. They were also as high as No. 2 in the CFP rankings.

Notre Dame ended its season Jan. 1 with a 21-17 victory against Louisiana State (9-4) in the Citrus Bowl at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium. (UM starts 2018 against LSU on Sept. 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.)

The Hurricanes ended their season with a 34-24 Orange Bowl loss to Wisconsin (13-1), which finished seventh in the AP Poll, one spot below No. 6 UCF (13-0), which claims it won the national championship by virtue of being the only undefeated FBS team in the nation.

UM’s other losses were 24-14 at Pittsburgh on Nov. 24 and 38-3 to Clemson on Dec. 2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game.

Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt talks to the media after defeating Notre Dame, 41-8, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, at Hard Rock Stadium.

Notre Dame’s other losses were against No. 2 Georgia (13-2) by one point on Sept. 9 and 38-20 at Stanford on Nov. 25.

Stanford (9-5) finished 20th in the final AP poll.

The final top 10: Alabama (13-1), Georgia (13-2), Oklahoma (12-2), Clemson (12-2), Ohio State (12-2), UCF (13-0), Wisconsin (13-1), Penn State (11-2), TCU (11-2) and Auburn (10-4).

Nos. 11 through 25: Notre Dame (10-3), USC (11-3), Miami (10-3), Oklahoma State (10-3), Michigan State (10-3), Washington (10-3), Northwestern (10-3), LSU (9-4), Mississippi State (9-4), Stanford (9-5), South Florida (10-2), Boise State (11-2), North Carolina State (9-4), Virginia Tech (9-4) and Memphis (10-3).

Miami began the preseason ranked 18th, the first time it was ranked in the preseason AP Poll since 2010.

“It’s a popularity poll right now,” UM coach Mark Richt said in August when the preseason poll was released. “No one really knows for sure. they base it on returning starters and how you finished last year. If you tend to win a bowl game, you’re more apt to get ranked in the fall. It’s pretty typical. It matters most at the end.”

In 2016, Richt’s first season, UM finished 9-4 and ranked 20th by the AP.

University of Miami football coach Mark Richt talks about the 18 players who signed on Dec. 20, 2017 to play at UM.

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