The Hawkeyes’ 27-22 Outback Bowl win over Mississippi State allowed them to slip into the final AP Top 25 college football poll of the season.
Iowa received 120 votes, good for No. 25 in the rankings released early Tuesday.
The Hawkeyes have finished in the Top 25 six other times during Kirk Ferentz’ 20 years as head coach, highlighted by a three-year run at No. 8 after the 2002-2004 seasons and a No. 7 finish after the 2009 season and 2010 Orange Bowl victory over Georgia Tech.
Five Big Ten teams made the final Top 25, including Ohio State at No. 3 and Northwestern at No. 21, becoming the first team to start the season 1-3 and finish ranked since Miami in 1995. Michigan dropped to 14th and Penn State to 17th after bowl losses. The conference was second behind the SEC’s six teams.
Clemson finished No. 1 in the poll for the third time after routing Alabama 44-16 in the national championship game on Monday night.
The Tigers received all 61 first-place votes. Alabama was trying to become just the third team to go wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the nation. Despite the lopsided loss, the Crimson Tide still finished second in the poll.
Clemson also finished No. 1 in 2016 and 1981.