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Final 2014-2015 college football rankings: Ole Miss No. 17 in AP poll

Mississippi State and Boise State finish above the Rebs.

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like a hell of a long time ago that Ole Miss was No. 3 in the first ever college football playoff rankings. Thirteen weeks, a handful off major injuries and a shellacking at the hands of TCU in the Peach Bowl later, the Rebels finish an up-and-down season ranked No. 17 in the final AP poll.

How you view that ranking is largely a matter of fluctuating expectations. Had you told Ole Miss fans on August 27 -- the day before the season -- that the team would win nine games and finish in the top 20, just about all of them would have taken it. Had you told them the same thing on Oct. 19 -- the day after the Rebs stomped Tennessee to start 7-0 -- they would have thrown bourbon bottles at you.

In the end, I think this year has to be considered a success. Ole Miss went 4-2 against teams ranked in the final top 25, including what may very well be the biggest win in the history of the program: a thrilling win over No. 1 Alabama with College Gameday watching from the Grove. They finish the season ranked for the first time since 2009. But given the historic start and the sky rocketing expectations that came along with it, 2014 will be forever remembered as the season that could have been.

Here are the final AP rankings in their entirety. Notice that Boise State, who the Rebs beat by 22 points in the season opener, is ranked 16th. TCU finishes No. 3, but you have to wonder what would have happened if they were let into the playoff.

If it's any consolation, Ole Miss is the highest-ranked four-loss team.

1. Ohio State, 14-1
2. Oregon, 13-2
3. TCU, 12-1
4. Alabama, 12-2
5. Michigan State, 11-2
5. Florida State, 13-1
7. Baylor, 11-2
8. Georgia Tech, 11-3
9. Georgia, 10-3
10. UCLA, 10-3
11. Mississippi State, 10-3
12. Arizona State, 10-3
13. Wisconsin, 11-3
14. Missouri, 11-3
15. Clemson, 10-3
16. Boise State, 12-2
17. Ole Miss, 9-4
18. Kansas State, 9-4
19. Arizona, 10-4
20. USC, 9-4
21. Utah, 9-4
22. Auburn, 8-5
23. Marshall, 13-1
24. Louisville, 9-4
25. Memphis, 10-3