With bowl season now complete, the Big Ten led all conferences with four teams ranked among the top 16 and three teams among the top 10 in the final Associated Press (AP) poll. The Big Ten had twice as many top-16 programs as any other conference, as the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Mountain West and SEC each had two top-16 teams. The SEC was the only other conference with multiple teams in the final top 10.
The Big Ten placed at least one team among the final AP top 10 for the eighth consecutive year and produced three top-10 programs for the fourth time in the last eight seasons. The Big Ten also ended the year with three top-10 schools in 2006 (#2 Ohio State, #7 Wisconsin, #8 Michigan), 2003 (#4 Ohio State, #6 Michigan, #8 Iowa) and 2002 (#1 Ohio State, #8 Iowa, #9 Michigan).
Big Ten and Rose Bowl Champion Ohio State led the way at No. 5, its fourth top-five finish in the last five years (#5 in 2007, #2 in 2006, #4 in 2005). Orange Bowl Champion Iowa was rated No. 7, its first top-10 finish since ending the year at No. 8 in 2004 and best final ranking since finishing third in 1960. Capital One Bowl Champion Penn State appeared at No. 9, its second straight top-10 finish after ending last season at No. 8. Champs Sports Bowl Champion Wisconsin was rated No. 16, its fifth appearance in the final AP poll in the last six years and best final ranking since earning the No. 7 spot in the last 2006 Top 25.