PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – The Gators appear to be ahead of schedule under Dan Mullen.
Florida (10-3) moved up three spots to finish tied with Georgia for No. 7 in the final Associated Press poll released Tuesday morning.
It is the highest finish for the Gators in the AP top 25 since 2012.
In their first year under Mullen, the Gators won 10 games for the first time since 2015 -- just their second double-digit win season since Urban Meyer resigned in 2010 -- and ended their five-game skid against rival Florida State, blowing out the Seminoles 41-14.
The Gators ended the season with a 41-15 upset of then-No. 8 Michigan in the Peach Bowl.
Clemson was ranked No. 1 after demolishing Alabama 44-16 in the College Football Playoff National Championship, becoming the first school in the poll era to finish 15-0.
The Crimson Tide (14-1) were second, followed by No. 3 Ohio State (13-1), No. 4 Oklahoma (12-2) and No. 5 Notre Dame (12-1) and No. 6 LSU (10-3).
Georgia (11-3), which defeated the Gators 36-17 in October, was tied for No. 7 with its border rival. Each received 1,103 points.
Texas (10-4) beat the Bulldogs 28-21 in the Sugar Bowl to move up five spots to No. 9.
Washington State (11-2) rounded out the top 10.
Central Florida tumbled four spots to No. 11 after LSU beat the Knights 40-32 in the Fiesta Bowl, ending their 25-game winning streak.
With UCF's fall and traditional powers Florida State and Miami unranked, the Gators ended the season as the highest-ranked team in the state.