Rivalry week is behind us, and it looks like we’re gearing up for another LSU – Alabama game, this time for the national championship. The SEC have the top two spots and three teams in the top 6, as Arkansas failed to derail the LSU train while Alabama won the Iron Bowl, beating Auburn.
1. LSU Tigers, 12-0 (60 First Place Votes) – Early setbacks mean nothing to the Tigers who came from behind to beat Arkansas 41-17 to clinch the SEC West and head into the SEC championship game against Georgia perfect, as expected.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide, 11-1 – Won the Iron Bowl with an impressive 42-14 win at Auburn, making their case for a national championship game rematch with LSU, although many, including myself, really don’t like the idea. Trent Richardson ran for 203 yards, making his Heisman case.
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys, 10-1 – The Cowboys got to rest up before their derby game with Oklahoma that will decide the Big 12 and hoping the BCS rankings somehow pit them against LSU. If they beat the Sooners, they deserve that shot.
4. Stanford Cardinal, 11-1 – A 28-14 win over Notre Dame was highlights by Andrew Luck’s new Stanford record for career touchdowns, reaching 80, beating John Elway’s record. Another program that deserves a shot at the national title, but won’t get it.
5. Virginia Tech Hokies, 11-1 – Destroyed Virginia 38-0, heading into their fifth ACC Championship game and fourth in five years, which will probably put them, despite another 11 win season, in a BCS bowl, nothing more.
6. Arkansas Razorbacks, 10-2 – Blew their chance of becoming the biggest BCS busters of the season, despite a very good start to their game with LSU. Lost 41-17, and will end up in a BCS bowl, not too shabby for Petrino’s Hogs.
7. Houston Cougars, 12-0 – Being perfect in Conference USA doesn’t mean too much, with Houston beating Tulsa 48-16 and Case Keenum throwing five touchdown passes and throwing his 37th 300+ passing yards game.
8. Oregon Ducks, 10-2 – Crushed Oregon State 49-21 with LaMichael James running for 142 yards, gearing up for a Pac-12 championship game against UCLA.
9. Boise State Broncos, 10-1 – Beat Wyoming 36-14 but dropped two spots in the rankings.
9. USC Trojans, 10-2 – Finish their season on a big high with a 50-0 drubbing of UCLA. USC won’t be ranked by the BCS or get any bowl game to play in while UCLA go to the Pac-12 championship game.
11. Michigan State Spartans, 10-2 – Beat Northwestern 31-17 and will play in the first Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin.
12. Georgia Bulldogs, 10-2 – The Bulldogs beat Georgia Tech 31-17 with Aaron Murray throwing four touchdown passes for the fourth time this season, setting them up for the SEC title game against LSU, Georgia’s first trip to the SEC clincher since 2005, also against LSU, which they won.
13. Oklahoma Sooners, 9-2 – Beat Iowa State 26-6.
14. South Carolina Gamecocks, 10-2 – Beat Clemson 34-13 with quarterback Connor Shaw throwing for 217 yards (3 TD) and running for 107 yards and scoring a touchdown.
15. Wisconsin Badgers, 10-2 – Crushed Penn State 45-7, as Montee Ball ran for four touchdowns and 156 yards, reaching 34 touchdowns this season. The Badgers will play the Spartans for the Big Ten title.
16. Kansas State Wildcats, 9-2 – Didn’t play, didn’t move.
17. Michigan Wolverines, 10-2- Finally, after seven straight losses, Michigan beat Ohio State in a huge game, 40-34 in Ann Arbor. Denard Robinson threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more with a huge and dramatic fourth quarter.
18. TCU Horned Frogs, 9-2 – Didn’t play, still moved up a spot in the AP rankings.
19. Baylor Bears, 8-3 – An incredible 66-42 win without Robert Griffin III over Texas Tech moving Baylor up two spots.
20. Nebraska Cornhuskers, 9-3 – Beat Iowa 20-7 to cap off their first season in the Big Ten, with Rex Burkhead running for 160 yards and a touchdown.
21. Clemson Tigers, 9-3 – Late season drop, and a 34-13 loss to South Carolina. Clemson will play Virginia Tech for the ACC title, making the championship game for the second time.
22. West Virginia Mountaineers, 8-3 – Came back from 14-0 down to beat Pittsburgh 21-20 in the Backyard Brawl, keeping their Big East hopes alive.
23. Penn State Nittany Lions, 9-3 – Were dropped badly by the Badgers, 45-7 in a season the Lions, despite their record, would like to forget for obvious reasons.
24. Southern Miss Golden Eagles, 10-2 – A return into the rankings for the Golden Eagles after a 44-7 win over Memphis. Will play Houston for the Conference USA title.
25. Florida State Seminoles, 8-4 – A rough and up and down season for the Seminoles got a big win to smile about before their bowl appearance, beating Florida 21-7.
Dropped from the rankings – Notre Dame, Virginia, Georgia Tech.