No real change at the top 25 of the AP Poll, as Notre Dame passed the biggest test of their weekend, a visit to USC, with another impressive defensive stand. The other two claimants to the BCS national championship game, Alabama and Georgia, had no problem beating their in-state nemesis on rivalry week.
1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 12-0 (60 first place votes) – The final stamp on a (nearly) perfect, with an impressive defensive stand and a 22-13 win over USC, probably sending them into the national title game.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide, 11-1 – Kept their spot from last week after a historic 49-0 win in the Iron Bowl over Auburn, securing their place in the SEC title game vs Georgia.
3. Georgia Bulldogs, 11-1 – Like the previous team, had no problem whatsoever in their rivalry game vs Georgia Tech, beating the Yellow Jackets 42-10 after already clinching the SEC East.
4. Ohio State Buckeyes, 12-0 – The chance for the AP to ruin the BCS’ celebration at the end of the year, if Notre Dame don’t win the title game, and the Buckeyes end up as the only undefeated team, despite not winning the Big Ten. They beat Michigan 26-21, remaining at #4.
5. Florida Gators, 11-1 – Beating Florida State 37-26 with a very impressive fourth quarter (24-6) was enough to move them up one spot, but nothing more.
6. Oregon Ducks, 11-1 – Won’t play in the Pac-12 championship game despite winning the Civil War against Oregon State 48-24, dropping one spot.
7. Kansas State Wildcats, 11-1 – Didn’t play, didn’t move.
8. Stanford Cardinal, 10-2 – Moved up three spots after beating UCLA quite convincingly 35-17, which sets up the Pac-12 final that will be… UCLA vs Stanford.
9. LSU Tigers, 10-2 – Struggled in a 20-13 win over Arkansas, dropping them a spot from last week.
10. Texas A&M Aggies, 10-2 – A fantastic debut SEC season was capped off by a 59-29 win over Missouri, but they still fell down a spot in the AP poll.
11. South Carolina Gamecocks,10-2 – A great season for SC, but somewhat disappointing due to the losses vs LSU and Florida, derailing their high hopes and aspirations. Beat Clemson 27-17 to climb two spots.
12. Oklahoma Sooners, 9-2 – Still aren’t done with the season, but got a big 51-48 win over Oklahoma State in Bedlam, moving up two spots.
13. Florida State Seminoles, 10-2 – Will play for the ACC title, but took another moral hit with a 37-26 defeat at home against Florida, falling three spots.
14. Nebraska Cornhuskers, 10-2 – Enjoyed their best season in their new conference, capping the regular season with a 13-7 win over Iowa, climbing three spots.
15. Clemson Tigers, 10-2 – Lost once again in their South Carolina rivalry, dropped 27-17 by the Gamecocks, causing them to fall three spots.
16. Oregon State Beavers, 8-3 – Weren’t really close in yet another Civil War, losing 24-48, but not enough to cause any change in their place among the top 25.
17. UCLA Bruins, 9-3 – Lost 35-17 to Stanford, which is probably worrying considering they’re playing them in five days for the Pac-12 title, falling down two spots.
18. Kent State Golden Flashes, 11-1 – After beating Ohio 28-6 are 8-0 in the MAC, moving them up five spots in the AP Poll.
19. Northern Illinois, 11-1 – Crushed Eastern Michigan 49-7 with a huge day from Akeem Daniels (4 touchdowns), moving up five spots.
20. Utah State Aggies, 10-2 – Clinch the WAC title after a 45-9 win over Idaho, climbing five spots.
21. Michigan Wolverines, 8-4 – Lost in their rivalry game to Ohio State 26-21, causing them to fall one spot in a very disappointing end to a disappointing season.
22. Northwestern Wildcats, 9-3 – Back in the rankings after a short while with a very impressive 50-14 win over Illinois.
23. Texas Longhorns, 8-3 – Gave TCU their biggest Big 12 victory to date, losing at home 13-20, falling five spots.
24. Oklahoma State Cowboys, 7-4 – As expected, 2012 wasn’t even close to the excellence of 2011; Lost 48-51 in a very dramatic Bedlam game against Oklahoma, falling two spots.
25. Boise State Broncos, 9-2 – Back in the rankings, didn’t play.
Dropped from rankings – Texas Tech, Rutgers.