Pre-Bowl top 25

Final rankings of the regular season. Finally moved Auburn up to No. 1 after their savage beating of South Carolina in the SEC title game.

1. Auburn (2) – 13-0 in the SEC is good enough to get my vote.
2. Oregon (1) – Not No. 1, but still in the national title game. I think the Ducks are OK with that.
3. TCU (3) – One spot out of the big enchilada for the second straight year. Get a trip to Pasadena out of it though.
4. Wisconsin (4) – Badgers play TCU in Rose.
5. Stanford (5) – Will Jim Harbaugh stay? That’s the big question after a great year and an Orange Bowl bid.
6. Ohio State (6) – Buckeyes make yet another BCS bowl, playing Arkansas in the Sugar.
7. Michigan State (7) – Shame that UConn gets to go to the BCS while Sparty doesn’t.
8. Arkansas (8) – Razorbacks look to extend Ohio State misery against the SEC.
9. Oklahoma (11) – Sooners hop up after winning the Big 12 for fourth time in five years.
10. Boise State (9) – From BCS to Las Vegas in a span of 10 days. Stinks for the Broncos.
11. LSU (12) – Tigers rekindle rivalry with Texas A&M in Cotton Bowl.
12. Nevada (14) – Wolfpack beat La. Tech to win surprise WAC championship.
13. Missouri (13) – Tigers have intriguing matchup with Iowa in the Insight Bowl.
14. Virginia Tech (15) – From a loss to James Madison to an undefeated ACC title and an Orange Bowl matchup with Stanford. Not bad Hokies.
15. Nebraska (10) – Huskers fall from possible BCS game to underwhelming Holiday Bowl with Washington.
16. Oklahoma State (16) – Cowboys to play slumping Arizona in Alamo Bowl.
17. Alabama (17) – Have intriguing matchup with Michigan State in Capital One Bowl.
18. Texas A&M (18) – Aggies looking for first bowl win since 2001.
19. Utah (22) – Utes move up thanks to the losses of others and gets Boise State in an intriguing Las Vegas Bowl.
20. South Carolina (19) – Gamecocks get killed, but don’t get moved too far down.
21. Mississippi State (23) – Bulldogs play rare New Year’s Day Bowl, getting Michigan in the Gator.
22. West Virginia (24) – Mountaineers end season on roll, get N.C. State in Champ Sports Bowl.
23. Florida State (20) – Seminoles draw South Carolina in Chick-Fil-A Bowl a.k.a. the conference title-game runner-up bowl.
24. Hawaii (25) – Warriors host Tulsa in Hawaii Bowl after a banner 10-3 season.
25. Central Florida (NR) – Conference USA champs move into rankings and get Georgia in Liberty Bowl.

Under consideration: Maryland, Navy, Tulsa

Dropped out: No. 21 Northern Illinois

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Week 13 top 25

Boise State falls from the ranks of the unbeaten, allowing TCU a chance to sneak into the title game.

1. Oregon (1) – The Civil War stands in the way of the Ducks’ first national-title appearance.
2. Auburn (2) – Tigers overcome 24-point deficit against Bama to stay undefeated.
3. TCU (4) – Horned Frogs end season unbeaten, now just wait.
4. Wisconsin (5) – Badgers put up 70 to seal Rose Bowl berth.
5. Stanford (7) – Cardinal could bust into BCS after third shutout of the season.
6. Ohio State (8) – Buckeyes beat Michigan for seventh straight year, looking at another BCS berth.
7. Michigan State (10) – Spartans win 11th game, but likely to be shut out of BCS.
8. Arkansas (12) – Big win over LSU made the Razorbacks some serious money.
9. Boise State (3) – Two late missed field goals doom Broncos in loss to Nevada.
10. Nebraska (14) – Huskers beat Colorado to set up matchup with Oklahoma in Big 12 title game.
11. Oklahoma (17) – Win over Oklahoma State gives Sooners Big 12 South.
12. LSU (6) – Tigers lose at Arkansas and likely lose BCS berth in the process.
13. Missouri (13) – Mizzou beats Kansas to seal 10-win season.
14. Nevada (18) – Nevada takes control of WAC with upset win over Boise.
15. Virginia Tech (15) – Va. Tech wins 10th in a row to set up ACC title matchup with Florida State.
16. Oklahoma State (9) – Big plays doom Cowboys to 8th straight loss to Oklahoma.
17. Alabama (11) – Tide cursing the name of Cam Newton after blowing 24-0 lead.
18. Texas A&M (16) – Aggies beat Texas, but fall six spots. Life is rough sometimes.
19. South Carolina (19) – Have a chance to be TCU’s best friend by beating Auburn in the SEC title game.
20. Florida State (22) – Seminoles break six-game losing streak to Florida and move into ACC title game.
21. Northern Illinois (20) – Win over Miami (Ohio) would seal MAC title for Huskies.
22. Utah (24) – Utes pull one out of the fire in Holy War win over BYU.
23. Mississippi State (NR) – 8-4 best Bulldog record in a decade.
24. West Virginia (NR) – Slaughter of Pitt puts Mountaineers back in rankings.
25. Hawaii (NR) – Warriors only team to beat Nevada, which became a lot more impressive after this week.

Under consideration: Central Florida, Maryland, Navy

Dropped out: No. 21 N.C. State, No. 23 Arizona, No. 25 Iowa

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Week 12 top 25

Boise State bumps by TCU and Nebraska falls. Besides that, not much really happened.

1. Oregon (1) – Ducks get week off before Arizona/Oregon State homestretch.
2. Auburn (2) – This should be one of the more intense Iron Bowls in a long time, especially with the Cam Newton hoopla still at a fever pitch.
3. Boise State (4) – Had to bump up after Broncos killed Fresno State.
4. TCU (3) – Horned Frogs have walk-over season-ender at New Mexico.
5. Wisconsin (5) – Badgers run over Michigan to make statement.
6. LSU (6) – Struggled but won as usual. Par for the course really.
7. Stanford (7) – The Big Game with Cal was a big rout.
8. Ohio State (9) – Buckeyes survive against Iowa to keep Rose Bowl hopes alive.
9. Oklahoma State (11) – Can clinch berth in Big 12 title game with win over Oklahoma.
10. Michigan State (10) – Spartans stay put after scare against a bad Purdue team.
11. Alabama (12) – Would love nothing more than to spoil Auburn’s national-title hopes.
12. Arkansas (13) – Razorbacks have big game with LSU coming up.
13. Missouri (15) – Tiger defense pitches another shutout.
14. Nebraska (8) – Huskers’ suddenly feeble offense killed them against Texas A&M
15. Virginia Tech (14) – Hokies wrap up ACC title game berth with win at Miami.
16. Texas A&M (18) – Aggies topple Nebraska for fifth straight win.
17. Oklahoma (16) – A resume bereft of signature wins has Oklahoma in back of second-place Big 12 cluster.
18. Nevada (17) – Can make a whole bunch of teams happy if they pull an upset against Boise State this week.
19. South Carolina (19) – Gamecocks have rivalry game with Clemson before first SEC title game appearance.
20. Northern Illinois (23) – Huskies rolling up big wins in the MAC.
21. N.C. State (NR) – A win against Maryland puts Wolfpack in first ACC title game.
22. Florida State (25) – Seminoles try to break six-game losing streak to rival Florida.
23. Arizona (24) – Can really mess up BCS if they pull the shocker against Oregon.
24. Utah (NR) – Utes return to rankings after big win at San Diego State.
25. Iowa (20) – Hawkeyes now have lost four times in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter.

Under consideration: Southern Miss, Mississippi State, West Virginia

Dropped out: No. 21 USC, No. 22 Mississippi State

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Week 11 top 25

Pretty uneventful week at the top of my rankings, though the bottom got quite a shake-up.

1. Oregon (1) – Ducks survive spirited upset bid by Cal to stay undefeated.
2. Auburn (2) – Paid to play or not, Cam Newton is pretty good.
3. TCU (3) – Horned Frogs got scare against San Diego State, took a blow with Utah’s loss.
4. Boise State (4) – Broncos have a chance to make big move in the next two weeks with Fresno State and Nevada on deck.
5. Wisconsin (5) – Badgers put 83 up on Indiana. That’s not a typo.
6. LSU (6) – Tigers get ho-hum blowout win against Louisiana-Monroe.
7. Stanford (7) – Stanford also got scare, as Arizona State made the Cardinal work.
8. Nebraska (8) – Huskers stand pat after ho-hum win over Kansas.
9. Ohio State (9) – Big second-half propels Buckeyes past Penn State.
10. Michigan State (11) – Spartans have another bye week coming up. It’s called Purdue.
11. Oklahoma State (12) – Cowboys add to the Texas misery with a blowout win in Austin.
12. Alabama (13) – Tide gets nice decisive win over Mississippi State.
13. Arkansas (14) – Razorbacks take out UTEP in quick order.
14. Virginia Tech (16) – Hokies have a big one this week at Miami.
15. Missouri (22) – Tigers move up a bunch with a win and some self-correction on my part.
16. Oklahoma (18) – Sooners win, but I couldn’t continue to have them ahead of a Missouri team that beat them. Doesn’t really make much sense.
17. Nevada (20) – Wolfpack pass huge test in winning at Fresno State.
18. Texas A&M (24) – Aggies are playing extremely well and can really make a mark this week against Nebraska.
19. South Carolina (NR) – Spurrier whips old team to clinch the Gamecocks’ first-ever SEC East title.
20. Iowa (10) – Hawkeyes lose to nemesis Northwestern again.
21. USC (NR) – Nice win at Arizona has Trojans back in the rankings.
22. Mississippi State (17) – Bulldogs aren’t quite ready for the big time, as Alabama proved.
23. Northern Illinois (NR) – MAC leaders make first appearance after seventh straight win.
24. Arizona (19) – Two straight losses have Wildcats hanging on by a thread.
25. Florida State (NR) – Seminoles best of the mess of Florida teams right now.

Just missed the cut: Michigan, Utah, Miami (Fla)

Dropped out: No. 15 Utah, No. 21 Central Florida, No. 23 San Diego State, No. 25 Florida

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Week 10 top 25

1. Oregon (1) – No letdown as Ducks destroy Washington
2. Auburn (2) – Cam Newton overcomes allegations to smack down Chattanooga.
3. TCU (4) – Horned Frogs move up after humiliating Utah.
4. Boise State (3) – Broncos kill a good Hawaii team and still move down. Life is tough sometimes.
5. Wisconsin (7) – Badgers put away Purdue in second half.
6. LSU (16) – Win over Alabama makes Tigers the big upward mover this week.
7. Stanford (9) – Cardinal in tip-top form in blowout over Arizona.
8. Nebraska (10) – Huskers avoid huge overtime scare against Iowa State.
9. Ohio State (8) – Lack of quality wins starting to catch up with Buckeyes.
10. Iowa (13) – Hawkeyes survive after Indiana drops last-second pass in end zone.
11. Michigan State (14) – Spartans roll a horrible Minnesota team.
12. Oklahoma State (18) – Cowboys shoot up after blowing out Baylor.
13. Alabama (6) – Tide’s national championship hopes dealt fatal blow by LSU.
14. Arkansas (19) – Razorbacks look impressive in win over South Carolina.
15. Utah (5) – I guess if you are going to lose your national championship hopes, losing by 40 at home is a colorful way to do it.
16. Virginia Tech (20) – Hokies quietly climbing with seven straight wins.
17. Mississippi State (21) – Bulldogs have chance to make statement at Alabama.
18. Oklahoma (11) – Sooners get stood up at the goal line three times in loss to Texas A&M.
19. Arizona (12) – Wildcats get stomped at Stanford.
20. Nevada (NR) – Wolfpack take advantage of the carnage to move into top 20.
21. Central Florida (NR) – Knights get big win at Houston to move into rankings.
22. Missouri (15) – Nebraska letdown painful as Tigers lose at Texas Tech
23. San Diego State (NR) – Quietly 7-2, the Aztecs are full of promise and county kids.
24. Texas A&M (NR) – Aggies stuff Oklahoma to move into poll for first time.
25. Florida (NR) – Two straight wins has Florida back in top 25.

Under consideration: South Carolina, USC, North Carolina

Dropped out: No. 17 South Carolina, No. 22 Baylor, No. 23 N.C. State, No. 24 Florida State, No. 25 Hawaii

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Week 9 Top 25

1. Oregon (1) – Ducks smack down USC in Coliseum to pass a big test.
2. Auburn (3) – Tigers keep racking up the quality wins.
3. Boise State (2) – Get first test in a while with Hawaii coming to town.
4. TCU (4) – Huge road game at Utah could be TCU’s BCS statement.
5. Utah (7) – Copy and paste the TCU comment except switch the two teams.
6. Alabama (8) – Tide in prime position to leap back in title hunt.
7. Wisconsin (9) – Badgers move to the top of the Big Ten lot.
8. Ohio State (10) – Buckeyes still relatively untested, though extremely talented.
9. Stanford (12) – Cardinal put whipping on Washington.
10. Nebraska (13) – Huskers smack around Mizzou to launch back into top 10.
11. Oklahoma (11) – Sooners stay put despite whooping Colorado.
12. Arizona (14) – Wildcats have huge test this week at Stanford.
13. Iowa (20) – Hawkeyes do one-loss teams a favor by destroying Michigan State.
14. Michigan State (5) – Well, it was nice while it lasted for the Spartans.
15. Missouri (6) – Well, it was nice while it lasted for the Tigers.
16. LSU (16) – Game with Alabama this week is a virtual BCS eliminator.
17. South Carolina (17) – Gamecocks continue to control SEC East destiny.
18. Oklahoma State (22) – Who would have thought this week’s game against Baylor would be a big one before the season?
19. Arkansas (18) – Win by 35, drop a spot. Hogs still need a signature win.
20. Virginia Tech (21) – Hokies top of a mediocre ACC lot.
21. Mississippi State (24) – Bulldogs get bye to revel in surprising 7-2 record.
22. Baylor (25) – Bears win at Texas for the first time since 1991 and clinch a winning season.
23. N.C. State (NR) – Thursday night win over FSU puts Wolfpack in rankings.
24. Florida State (15) – Christian Ponder will surely have nightmares about his late fumble.
25. Hawaii (NR) – Sixth-straight win gets Warriors a ranking.

Under consideration: Nevada, Central Florida, San Diego State

Dropped out: No. 19 Miami (Fla), No. 23 USC

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Week 8 top 25

The BCS might have a new No. 1, but mine remains the same.

1. Oregon (1) – Ducks put a hurting on UCLA. Now comes a tougher LA opponent.
2. Boise State (2) – The Broncos play Tuesday for some reason.
3. Auburn (5) – Another quality home win keeps moving the Tigers up the ladder.
4. TCU (4) – Horned Frogs have given up 10 points in four weeks.
5. Michigan State (7) – Spartans survive scare against Arby Fields and Northwestern.
6. Missouri (17) – Big win over Oklahoma makes Mizzou the big mover this week.
7. Utah (8) – Utes’ offense keeps on rolling. Tricky trap game at Air Force this week.
8. Alabama (9) – Tide roll Tennessee and are in best position of one-loss teams.
9. Wisconsin (10) – Badgers impress with big road win at Iowa.
10. Ohio State (11) – Buckeyes take out frustrations of Wisconsin loss with blowout of Purdue.
11. Oklahoma (3) – Sooners tumble after Missouri loss.
12. Stanford (12) – Cardinal tread water after uninspired win over Washington State.
13. Nebraska (15) – Huskers slay undefeated Okie State to move up. Missouri looms next week.
14. Arizona (13) – Wildcats drop a spot after winning by 30. Life is tough sometimes.
15. Florida State (16) – Seminoles have tricky game at N.C. State coming Thursday.
16. LSU (6) – Les Miles finally exhausted all of his magic. Or so we think.
17. South Carolina (19) – Gamecocks survive despite not having star RB Marcus Lattimore.
18. Arkansas (21) – It’s hard to say how good the Razorbacks really are at this point.
19. Miami (Fla) (23) – Canes get nice bump after blowing out North Carolina.
20. Iowa (14) – Hawkeyes will try to overcome heartbreaking Wisconsin loss to spoil MSU’s hopes.
21. Virginia Tech (24) – Hokies have quietly rolled to six straight wins.
22. Oklahoma State (18) – Previously-untested Cowboys failed first exam against Nebraska.
23. USC (25) – Trojans have big opportunity with Oregon coming in this week.
24. Mississippi State (NR) – Five straight wins has Mississippi State in rankings.
25. Baylor (NR) – Bears ranked in polls for first time since 1993.

Under consideration: Hawaii, Nevada, Michigan

Dropped out: No. 20 Texas, No. 22 West Virginia

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Week 7 top 25

Well, Ohio State’s run atop the poll didn’t last long. We’ll see if the new No. 1 has a bit more staying power.

1. Oregon (2) – Not a bad bye week, as the Ducks get the top spot.
2. Boise State (4) – Broncos sitting pretty, though their strength of schedule is lowering by the week.
3. Oklahoma (6) – Sooners were the big winner, getting blowout win to earn the top spot in the BCS standings.
4. TCU (5) – Horned Frogs have only given up three points in the past three games.
5. Auburn (7) – Tigers explode for 65 to vault into top 5.
6. LSU (8) – LSU wins ugly, but it wins. Huge game at Auburn coming up.
7. Michigan State (12) – All of a sudden, the Spartans are the top dog in the Big Ten.
8. Utah (10) – Utes quietly keep rolling.
9. Alabama (11) – Tide bounce back against Mississippi, but still not clicking on all cylinders.
10. Wisconsin (18) – Badgers shoot up rankings with upset of Ohio State.
11. Ohio State (1) – I can’t in good conscience rank the Buckeyes ahead of Wisconsin, so here they are.
12. Stanford (14) – Cardinal move up while chillin’ during the bye.
13. Arizona (16) – Wildcats win, but lose quarterback Nick Foles to injury.
14. Iowa (17) – Hawkeyes win shootout at Michigan to start tough three-game stretch. Wisconsin is next.
15. Nebraska (3) – Even underachieving Texas teams figure out how to beat Nebraska.
16. Florida State (15) – Seminoles go through motions in lackluster win over BC.
17. Missouri (19) – Tigers still unscathed, but have huge test this week with Oklahoma.
18. Oklahoma State (21) – Cowboys get first real test with Nebraska coming up this week.
19. South Carolina (9) – Post-Alabama letdown results in loss to Kentucky.
20. Texas (NR) – After two-week absence, Longhorns upset Nebraska and return to poll.
21. Arkansas (13) – Razorbacks score 43 points and still lose by three touchdowns.
22. West Virginia (NR) – After toeing around the periphery of the poll, Mountaineers finally rejoin the rankings.
23. Miami (Fla) (NR) – Somewhat iffy about this pick to be quite honest.
24. Virginia Tech (NR) – Five straight wins has Hokies back in top 25.
25. USC (NR) – Blowout of Cal gets USC ranked again.

Under consideration: Kansas State, Mississippi State, Michigan

Dropped: No. 20 Nevada, No. 22 Oregon State, No. 23 Air Force, No. 24 Florida, No. 25 Michigan.

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Week 6 top 25

With Alabama losing, we got a new No. 1 and a whole lot of shuffling.

1. Ohio State (2) – Buckeyes moved into top spot with rout of Indiana.
2. Oregon (3) – Ducks win ho-hum game with overmatched Washington State.
3. Nebraska (5) – Cajon/Corona Centennial product Taylor Martinez absolutely devastating at QB for Cornhuskers.
4. Boise State (4) – Broncos waste Toledo to keep rolling.
5. TCU (6) – Horned Frogs register second straight shutout.
6. Oklahoma (7) – Sooners move up during bye.
7. Auburn (9) – All of a sudden, the win over South Carolina looks pretty darn good.
8. LSU (11) – I don’t get how they do it, but the Tigers keep winning.
9. South Carolina (19) – Gamecocks make huge jump after jumping Alabama.
10. Utah (10) – It’s rough to score 68 points and not move up. Such is life.
11. Alabama (1) – Can’t justify ranking them higher, especially with Florida and Penn State tanking.
12. Michigan State (16) – Spartans make statement with lopsided win at Michigan.
13. Arkansas (12) – Razorbacks drop after narrow win over Texas A&M.
14. Stanford (13) – Jim Harbaugh and the Cardinal have USC’s number.
15. Florida State (21) – 45-17 win over Miami most impressive Seminole win in a long time.
16. Arizona (8) – Oregon State catches Wildcats napping.
17. Iowa (15) – Hawkeyes still below Arizona for now. Has a chance for quality road win this week at Michigan.
18. Wisconsin (20) – Badgers can throw Big Ten race into chaos with an upset of Ohio State this week.
19. Missouri (23) – Tigers have been extremely stifling on defense.
20. Nevada (22) – Wolfpack stay undefeated under QB Colin Kaepernick.
21. Oklahoma State (24) – Cowboys feasting on soft schedule right now.
22. Oregon State (NR) – After near-misses against TCU and Boise State, Beavers finally get the big road win they were looking for.
23. Air Force (NR) – Falcons move into poll for the first time.
24. Florida (18) – Gators are in a freefall with two straight losses.
25. Michigan (17) – Apparently Denard Robinson is human.

Under consideration: West Virginia, Miami (Fla), Virginia Tech

Dropped out: No. 14 Miami (Fla), No. 25 Kansas State

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Week 5 Top 25

I feel confident in my top 9. After that, its a crapshoot.

1. Alabama (1) – Impressive destruction of Florida removes any remaining doubt.
2. Ohio State (2) – Buckeyes struggled, but took out Illinois. May be on notice though.
3. Oregon (4) – Destruction of Stanford was impressive. Probably not a better second-half team out there.
4. Boise State (3) – Now that Boise is playing WAC dregs, its ranking won’t improve much.
5. Nebraska (5) – Had week off before big Thursday game at Kansas State.
6. TCU (6) – Struggled a bit offensively against Colorado State.
7. Oklahoma (9) – Beat Texas for only second time in six years.
8. Arizona (10) – Wildcats move up despite not playing.
9. Auburn (11) – Tigers impress against bad Louisiana-Monroe team.
10. Utah (12) – Feel weird about having Utes here, but they are the best alternative currently.
11. LSU (14) – May be luckiest team in America, as Tennessee’s inability to count bailed the Tigers out.
12. Arkansas (15) – Most impressive of the one-loss teams to date.
13. Stanford (8) – Can’t hate on the Cardinal too much for Oregon loss.
14. Miami (Fla) (17) – Nice win at Clemson sets up big game with Florida State
15. Iowa (18) – Hawkeye own Penn State, beating Nittany Lions for eighth time in nine tries.
16. Michigan State (24) – Big win over Wisconsin vaults Spartans up the list.
17. Michigan (19) – Great offense, bad defense. Big game with Michigan State upcoming.
18. Florida (7) – Gators were embarrassed against Alabama. Have low-scoring game with LSU on tap.
19. South Carolina (20) – May be best team in lackluster SEC East.
20. Wisconsin (13) – Badgers tumble after loss to Michigan State.
21. Florida State (21) – Seminoles have chance to establish themselves as ACC favorites this week against Miami.
22. Nevada (25) – Wolfpack quietly standing out with punishing run game.
23. Missouri (NR) – Tigers finally make it in on bye week.
24. Oklahoma State (NR) – Cowboys outlast Texas A&M to move into rankings.
25. Kansas State (NR) – Have chance to make statement with Nebraska coming to town.

Others receiving consideration: West Virginia, USC, Air Force.

Dropped out: No. 16 USC, No. 22 Penn State, No. 23 Texas.

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