FanIQ Top 25: Final Rankings Heading Into Bowl Season
1. Alabama Crimson Tide: 12-1 (LW: No. 2)
The SEC Championship Game was worthy of the “BCS National Championship” title, as I don’t think it will get much better than the way that one panned out. Alabama jumps Notre Dame simply because I believe it is the favorite to win.
2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish: 12-0 (LW: No. 1)
In order to beat the Tide, quarterback Everett Golson will have to play the game of his life. The defense should be able to hold its own, but the Irish need a potent passing attack to have any chance.
3. Oregon Ducks: 11-1 (LW: No. 4)
Will this be Chip Kelly’s last game before he moves on the NFL? Or will he stay in pursuit of a national title in 2013?
4. Georgia Bulldogs: 11-2 (LW: No. 3)
Georgia proved that it is a very good football team by coming five yards short of a win versus Alabama. It’s a shame that we won’t see the Dawgs in a BCS bowl, because they deserve it.
5. Florida Gators: 11-1 (no change)
The Gators will replace Alabama as the SEC’s top-seeded team in the Sugar Bowl, and will face-off with Louisville.
6. Kansas State Wildcats: 11-1 (no change)
Led by Collin Klein’s huge performance on the ground, the Wildcats were able to put Texas away and earn a BCS bid.
7. Stanford Cardinal: 11-2 (LW: No. 10)
This isn’t the same Stanford team that lost to Washington in Week 5. Since Kevin Hogan took over under center, the Cardinal are 4-0 and have beaten teams ranked No. 11, 2, 17 and 16.
8. LSU Tigers: 10-2 (LW: No. 7)
The Tigers won’t be making an appearance to a BCS bowl, but have a great chance to come away with a win against Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
9. Texas A&M Aggies: 10-2 (LW: No. 8)
Johnny Manziel is the clear-cut favorite to win the Heisman Trophy in my eyes.
10. Ohio State Buckeyes: 12-0 (LW: No. 9)
Will Braxton Miller make the trip to New York for the Heisman ceremony? It’s difficult to say with the great field of competition (and lack of conference title game), but there’s no doubt he’ll be a contender for the next two years.
11. Oklahoma Sooners: 10-2 (no change)
Northern Illinois jumped from No. 21 to 16, leaving Oklahoma out of the BCS picture. The Sooners deserve to be a little upset, but have an epic battle awaiting against Texas A&M.
12. Florida State Seminoles: 11-2 (no change)
The wheels fell off a little bit over their last two games, but will have a few weeks to re-gather before playing Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl.
13. South Carolina Gamecocks: 10-2 (LW: No. 14)
USC is riding a four-game winning streak into the Outback Bowl, where it will play Michigan.
14. Clemson Tigers: 10-2 (LW: No. 15)
Although they missed out on a BCS opportunity by falling to South Carolina, the Tigers get an SEC rebuttal by facing LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
15. Northern Illinois Huskies (LW: No. 16)
Whether it had been NIU or Kent State, it was inevitable that a MAC team would play BCS buster and kick Oklahoma out of the picture. The next step: win.
16. Oregon State Beavers: 9-3 (LW: No. 17)
After scoring a school-record 77 points against Nicholls State, the Beavers are on their way to the Alamo Bowl to face Texas.
17. Utah State Aggies: 10-2 (LW: No. 19)
Winning 10 games wasn’t enough to get the Aggies out of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
18. Boise State Broncos: 10-2 (LW: No. 20)
Nevada always seems to give Boise State problems, no matter what direction either team is going in. The Broncos were able to avoid another upset, however, and are MWC Champions.
19. Nebraska Cornhuskers: 10-3 (LW: No. 13)
Wow. I don’t think anyone saw that performance coming. After allowing 70 points and 539 rushing yards to Wisconsin, Nebraska dropped 22 spots nationally in rush defense and 25 spots in scoring defense.
20. Northwestern Wildcats: 9-3 (LW: No. 24)
The Wildcats will travel to Jacksonville to play Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl.
21. UCLA Bruins: 9-4 (LW: No. 18)
They aren’t in the Rose Bowl, the Bruins have an intriguing matchup with Baylor in the Holiday Bowl. Expect many, many points.
22. San Diego State Aztecs: 9-3 (LW: No. 25)
We’ll see the MWC runner-ups against BYU in the Poinsettia Bowl.
23. Louisville Cardinals: 10-2 (LW: unranked)
Despite a four-way tie for the Big East, Louisville owned the top spot in the BCS Standings and earned a trip to the Sugar Bowl for a date with Florida.
24. San Jose State Spartans: 10-2 (LW: unranked)
SJSU QB David Fales has quietly had an outstanding season, leading his Spartans to their first 10-win season since 1987.
25. Arkansas State Red Wolves: 9-3 (LW: unranked)
The Red Wolves beat Middle Tennessee State, 42-0, en route to their second straight Sun Belt title.
Dropped from rankings: Oklahoma State (21), Kent State (22), Texas (23).
Other receiving votes (in order): Kent State, Fresno State, Michigan, Texas, Baylor, Tulsa, Cincinnati, Vanderbilt, Rutgers, Penn State, Ball State, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, UCF.
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