Sports

College Football Power Rankings: LSU, Alabama, OSU, Stanford, USC and More

| by

The final power rankings are in the books, and you'll notice they haven't changed much since last week. Check out the top 10 teams in college football below:

1. LSU Tigers (13-0): With all the arguments about the BCS’ choice of #2 and #3, one thing has remained unchanged throughout most of the season – LSU is without a doubt the best team in the country. In Atlanta on Saturday, the Tigers became SEC Champions after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs 42-10. Bednarik finalist Tyrann Mathieu was just named an invitee to New York City for the Heisman Trophy presentation, and head coach Les Miles was named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year award. - Dory LeBlanc

  • AP Rank: 1; Next Game: 1/9/12 BCS National Championship vs. Alabama

2. Alabama Crimson Tide: (11-1) Didn’t win their conference, or even their division, yet in the current system they deserve a trip to the title game because based on what we’ve seen and the all-popular ‘body of work’, one can reasonably assume they’re the second-best team in the country. I say assume because, well, when human perception and computer rankings rule, we don’t really know for sure. Still, great year for Bama. Don’t count me among those lamenting that we’ll have to sit through another LSU-Alabama matchup. I just wish it came about through some type of postseason playoff. - Danny Hobrock

  • AP Rank: 2; Next Game: 1/9/12 BCS National Championship vs. LSU

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-1): Oklahoma State has one loss to Iowa State (31-37 on November 18th) and were at number three in the BCS Standings heading into Championship weekend. With Alabama idle, many thought a strong enough victory over Oklahoma in the Bedlam game would propel them ahead of the Crimson Tide. Saturday night, the Cowboys stopped the Sooners’ win-streak at eight games as Oklahoma State defeated Oklahoma 44-10 in Stillwater. Following the game, head coach Mike Gundy made an immediate plea for Ok State,” I think people have to decide whether they want to see a 9-6 game or 39-36 game,” Gundy said. “I think this is an opportunity for people to find out how good the defense is in the SEC. We’d like to have that challenge.”  Unfortunately, the BCS didn’t see it that way, and the Cowboys are heading to Scottsdale to take on Stanford in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. – Dory LeBlanc

  • AP Rank: 3; Next Game: 1/2/12 Fiesta Bowl vs. Stanford

4. Stanford Cardinal (11-1): Andrew Luck is 1-2 against Oregon in his collegiate career, defeating the then-eighth-ranked Ducks in 2009 and when the Cardinal was 6-3 and unranked, and then failing to come up with wins when national title hopes were on the line in 2010 and this year, 2011. But the Cardinal, with Luck in command of the offense, will play in its second consecutive BCS bowl game. Not bad for a team who played in only seven bowl games since 1978. - Dory LeBlanc

  • AP Rank: 4; Next Game: 1/2/12 Fiesta Bowl vs. Oklahoma State

5. Boise State Broncos (10-1): Before Boise State’s loss to TCU on November 12th, the Broncos were ranked fifth in the country. If they would have remained undefeated through the season they would have received an automatic BCS bid as MWC Champion; being well within the 16th place standings. Last week I told you as an at-large team Boise State would have some difficult gaining the favor of the bowl committees due to “bigger” players in the field. As it stands, the Broncos are heading to the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas to play Arizona State (6-6), a team that has fired Coach Dennis Erickson. – Dory LeBlanc

  • AP Rank: 8; Next Game: 12/22 Las Vegas Bowl vs. Arizona State

6. USC Trojans (10-2): Matt Barkley could end up a first round pick if he returns, but there’s plenty of reasons to return including a shot at a bowl game, conference title, and perhaps even a national title. They’re a postseason ban away from playing Oregon again in the Pac-12 title game and earning a shot at the Rose Bowl if they could have made it two-in-a-row against the Ducks. – Danny Hobrock

  • AP Rank: 5; Next Game: None (NCAA-imposed bowl ban)

7. Oregon Ducks (11-2): The outcome was no surprise Friday night, but the scoreboard certainly was. When the clock hit 0:00, the Oregon Ducks won their third straight Pac-12 title, defeating UCLA 49-31. Heading into the game the Ducks were 30 point favorites over the Bruins, who represented the Pac-12 South instead of USC. The Trojans are in their final year of NCAA Sanctions that prohibited them from participating in post-season play for two years. Oregon is making their second trip to the Rose Bowl in three years, after narrowly losing to Auburn last year in the National Championship. – Dory LeBlanc

  • AP Rank: 6; Next Game: 1/2/12 Rose Bowl vs. Wisconsin

8. Arkansas Razorbacks (10-2): AThe Hogs have struggled mightily against the elite LSU and Alabama defenses, failing to reach 20 points in either game while scoring at least 29 in every other game they played this year. Kansas State does not possess the most stalwart of defenses, but they’ve been in a lot of squeakers this year with eight of their ten wins and one of their two losses coming by one score or less. The Cotton Bowl could be one of the more intriguing matchups of the bowl season. - Danny Hobrock

  • AP Rank: 7; 1/6/12 Cotton Bowl vs. Kansas State

9. Wisconsin Badgers (11-2): In the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game, the Wisconsin Badgers got a little revenge on Michigan State, who beat them with a Hail Mary TD in October. Wisconsin will make their second trip to the Rose Bowl in as many years after winning back-to-back conference titles. Monday it was announced Montee Ball was a finalist for the Heisman trophy, joining fellow RB Trent Richardson, Mathieu, and QBs Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Ball has 38 touchdowns and needs just one more to tie Barry Sander’s NCAA record for total TD in a season.

  • AP Rank: 9; Next Game: 1/2/12 Rose Bowl vs. Oregon

10. South Carolina Gamecocks (11-1) : South Carolina missed LSU and Alabama from the SEC West, and fell to Arkansas and Auburn in early November. Still, a win over Georgia—even if it was in the early season—bodes well, as does the win over ACC Champion Clemson.– Danny Hobrock

  • AP Rank: 10; Next Game: 1/2/12 Capital One Bowl vs. Nebraska