The top 10 is more or less set at this point. Over the course of the season these squads have proven themselves to be the best in the country on countless occasions, and that's why they sit where they sit in these power rankings. Barring a complete collapse versus Georgia, it's safe to say that LSU will stay atop the fray come year's end.
1. LSU Tigers (12-0): LSU proved exactly why they are considered the most feared team in college Friday afternoon as they took on the SEC’s most prolific offense. Down 14-0 with five minutes remaining in the first half, Kenny Hilliard ran in a score to cap off a 77 yard Tiger drive. Momentum changed completely when on the next Razorback possession, they were forced to punt; Bednarik finalist Tyrann Mathieu returned the punt 82 yards to tie it up. It was all Bayou Bengals after that as they went on to defeat Arkansas 41-17. At this point, many think LSU goes to New Orleans even if they lose to Georgia in the SEC Championship on Saturday. LSU has been the best team in the country the entire season, and if they can beat the Bulldogs will. – Dory LeBlanc
- AP Rank: 1; Next Game: 12/3 SEC Championship vs. Georgia
2. Alabama Crimson Tide: (11-1) Alabama is in the best position of anybody in the country at this point, and it’s in large due to the loss to LSU in the regular season. We’ll find out for sure who’s in the best position after this weekend, but from where most everybody is sitting, Alabama seems poised to go to the title game as everybody else dukes it out over championship weekend. Not that they don’t deserve to go, but I’m just sayin’. – Danny Hobrock
- AP Rank: 2; Next Game: N/A
3. Stanford Cardinal (11-1): More than likely Stanford won’t get a shot at the BCS Title. According to BCS standings, Stanford sits at four with .820 in computer rankings behind Oklahoma State with .930 at three, Alabama with .950 at two, and LSU with 1.000 at the top spot. Even if Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma in the Bedlam game, they still won’t have enough mathematically to become number two. At this point, Stanford is one of the only teams that can feel comfortable they will get one of the at-large BCS bids and still hope for a Heisman for QB Andrew Luck who has not only been the favorite all season, but is projected to go number one overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. – Dory LeBlanc
- AP Rank: 4; Next Game: N/A
4. Virginia Tech Hokies (11-1) : The Hokies are in a similar boat as Stanford in that they lack quality wins (although the Cardinal’s defeat of USC is looking better and better). They’re 2-1 against top 25 opponents this year, and they’ll get a shot at avenging the early season loss to the then-13th ranked Clemson Tigers in the conference title game. A win would only help their BCS chances depending on how everything else plays out. – Danny Hobrock
- AP Rank: 5; Next Game: 12/3 ACC Championship vs. Clemson
5. Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-1): The Cowboys have just the one loss to Iowa State, and have an opportunity to make up for it with a win over Oklahoma in the Bedlam Game. They’re #3 in the BCS, so if LSU loses there’s a chance they sneak into the title game. And then more BCS chaos and outrage would ensue. –Danny Hobrock
- AP Rank: 3; Next Game: 12/3 vs. Oklahoma
6. Houston Cougars (12-0): The only other undefeated top 25 team should be a sure bet as a non-AQ bid for a BCS bowl, but will have to get past an 10-2 Southern Miss squad Saturday in Tulsa. Davey O’Brien Award finalist Case Keenum continues to impress Heisman voters as well after throwing for 457 yards and five touchdowns last week against Tulsa. Leading by only three at the half, the Cougars came out in the second half and outscored 3the Golden Hurricanes 35-6. The victory marked the first 12-0 season in Houston history and Keenum holds the record of most 300 yards in a career with 37.
- AP Rank: 7; Next Game: 12/3 Conference USA Championship vs. Southern Miss
7. Boise State Broncos (10-1): There’s still a shot that Boise State goes to a BCS bowl this year depending on the outcome of the games this week and the preferences of BCS bowl executives. Still, it’s a long-shot, and a likely-to-be 11-1 Broncos team could find itself in the Las Vegas or Poinsettia Bowl facing another team that probably has no business playing in a bowl game with them. –Danny Hobrock
- AP Rank: 9; Next Game: 12/3 vs. New Mexico
8. Arkansas Razorbacks (10-2): Arkansas sat at #3 heading into Death Valley, but after starting 14-0 the Razorbacks were outscored 41-3 as they went on to lose 41-17 to the nation’s top ranked team. Both Arkansas losses this year were to the number one and two ranked teams in the country. The Razorbacks has the best pass attack in the SEC, leading the conference with 307.8 ypg in the air and total offense with 445.8 yards per game and is now second in scoring with 37.4 ppg. Unfortunately, because of LSU and Alabama, they can’t be in a BCS bowl this year, even though they are still one of the country’s top teams. – Dory LeBlanc
- AP Rank: 6; Next Game: N/A
9. USC Trojans (10-2): The team USC utterly destroyed Saturday night, UCLA, will represent the Pac-12 South in the Championship game this week. USC defeated the conference’s North winner, Oregon 38-35 on November 19th. Is USC the best team in the Pac-12? We’ll never know because of NCAA sanctions prohibiting them from participating from post-season play. That’s the bad part. The good part is that this is the last year of those sanctions and the Trojans should be pre-ranked in the top five next year – if Matt Barkley stays.
- AP Rank: 9; Next Game: N/A
10. Oregon Ducks (10-2): The Ducks have two quality losses—if there are such things—to LSU and a surging USC team. But I still consider them one of four teams capable of beating anybody in the country on any given day—along with LSU, Alabama, and Wisconsin. – Danny Hobrock
- AP Rank: 8; Next Game: 12/2 Pac-12 Championship vs. UCLA