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The Countdown

A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.

Weekly Rankings

P.S.R. 1-120: Final Re-Ranking

With the season in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the year’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, but with the year completely in the books, this is as good as it’s going to get.

The Top 25

1. Alabama (12-1, 7-1)
In my mind, the best big-game performance in program history.
2. L.S.U. (13-1, 8-0)
For the Tigers, a sad conclusion to a remarkable regular season.
3. Oklahoma State (12-1, 8-1)
A complete and utter destruction of rival Oklahoma.
4. Boise State (12-1, 6-1)
Boise dropped 56 on Arizona State, but it could have been 80.
5. U.S.C. (10-2, 7-2)
U.S.C. started preparing for 2012 in November.
6. Oregon (12-2, 8-1)
For the first time in nearly a century, Rose Bowl champs.
7. Arkansas (11-2, 6-2)
It wasn’t pretty, but the Razorbacks net a Cotton Bowl win.
8. Stanford (11-2, 8-1)
Luck’s final game was plagued by special teams woes.
9. South Carolina (11-2, 6-2)
Not surprisingly, the Gamecocks took care of Nebraska.
10. Michigan State (11-3, 7-1)
For the second straight year, the Spartans post 11 wins.
11. Wisconsin (11-3, 6-2)
In the end, Wisconsin’s defense couldn’t get stops in Pasadena.
12. T.C.U. (11-2, 7-0)
The Mountain West has been conquered; up next, the Big 12.
13. Michigan (11-2, 6-2)
It was good to see the Wolverines’ special teams come through.
14. Kansas State (10-3, 7-2)
Put another feather in Bill Snyder’s cap, among the others.
15. Baylor (10-3, 6-3)
Double-digit wins for the first time since 1980 — 31 years.
16. Houston (13-1, 8-0)
A rollicking debut for Tony Levine, Kevin Sumlin’s replacement.
17. West Virginia (10-3, 5-2)
Touchdowns on touchdowns on touchdowns — 10 of them.
18. Oklahoma (10-3, 6-3)
Ten wins, but a disappointing season for Stoops and the Sooners.
19. Southern Mississippi (12-2, 6-2)
After breaking through, Golden Eagles turn to Ellis Johnson.
20. Georgia (10-4, 7-1)
Kicking failures doom the Bulldogs in the Outback Bowl.
21. Clemson (10-4, 6-2)
What was a coming-out party turned into a long nightmare.
22. Virginia Tech (11-3, 7-1)
Close, but no cigar for Hokies in the Sugar Bowl.
23. Florida State (9-4, 5-3)
The young Seminoles enter 2012 on a nice note after bowl win.
24. Northern Illinois (11-3, 7-1)
Doeren replaces Kill, and the Huskies don’t even miss a beat.
25. Nebraska (9-4, 5-3)
The Cornhuskers have some serious issues to address.

The Rest

26. Cincinnati (10-3, 5-2)
27. Missouri (8-5, 5-4)
28. Penn State (9-4, 6-2)
29. B.Y.U. (10-3, 0-0)
30. Auburn (8-5, 4-4)
31. Texas (8-5, 4-5)
32. Toledo (9-4, 7-1)
33. Notre Dame (8-5, 0-0)
34. Louisiana Tech (8-5, 6-1)
35. Rutgers (9-4, 4-3)
36. Arkansas State (10-3, 8-0)
37. Utah (8-5, 4-5)
38. Virginia (8-5, 5-3)
39. Georgia Tech (8-5, 5-3)
40. N.C. State (8-5, 4-4)
41. Tulsa (8-5, 7-1)
42. Florida (7-6, 3-5)
43. Texas A&M (7-6, 4-5)
44. Ohio (10-4, 6-2)
45. Temple (9-4, 5-3)
46. Washington (7-6, 5-4)
47. Iowa (7-6, 4-4)
48. S.M.U. (8-5, 5-3)
49. Louisville (7-6, 5-2)
50. Mississippi State (7-6, 2-6)
51. Louisiana-Lafayette (9-4, 6-2)
52. California (7-6, 4-5)
53. Miami (Fla.) (6-6, 3-5)
54. Ohio State (6-7, 3-5)
55. Air Force (7-6, 3-4)
56. Vanderbilt (6-7, 2-6)
57. San Diego State (8-5, 5-3)
58. Wake Forest (6-7, 5-3)
59. Marshall (7-6, 5-3)
60. Wyoming (8-5, 5-2)
61. Purdue (7-6, 4-4)
62. Northwestern (6-7, 3-5)
63. North Carolina (7-6, 3-5)
64. Western Michigan (7-6, 5-3)
65. Western Kentucky (7-5, 7-1)
66. Florida International (8-5, 5-3)
67. Utah State (7-6, 5-2)
68. Iowa State (6-7, 3-6)
69. Nevada (7-6, 5-2)
70. Illinois (7-6, 2-6)
71. Pittsburgh (6-7, 4-3)
72. Arizona State (6-7, 4-4)
73. Navy (5-7, 0-0)
74. U.C.L.A. (6-8, 5-4)
75. Ball State (6-6, 4-4)
76. Kentucky (5-7, 2-6)
77. Eastern Michigan (6-6, 4-4)
78. Texas Tech (5-7, 2-7)
79. Connecticut (5-7, 3-4)
80. U.C.F. (5-7, 3-5)
81. Tennessee (5-7, 1-7)
82. East Carolina (5-7, 4-4)
83. San Jose State (5-7, 3-4)
84. Bowling Green (5-7, 3-5)
85. Arizona (4-8, 2-7)
86. South Florida (5-7, 1-6)
87. Washington State (4-8, 2-7)
88. North Texas (5-7, 4-4)
89. Syracuse (5-7, 1-6)
90. Boston College (4-8, 3-5)
91. Hawaii (6-7, 3-4)
92. Kent State (5-7, 4-4)
93. Oregon State (3-9, 3-6)
94. Miami (Ohio) (4-8, 3-5)
95. UTEP (5-7, 2-6)
96. Rice (4-8, 3-5)
97. Colorado (3-10, 2-7)
98. Minnesota (3-9, 2-6)
99. New Mexico State (4-9, 2-5)
100. Duke (3-9, 1-7)
101. Fresno State (4-9, 3-4)
102. Army (3-9, 0-0)
103. La.-Monroe (4-8, 3-5)
104. Maryland (2-10, 1-7)
105. Troy (3-9, 2-6)
106. Colorado State (3-9, 1-6)
107. Idaho (2-10, 1-6)
108. Buffalo (3-9, 2-6)
109. Mississippi (2-10, 0-8)
110. U.A.B. (3-9, 3-5)
111. Central Michigan (3-9, 2-6)
112. Kansas (2-10, 0-9)
113. Indiana (1-11, 0-8)
114. U.N.L.V. (2-10, 1-6)
115. Tulane (2-11, 1-7)
116. Memphis (2-10, 1-7)
117. Middle Tennessee (2-10, 1-7)
118. Florida Atlantic (1-11, 0-8)
119. New Mexico (1-11, 1-6)
120. Akron (1-11, 0-8)

Three noteworthy jumps

Texas 9 spots (No. 40 to No. 31)
Western Kentucky 9 spots (No. 73 to No. 64)
West Virginia 6 spots (No. 23 to No. 17)

Three noteworthy tumbles

Iowa 12 spots (No. 35 to No. 47)
Georgia Tech 8 spots (No. 31 to No. 39)
Pittsburgh 6 spots (No. 65 to No. 71)

Previous rankings

Week 15 rankings L.S.U., No. 1
Week 14 rankings L.S.U., No. 1
Week 13 rankings L.S.U., No. 1
Week 12 rankings L.S.U., No. 1
Week 11 rankings L.S.U., No. 1
Week 10 rankings Alabama, No. 1
Week 9 rankings Alabama, No. 1
Week 8 rankings Alabama, No. 1
Week 7 rankings Alabama, No. 1
Week 6 rankings Alabama, No. 1
Week 5 rankings Alabama, No. 1
Week 4 rankings Alabama, No. 1
Week 3 rankings Alabama, No. 1
Week 2 rankings Alabama, No. 1
The preseason list is on the right sidebar.

You can also follow Paul Myerberg and Pre-Snap Read on Twitter.

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Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    Would not missing a field goal while time ran out switch your rankings of USC and Oregon? Oregons 2 losses look much better on paper than USC’s 2 losses. Though it is hard to pick against Barkley, man is a beast. Can’t wait till next fall.

    Sincerely,

    Your extremely biased ducks fan,

    Andrew

  2. DMK says:

    There’s no shame in getting wrecked by Wisconsin, but doing so and also losing to Kansas and Central Michigan should be a top-25 deal-breaker. Sorry, Northern Illinois: you beat no one.

    With this schedule Vandy would have gone 12-1.

  3. nathan says:

    There is no way USC should be ranked above Arkansas. The only two losses that Arkansas is the number one and number two teams. I really hate how Arkansas is treated like the bad little stepchild of college football. They are always talked down upon by ESPN.

  4. BobJ says:

    Then there are the Bob Rankings. Remember, that’s the way the formula works. The top ten, with relative ratings:

    LSU (1.000)
    Alabama (0.975)
    Oklahoma State (0.882)
    Oregon (0.750)
    Boise State (0.749)
    Stanford (0.722)
    Wisconsin (0.719)
    Houston (0.715)
    Oklahoma (0.641)
    Michigan (0.639)

    From Paul’s top ten:
    USC (11, 0.605)
    Arkansas (12, 0.600)
    South Carolina (13, 0.578)
    Michigan State (15, 0.490)

  5. Dave says:

    No ACC team deserves a top-25 ranking after that Orange Bowl.

  6. bayzing says:

    Boise State is too high… Top ten team… but not top 5 this year… IMHO. Oh yeah… we’ll see how they do replacing Kellen Moore (not such an easy task). There are 50 teams that could have destroyed ASU at years end.

    USC is too high… The Trojans are a good team… but they beat Oregon and Utah on a blocked kick during the last seconds of regulation.

    Speaking of Utah… I still don’t know how you have Utah ranked below BYU. Remember… these two teams played, and UTAH DESTROYED BYU 54-10! Clearly the PRE-SNAP read algorithm doesn’t factor strength of schedule nearly enough. Utah destroys BYU and finishes 8-5 during it’s first year in the PAC-12, and wins 5 of 6 games during the second half of the season including a win over Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl… meanwhile, BYU plays a schedule made up of WAC and DIV II teams… and yet they somehow climb the rankings by defeating (sometimes narrowly) the likes of… Utah State, San Jose State, Idaho, Idaho State, New Mexico State, and Hawaii… pretty pathetic! I have a close friend who is a BYU fan… and even he admits they’re not that great a team this year.

  7. Randall says:

    Utah is overrated if anything. They absolutely embarassed themselves upon entering a weak major conference, lost to god-awful Colorado, and had to have the bowl game handed to them on a silver platter by a really bad, rebuilding GT team that is ranked 119 out of 120 schools in experience, only ahead of Auburn.

  8. MSUlaxer27 says:

    MSU started last season at 51 and ended at 14.
    MSU started this season at 41 and ended at 10.

    So will we see MSU start next season in the 30′s (they bring back the majority of the defense) and end up in the single digits?

    Or will you think that “lightning can be captured in the bottle three times” and rank MSU in the 60′s after what they lose in offense this off season?

  9. Matt Rob says:

    oy vey.

    Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, Penn State, Nebraska and Iowa will all be better next year… I don’t see Michigan State catching anything in a bottle more rare than an eight-win season in 2012.

  10. John says:

    “With this schedule Vandy would have gone 12-1.”

    Those were early season losses and NIU got screwed by the refs on a TD against Kansas that would have made the game 28-14 NIU at halftime. Instead the score was tied 21-all at half.

    NIU beat two teams with 10-win record and one team with 9 wins. Most teams can’t even say that. Vanderbilt beat ZERO teams with a winning record and finished with yet another losing record, as usual.

  11. Eksynyt says:

    How can you have USC ahead of Oregon? Seriously? They didn’t win the Pac 12 and Oregon won the Rose Bowl, plus USC lost to a terrible Arizona State team by like 21 points! Wow…you missed the mark on this one, Paul.

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