20 Nov 2012 11:49 AM EST
-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: QB A.J. McCarron has thrown 21 TD passes to just 2 INTs this season. (Image Source: Associated Press)
1. Alabama Crimson Tide  10-1 [6-1]: Won vs. Western Carolina 49-0
‘Bama is back in the saddle again. HC Nick Saban has two weeks to get ready for Georgia. Am I overlooking Auburn? No, the rival Tigers are that bad.
2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish  11-0: Won vs. Wake Forest 38-0
Just because the Irish are more deserving of a spot in the BCS Championship game doesn’t mean they’re better than Alabama. These are rankings people, not standings.
3. LSU Tigers  9-2 [5-2]: Won Ole Miss 41-35
I’m still a big believer in the Bayou Bengals, but their pass defense has been too up-and-down of late. They limited Ole Miss’s Bo Wallace to just 15/35 passing and picked him off three times, but also allowed 2 TD passes, 310 yards and just over 20 yards per completion.
4. Oregon Ducks  10-1 [7-1]: Lost vs. 17-14 [OT]
Eventually, the Ducks were going to have to play a nip-and-tuck game and they simply didn’t have enough to survive Stanford. But like ‘Bama before them, don’t count Oregon out just yet.
5. Georgia Bulldogs  10-1 [7-1]: Won vs. Georgia Southern 45-14
We still have some doubts about the Dawgs but they have the horses to play with anyone in the country, including Alabama.
6. Florida Gators  10-1 [7-1]: Won vs. Jacksonville State 23-0
If USC can find a way to upend Notre Dame this week, the Gators are in prime position to sneak into the BCS Championship Game. That is…if Florida can turn around their recent slump and upset FSU.
7. Kansas State Wildcats  11-1 [7-1]: Lost @ Baylor 52-24
The Wildcats were never in it against Baylor and Collin Klein’s mediocre play the last two weeks, post concussion, has really opened up the Heisman race again.
8. Texas A&M  9-2 [5-2]: Won vs. Sam Houston State 47-28
You want to know why they call him Johnny Football? QB Johnny Manziel now holds the freshman QB rushing record, the freshman record for total offense and is the first freshman—fifth player overall—to have 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing yards in the same season.
9. Stanford Cardinal  9-2 [7-1]: Won @ Oregon 17-14 [OT]
What a big win for HC David Shaw and the Stanford program, which is now just two wins away from being Rose Bowl bound. They’re doing OK with Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck in the NFL.
10. South Carolina Gamecocks  9-2 [6-2]: Won vs. Wofford 24-7
Does South Carolina still deserve to be in the top 10? We’ll find out this week when they play at in-state rival Clemson.
Five on the Cusp: 11) Ohio State [11-0], 12) Oklahoma [8-2], 13) Florida State [10-1], 14) Clemson [10-1], 15) Oregon State [8-2]
Five to Watch: Arizona [7-4], Michigan [8-3], Nebraska [9-2], Texas [8-2] & UCLA [9-2]
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of American. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards.