1. Notre Dame. Played every game they've played in 2012: looked inconsistent on offense, gave up yardage between the 20 yard lines, waited for the other team to spit the bit (usually via an INT to Manti Te'o), and then capitalized on those mistakes while bunkering around their own endzone in a 22-13 win over rival USC. They are not a pretty football team, but neither is their coach Brian Dennehy, and both just keep cashing checks and smiling.
2. Alabama. A 49-0 win over Auburn adds to this impressive statistical pile: the 129 points Auburn has lost their last three games by, a margin rounding out the fastest collapse by a BCS championship team ever. This entry wasn't about Alabama, but when the other team doesn't score a point, one does tend to look less at the semi truck, and more at the poor deer blasted all over the highway by the impact.
3. Georgia. Speaking of horrendous impact: 42-10 over Georgia Tech, a team that will now turn around and play in the ACC title game with a 6-6 record against Florida State. This sets up a possible 7-6 ACC representative for a BCS slot. College football is so very stupid at times, and that is one of its most endearing traits.
4. Ohio State. As we were saying about endearingly stupid things: Ohio State finishes an undefeated season with a 26-21 submission of Michigan, and now will sit at home because their athletic director elected to take a bowl ban this year, and not with last year's 6-6 Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl team. The stupid part is that they are not in the national title picture. The endearing part is that in a frigid, blustery Ohio Stadium postgame on Saturday, not one Buckeye fan gave a rat's ass about it.
5. Oregon. 48-24 over the Oregon State Beavers, who, only down 20-10 at the half, made the classic mistake of playing a third quarter against Oregon. The Ducks hit the nitrous after the break, scoring 28 points and joining the stack of "one-loss teams who could annihilate anything in the country, but who will be happy to play in the Holiday Bowl or something like that."
6. Florida. Gained more rushing yards against Florida State than they did against anyone except the University of Tennessee this year in a 37-26 win over their bitter in-state rivalry. This has something to do with Florida's offensive line being as healthy as they've been since their win over LSU, and also because E.J. Manuel handing the ball over four times tends to boost your time of possession numbers. All eight sets of Phil Steele's power rankings call for the Seminoles to go undefeated in 2012, and that is why gambling is a terrible, terrible way to make money.
7. Kansas State. Bye week. Bill Snyder probably spent it gardening, browsing the aisles of a Tractor Supply Company, or engaging in some other old man swag-boosting activities.
8. LSU. Les Miles thinks you should kiss every man on the mouth after a closer-than-expected 20-13 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks. This sounds uglier and closer than it should have been, but all anyone will remember is Jarvis Landry erasing all of that by controlling a ball with his mind.
P.S. The John L. Smith era at Arkansas was dramatically less fun than one might have hoped.
9. Texas A&M. The score is deceptive, since 59-29 implies that Texas A&M couldn't have scored 80 against Mizzou with their foot down. If you hear someone complaining about the Aggies running up the score, and keeping Johnny Manziel in the game just to drive home a case for the Heisman, you have found person who has literally just watched Texas A&M play for the first time this year.
10. Florida State. The 37-26 loss to Florida is really not helping their resume for an impending move to the Big 12, but it does continue Jimbo Fisher's evolution into being the next Mack Brown
11. Stanford. It must really, really hurt to play Stanford, since a 35-17 win over UCLA and the attendant box score does not really capture the pulling linemen, power run game bludgeoning, and defensive line malice involved in a Stanford contest. And lucky you, UCLA! You get to do it next week, too!
12. Clemson. Joined the ACC's parade of failure against the SEC by losing to South Carolina, 27-17. The real downside to this is that losing to South Carolina for a record fourth time in a row might shorten Dabo Swinney's lifespan as Clemson's head coach, and that would rob us of Swinney and Spurrier, the best two man comedy duo since Fry and Laurie.
13. South Carolina. Steve Spurrier is now the winningest coach at two schools, Florida and South Carolina. Put the man near championship golf courses, and you will have the best college football coach of his generation.
14. Oklahoma. A 51-48 victory in overtime for the Sooners is new territory for the Bedlam rivalry, but with very old and familiar results for OU and Bob Stoops.
15. UCLA. Again: what a joy it will be to play the swinging sack full of sledgehammers that is the Stanford football team two weeks in a row, Jim Mora. Especially when you just lost to them, 35-17. (P.S. This is still a fantastic year for them no matter what happens, because UCLA has nine wins after looking like one of the worst teams in recent Pac-12 history under Rick Neuheisel.)
16. Oregon State. Another Pac-12 success whose late season performance might put a bit too much emphasis on the unfortunate party foul lurking in an otherwise pleasant eight-win punchbowl of a season. (Lost 48-24 to Phil Knight's Hyperdrive Assassins.)
17. Nebraska. Did you watch this 13-7 win over Iowa? You may be eligible to participate in a class-action lawsuit against Kirk Ferentz for whatever that was that Iowa football subjected the rest of the nation to this year. Contact your local football attorney for more details.
18. Texas. Lost, 20-13, to TCU in a game confirming that a.) Gary Patterson is a very good football coach, and b.) that no one knows what the hell is going on at Texas in the year 2012, and that includes Mack Brown. If you are Texas fan, do not compile a list of Texas quarterbacks Mack Brown did not offer or recruit as quarterbacks coming out of high school. This way lies suicide.
19. Louisville. Won, 20-23, over Connecticut in overtime. You read that correctly. This did not happen, and neither did a wrist injury to Teddy Bridgewater. WHY CAN'T WE HAVE BEAUTIFUL THINGS, COLLEGE FOOTBALL? (Answer: UConn, which will probably wake up in the ACC's bed tomorrow because the ACC does really insane, irresponsible things when drunk.)
20. Michigan. I was at this game, and if you have a copy of Al Borges' gameplan, please email it to me because I, too, like ridiculous and nonsensical things. A hard, 26-21 loss to Ohio State.
21. Rutgers. Celebrated the move to the Big Ten as one does: with a 27-6 loss to Pitt.
22. Oklahoma State. Mike Gundy did an astonishing job coaching the Cowboys this season to get them to 7-4, and that sentence is a reminder that Stillwater, though much improved, is still a hard place to be really, really good at college football.
23. Kent State. 11-1 in the MAC after a 28-6 win over Ohio, and one of the best stories of the year! (Please, please, please do not ever look at who that one loss is to, because it ruins the whole great story part.)
24. Arizona. Lost the Territorial Cup to Arizona State, 41-34, and may not get it back for a while when Todd Graham tosses it in a carry-on as he flies to Knoxville for "a family reunion."
25. Washington. Lost, 31-28, to the lowly Cougs in the Apple Cup. They also beat Stanford earlier this season, and never, ever try to explain any of this to anyone.
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