2012 College Football Rankings: Alabama, LSU, USC All Claim Top 25 Throne

Apr 14, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide cheerleaders prior to the spring game at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE

Hey, college football starts Thursday! Guess we better take a look at the Top 25 rankings, huh? Some combination of USC, LSU and Alabama makes for the top three in almost all of them, with Oregon and Oklahoma trading off after that. Then it all goes to crackers.

Who's the best college football team in the country? Based on the Internet's many Top 25 preseason rankings, it's either the USC Trojans, Alabama Crimson Tide or LSU Tigers up top, followed by the Oklahoma Sooners or Oregon Ducks. Based on all of them compiled together -- or at least the ones I've chosen to compile below -- it's the defending national champs followed by the defending SEC champs, and wouldn't it be something to see a rematch of the rematch? (No, nobody wants to see that.)


Breeze through the 2012 Top 25 with Bill Connelly and Dan Rubenstein!

It's time for an updated look at the wisdom of a crowd of crowds, now that pretty much everybody has their rankings up.

Included in the composite Top 25 below are the coaches' and AP polls, BCS guru Samuel Chi's projected BCS standings (which contain the funniest fact out of everything included here -- there's a BCS computer that doesn't rank the Florida St. Seminoles at all), the final preseason edition of SB Nation's BlogPoll (which logs polls from our dozens of college football communities), Football Outsiders' projected F/+ rankings, the SI.com Top 25*, and our own SB Nation Studios Top 25 Countdown (which was concocted via a secret formula less esoteric than the BCS'). Both the coaches' and simulated BCS entries contain elements that will eventually work their way into shaping who plays for the national title, so PAY ATTENTION here, folks.

You can see a few clear tiers at the top, with Florida State and the Georgia Bulldogs following the upper crust and lower-upper crust. The South Carolina Gamecocks, Michigan Wolverines and Arkansas Razorbacks form the next bunch, followed by the Wisconsin Badgers, West Virginia Mountaineers, Texas Longhorns and Michigan St. Spartans.

Also interesting, again, is the teams on which we're either sold or over which we're AT EACH OTHER'S THROATS. Oklahoma barely budges all the way across, while the Oklahoma St. Cowboys are completely all over the place. And those teams are in the same state!

* Some consensus top 25 teams weren't included in SI's poll, which only went to 25. I added a No. 26 ranking in that column for teams that would've otherwise finished with averages better than 25. This dinged their overall scores somewhat, in order to reflect their omission from SI.

Coaches AP BCS Sim BlogPoll SB Nation Studios SI.com Football Outsiders Composite

1 Alabama 2 2 1 2 2 1 1 1.571

2 LSU 1 3 2 3 1 3 2 2.143

3 USC 3 1 3 1 4 2 6 2.857

4 Oregon 5 5 4 4 3 4 4 4.143

5 Oklahoma 4 4 5 5 5 5 3 4.429

6 Georgia 6 6 8 7 6 9 8 7.143

7 Florida State 7 7 10 6 7 11 7 7.857

8 South Carolina 9 9 7 9 10 7 17 9.714

9 Michigan 8 8 9 8 8 13 16 10.000

10 Arkansas 10 10 6 12 9 12 15 10.571

11 Wisconsin 12 12 11 10 15 6 19 12.143

12 West Virginia 11 11 15 11 16 10 20 13.429

13 Texas 15 15 17 16 13 15 9 14.286

14 Michigan State 13 13 13 13 20 8 24 14.857

15 Oklahoma State 19 19 12 19 12 26 5 16.000

16 Stanford 18 21 14 21 14 17 11 16.571

17 TCU 17 20 16 20 11 21 12 16.714

18 Clemson 14 14 21 14 21 14 21 17.000

19 Ohio State NA 18 NA 18 17 22 13 17.600

20 Virginia Tech 20 16 19 15 18 18 18 17.714

21 Nebraska 16 17 20 17 23 19 23 19.286

22 Florida 23 23 23 24 19 26 10 21.143

23 Boise St. 22 24 18 23 24 23 26 22.857

24 Notre Dame 24 26 24 25 22 26 14 23.000

25 Kansas State 21 22 22 22 25 16 47 25.000

While we’re here, let’s watch some of the many fine college football videos from SB Nation’s YouTube channel:

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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