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The Times' college football rankings: Alabama is No. 1

Chris Dufresne offers his final rankings for the 2012 college football season.

January 10, 2013
  • Alabama head coach Nick Saban is hugged by AJ McCarron, Barrett Jones and Cyrus Kouandjio after the BCS National Championship game.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban is hugged by AJ McCarron, Barrett Jones and… (Chris OMeara / Associated…)

Let's review this year's "gets" and "goofs." Two of Rankman's top three preseason picks, Alabama and Oregon, finished No. 1 and No. 2 in all the major polls. "Not too shabby," Adam Sandler said. We also touted probationary unheralded Ohio State as a preseason top 10 team and the Buckeyes finished 12-0. "That's pretty, pretty, pretty good," Larry David responded. Football expert Phil Steele didn't have Kansas State in his top 30, but Rankman said, "No, no, they're at least No. 22." We were clearly too enthusiastic about Oklahoma (No. 5) and Texas (No. 6) and Michigan (No. 7) and should have had more respect for Stanford (No. 18). The colossal blunder, of course, was putting USC at No. 1 and watching the Trojans stumble to 7-6. We still maintain USC had the talent to win it all and might have done so had Coach Lane Kiffin been allowed to deflate more footballs and switch jerseys with Alabama with Alabama's players still inside of them.

1; Alabama 13-1; Saban was exceedingly gracious Tuesday morning accepting national title trophy from Rankman. (3)

2; Oregon 12-1; Chip returns to finish the unfinished business he still has to finish. (4)

3; Ohio State 12-0; Associated Press considered voting only undefeated No. 1 but ultimately said, "Naaaah." (2)

4; Notre Dame 12-1; Fort Lauderdale marine biologist asked team to "Win one for the Flipper." (1)

5; Georgia 12-2; Will be favored to win SEC next year so long as Alabama decides to discontinue football. (7)

6; Stanford 12-2; Most people thought school band's Rose Bowl tribute to cheese was not very Gouda. (9)

7; Texas A&M 11-2; After a season to remember, we're counting the days to Johnny Spring Football. (10)

8; South Carolina 11-2; Clowney's jarring hit in Outback Bowl reportedly loosened one of Spurrier's molars. (11)

9; Clemson 11-2; Tiger Beat predicts Boyd's decision to return makes Tigers the team to beat. (14)

10; Florida 11-2; Ended season as the most unwatchable best team that almost lost to Louisiana Lafayette. (5)

11; Louisville 11-2; Big East sends ACC-bound Cardinals a 10-year-old fruitcake for winning Sugar Bowl. (24)

12; Florida State 12-2; Wrecked Northern Illinois' Orange Bowl dreams and were back in bed by midnight. (13)

13; LSU 10-3; Miles bolts locker room door after half the team declares for the NFL draft. (8)

14; Kansas State 11-2; Snyder vows return to Fiesta Bowl to whip that "young whippersnapper" Chip Kelly. (6)

15; Utah State 11-2; Logan holds a parade to celebrate losing a head coach to Wisconsin. (18)

16; Oklahoma 10-3; "Big Game" Bob can't seem to win a big bowl that doesn't involve Connecticut. (12)

17; Texas 9-4; Mack Brown needed that Alamo win more than Bevo needed a postseason sponge bath. (NR)

18; Oregon State 9-4; Riley found a new favorite fast-food joint in San Antonio called "Enchilada-N-Out." (15)

19; Boise State (11-2) School releases statement saying how much it enjoyed stay in Big East. (NR)

20; San Jose State 11-2; School hires Glenn Miller tribute band to celebrate team's first 11-win season since 1940. (21)

21; Penn State 8-4; Rankman grants reader season-ending wish of having Nits ranked ahead of Northwestern. (NR)

22; Northwestern 10-3; Not likely to couple first bowl win since 1949 with first appearance in NCAA basketball tournament. (22)

23; Northern Illinois 12-2; Town of DeKalb quietly returns to being barbed wire capital of the world. (17)

24; Vanderbilt 9-4; This "Keep on Truckin'" program is suddenly purring like a Peterbilt. (NR)

25; Baylor 8-5; Just finishing up Holiday notes to thank UCLA for being so accommodating during bowl trip. (NR)

Dropped out: Kent State (23), San Diego State (19), UCLA (16), Fresno State (20).

Moved in: Texas, Penn State, Vanderbilt, Baylor.

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