College football’s AP poll will reveal the complete 2012 standings with Week 5 results now archived. There were few surprises in “Unspectacular Saturday,” but survival is imperative on the drive for the BCS title.
No. 1 Alabama will continue to dominate the rankings after a routine win over Ole Miss. Next up, the Crimson Tide will travel to Missouri with their defense primed to take on the spread offense.
There will continue to be much debate about the No. 2 team in the country. Oregon, LSU, Florida St. and Georgia all make cases for that slot because of the unique things their teams can do, but all are regarded as less complete than BCS champion Alabama.
Here is a look at how the AP poll could shape their rankings, with brief commentary and outlooks on key games and BCS possibilities.
1. Alabama 'Bama wants a big SEC game to stay sharp.
2. Oregon Just the usual 51 points after taking WSU’s best shot.
3. LSU CBS game at Florida: Are the Tigers underdogs?
4. Florida St. Right on track as the ACC front-runner.
5. Georgia Was Georgia’s defense exposed?
6. South Carolina Hosts Georgia next week for SEC co-game of the week.
7. Kansas St. Mark down October 20 at West Virginia for Big-12 showdown.
8. West Virginia Love the offense, but no BCS without a lockdown defense.
9. Notre Dame Danger game next week versus Miami’s athletes.
10. Florida Time to prove that the Swamp is ready to host LSU.
11. Texas Big win over dangerous Oklahoma St.
12. USC Thursday night battle coming with Utah on ESPN.
13. Ohio St. Braxton Miller’s training for the 2014 BCS title.
14. TCU Win now because schedule will become very tough.
15. Oklahoma Still overrated? Oklahoma never out of the BCS hunt.
16. Clemson Off the radar, but should keep winning and moving up.
17. Oregon St. All three wins decided by average of 4.3 points.
18. Mississippi St. Another underrated story but will get 'Bama and LSU.
19. Texas A&M Aggies offense now making some noise.
20. Nebraska Solid top 20 team, but the '90s were long ago.
21. Louisville Survived the sloppy weather but struggling.
22. Stanford They could be a spoiler, but roses seem unlikely.
23. Rutgers Another soft schedule opportunity to sneak into BCS.
24. Northwestern Can they run the table? Fitzgerald’s genius underrated.
25. Boise St. Nobody talks about Boise St. anymore. I won’t either.
Stanford is a good, physical team, but life without Andrew Luck has brought them down to Earth. They will struggle to keep up with more high-powered offenses in the Pac-12. No more BCS bowls on their horizon.
Michigan St.’s receivers drop passes in the scoring-deficient Big Ten. No wonder they are out.
Baylor’s Swiss cheese defense will put pressure on its offense to score 50 each game.
Oklahoma St. and Wisconsin are long-removed from their BCS appearances last year. It will be tough for them to rebound with an impressive run for a big bowl.
BCS Bowl Market
Georgia at South Carolina could decide the SEC East next week and keep alive the winner’s dreams for a national championship. Both teams will be ready after each survived some erratic play. Georgia’s defense will match up better against South Carolina.
Florida looks primed to take down LSU in the swamp. If so, it could remove the luster of the LSU-'Bama showdown in November. Expect LSU to come out with its best effort of the season. They are too good for a letdown.
Big 12 now has undefeated Texas looking up at West Virginia and Kansas St. It promises to be an entertaining conference, but it may be difficult to run the table and put forth a national championship contender.
Oregon appears to be the best chance out West, but they are not a lock to get through the Pac-12. Washington brings a dangerous offense and improved defense to Autzen Stadium for the night game on ESPN.
Notre Dame will face an athletic test in the Miami Hurricanes, though it hardly conjures up the late '80s rivalry of championships past.