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USA Today College Football Poll 2012: Complete Week 12 Rankings

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 10:  Quarterback Johnny Manziel #2, defensive back Dustin Harris #22 and wide receiver Kenric McNeal #5 of the Texas A&M Aggies celebrate after the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide Texas A&M Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 10, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  The Aggies beat the Crimson Tide 29-24.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2012

And then there were three.

After No. 5 Alabama's stunning loss to No. 10 Texas A&M, just No. 1 Oregon, No. 2 Kansas State and No. 3 Notre Dame now sit atop the USA Today Coaches Poll undefeated.

That leaves two major questions: Which team(s) will finish the season unscathed, and if they all go undefeated, which teams deserve to be ranked No. 1 and No. 2?

Expect No. 21 USC to play a major role in answering those inquiries. The Trojans will meet Notre Dame in two weeks, and could face Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship if they beat No. 16 UCLA and the Ducks defeat No. 13 Stanford and No. 17 Oregon State.

Meanwhile, Kansas State likely just needs to win its final two games against Baylor and No. 15 Texas to find itself in the National Championship game. 

For Alabama, the dream is likely dead. The Crimson Tide either need two teams above them to lose, or they need Oregon or Kansas State to lose and hope the computers love them more than an undefeated Notre Dame side.

It's not out of the question—if Alabama absolutely crushes its remaining opponents, including No. 4 Georgia in the SEC Championship, the Crimson Tide could potentially leapfrog Notre Dame.

Unlikely, but possible.

Meanwhile, Georgia will be hoping all two of the three undefeated teams lose and they earn themselves a victory in the SEC Championship. Believe it or not, the Bulldogs are still major contenders in the National Championship picture.

And No. 6 Florida State needs to survive No. 7 Florida, the ACC Championship game and hope everyone above them loses. Crazier things have happened, but not many.

In the Big Ten, No. 14 Nebraska needs only to win out to earn a berth in the Big Ten Championship game against Wisconsin, while No. 23 Michigan will be hoping the Cornhuskers fall. And yes, Ohio State is still undefeated, but it really doesn't matter, does it?

A November 29 game now between No. 18 Louisville and No. 20 Rutgers looms large, though the Cardinals lost some of their luster this week with a 45-26 loss to Syracuse. Remember when the Big East was relevant? 

And don't forget about No. 19 Louisiana Tech. They might still play in a BCS bowl if the team finishes in the top 12 of the BCS standings or in the top 16 and ahead of a BCS conference champion in the rankings, the latter being a possible scenario given the sorry state of the Big East.

The college football season is far from over, and I have a feeling we'll see a few more shocking upsets before all is said and done. However, for the time being here is how the USA Today Coaches Poll shakes out this week:


Rank Team
1 Oregon
2 Kansas State
3 Notre Dame 
4 Georgia 
5 Alabama
6 Florida State
7 Florida 
9 Clemson 
10 Texas A&M 
11 South Carolina 
12 Oklahoma 
13 Stanford 
14 Nebraska
15 Texas
17 Oregon State 
18 Louisville
19 Louisiana Tech
20 Rutgers 
21 USC
22 Boise State
23 Michigan
24 Oklahoma State 
25 Texas Tech 


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