While ultimately the BCS rankings are the only ones that matter, the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll each provide a comprehensive look at how each college football team is perceived on a weekly basis.
One thing is for certain this week—Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State are now in the driver's seat for a trip to the BCS National Championship Game, with the Crimson Tide and Seminoles likely controlling their own destinies.
But plenty of other teams—Baylor, Stanford and even Oregon—will hope the top teams falter and open up a place atop the rankings, while other teams will be waiting in the wings hoping to secure a BCS berth. With so much at stake, let's take a look at this week's AP and Coaches Polls.
|Week 12 Associated Press Rankings|
|Week 12 USA Today Coaches Poll|
Not surprisingly, Alabama remains atop the rankings after a 38-17 win over LSU.
The Crimson Tide aren't in the clear just yet—though they'll be heavily favored against Mississippi State and poor, overmatched Chattanooga—with a meeting against Auburn on Nov. 30 and the SEC title game presumably to follow.
Assuming Missouri wins out (a tall task considering Texas A&M is still on the schedule), that means Alabama still has two Top 10 teams to dispose of if they are to reach the BCS National Championship.
Florida State is bumped up to No. 2 after Oregon's loss to Stanford, while Ohio State slides to No. 3. Oregon's loss certainly made the race to the title game a whole lot more intriguing.
At this point, however, Florida State seems a lock to reach the title game if it wins out. Ohio State doesn't have another ranked team left on its schedule and, at the moment, the best win on its schedule is a victory over Wisconsin.
The Buckeyes will likely face either Michigan State or Nebraska in the Big-Ten championship, however, the last real possibility for a resume builder. The two Legends Division front-runners face off this coming
And let's not forget about Baylor, which was hugely impressive in a 41-12 dismantling of Oklahoma. If Baylor is one of two top teams in the nation left undefeated, would it be voted into the title game ahead of one-loss teams like Stanford or Oregon?
The big losers of the week were Oregon, Oklahoma and LSU, which all dropped well down the rankings, while losses from Notre Dame and Texas Tech saw them voted out of both Top 25 rankings altogether.
Meanwhile, undefeated Fresno State and Northern Illinois continue to hang around in the rankings, each hoping to crash the BCS this season, while Texas has moved back into the rankings in both polls.
November is always a crazy month, and the stage is set for heartbreak, intrigue and unexpected storylines. If you thought the season was fun thus far, just wait—it's about to get nutty.