Bleacher Report's College Football Top 25 Poll: Week 15

Bleacher Report PollsFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2012

Bleacher Report's College Football Top 25 Poll: Week 15

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    Alabama will join Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game after a heart-pounding 32-28 victory over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday night. Georgia had a chance to win the game with 10 seconds left, but ran out of time on the Alabama 8-yard line.

    Stanford punched its ticket to the Rose Bowl with a 27-24 victory over UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday night. UCLA had a chance to tie the game, but Bruin kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn's 51-yard field goal sailed wide left with just 34 seconds left in the game.

    Read on to see the new Bleacher Report Top 25.

    *Note: Votes are calculated with 25 points going to the No. 1 ranking, 24 points going to No. 2, 23 points going to No. 3 and so on.

Others Receiving Votes

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    San Jose State: 25

    Wisconsin: 25

    Penn State: 20

    Vanderbilt: 19

    Louisiana Tech: 12

    Oklahoma State: 12

    Tulsa: 12

    TCU: 8

    Baylor: 4

    Mississippi State: 4

    Arizona State: 1

    Arkansas State: 1

No. 25: Texas Longhorns

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    Poll Points: 31

    Record: 8-4 (5-4, Big 12)

    Last Game: Dec. 1, lost to Kansas State, 42-24

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 21

    Longhorn quarterback Case McCoy completed 26-of-34 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns, but it wasn't enough as Texas fell to Kansas State.

    Wide receivers Jaxon Shipley and Malcolm Brown combined for 11 receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns for the Longhorns.

No. 24: Kent State Golden Flashes

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    Poll Points: 48

    Record: 11-2 (7-1, MAC)     

    Last Game: Nov. 30, lost to Northern Illinois, 44-37 (2 OT)

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 16

    Kent State quarterback Spencer Keith's pass fell incomplete on fourth down in the second overtime as the Golden Flashes fell to the Huskies in the MAC Championship Game on Friday.

    Kent State was able to keep the game close even though the Golden Flashes were out-gained, 524-260, in total offensive yards.

No. 23: Louisville Cardinals

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    Poll Points: 84

    Record: 10-2 (5-2, Big East)   

    Last Game: Nov. 29, beat Rutgers, 20-17

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 25

    Louisville quarterback Tommy Bridgewater completed 20-of-28 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns as the Cardinals downed the Scarlet Knights in the Big East Championship Game on Thursday.

    With the victory, Louisville earned a BCS-bowl bid and will either be invited to the Orange or Sugar Bowl in January.

No. 22: Northwestern Wildcats

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    Poll Points: 86

    Record: 9-3 (5-3, Big Ten)

    Last Game: Nov. 24, beat Illinois, 50-14

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: N/R

    Northwestern finished its season in third place in the Legends division in the Big Ten. After falling to Michigan on Nov.10, the Wildcats have reeled off two straight victories over Michigan State and Illinois.

No. 21: Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Poll Points: 102

    Record: 10-3 (7-1, Big Ten)

    Last Game: Dec. 1, lost to Wisconsin, 70-31

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 14

    Cornhusker quarterback Taylor Martinez threw for 184 yards and ran for another 140 yards, but it wasn't enough as Nebraska was routed by Wisconsin who claimed the Big Ten championship. Martinez also ran for two rushing touchdowns, including a 76-yarder in the first quarter.

    Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead finished the game rushing for 61 yards on just 11 carries.

No. 20: Michigan Wolverines

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    Poll Points: 113

    Record: 8-4 (6-2, Big Ten)

    Last Game: No. 24, lost to Ohio State, 26-21

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 24

    The Wolverines finished the regular season in second place in the Legends division of the Big Ten. Two of Michigan's four losses came against Notre Dame and Alabama—both of which are playing in the BCS National Championship Game next month.

No. 19: Utah State Aggies

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    Poll Points: 114

    Record: 10-2 (6-0, WAC) 

    Last Game: Nov. 24, beat Idaho, 45-9

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 22

    Utah State clinched its first outright conference title in 76 years with a win against Idaho on Nov. 24. Even more impressive is the fact that the Aggies won 10 games this year—the first time in their 114-year history.

No. 18: UCLA Bruins

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    Poll Points: 122

    Record: 9-4 (6-3, Pac-12)   

    Last Game: Nov. 30, lost to Stanford, 27-24

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 17

    Bruin running back Johnathan Franklin rushed for 194 yards and two touchdowns, but it wasn't enough as UCLA fell to Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday evening. Franklin also caught three passes for 22 yards.

    UCLA had a chance to tie the game with 34 seconds left, but Bruin kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn's 51-yard field goal sailed wide left.

No. 17: Boise State Broncos

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    Poll Points: 160

    Record: 10-2 (7-1, MWC)     

    Last Game: Dec. 1, beat Nevada, 27-21

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 18

    Bronco quarterback Joe Southwick completed 19-of-26 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns as Boise State beat Nevada to clinch at least a share of the MWC championship.

    Running back D.J. Harper rushed for 130 yards and touchdown for the Broncos.

No. 16: Northern Illinois Huskies

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    Poll Points: 168

    Record: 12-1 (8-0, MAC)

    Last Game: Nov. 30, beat Kent State, 44-37 (2 OT)

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 20

    Husky quarterback Jordan Lynch ran for his third touchdown of the game in the second overtime as Northern Illinois beat Kent State on Friday for the MAC championship. Lynch ended the day rushing for 160 yards on 36 carries.

    Northern Illinois running back Akeem Daniels added another 128 yards and a touchdown as the Huskies racked up 312 yards on the ground.

No. 15: Oregon State Beavers

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    Poll Points: 200

    Record: 9-3 (6-3, Pac-12)               

    Last Game: Dec. 1, beat Nicholls State, 77-3

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 19

    Beaver quarterbacks Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz threw for a combined five touchdowns as Oregon State blew out Nicholls State on Saturday. Mannion completed 20-of-23 passes for 231 yards, while Vaz completed 14-of-17 passes for 190 yards.

    Running back Malcolm Agnew led the charge on the ground with 76 yards and a touchdown. The Beavers racked up 230 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.

No. 14: Clemson Tigers

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    Poll Points: 228

    Record: 10-2 (7-1, ACC)                

    Last Game: Nov. 24, lost to South Carolina, 27-17

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 15

    Clemson ended its season with its first loss in the last eight games. The Tigers clinched at least a share of the ACC Atlantic division with a win a week earlier against North Carolina State.

No. 13: Florida State Seminoles

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    Poll Points: 267

    Record: 11-2 (7-1, ACC)                

    Last Game: Dec. 1, beat Georgia Tech, 21-15

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 13

    Seminole running back James Wilder Jr. rushed for 69 yards and two touchdowns as Florida State beat Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game on Saturday night.

    Running back Devonta Freeman added 59 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Seminoles.

No. 12: Oklahoma Sooners

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    Poll Points: 287

    Record: 10-2 (8-1, Big 12)              

    Last Game: Dec. 1, beat TCU, 24-17

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 12

    Sooner quarterback Landry Jones completed 22-of-40 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns as Oklahoma beat TCU. With the victory, Oklahoma at least earned a share of the Big 12 title.

    Running back Damien Williams rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown for the Sooners.

No. 11: South Carolina Gamecocks

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    Poll Points: 300

    Record: 10-2 (6-2, SEC)               

    Last Game: Nov. 24, beat Clemson, 27-17

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 11

    South Carolina beat in-state rival Clemson on Nov. 24 in the teams' last game of the regular season. The Gamecocks had a terrific season, with their only two losses to Florida and LSU.

No. 10: Texas A&M Aggies

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    Poll Points: 342

    Record: 10-2 (6-2, SEC)

    Last Game: Nov. 24, beat Missouri, 59-29

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 10

    Texas A&M completed its first season in the SEC and exceeded all expectations. Not only did the Aggies finish with just two losses, but they also beat formerly No. 1-ranked Alabama, away—not a bad start.

No. 9: LSU Tigers

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    Poll Points: 354

    Record: 10-2 (6-2, SEC)               

    Last Game: Nov. 23, beat Arkansas, 20-13

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 7

    The Tigers finished their season with a second-place finish the in the SEC West division. Their only two losses came against the second- and third-ranked teams in the country—Florida and Alabama.

No. 8: Stanford Cardinal

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    Poll Points: 363

    Record: 11-2 (8-1, Pac-12)

    Last Game: Nov. 30, beat UCLA, 27-24

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 10

    Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan threw a touchdown and ran for another as Stanford held on to beat UCLA for the Pac-12 championship on Friday evening. Hogan completed 16-of-22 passes for 155 yards while running for another 47 yards on 11 carries.

    Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.

No. 7: Kansas State Wildcats

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    Poll Points: 364

    Record: 11-1 (8-1, Big 12)               

    Last Game: Dec. 1, beat Texas, 42-24

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 7

    Wildcat quarterback Collin Klein threw a touchdown and ran for two more as Kansas State beat Texas on Saturday night. Klein finished the game throwing for 184 yards while running for another 103 as the Wildcats clinched a tie for the Big 12 title.

    Running back John Hubert rushed for 66 yards and scored three times on the ground for the Wildcats.

No. 6: Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Poll Points (first-place votes): 406 (1)

    Record: 12-0 (8-0, Big Ten)

    Last Game: Nov. 24, beat Michigan, 26-21

    Next Game: End of season (Ineligible for bowl season due to NCAA sanctions)

    Previous Ranking: 4

    The Buckeyes ended their season undefeated, but due to NCAA sanctions, were unable to play in the Big Ten Championship Game or have a shot at the BCS title.

    It was an impressive campaign considering it was Urban Meyer's first season at the school.

No. 5: Georgia Bulldogs

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    Poll Points: 410

    Record: 11-2 (7-1, SEC)               

    Last Game: Dec. 1, lost to Alabama, 32-28

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 3

    Bulldog running back Todd Gurley rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns against one of the best defenses in the country, but Georgia fell to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.

    Aaron Murray completed 18-of-33 passes for 265 yards and a touchdown for the Bulldogs.

No. 4: Oregon Ducks

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    Poll Points: 419

    Record: 11-1 (8-1, Pac-12)               

    Last Game: Nov. 24, beat Oregon State, 48-24

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 5

    Oregon just missed competing in the Pac-12 Championship Game the previous week when Stanford beat UCLA. The Ducks clinched at least a share of the Pac-12 North-division championship with the Cardinal.

No. 3: Florida Gators

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    Poll Points: 421

    Record: 11-1 (7-1, SEC)             

    Last Game: Nov. 24, beat Florida State, 37-26

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 6

    Florida's chances of a BCS championship ended the previous week when Notre Dame beat USC, but it doesn't take away from the Gators' surprising season.

    Many publications barely had the Gators ranked at all in the preseason polls.

No. 2: Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Poll Points (first-place votes): 474 (4)

    Record: 12-1 (7-1, SEC)               

    Last Game: Dec. 1, beat Georgia, 32-28

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 2

    Crimson Tide running backs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon combined for 334 rushing yards and three touchdowns as Alabama beat Georgia in the SEC-title game on Saturday night.

    Lacy rushed for 181 yards and two scores, while Yeldon added a 153 yards and a touchdown as the Crimson Tide racked up 512 yards of total offense.

    The Tide will be heading to the BCS National Championship Game to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

No. 1: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Poll Points (first-place votes): 494 (15)

    Record: 12-0               

    Last Game: Nov. 24, beat USC, 22-13

    Next Game: End of regular season

    Previous Ranking: 1

    Notre Dame will be heading to the BCS National Championship Game after finishing a stellar 12-0. Although many people believe the Irish were overrated throughout the season, they continue to prove the doubters wrong with big victories on the road against USC, Stanford and Oklahoma.

    Bleacher Report Voters: David Mayer (Poll Coordinator), Adam Jacobi, Adam Kramer, Alex Joseph, Alex Callos, Amy Daughters, Barrett Sallee, Carl Stine, David Luther, Rich Thomaselli, Eric Bowman, Ian Berg, James Brown, Jason Fraychineaud, John Rozum, Jonathan McDanal, Max Rausch, Sanjay Kirpalani, Zach Dirlam.