Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oregon finishes only behind Alabama while Stanford makes the Top 10 and Oregon State holds onto a spot in the Top 25.
1. Alabama - Winning three championships in four years in modern sports is nearly impossible and as long as Saban stays at Alabama there is no reason to think that they won't stop rolling.
2. Oregon - Oregon was probably worth of the BCS Championship Game for the second year in a row, but got tripped up by a late-season conference foe at home.
3. Ohio State - Has to be heartbreaking in Columbus to realize that had they been eligible, that they most likely would have been playing Notre Dame in Miami.
4. Notre Dame - It's too bad that the way that the Irish lost the BCS Championship Game will overshadow their great season.
5. Georgia - It looks like the SEC Championship Game was in fact really the BCS Championship Game and Georgia came up just short.
6. Texas A&M - The Aggies may have actually been the best team in the country at the end of the year.
7. Stanford - The Cardinal were a bit underwhelming in the Rose Bowl but their old school formula for success results in a lot of wins like that.
8. Florida - I didn't understand Florida's gameplan in the Sugar Bowl at all and their complete lack of an offense became glaringly clear as the season went on.
9. South Carolina - The Gamecocks seem to be comfortably entrenched as the best of the non-elite SEC schools, but that could change with Jadeveon Clowney coming back next year.
10. Florida State - The Seminoles easily could have been a Top 5 team in a lot of years in college football, but the country was just too stacked with great teams this year.
11. Clemson - Have to applaud the Tigers for actually showing up in their bowl this year and scoring one of the best non-BCS bowl wins of the season over LSU.
12. Louisville - Maybe the biggest surprise of the bowl season was how well Louisville played against Florida in what was a big moment for the dying Big East.
13. Kansas State - Surprisingly, Kansas State's defense probably actually played well enough for them to make it a game in the Fiesta Bowl against Oregon, but their offense didn't show up.
14. LSU - It's tough to equate LSU's recent winning seasons with failure, but the Tigers have seemed to underachieve a lot in recent years under Les Miles, this year included.
15. Oklahoma - The fact that the Big 12 was very soft up top has to make Oklahoma's somewhat disappointing season even more frustrating for fans.
16. Northwestern - I think this is the quietest 10-win season a BCS conference team has ever had.
17. Boise State - The Broncos clearly regressed a little bit from the Kellen Moore era, but were still able to take care of business against a BCS conference team in the Las Vegas Bowl.
18. Utah State - Since Boise State is practically considered a BCS team, I'll give Utah State the designation of the best non-BCS team of 2012.
19. Northern Illinois - The Huskies fought hard in the Orange Bowl, but clearly just weren't the level of the Boise State, Utah and TCU teams who have competed in BCS bowls as non-BCS conference teams.
20. San Jose State - The biggest school in the Bay Area after Stanford and Cal, the Spartans could become a solid program is they can recover from losing their coach.
21. Vanderbilt - Like Northwestern above them, the Commodores had a much stronger season than I think most people realized and capitalized on down seasons by traditional powers in their conference.
22. Texas - This program has way too much talent to not be finishing near the Top 10 each season and there will be a lot of pressure to compete at a higher level next season.
23. Oregon State - A gut wrenching Alamo Bowl loss can't completely take away the fact that the Beavers finished in the Top 25 in a season when many expected them to finish near the bottom of the Pac-12.
24. Nebraska - A respectable showing in the Capital One Bowl has to take a little bit of the sting of of Nebraska's embarrassing showing in the Big 10 Championship Game, but not all of it.
25. Cincinnati - Another good season for one of the nation's more underrated programs, but they can't be pleased with being a coach farm for bigger programs.