Chris Dufresne’s final regular-season football rankings

Jimbo Fisher
Will Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher has his team ready for Auburn’s high-flying offense when the two teams meet in the BCS title game on Jan. 6?
(Streeter Lecka / Getty Images)

Of the top two teams in the final regular-season ranking, one almost got left out of the preseason rating and the other didn’t win a Southeastern Conference game last season. Who said picking champions was easy? Rankman’s preseason top two, Stanford and Alabama, would have made our final four if the playoff started this year. Clemson made the Bowl Championship Series top 14 to qualify for the Orange Bowl but just missed our cut, which allowed Oregon to grab the last at-large spot in the FCS (Fictional Championship Series) bowl — to be played in Bedford Falls.

1; Florida State 13-0; Coach Jimbo preparing PowerPoint presentation: “What to do if we ever get in a close game.” (1)

2; Auburn 12-1; If defense wins championships how come you’re ranked No. 88, between Toledo and Northwestern? (3)

3; Alabama 11-1; Tide fans should really start sweating if Saban says “I will not be the next coach at Texas.” (4)


4; Stanford 11-2; Gaffney prepares for Michigan State defense by running into sumo wrestlers. (9)

5; Michigan State 12-1; Best one-loss champion from a conference that had no shot of beating out one-loss SEC. (8)

6; Ohio State 12-1; That’s life: Meyer went from hottest coach in America to eating cold pizza out of a box. (2)

7; Baylor 11-1; Briles fooled by contract fine print that allows opt out only to coach the Texas Rangers, not Longhorns. (12)


8; South Carolina 10-2; Last year at bowl time Clowney was ticketed for going 110 mph through Michigan’s tailbacks. (6)

9; Missouri 11-2; Scored 42 points in the SEC title game and all they got was a lousy Cotton Bowl T-shirt. (5)

10 Oregon 10-2; Would have hated the Sugar Bowl anyway because it’s too warm for snowball fights. (11)

11; Oklahoma 10-2; Utah’s 2008 Sugar Bowl team thinks you can catch Alabama with its guards down. (18)

12; Oklahoma State 10-2; T. Boone Pickens so distraught over loss to Oklahoma he hasn’t bought an oil well all week. (7)

13; Arizona State 10-3; Sun Devils one key player from getting back to Rose Bowl this season: Jake Plummer. (10)

14; Louisiana State 9-3; Miles hopes Saban leaves and Alabama replaces him with someone like “Ears” Whitworth. (13)

15; Clemson 10-2; Proof that it’s not what you do that gets you to a big bowl game, it’s who you know. (17)


16; UCLA 9-3; Kirk Herbstreit scratched from Christmas list after mentioning Mora as possibility for Texas. (14)

17; Central Florida 11-1; Fiesta Bowl festivities begin with trip to Plastic Surgery Adventure Park in Scottsdale. (16)

18; Louisville 11-1; Bridgewater would have definitely made it to New York had the Heisman invited 20 players. (19)

19; Wisconsin 9-3; After three straight Disneyland/Rose Bowl trips team gets Disney World in Orlando. (21)

20; Fresno State 11-1; Bulldogs announce they will wear throwback Freedom Bowl jerseys for USC game in Las Vegas. (23)

21; Northern Illinois 12-1; Bowling Green wins MAC title and plays bowl in Detroit. NIU loses and goes to San Diego. (15)

22; Texas A&M 8-4; We think Manziel may have been invited to Heisman ceremonies to serve as a role model. (24)

23; USC 9-4; Southwest Airlines says it can get Trojans fans back from Las Vegas Bowl before dinner. (25)


24; Duke 10-3; Boxing experts say Duke was fighting in wrong weight class against Florida State. (20)

25; Rice 10-3; First championship since 1957 earns team Rankman’s Hike Eisenhower Award. (NR)

Moved out: Texas (22).

Moved in: Rice.