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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Deadspin's College Football Top 25 Or So: Everyone's A Champion

Illustration for article titled Deadspins College Football Top 25 Or So: Everyones A Champion

It's time for a new installment of Deadspin's college football rankings. As always, the teams are ranked according to the logic and values of college football, no matter how bizarre or contradictory they may be. While we wait for bowl season to begin, we're celebrating the conference championships.


1. LSU (13-0) Previous rank: 1

The Tigers beat Georgia, 42-10, to wrap up an SEC championship and an undefeated regular season. Despite having outperformed every other good team in the country—and having beaten most of them head to head—they now have to go play Alabama in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game Bowl.


2. Navy (5-7) Previous rank: unranked

The Midshipmen rendered their losing record and failure to qualify for a bowl game irrelevant by beating Army, 27-21, giving them a 10-year winning streak in the only game that really matters to Navy or Army. Navy has succeeded at football.

3. Oklahoma State (11-1) Previous rank: 13

The Cowboys crushed archrival and former national championship contender Oklahoma, 44-10, wrapping up the Big 12 title. Now they will meet Stanford in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, with a good chance to become the end-of-year No. 2 team that everyone is sorry for not just voting into the title game—America's Moral Runners-Up.


4. USC (10-2) Previous rank: 4

The bowl-banned outlaw Trojans are done for the year, but basked in the humiliation of UCLA—their replacement as South Division champions—in the Pac-12 title game.


5. Wisconsin (11-2) Previous rank: 17

The Badgers beat Michigan State, 42-39, in the Big Ten championship game, securing a spot in the Rose Bowl against Oregon. Going to the Rose Bowl is a nice outcome for the University of Wisconsin.


6. Oregon (11-2) Previous rank: 16

The Ducks beat UCLA, 49-31, to win the Pac-12 Championship Game for Teams That Aren't Ineligible to Win the Pac-12, securing a spot in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin. Going to the Rose Bowl is a nice outcome for Nike.


7. TCU (10-2) Previous rank: 18

The Horned Frogs concluded an undefeated championship run through the Mountain West conference by beating UNLV, 56-9. Now they will meet Louisiana Tech in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.


8. Southern Miss (11-2) Previous rank: 22

The Golden Eagles shocked previously undefeated Houston, 49-28, to win the Conference USA championship game. Now they will meet Nevada in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.


9. Arkansas State (10-2) Previous rank: 20

The Red Wolves eat Troy, 45-14, to finish an undefeated championship run through Sun Belt Conference play. Now they will meet Northern Illinois in the Bowl.


10. Clemson (10-3) Previous rank: 23

The Tigers beat Virginia Tech for the second time this year, 38-10, to win the ACC championship game. Now they will meet West Virginia in the Orange Bowl.


11. Northern Illinois (10-3) Previous rank: unranked

The Huskies beat Ohio, 23-20, to win the Mid-America Conference championship game. As the trophy—pictured above—says, they are the CHAMPION 2011 FOOTBALL. Now they will meet Arkansas State in the Bowl.


12. [Vacant] Previous rank: 5

Winning your conference is definitely better than nothing, unless your conference is the Big East.


13. Alabama (11-1) Previous rank: 3

If college football didn't have the bogus "overtime" shootout, Alabama would be heading into the championship game at 11-0-1, and LSU would be 12-0-1 (the Tigers having played in the SEC title game by virtue of their higher poll ranking). But in this world we live in, the Crimson Tide are losers, and if they win the rematch, it will merely demonstrates the meaningless of the entire system.


14. Baylor (9-3) Previous rank: 21

Robert Griffin III passed for 320 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two more touchdowns to beat Texas, 48-24, and conclude his successful final argument to the Heisman Trophy voters. Now the Bears will meet Washington in the Valero Alamo Bowl.


15. Stanford (11-1) Previous rank: 12

Heisman non-winner Andrew Luck and the Pac-12 non-champion Cardinal will meet Oklahoma State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.


16. South Carolina (10-2) Previous rank: 7

Melvin Ingram and the Gamecocks will meet Nebraska in the Capitol One Bowl.

17. Arkansas (10-2) Previous rank: 8

The Razorbacks will meet Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl.

18. Georgia (10-2) Previous rank: 9

Just another team that looked good till it played LSU. The Bulldogs will meet Michigan State in the Outback Bowl in a matchup of conference championship-game losers.


19. Michigan (10-2) Previous rank: 10

The Wolverines will meet Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl.

20. Kansas State (10-2) Previous rank: 14

The Wildcats will meet Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl.

21. Michigan State (10-3) Previous rank: 10

The Spartans will meet Georgia in the Outback Bowl.

22. Boise State (11-1) Previous rank: 19

The Broncos beat New Mexico, 45-0, to wrap up a second-place campaign in the Mountain West Conference. Now they will meet 6-6 Arizona State in the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas.


23. Houston (12-1) Previous rank: 2

So much for perfection. The formerly unblemished Cougars will meet 9-3 Penn State in the TicketCity Bowl.


120. Penn State (9-3) Previous rank: 120

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