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College Football Power Rankings - Week 12

11/19/2012

How did Week 12's results affect this week's ESPN Power Rankings?

1. Notre Dame (11-0)

Saturday's results cleared Notre Dame's path to the BCS title game, as the Fighting Irish ascended to No. 1 in the BCS standings for the first time in their history. Only USC stands in the way of a trip to Miami.

2. Alabama (10-1)

Following Alabama's loss to Texas A&M, Nick Saban was quick to point out that two of his national championship teams lost during the regular season. Might his words prove prophetic? The Tide are back in control of their own destiny.

3. Ohio State (11-0)

Ohio State might not be eligible to represent the Big Ten in Indianapolis, but the Buckeyes will be able to claim the Leaders Division title after beating Wisconsin despite a pedestrian performance from the usually-superb Braxton Miller (145 total yards).

4. Georgia (10-1)

Georgia is living proof that if you're going to lose in the BCS, then lose early. The Dawgs' 35-7 thrashing at the hands of South Carolina seems so long ago. UGA hosts Georgia Tech Saturday before turning its attention to the SEC championship game.

5. Oregon (10-1)

Credit must be given to Stanford's unyielding defense, but Oregon will wonder how and why its offense was seemingly stuck in neutral for long stretches against the Cardinal. The Ducks' BCS title hopes aren't dead, but they need plenty of help.

6. Florida (10-1)

Florida struggled in wins over Missouri and La.-Lafayette in recent weeks and the Gators' offense has looked even more stagnant in Jeff Driskel's absence. But the computers are high on the Gators and they can reach the BCS title game with some help.

7. Florida State (10-1)

The Seminoles' weak computer numbers have prevented them from gaining much ground in the BCS standings, despite winning five straight games. A visit from Florida Saturday gives FSU an opportunity to change that.

8. LSU (9-2)

Ole Miss has a habit of giving LSU trouble in Death Valley and Saturday was no different. Jeremy Hill scored twice in the fourth quarter and Odell Beckham Jr. added an 89-yard punt return for a TD to see the Tigers past the Rebels, 41-35.

9. Texas A&M (9-2)

Johnny Manziel became the fifth player in FBS history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in the same season. He's 166 yards shy of Cam Newton's SEC record for total offense in a season. The Aggies close the regular season against Missouri at home.

10. Kansas State (10-1)

The moment proved to be too much for Kansas State, which was swept aside by Baylor 52-24 in its first game as the No. 1 in the BCS standings. The Wildcats still have a Big 12 title and a BCS bowl to play for; they close with Texas on Dec. 1.

11. Stanford (9-2)

Blowout losses to Oregon have been the blemish on otherwise spectacular Stanford seasons in recent years, so Saturday's OT win must have been particularly sweet for the Cardinal. If they beat UCLA twice over the next two weeks, the Rose Bowl awaits.

12. Clemson (10-1)

Tajh Boyd accounted for eight TDs -- five passing and three rushing -- in Clemson's 62-48 win over NC State. The Tigers won 10 games in the regular season for the first time since 1981 and will host rival South Carolina in their regular-season finale.

13. South Carolina (9-2)

Perhaps the Gamecocks were looking ahead to Clemson, but they were underwhelming in a win over Wofford. South Carolina needed 17 fourth-quarter points to hold off the Terriers and earn their 11th straight victory at home.

14. Oklahoma (8-2)

Landry Jones broke his own school record with 554 passing yards and six TDs against West Virginia. Jones threw a TD to Kenny Stills with 24 seconds left, keeping OU's Big 12 title hopes alive for at least another week.

15. UCLA (9-2)

The Bruins earned their way into the Pac-12 title game this year, sweeping aside USC 38-28 to clinch the South Division title. UCLA hosts Stanford Saturday and might face the Cardinal in consecutive weeks.

16. Oregon State (8-2)

Sean Mannion's return to the lineup was a successful one for the Beavers. Mannion passed for 325 yards and four TDs, as Oregon State rolled to a 62-14 win over Cal. Next up: The Civil War against Oregon.

17. Nebraska (9-2)

The Cornhuskers didn't need a second-half comeback this week after scoring on four of their first six possessions against Minnesota. Nebraska will clinch the Legends Division title with a win at Iowa on Friday or a Michigan loss at Ohio State.

18. Texas (8-2)

The Longhorns were off this week and will take a four-game winning streak into a Thanksgiving night game against TCU.

19. Michigan (8-3)

After handling Iowa at home, Michigan hits the road to face Ohio State. The Wolverines haven't defeated the Buckeyes at the Shoe since 2000. And they'll have to do it without Fitzgerald Toussaint who suffered a leg injury on Saturday.

20. Louisville (9-1)

The Cardinals had the weekend off and will host UConn on Saturday hoping to rebound from their first loss of the season.

21. Rutgers (9-1)

The Scarlet Knights visit Pitt on Saturday and will host Louisville the following Thursday in a showdown that will likely decide this season's Big East champion.

22. Oklahoma State (7-3)

Oklahoma State won its fourth straight over Texas Tech in convincing fashion. It's the Cowboys' longest winning streak over the Red Raiders since 1942-45. They head to Norman Saturday for Bedlam.

23. Kent State (10-1)

The Golden Flashes won their ninth straight game and will head to their first MAC title game with 10 wins, the most in school history. They've won 14 of their past 16 games, including 11 straight in the MAC.

24. Northern Illinois (10-1)

Northern Illinois has rolled off 10 straight wins since its season-opening loss to Iowa. QB Jordan Lynch is leading the way. The junior is third in the nation in total offense and has nine consecutive 100-yard rushing games.

25. Utah State (9-2)

Louisiana Tech was sneaking up on becoming eligible for a BCS bowl. Utah State ended that, surviving a furious Bulldogs comeback with an OT win that clinched at least a share of the WAC title for the Aggies.

Also receiving votes: Mississippi State 13, Northwestern 11, Tulsa 8, Washington 7, Arizona 5, USC 4, Boise State 3, Wisconsin 3, San Diego State 1