This is it — the final regular-season poll. Half the preseason top 10 survived: Oregon (9), TCU (5), Boise State (1), Ohio State (2) and Virginia Tech (7). Auburn opened the season 18th, Stanford 19th, Wisconsin 13th and Arkansas 17th. Nevada, like a pistol shot, rose all the way from unranked. Alabama (4) disappointed slightly and Texas (8) disappointed greatly, while Florida (6) flopped by its standards. Every team in the poll has a bowl game left to impress a one-man judge and jury. The judge really hates punting over the goal posts from your opponent's 39 to gain 19 yards of field position. In three words: Go for it.
(Last week's ranking)
1. Oregon 12-0 (1): Kept its head in Corvallis while everyone else searched for Lee Corso's.
2. Auburn 13-0 (2): Don't worry, Tigers: You're back on top in all the polls that matter.
3. TCU 12-0 (3): What's green, rolls, jumps and croaks? Horned Frogs' float in Rose Parade.
4. Stanford 11-1 (4): Orange Bowl vs. Virginia Tech billed as "Culture vs. Agriculture."
5. Wisconsin 11-1 (5): Ben Cartwright says Ponderosa might not have enough cows for Beef Bowl.
6. Arkansas 10-2 (6): Sugar Bowl seat filler for SEC champ Auburn a formidable test for Ohio State.
7. Boise State 11-1 (7): Playing Utah in Vegas begs question: What's the sound of one band clapping?
8. Nevada 12-1 (8): San Francisco bowl involving Wolf Pack's skinny QB should be played at "The Stick."
9. Ohio State 11-1 (9): Tressel tells Sugar Bowl no amount of beads will get him to remove sweater vest.
10. Virginia Tech 11-2 (11): Voted "worst 0-2 team" before Sept.18 and "best 11-0 team" since.
11. Michigan State 11-1 (10): Best BCS could get you is game against '09 national champs.
12. Oklahoma 11-2 (15): Can't win: Four years ago it was Boise in Fiesta. This year it's UConn.
13. LSU 10-2 (12): Getting passed by Boise in revised BCS standings has to stick in craw.
14. Missouri 10-2 (14): Wish to join Big Ten comes true for a day: Dec. 28 vs. Iowa.
15. Oklahoma State 10-2 (16): Crazy-acting guy across the field in bowl will be Arizona's head coach.
16. Texas A&M 9-3 (17): Stocking stuffers for all Aggies players this year: Texas M&Ms.
17. Nebraska 10-3 (18): Sixteen people can't wait for you to play Washington in Holiday Bowl.
18. Alabama 9-3 (19): Biggest bowl-game fear has to be blowing a 24-day lead before Jan.1.
19. Mississippi State 8-4 (21): Cecil Newton once counted down the shopping days before Christmas.
20. Utah 10-2 (23): Playing Boise with backup QB probably not a good backup plan.
21. South Carolina 9-4 (13): Congrats if the goal was to hold Cam Newton to fewer than seven TDs.
22. Hawaii 10-3 (25): Forecast for Tulsa game: Sunny with a slight chance teams will combine for 140 points.
23. Connecticut 8-4 (NR): Enjoy Fiesta, but Temple finished 8-4 and got shipped to Squat Bowl.
24. Central Florida 10-3 (NR): Playing in bowl (Liberty) where Bear Bryant won his final game.
25. West Virginia 9-3 (NR): Last team in final regular-season poll receives pocket possum detector.