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Below you will find the Bankroll Sports columnists' achieved college football top 25 rankings for the final week of the regular college football season.
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1. Oklahoma Sooners (12-1) – The Oklahoma Sooners moved into the top spot in the final rankings with another decisive win; this time 62-21 over Missouri. The win for the Sooners was their 7th straight, and gave them the Big 12 title. The Sooners moved up from # 3 jumping both Alabama and Texas. The Sooners set a college football record by scoring 702 points on the season, which broke the single season scoring record of 656 done by Hawaii University. The Oklahoma offense scored 60+ points for the fifth consecutive game, which sets a new NFL record (scoring 60+ in five straight games). Sam Bradford threw for 384 yards in the win, finishing his regular season with 4464 yards and 48 touchdowns on the year. Bradford will hope to win the 2008 Heisman on Saturday night in New York. The Sooners will now take on the Florida Gators in the BCS National Championship game in Miami.
2. Florida Gators (12-1) – On Saturday, the Gators trailed in the fourth quarter, but two fourth quarter touchdowns topped off by Tim Tebow finding Riley Cooper for a five-yard TD catch with 2:50 remaining, put the game away. The Gators move up to # 2 from their # 4 spot to conclude the rankings. In the win Tebow threw for 216 yards and three touchdowns. Tebow finished the regular season with 2515 yards and 28 touchdown passes. The Gators played the SEC title game against Alabama on Saturday without their top receiver Percy Harvin. Harvin is expected to be back for the national championship game on January 8th. The Gators will take on the Oklahoma Sooners in the BCS National Championship at 8:00pm EST.
3. Texas Longhorns (12-1) – The Texas Longhorns are extremely disappointed they did not get a chance to compete for the Big 12 title, therefore being left out of the National Championship game. The Longhorns sat back and watched the Oklahoma Sooners, who Texas beat 45-35, win the Big 12 title game, and sent them to the title game in Miami. The Longhorns finished the 2008 regular season by scoring an average of 43.9 points per game, allowing just 18.6. The lone loss for the Longhorns was a November 1st loss at Texas Tech, 39-33. Texas finishes at # 3 in the final Top 25. Texas will play in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale Arizona on Monday January 5, 2009. The Longhorns will take on the Ohio State Buckeyes at 8:30pm EST.
4. Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1) – The Alabama Crimson Tide were 12:00 minutes away from finishing the 2008 regular season unbeaten. The Tide allowed Florida to score two fourth quarter touchdowns and knock them off 31-20. The Crimson Tide, in the loss drop from # 1 to # 4 in the final Top 25 rankings. In the loss, quarterback John Parker Wilson was not able to throw for a touchdown, getting picked just once, and completing just 12 of 25 passes for 187 yards. Glen Coffee ran 21 times for 112 yards and a touchdown. The Crimson Tide will play in the Sugar Bowl on Friday January 2, 2009 in New Orleans. Their final opponent will be the 12-0 Utah Utes.
5. USC Trojans (11-1) – The USC Trojans quietly put together another terrific season, finishing the 2008 regular season 11-1. The Trojans remain at # 5, and will finish their in the final Top 25. USC beat UCLA 28-7 on Saturday to clinch the Pac Ten title. The Trojans lone loss on the year was on September 25th, when the Oregon State Beavers knocked them off 27-21. The Trojans finished the Pac Ten 8-1, a game ahead of Oregon and Oregon State, at 7-2. Quarterback Mark Sanchez finished the regular season completing 213 of 331 passes for 2794 yards and 30 touchdowns. The Trojans will now play on New Years Day against the Big Ten winner – Penn State Nittany Lions in the Rose Bowl.
6. Texas Tech Red Raiders (11-1) – The Texas Tech Red Raiders will finish the 2008 regular season at 11-1 on the year, 7-1 in the Big 12 South, in a three way tie with Texas and Oklahoma. The Red Raiders will also finish # 6 in the final poll. The bad news for the Red Raiders is they will be left out of a BCS bowl. The Red Raiders will play in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas Texas on January 2nd, 2009 against the Mississippi Rebels, who finished 8-4 in the SEC. Quarterback Graham Harrell finished the regular season with 4747 yards and 41 passing touchdowns. His top receiver Michael Crabtree caught 93 passes for 1135 yards and 18 touchdowns for the Red Raiders. Texas Tech’s lone 2008 loss was a 65-21 defeat at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners. The Red Raiders beat three teams that were ranked in the Top 25; Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma State in three straight weeks. The Red Raiders will finish their season on January 2nd in the Cotton Bowl against Mississippi.
7. Boise State Broncos (12-0) – The Boise State Broncos have got to feel good about their season, after a mid level conference team took the Big East champions to the wire on Saturday. Boise State will finish the season ranked # 7, at 12-0. The Western Athletic Conference champions finished the year scoring an average of 39.4 points per game, and allowing 12.3. The Broncos closest margin of victory on the season was 13 points. Kellen Moore, the Broncos quarterback completed 259 of 370 passes for 3264 yards and 25 touchdowns. Ian Johnson set a school record with 12 touchdown runs on the season. The Broncos will take on the TCU Horned Frogs on Tuesday December 23 in the Poinsetta Bowl in San Diego.
8. Utah Utes (12-0) – The Utah Utes, along with Boise State are the final two unbeaten teams left in collegiate football. The Utes finished the regular season 12-0, and winners of the Mountain West Conference. Brian Johnson, the Utes quarterback finished the regular season completing 241 of 353 passes for 2636 yards and 24 touchdowns. The Utes scored 37.4 points per game, allowing 17.3 per game. The Utes only played two close games all season, 13-10 to both New Mexico and TCU. Utah will finish the season at # 8 in the final rankings. Utah will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Friday January 2, 2009.
9. Penn State Nittany Lions (11-1) – The Penn State Nittany Lions, due to the final tiebreaker came away as the Big Ten Champions. Penn State ended the regular season with a 11-1 record overall, and 7-1 within the conference. Penn State won the tiebreaker over Ohio State, due to their 13-6 win over the Buckeyes. The Nittany Lions finish the regular season at # 9 in the Top 25. Penn State scored 40.2 points per game, and allowed 12.4 for a 27.8-point margin. The Nittany Lions will play on New Years Day against the Pac Ten winner USC in the Rose Bowl.
10. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2) – The Ohio State Buckeyes lost two games on the year, to top 10 teams. On September 13th the USC Trojans beat Ohio State 35-3, and then on October 25th the Buckeyes fell to Penn State. Despite the two losses, Ohio State finishes at the # 10 position, one spot up from last weeks # 11. Ohio State will take on Big 12 South regular season Co-Champion Texas Longhorns on Monday January 5th in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale Arizona.
11. TCU Horned Frogs (10-2) – The Texas Christian University Horned Frogs, out of the Mountain West Conference will complete the ranking at # 11, one position up from # 12. The Horned Frogs finished a game behind Utah, who won the conference, with a 13-10 win over TCU. The Horned Frogs other loss this season came on the road, in Norman Oklahoma to the Big 12 champion Sooners. TCU averaged scoring 35 points per game, and allowed 10.9 per game. The Horned Frogs will play in the Poinsetta Bowl on December 23rd against the Boise State Broncos in San Diego.
12. Cincinnati Bearcats (11-2) – The Bearcats trailed by two touchdowns with 11:00 minutes to go in the game late Saturday night. 19 unanswered points for Cincinnati, led to a 29-24 win over the Hawaii Warriors. The win moved Cincinnati up one spot in the rankings from # 13 to # 12 and put them at 11-2 in the regular season. Cincinnati Marshawn Gilyard caught a 69-yard pass from Dustin Grutza to lead the Bearcats to a late lead, and the win. The Bearcats won the Big East conference, by one game over Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Rutgers. Cincinnat’s two losses on the year came at Oklahoma, and at Connecticut. The Bearcats will play in their first ever BCS bowl game on New Years Day, against the Atlantic Coast Conference champion Virginia Tech Hokies.
13. Ball State Cardinals (12-1) – The Ball State Cardinals lost their shot at an undefeated season falling 42-24 in the MAC title to the Buffalo Bulls. The loss for the Cardinals dropped them from # 10 to # 13 in the rankings. The Cardinals offense committed five turnovers in the loss. On the year, the Cardinals scored 36.6 points per game, and allowed 18.6. Running back MiQuale Lewis rushed for 22 touchdowns on 306 carries and 1701 yards. Ball State will play their final game of the season on January 6th against Tulsa, in the GMAC Bowl.
14. Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3) – After staring the season 7-0, the Cowboys lost three of their last five games. Fortunately, for the Cowboys those losses were to then # 1, then # 2, and then # 3 in the nation. Texas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma, all three tied for the Big 12 title, all three beat the Cowboys. Oklahoma State finishes the season at # 14 in the Top 25. For the season they had, head coach Mike Gundy was offered a 7 year, $15.7 million contract that he accepted. Zach Robinson, Oklahoma State’s quarterback threw for 2735 yards and 24 touchdowns on the year. Wide Receiver Dez Bryant was one of the best in the country, catching 74 passes, 18 for touchdowns, and 1313 yards. Oklahoma State will take on Pac Ten representative Oregon in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on December 30, 2008.
15. BYU Cougars (10-2) – Out of the Western Athletic Conference, the BYU Cougars are the third team within the top 15, finishing at the # 15 position. The Cougars finished the season at 10-2; with their losses coming to the top two teams in the conference; at TCU and at Utah. Max Hall, BYU’s quarterback threw for 3629 yards on the year, for 34 touchdowns. The Cougars, on the year averaged 35.3 points per game. The Cougars will play in the Las Vegas Bowl on December 20th. Their final opponent will be the Wildcats of the University of Arizona.
16. Oregon Ducks (9-3) – The Oregon Ducks finished in a second place tie with Oregon State in the Pac Ten, one full game behind USC. Oregon stays and finishes at # 16 in the Top 25. The Ducks finished the season with three straight wins; over Stanford, Arizona and Oregon State. In the Ducks last two games, they scored 60 points per game. On the year, Oregon scored 41.9 points per game, allowing 28. The Ducks three losses this season came to Boise State, USC and California. The Ducks will play the Big 12 Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
17. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-3) – Despite not winning the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Yellow Jackets finished the year strong beating state rival Georgia 45-42. The win for Georgia Tech allows them to move up one spot from # 18 to # 17. In the win over Georgia, the Georgia Tech offense ran for 409 rushing yards. The win for Georgia Tech snapped a seven game losing streak against the Bulldogs. Georgia Tech finished in a first place tie with Virginia Tech in the ACC – Coastal with the Hokies taking the tiebreaker, with their 20-17 win. Georgia Tech will stay home and take on the LSU Tigers in Atlanta, in the Chik-Fil-A bowl game on New Years Eve.
18. Michigan State Spartans (9-3) – The Michigan State Spartans move up one spot in the Top 25 and finish the season at the # 18 slot. Michigan State’s three losses this year came at California, with Ohio State, and at Penn State. Javon Ringer, Michigan State’s running back rushed for 1590 yards on the year and 21 touchdowns. The Spartans, finishing in third place behind Ohio State and Penn State in the Big Ten will play in the Capital One Bowl on New Years Day against the Georgia Bulldogs.
19. Georgia Bulldogs (9-3) – After finishing in second place in the SEC – Eastern Division, the Georgia Bulldogs completed the season on a sour note; falling in a rivalry game to Georgia Tech 45-42. The Bulldogs allowed the Yellow Jackets to pick up 409 rushing yards. Georgia Tech will finish the regular season at # 19 in the Top 25. The other two losses for Georgia were to Alabama and Florida, the two SEC title game representatives. Matthew Stafford, the Bulldogs quarterback finished the season with 3209 yards and 22 touchdowns, while running Knowshon Moreno ran for 16 touchdowns on the year. The Bulldogs will take on the third place Big Ten team; in the Michigan State Spartans on New Years Day in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando.
20. Northwestern Wildcats (9-3) – The Northwestern Wildcats will move up two spots and finish at # 20 in the final Top 25 poll. The Wildcats, out of the Big Ten finished the regular season with a 9-3 regular season record, and 5-3 in the Big Ten; good enough for a tie in fourth place. The Wildcats finished the regular season scoring 24.5 points per game, and allowing 19.3 for just a 5.2 margin. Quarterback C.J Bacher threw for 2128 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season. The Wildcats three losses were to Michigan State, Indiana and Ohio State. Northwestern will play against Missouri in the Alamo Bowl on December 29th.
21. Pittsburgh Panthers (9-3) – The Pittsburgh Panthers finished the regular season with a 34-10 win over the Connecticut Huskies. The win places the Panthers at the # 21 spot to end the regular season. Pittsburgh finished one game behind the Cincinnati Bearcats atop the Big East standings. The Panthers three losses this season were with Bowling Green, Rutgers, and at Cincinnati. The Panthers will play their season finale in the Sun Bowl in El Paso Texas against the Oregon State Beavers on December 31st.
22. Virginia Tech Hokies (9-4) – The Hokies re-enter the Top 25 after winning the Atlantic Coast Conference. In Saturday’s title game, a 30-12 win over Boston College, the Hokies controlled the ball for 35:58, dominating the Eagles at the line of scrimmage. On the game, Darren Evans rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown. On the year, Evans ran for 1112 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Hokies finished in a tie with Georgia Tech atop the ACC – Coastal Conference, winning the tiebreaker with a 20-17 win over the Yellow Jackets. The Hokies will now play on New Years Day in a BCS Bowl game; the Orange Bowl in Miami Florida, against the Big East Champion Cincinnati Bearcats.
23. Missouri Tigers (9-4) – The Missouri Tigers and quarterback Chase Daniel came into the 2008 season with high hopes, in fact National Title hopes. Those were dashed early, as the Tigers fell to Oklahoma State and Texas in back to back weeks. The Tigers were later downed by Kansas, and then in the Big 12 finals to Oklahoma, 62-21. Missouri won the tiebreaker in the Big 12 North over Nebraska, due to their 52-17 win in early October. The Tigers fall two spots from # 21 last week to a final position at # 23. Chase Daniel finished the season with 4135 yards and 37 touchdowns. Wide Receiver Jeremy Maclin caught 95 passes for 1221 yards and 12 touchdowns. Missouri will take on Northwestern in the Alamo Bowl.
24. Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-4) – After starting the season at 3-3, the Cornhuskers won five of their next six games to finish the year at 8-4. Nebraska’s four losses on the year came to Virginia Tech, Missouri, Texas Tech and Oklahoma; all bowl bound teams, within the top 25. Nebraska will finish the regular season ranked # 24. The Cornhuskers averaged 36.2 points per game, and allowed 29.2. The Cornhuskers finished the season winning their last three games; over Kansas, Kansas State and Colorado. Nebraska will take on Clemson on New Years Day in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville Florida.
25. Boston College Eagles (9-4) – The Boston College Eagles won the Atlantic Coast Conference – Atlantic Division, but were ousted in the ACC finals to Virginia Tech. The Eagles finished the season at 9-4, and will finish at the # 25 position in the Top 25. This drops them eight spots from # 17 after the Saturday loss. On the year, the Hokies fell four times, to Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Clemson and Virginia Tech. The Hokies on the season averaged 25.5 points per game, and allowed 18.5. The Eagles will take the road on New Years Eve and play SEC representative Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl in Nashville Tennessee.
Best of the Rest:
Iowa Hawkeyes, California Bears, North Carolina Tar Heels, Mississippi Rebels, Oregon State Beavers, East Carolina Pirates
Dropped from Rankings:
Tulsa Golden Hurricane