(And it wasn't even close.) The Tide rolled to a 42-12 win over Notre Dame, earning everyone's #1 vote.
The bowl season shook things up, as 11 of the BCS top 25 lost, and not all to other top 25 teams (UCLA!).
Here's my final top 25 of what has been a season with more than a few surprises (Texas A&M, Oregon St., San Jose St.!)
Building The Dam Ballot - Week 15
|1||Alabama Crimson Tide||1|
|3||Texas A&M Aggies||5|
|4||Ohio St. Buckeyes||1|
|5||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||-4|
|8||Kansas St. Wildcats||-4|
|9||South Carolina Gamecocks||2|
|11||Florida St. Seminoles||3|
|15||Boise St. Broncos||4|
|18||Oregon St. Beavers||-5|
|19||Arkansas St. Red Wolves||1|
|20||Utah State Aggies||1|
|21||Northern Illinois Huskies||-6|
|24||Tulsa Golden Hurricane||1|
|25||San Jose St. Spartans||--|
|Dropouts: UCLA Bruins, Fresno St. Bulldogs, Kent St. Golden Flashes|
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings
The Big 10 has a big problem, and if the Big East could keep from disintegrating, it wouldn't, at least on the field.
Oregon deserved a shot at Alabama (in a couple of years, they might get that shot even with a loss, but not now), as Kansas St. found out, but the Big XII established that collectively they are the distant second best conference behind the top half of the SEC, and ahead of the Pac-12 (which went only 4-4 after being favored in 7 of 8 bowls), with the ACC actually on their heels (and with reinforcements [hello, Louisville!] on the way).
It wasn't a bad year to be a mid-major either, as though there have been better years, the depth of the group, and the number of teams that were in the conversation at some point points to the continued leveling of the competition outside the SEC's elite programs.