In 2011, Oklahoma was ranked No. 1 in both preseason polls, though it was never a title factor after stumbling in midseason against Texas Tech and Baylor. Alabama and LSU, the two SEC West rivals that met in the BCS championship game, were ranked second and fourth, respectively, in both polls.
The top of the standings are dominated by the SEC, which has five teams in the top eight spots. The Pac-12's USC and Oregon, who might meet twice this season, check in at Nos. 3 and 4, ahead of the Big 12's Oklahoma, at No. 5.
Michigan, the Big Ten's top team, is ranked ninth, followed by Florida State, the ACC's highest-ranked team. The Big East, which has now stooped to include Temple among its eight teams, is somehow still receiving an automatic bid to BCS bowls. The rump AQ conference's top team is Louisville, ranked No. 30, behind top teams from the Mountain West (No. 18 Boise State) and Conference USA (No. 29 Houston).
Each of the 11 conferences are represented in the standings, as well as independents Notre Dame (No. 24) and BYU (No. 36). Also, because Ohio State, Penn State and Miami (Fla.) are serving NCAA sanctions and ineligible for postseason, they're excluded from the standings.
The Guru also made one change to the standings because of popular demand: The computer ratings are now in actual rank order instead of value points, which should make them a bit easier to decipher.