This will be the last True Top Ten until after the bowls -- it's time to reconnect with our families, pay overdue bills, pick up some holiday gifts, and start compiling briefs in the case of Fighting Irish v. Crimson Tide. Then again, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is just 11 days away. Toledo and Utah State await the chance to entertain you.

1. Notre Dame (12-0)


As the great Spencer Hall mentioned on Twitter the other day, Brian Kelly would make a great wrestling manager. He walked through the booing Alabama and Georgia fans at ESPN's GameDay set on Saturday with the same little smirk Paul Heyman wears on the way to the ring. That one smirk made me three times more excited for Kelly vs. Nick Saban. A brawl at midfield with Nick Saban is not out of the question. Next up: Alabama in BCS championship, Jan. 7.

2. Alabama (12-1)

LAST WEEK: Def. Georgia 32-28 in SEC championship.

In the second half of that game, Alabama went full Bear Bryant on us -- run, run, run some more, run a few more times, and then throw deep. That A.J. McCarron bomb to Amari Cooper reminded me of Gary Rutledge to Wayne Wheeler back in the Wishbone days.

Alabama now has wins in both of the biggest games of the season -- the LSU game on Nov. 3 and the title game Saturday night. That's enough to overcome their loss to Texas A&M and push them ahead of the next team on the list. Next up: Notre Dame in BCS championship, Jan. 7.

3. Ohio State (12-0)

LAST WEEK: Season over.

Look at next year's schedule and you can see Ohio State going 12-0 again. None of the nonconference games feel like a threat (although going to Cal, maybe), and the Buckeyes get Wisconsin and Penn State at home. That last game at Michigan feels like the only sure obstacle. Then again, lots of us had USC going undefeated this year. We should probably stick to enjoying this season for now. Next up: Buffalo, Aug. 31, 2013.

4. Florida (11-1)


There was some debate last week about the third-place advantage in the SEC: The best SEC team that doesn't make the title game can leapfrog the team that does make the title game and loses. It's a little unfair, I guess, but it only matters if that third-place team is really good. Last year, Alabama was good enough to win the national championship. This year, Florida's team is more than worthy. The Gators beat the teams ranked 8, 9, 10 and 12 in the final BCS standings, and lost only to Georgia at No. 7. That's strong. Next up: Louisville in the Sugar Bowl, Jan. 2.

5. Kansas State (11-1)

LAST WEEK: Def. Texas 42-24.

6. Oregon (11-1)


Out of the roughly 167 bowl matchups, not counting the BCS title game, this one's the best. Bill Snyder vs. Chip Kelly… Collin Klein vs. Marcus Mariota… the 16 Goals vs. the 10,000 uniforms. I'll sit through any number of Meineke Car Care Bowls to get to this one. Next up: Against each other in the Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 3.

7. LSU (10-2)


This is probably the point where I should mention that the SEC, according to the BCS standings, had six of the top 10 teams in the country this year. Only two can go to BCS bowls, according to the rules. That means some fine teams in the down-ticket bowls this year -- including what should be a fun matchup in Atlanta. Next up: vs. Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, Dec. 31.

8. Stanford (11-2)

LAST WEEK: Def. UCLA 27-24 in Pac-12 championship.

Here's another strong resume: Wins over No. 4 in the BCS (Oregon), No. 13 (Oregon State) and twice over No. 17 (UCLA). By the end, Stanford was playing their power game as well as anybody in the country. They're so similar to Notre Dame. I bet they'd love to have another crack at the Irish now. Next up: Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, Jan. 1.

9. South Carolina (10-2)


10. Texas A&M (10-2)


With all the round-robin fistfights in the SEC this year, we missed out on two potentially great games: Alabama vs. Florida, and South Carolina vs. A&M. Alabama's got more important things to do … but can't we at least clear out some bowl space for the Gamecocks and the Aggies? I'm pretty sure that by the end, Steve Spurrier would be openly lobbying for Johnny Manziel to come to Columbia. Next up for South Carolina: Michigan in the Outback Bowl, Jan. 1. Next up for A&M: Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, Jan. 4.

11. Georgia (11-2)

LAST WEEK: Lost to Alabama 32-28 in SEC championship.

I'm taking writer's license here to make the TTT go to 11 this one time, so I can put my Dawgs in here -- and explain why they're this low.

After that incredible game Saturday, I was ready to say Georgia is the second-best team in the country. But the whole purpose of the True Top Ten is to look at the body of work a team puts together over a season, and not put too much stock in just one game.

There are four really good two-loss teams in the SEC. Georgia beat one team (Florida) that finished in the BCS top 25. LSU beat A&M and South Carolina, and South Carolina beat Georgia and Clemson. A&M also had just one win over a good team, but that was Alabama. All those resumes edge out Georgia's, if only slightly, and I think two-loss Stanford has a better body of work, too. I'm choosing to look at it this way: The 11th-best team in the country is REALLY GOOD. And that says something about what a great season this was. Next up: Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1.

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Questions? Comments? Challenges? Taunts? You can reach me at or on Twitter @tommytomlinson. The one team I'm really rooting for this bowl season is Northern Illinois.